It’s pretty much a given that, if you are visiting or holidaying on the Gold Coast, you’ll visit one of the many Theme Parks in the region. Responsible for drawing hundreds of thousands of tourists to the city each year, there is one that has a special place in my heart; Sea World.
Being a massive animal lover and not much of a ‘rides’ person, it probably makes sense. I can still remember my uncle getting picked out of the crowd to be part of the dolphin show (and even getting to feed them) during a family holiday back in the early 80’s! Sea World isn’t so much the action and adventure theme park, but is more like a massive aquarium, with a heap of other marine animals thrown in for good measure.
How to get there
Sea World is located on Sea World Drive, Main Beach and is approximately 10 minutes by car from Surfers Paradise. There is a large car park for those of you not travelling by public transport.
What you’ll do
Plan out your day
There is so much to see and do at Sea World, and it’s a big park, so remember to wear your comfy shoes! If you’re anything like me, you like to know what’s going on around the park to make sure you’re not missing out on anything. The easiest way to do this is by jumping online and looking up what’s on at what times, allowing you to plan out your day.
Visit the locals
Obviously, the big ticket items at Sea World are the animals, and the biggest of the big are the polar bears! Seriously, I could have spent my whole day at Sea World just watching the polar bears. Especially the little cub, Mishka. She sure was in a cheeky and playful mood when we visited.
The other show stoppers at Sea World are definitely the dolphins. Always have been and always will be. It seems they are everywhere you go around the park. The 20 minute Affinity Dolphin presentation at Dolphin Beach will have you ‘ooohing’ and ‘ahhhing’ for sure.
There are also seal/sea lion presentations and fairy penguin and sting ray feedings to name a few. The massive underwater aquarium is also not to be missed, where you can see turtles, sharks and hundreds of other brightly coloured tropical fish. If you time it right, you might also spot a mermaid!
Jump on a ride
Now, if you want a break from the aquatic delights and wouldn’t mind getting the adrenaline pumping a touch faster, make your way to the middle of the park where you will find the Storm and Jet Rescue Rollercoasters.
As I’ve already said, I’m not much of a ‘rides’ person so I sat these ones out, using the excuse that I had to take the photos for this review! However, my wife loved them, especially the Storm Coaster, which she emerged from looking like the proverbial drowned rat. Maybe sitting right up the front wasn’t the best idea!
Popular with those toting the younger brigade is Nickelodeon Land, with its kid oriented rides including a mini rollercoaster along with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Paw Patrol shows. Hang around long enough and you could even meet your favourite characters.
If things are starting to heat up, head to Castaway Bay for a splash in the water park or jump aboard the Battle Boat, where, if you don’t get off wet, you’re not doing it right. The adventure playground of the Sky Fortress will test your skills as you climb and crawl your way through tunnels, slides and rope bridges, with the Sky Fortress taking you 12 metres above the ground.
Top up with a meal
After all this activity, energy reserves are going to be running at an all time low. Luckily, Sea World has just the thing for that. Jump on the monorail for an aerial tour of the park and jump off at the mid station, where it’s then only a short walk to the Plaza for burger and chips or a pizza. Apart fro the Plaza, there are numerous other food and drink outlets all around the park.
• polar bears, and the cub, Mishka
• dolphins and major presentation at Dolphin Beach
• fairy penguins
• seals/sea lions
What to bring
• sun smart clothing
• comfy shoes
If you’re going to be on the coast for a week or so and plan on visiting a couple of the other theme parks, it is definitely worth buying a multi-parks pass (2-day, 7-day or 14-day), which will get you access to not only Sea World, but also Movie World, Wet’n’Wild and even Paradise Country with the 14 day pass. Make sure to hit each park early and make the most of your time there!
If you’re interested in visiting one or all of the Gold Coast Theme Parks, you can check out our full range of packages below.