When visiting the Gold Coast, the city's theme parks are are staple of any holiday to the region. As Australia's theme park capital, it is no surprise that the parks are one of the major draw cards for visitors - however, despite this, they are usually seen as an activity that is more done "for the kids" than for adults or couples themselves.
In order to prove that this isn't the case, we've put together a shortlist of the best Gold Coast theme parks for adults, including reasons why, pros and cons, and specific explanations of individual rides and/or attractions that may be on show at each park. For the purpose of this guide, we'll be classing an "adult" as anyone over the age of 18 - although bear in mind that for admission prices to the parks, the cut-off age for becoming an adult is usually 14 years and above.
Warner Bros. Movie World
MovieWorld at Oxenford on the Gold Coast does its best to cater to adults as they have an eclectic mix of both rides and shows that are aimed at the more mature attendee; they have shows with comedy that contains a bit of subtle innuendo that will likely go over the heads of younger teens and children, as well as providing a range of entertaining shows that feature both more action-packed scenes (such as their Hollywood Stunt Driver show) and louder, in-your-face noises (as currently provided by their Journey to the Centre of the Earth 4-D Adventure), which may both spook some of the younger and more fragile kids.
Likewise, in terms of rides, MovieWorld again has great variety, and many of the rides vary over certain levels on the "thrill-o-meter", from the Wild West Falls gloom adventure ride, to the Lethal Weapon and Superman Escape roller coasters, to their newest addition, the adrenaline-pumping Batwing Spaceshot vertical launch ride that shoots you at rapid speed up to the top of a 60-metre tower, immediately followed by a drop into a thrilling negative descent at speeds BEYOND freefall! Many of these more "extreme" rides have height requirements which may exclude some kids, with minimums for the Lethal Weapon and Batwing Spaceshot both being 140 centimetres.
Movie World does offer some "happy mediums" however, which are suitable for both non-adults and those adults who aren't too keen on extreme rides yet might not want to spend most of the day as the designated "bag holder"! The Batman Adventure has long been a staple ride at MovieWorld and provides sufficient thrills, while the Acme Road Runner Roller coaster offers a roller coasting experience that has been toned-down somewhat.
Overall, MovieWorld provides a pleasant balance that offers something for adults of all dispositions, from the thrill-seeking to the more laid back variety!
is, out of all the major parks, the one most focused towards interaction and show viewing as opposed to a pure emphasis on only rides. As a result, adults may find it more appealing if they are not the adrenaline-seeking type and simply wish to have an enjoyable day out while experiencing some of the most special and unique marine life up close.
That isn't to say that Sea World lacks in the rides department; the two newest roller coasters, the Sea Viper and the Jet Rescue rides both provide the thrills that one would expect of a theme park ride, and both have fairly unique designs. When it comes down to it however, there isn't much doubt that Sea World is just as much of a giant, well-run aquarium as it is a standard theme park.
The huge variety of animals they involve both in shows and on display can make for more than a full day's entertainment in themselves; the Imagine Dolphin Experience show has been a long-standing and extremely popular drawcard for visitors as the well-trained dolphins perform spectacular air-and-water-borne feats, and the brand new Jet Stunt Extreme show, which builds on the tradition of the long line of top-notch ski shows Sea World has been offering for years, features some of the world's best jet ski stunt performers pulling off some of the biggest and best aerial tricks that can be seen on water.
This also goes without even mentioning the large number of displays of animals in simulated natural environments which include, but are not limited to, the Shark Bay, Polar Bear Shores, Penguin Encounter, Ray Reef and Dolphin Nursery Pool, to name just a few.
Sea World is the ideal park for adults who prefer a bit more of a laid-back, informative and wildlife-orientated day out, whereas those looking for pure thrills alone would be best served choosing one of the other parks available.
Wet n Wild
Wet 'n' Wild offers the perfect place to get the adrenaline pumping while cooling off, and due to its prime location on the Gold Coast - with its "nearly endless Summer" - the weather is often either warm or hot enough to make the water extremely refreshing. In addition, the colder months are also catered for as the water will be artificially heated to remove any excess chills. When all is said and done though, Wet n Wild is probably the best of all of the parks to go to in Summer.
The park boasts a simply huge range of slides and rides which are being continually expanded, with everything from the entry-level Whitewater Mountain (which contains slides of varying levels of extremity), up to the newer rides that populate the Extreme H20 Zone, such as the Tornado, Black hole and Kamikaze! Many of the rides are also suitable for couples and/or families as they allow for multiple rides to experience them at once; Mammoth Falls is great for groups, the Aqua Racer provides a fun test of speed as 8 people can compete to see who finishes first, and adrenaline-seeking couples can ride both the Kamikaze and the Tornado together!
There are also plenty of opportunities to relax in the water with the more laid-back attractions of Calypso Beach (simply grab a tube, hop on and chill out as the current takes you around the course), the Wave Pool (swim or float in a tube; it's your choice!), and the Whirlpool Hot Springs, which will help you cool off and chill out after your sessions on some of the park's biggest rides. Adults with kids are also catered for with the facilities they can take their kids to, such as the pirate-themed Buccaneer Bay which gives them an aquatic adventure with purpose-built children's slides!
In addition, if you're looking for more things to do on the Gold Coast, other than theme parks be sure to check out our main region page. Plus, don't forget to give us your opinions on which theme park is the best - and feel free to leave a review and let us know!