Located in Helensvale — 45 minutes’ drive south of Brisbane — Dreamworld is Australia’s largest theme park. It features more than forty fabulous rides, alongside live shows and animal exhibits. Whether it’s the adrenalin-pumping rides, wildlife presentations, ABC Kids World, or DreamWorks Experience (where characters from Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, Madagascar and more come to life), there’s something for everyone to enjoy here and you’re guaranteed a great day out.
Must-sees and dos
- Come face-to-face with the furry residents on Tiger Island
- Immerse yourself in traditional Indigenous culture at Dreamworld Corroboree
- Get a bird’s eye view of some of Australia’s most spectacular landscapes on board Sky Voyager — a simulated flight in the Southern Hemisphere’s first ‘flying’ theatre
- Ride the thrilling Tail Spin, Tower of Terror II, Giant Drop, BuzzSaw, Claw, and Hot Wheels Sidewinder.
Dreamworld has a range of food outlets and can satisfy most dietary requirements. Chow down at the Sandwich Shop, Dough Bros Pizzeria, and Food Central, which does gourmet burgers and foot-long hot dogs.
Warner Bros. Movie World
Also situated in Helensvale, Warner Bros. Movie World is a chance to immerse yourself in the magic of the movies. This incredible theme park (located right next to a set of working film studios) is renowned for being ‘Hollywood on the Gold Coast’. Spend a day meeting your favourite cartoon and super hero characters, climbing on board the thrill rides, and watching a mind-boggling array of world-class performances and shows.
Must-sees and dos
- Ride the DC Rivals HyperCoaster
- Get photos with DC super heroes and super villains
- Experience spooky surprises and roller coaster thrills on the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster Next Generation
- Visit Kids’ WB! Fun Zone — home to your favourite Looney Tunes characters and a range of themed attractions
- See Hollywood Stunt Driver 2 — a live-action show, featuring incredible stunts and precision driving.
Make sure you also check out the new WB Studio Showcase — an incredible exhibition of movie memorabilia, including costumes, cars and props from blockbusters like The Great Gatsby, A Star is Born, Mad Max, Wonder Woman, Shazam! and Suicide Squad.
Movie World features a range of themed places to eat. Options include the Dirty Harry Bar and Grill, Wild West Roadhouse, Gotham City Cafe, and Main Street Deli.
Take a walk on the wild side at Australia Zoo in Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast — one hour’s drive north of Brisbane. The zoo is the legacy of famous wildlife warrior Steve Irwin, and is home to a vast array of native and exotic animal and bird species. There are wildlife presentations throughout the day, including crocodile feeding and snake handling. The zoo’s expert handlers even walk some animals through the park!
Must-sees and dos
- Watch the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warrior Show in the Crocoseum
- Ride Steve’s Safari Shuttle — hosted by friendly and knowledgable guides
- Explore Bindi’s Island — home to mischievous lemurs, giant tortoises, snapping turtles and colourful macaws
- Visit the Tiger Temple and see critically endangered Sumatran and Bengal tigers
- Check out the park’s amazing multi-species Africa exhibit.
Australia Zoo believes in conservation through education. A day at the park will ensure you learn a huge amount about Australia’s endangered animals, and many of those from the wider world.
When hunger strikes, head to Crikey Café and choose from the range of burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, salads and sushi on offer. The park also has a number of casual food kiosks.
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About the writer
Adam Ford is editor of The Big Bus tour and travel guide and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger and photographer. He has travelled extensively through Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and the Middle East. Adam worked as a travel consultant for a number of years with Flight Centre before taking up the opportunity to travel the world himself as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten. He loves to experience everything a new destination has to offer and is equally at home in a five-star Palazzo in Pisa or a home-stay in Hanoi.