Over the Easter long weekend, my husband and I took our boys to Sea World on the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia).
The last time I had been was well over 20 years ago, so I was interested to see how it had changed. The boys absolutely loved Disneyland so I thought another theme park, albeit on a much smaller scale, would be a good weekend away.
Sea World Resort
We stayed at the Sea World Resort. It was quite expensive but for the ease of getting in and out of Sea World it was definitely the best way to go. We stayed in a room with two queen-sized beds and the room itself was comfortable and clean. Included in our package was unlimited access to SeaWorld, so we were able to go to the theme park on the day we arrived and the day of departure.
The pools and water park at the resort are fantastic. Luckily it was still warm enough to swim at Easter. The water park area is great for kids. Themed with SpongeBob SquarePants and friends there are lots of water sprays, slides and buckets of water. In fact, the main water play area has an enormous bucket that fills up and when it tips, the noise is incredible. It actually scared my boys so they stuck to the swimming pool! It would be great for older children who don’t mind having water dumped on them!
What We Ate
We didn’t eat much at the resort, but the food was pretty standard for hotels. Lots of chips (French fries), burgers, club sandwiches etc for lunch and buffet breakfasts and dinners. We had our car, so we decided to go out for most of our meals, though we did have a simple lunch on Saturday and Sunday in the hotel cafe and by the pool.
We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant Panda in the Kitchen in Southport on Saturday then takeaway Vietnamese from Pho Hung on Sunday. Both places served up fresh and delicious food. We don’t have a great range of Asian cuisine on the Sunshine Coast, so we always seem to gravitate towards that when we are away!
So on to the main focus of our trip! From the hotel you can catch the monorail to the front of Sea World or walk into the back of the theme park. We rode on the monorail the first day, but each time we tried to get on to the monorail on the other days it was completely full. There is only one monorail train running at any one time, so if you can’t catch it, it is at least a 20 minute wait until the next one. It would be great for them to put on a couple of trains so that there are no disappointed kids!
We spent a lot of time in Nickelodeon Land, which is where the rides for younger children are located.
There are regular meet and greets with characters. Here is my five-year-old with Spongebob Square Pants and friends.
We also watch a Dora show, which was corny but cute and the boys enjoyed the singing and dancing.
If you stay for two or more nights at the resort, you get the chance to see the Dolphin Discovery show, which is basically a dolphin training session. It was a great way to see some of Sea World’s dolphins practice some of their tricks and understand more about their health, breeding and rescue programs.
There were some hands-on areas, like the rock pools where you could touch sea stars and sea cucumbers.
This was my favourite and also my five-year-olds – a big pool holding lots of adult and baby stingrays. You are able touch their wings as they glide by close to the water’s surface. I was really surprised about how slimy they feel. Stingrays secrete mucus through their skin which helps protect them against parasites and infections. It also helps them move faster through the water.
Don’t miss out on visiting the underwater viewing area. It’s at Shark Bay and you can see all types of tropical fish, a sea turtle, rays and of course, sharks.
Sea World – The Verdict
Sea World was a great weekend away and the boys loved it but my husband and I are in agreement that we probably won’t be returning. There are just so many more theme/amusement parks still to visit!
Have you been to Sea World on the Gold Coast? What did you think?