Good old family bonding during Christmas on the Gold Coast

Christmas Down Under means ditching the snow for the sand, surfing instead of snowing and sunbathing instead of freezing.

For a truly unforgettable Christmas pack up your bags and put the family on an airplane to Australia, to experience the southern summer holiday season. Relax you will still get your Christmas roast dinners, your Santa Claus (though the poor dude will be sweltering in the heat) and mid-night masses, but with the signature Aussie touch.

Families with children of all ages should head over to Gold Coast as there is something for everyone. Yes we know that the Gold Coast is a tourist magnet, but it has its own charm during Christmas and one can enjoy  any number of recreational activities ranging from surfing, snorkeling, trekking to even gambling. Also those looking for Christmas fun can enjoy the fireworks, the fantastic boxing day sales and the carols.

Daily flights from Qantas, Jetstar etc. go to the Gold Coast airport and from there one can take a Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle and get dropped at their hotel. Another option is Coachtrans, which runs (1300 664 700, 3358 9700; ) transfers between Brisbane airport and most Gold Coast.Book yourself at the Ashmore Palms Holiday Village, which is a family friendly park and is close to all the main attractions including the theme parks and also Surfers Paradise. They also have activities for children like bird watching, arts and crafts etc. and it is also close to Ferry Street Market.

Start your day by heading towards Surfer’s Paradise and get some surfing lessons with the entire family (children less than 8 years are not recommend to surf) from Surf in Paradise. After the fun lesson, take it easy and visit the SkyPoint Observation Deck (avail the family passes option) for some breathtaking birds-eye views of the Gold Coast.While it is impossible to cover all the theme parks in a single day, but do try and find time for the adrenaline Paradise Jet Boating which departs from Mariners Cove Marina, in the Main Beach area. After the topsy-turvy ride, head to the Main Beach area and grab a bite at Tempt Gourmet Pizza, a place known for its fresh Australian ingredients and yummy grub.

As mentioned by us earlier, squeezing in all theme parks in a single is an impossible task, so spread it out and visit the more notable ones; which are Dream World, Movie World, Wet’n’Wild Water World, Australian Outback Spectacular and so on.  Also Warner Bros Movie World will open the Green Lantern roller-coaster in time for Christmas, so take the  AU$189 Village Roadshow Mega Pass, which allows unlimited entry in a 14-day period.

For Christmas the city council of Gold Coast arranges a number of events throughout the month and you can see the full list here. These events range from Christmas caroling to fireworks, to concerts to church productions, so make sure you get all the relevant information.

There is more to Gold Coast than just sun, surf and sand and it is a misconception that the place is just a wild party paradise. With its various themed parks, natural wonders and fun attractions, it is among Australia’s most popular family-friendly destination and hence the perfect place to celebrate Christmas.