SPORT LEISURE AND OTHER ACTIVITIES

badge-bullet-rounded-7 badge-bullet-rounded-6

The Best Theme & Amusement Parks in Australia

Dial up the thrill-o-meter to the max!

We’re exploring the best amusement park and theme park offerings across the country.

Yep, all around Australia. You might be surprised at just what is available.

From hair-raising roller-coasters to all-day entertainment, strap in for a wild ride…

Famous faces: Luna Park is an icon in both Melbourne (pictured) and Sydney. More below.

Warner Bros. Movie World

This is one of Australia’s most famous theme parks, planted in the country’s most iconic location for such attractions. Epic roller-coasters and other heart-pumping rides mix with family-centric amusements, enthralling shows, meet and greets with superheroes and cartoon characters, and so much more. Entertainment overload!

Location: Oxenford, Gold Coast, QLD.

Best attraction: The DC Rivals Hypercoaster is billed as the southern hemisphere’s tallest, longest, and fastest attraction of its kind.

Entry price*: $119 for adults, $109 for children aged 3-13, and free admission for those under the age of three.

Closest parks: BIG4 Gold Coast, NRMA Treasure Island, and BIG4 Tweed Billabong in Tweed Heads.

Action at every turn: Movie World. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Gumbuya World

The mega amusement park is split into four distinct zones, ensuring far-reaching appeal. There’s Oz Adventures with its roller-coasters and rides for young and old, Oasis Springs that boasts a wealth of waterslides and other aquatic attractions, Gumbuya Wildlife Park with its array of native wildlife, and Outback Explorers that’s best suited to younger players. Where to go first?

Location: Tynong, near Pakenham, VIC (75km southeast of Melbourne).

Best attraction: The swing-style Rebel ride is a magnet for ultimate adrenaline junkies.

Entry price: $78 for guests 120cm in height and above, $73 for juniors 90-120cm, and free admission for tots 90cm and shorter (leave your high heels at home, kids!).

Closest parks: BIG4 Dandenong and BIG4 Mornington Peninsula.

Gumbuya has far-reaching appeal. Credit: Gumbuya World.

Adventure World

A generous assortment of scream-inducing rides and engrossing aquatic attractions headline a boat-load of entertainment available at this combined theme-water park. A massive lagoon is a crowd favourite in summer while a go-kart track and wildlife park are among other popular features. Adventure World first opened to the public in 1982.

Location: Bibra Lake, Perth, WA.

Best attraction: The pedal-powered Rail Rider gifts amazing, elevated views from its 4m-high vantage point.

Entry price: $65.95 for visitors aged 14+, $55.95 for children aged 4-13, and free admission for those under the age of three.

Closest parks: BIG4 Perth Midland or Perth Central Caravan Park.

A world of fun. Credit: Adventure World.

Wet’n’Wild

Calls of ‘best day ever’ are sure to emanate from this longtime favourite, which bursts with waterslides and pools of all shapes and sizes. Reach dizzying heights on a thrill slide or hear the little ones squeal with glee on tamer slides. A massive splash zone and giant wave pool are among other crowd-pulling features.

Location: Oxenford, Gold Coast, QLD.

Best attraction: With a 10m drop, twists and turns, and fast speeds, the Kaboom waterslide delivers an incredible experience.

Entry price: $109 for adults, $99 for children aged 3-13, and free admission for those under the age of three.

Closest parks: BIG4 Gold Coast, NRMA Treasure Island, and BIG4 Tweed Billabong in Tweed Heads.

It's wet and it's wild.

Jamberoo Action Park

Spotted in scenic surrounds, the popular water park is jam-packed with rides and other amusements ranging from adrenaline pumping to sedate. Added to the mix is one of the country’s largest wave pools, while away from water visitors can enjoy fun-filled bobsled rides. Please note: Jamberoo is a seasonal attraction with restricted opening hours.

Location: Jamberoo, near Kiama, NSW.

Best attraction: Banjo’s Billabong precinct is filled with features to entertain the whole family.

Entry price: $59 for guests aged 60+, $69 for those aged 13-59, $59 for children aged 4-12, and free admission for those under the age of four.

Closest park: BIG4 Easts Beach in Kiama.

Gigantic Jamberoo. Credit: NEG photography.

Aussie World

This Sunshine Coast attraction is absolutely armed with entertainment. A varied assortment of exhilarating rides are coupled with calmer amusements as well as the likes of an ‘illusionarium’, mini-railway, and crazy mirrors. Timeless carnival favourites also feature prominently, including a Ferris wheel, carousel, dodgem cars, mini-golf, and sideshow alley.

Location: Palmview, near Caloundra, QLD.

Best attraction: You can’t go past the SX360 pendulum swing, which is sure to white-knuckle even the most ardent thrill seeker.

Entry price: $46 flat fee; free entry for children aged 0-2.

Closest parks: BIG4 CaloundraIngenia Landsborough or BIG4 Maroochy River and Ingenia Rivershore in Maroochydore.

Swing by Aussie World for an armful of entertainment. Credit: Visit Sunshine Coast.

Funfields Themepark

Could the name be any more apt? It really is a field of fun with a mammoth assortment of land and water-based entertainment suited to a broad age range. Embrace ultimate thrills on the likes of a pendulum ride, pirate ship, or various water slides, hit the go-kart or alpine toboggan track, or chill out with a round of mini-golf. Old-fashioned favourites such as a Ferris wheel and carousel also feature among much, much more.

Location: Whittlesea, VIC (55km north of Melbourne).

Best attraction: The spectacular Supanova waterslide, which opened in late 2022. It’s 27m high and 250m long with dazzling colour effects exploding into a massive 18m funnel.

Entry price: $62 for visitors 130cm in height and above, $52 for those 100-130cm, and free admission for toddlers 100cm and shorter.

Closest parks: BIG4 Melbourne and BIG4 Yarra Valley in Healesville.

Fields full of fun. Credit: Funfields Themepark.

Dreamworld

Welcome to Australia’s biggest theme park. Dreamworld is an absolute beast, offering more choice than your average lolly shop. Seriously spine-tingling roller-coasters and other such rides are signature attractions worth the entry ticket alone. But that’s just the start. There are loads of rides and other amusements dedicated to younger punters as well as an on-site wildlife conservation park. This is headlined by Tiger Island, which offers exhilarating, up-close encounters with these giant cats.

Location: Coomera, Gold Coast, QLD.

Best attraction: How can you choose? Among many is the Sky Voyager flying theatre, which delivers an absolutely amazing experience.

Entry price: $119 for adults, $109 for children aged 3-13, and free admission for those under the age of three.

Closest parks: BIG4 Gold Coast, NRMA Treasure Island, and BIG4 Tweed Billabong in Tweed Heads.

Dream destination. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Magic Mountain Merimbula

There is action aplenty at this South Coast NSW amusement park, which has a lean towards a more traditional, carnival-style set up. A maze, toboggan, mini-golf, giant slide, jumping castle, and mini racing cars feature alongside a roller-coaster, a pair of snaking waterslides, splash pool, and more. Please note: The park has limited opening hours with complete closures during some cooler months.

Location: Merimbula.

Best attraction: The twisting and turning Tube Rider slide delivers two tracks of differing speeds, ensuring suitability for various age ranges.

Entry price: $34 for guests aged 60+, $59 for those aged 13-59, $52 for children aged 5-12, and free admission for those aged four and under.

Closest parks: NRMA Merimbula Beach, Merimbula Lake Holiday ParkIngenia EdenTasman – Tathra Beach or NRMA Tathra Beachfront.

A world of magic awaits in Merimbula. Credit: David Rogers Photography.

Luna Park

Luna Park is a national institution, immediately recognisable by its giant-faced facades that feature in Australia’s two most-populous cities. The Melbourne attraction is Australia oldest-operating theme park, having opened in 1912, while the landmark site in Sydney dates to 1935. Each has evolved extensively over the years with rides and activities galore while retaining its old-school, Coney Island-inspired charm. Both are must-visits for theme-park tragics.

Location: St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC and Milsons Point, Sydney, NSW.

Best attraction: You can’t go past the iconic Great Scenic Railway in Melbourne, regarded as the world’s oldest continually operating roller-coaster.

Entry price: Melbourne: $51.50 for guests aged 13+, $41.50 for children aged 4-12, and $18 for those aged three and under. Sydney: Prices change daily; adult and children’s tickets available.

Closest parks: BIG4 Melbourne and BIG4 Dandenong (Melbourne) or NRMA Sydney Lakeside, Ingenia Nepean RiverIngenia Avina or Ingenia Sydney Hills (Sydney).

Landmark: Luna Park, Sydney.

Sea World

First opened in 1971, Sea World is regarded as Australia's leading marine park. So, it’s no surprise that the humongous site overflows with fun. There’s a ton of action-packed shows, exhibitions, and interactive encounters with a whole gamut of marine creatures, from dolphins to polar bears. Animals aside, witness stunt shows, Nickelodeon character meet and greets, a gigantic adventure playground, and, of course, the theme-park staple: thrilling rides aplenty.

Location: Main Beach, Gold Coast, QLD.

Best attraction: Among all the bells and whistles and evolving amusements, the long-standing dolphin presentation remains a magical sight.

Entry price: $119 for adults, $109 for children aged 3-13, and free admission for those under the age of three.

Closest parks: BIG4 Gold Coast, NRMA Treasure Island, and BIG4 Tweed Billabong in Tweed Heads.

Those dolphins are still dazzling. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Kryal Castle


A Spellbinding adventure awaits at Kryal Castle, a theme park like no other in Australia. Experience the medieval world of knights, create magical potions and learn to sword fight. There is something for all ages to enjoy, from show-stopping jousting tournaments and daring sword fights to axe-throwing and archery. A world of dungeons and dragons comes to life at this one-of-a-kind theme park.

Location: Leighs Creek, Ballarat, VIC.

Best attraction: The incredible Knights and horses as they battle in a championship joust.

Entry price: Adult Day Pass $36, Concession $30, Child (3-15) $24, Infants (0-2) Free.

Closest parks: BIG4 Kryal Castle, BIG4 Ballarat Windmill and NRMA Ballarat.

Get medieval at Kryal Castle.

Best Theme Park for Toddlers

This is a tough call. Clearly, the target audience of many theme parks is those guests who can see over the counter at the front gate.

Height restrictions for many rides apply at almost every theme park in the country.

Despite this, those with junior burgers in tow are more than welcome. Australia’s collection of theme parks does have a clear focus on providing dedicated entertainment for toddlers – including distinct zones or precincts.

Magic Mountain Merimbula ranks among the top picks. Toddlers are able to enjoy a solid selection of its amusements – obviously with adult supervision.

Sea World also warrants mention. Much of its exhibits and other entertainment allow small kids to interact and engage and at the very least not be bored and wanting to head back to the car within 20min of arrival.

Similarly, Movie World has a dedicated kids’ zone, and its famous star parade is engaging for small children.

As the largest theme park in Australia, Dreamworld is notably inclusive of little ones. This is demonstrated via its dedicated kids’ rides and family-friendly entertainment that includes vintage car and train tours. 

Movie World's star parade is a favourite with kids. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Best Theme Park on the Gold Coast

Undoubtably, QLD’s Gold Coast region is Australia’s ‘theme park capital’ with a handful of locations for all-day entertainment (not all of them made this list).

What is the region’s best theme park? That’s subjective at the best of times.

The Gold Coast’s collection of amusement parks are perennial winners of major tourism awards and top tourist attraction honours and polls.

For its all-round appeal and strong variation of entertainment, Dreamworld is hard to beat. Opened in 1981, the theme park draws in an estimated 1 million visitors each year.

Dreamworld pulls in roughly 1 million visitors each year. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Best Roller-Coaster in Australia

As we mentioned at the top of this article, Movie World is home to the southern hemisphere’s tallest, longest, and fastest roller-coaster.

The DC Rivals Hypercoaster is a mind-boggling creation. Upwards of 60m in height, it reaches speeds of 115km/h as it twists, turns, and loops on a staggering 1.4km-long track. Pure exhilaration.

Elsewhere, Dreamworld’s Steel Taipan is regarded as one of Australia’s scariest roller-coasters. The snaking ride has a g-force rating of 3.8 (whatever that means) and records top speeds of 105km/h. At the rear of the train is a world-first spinning seat – known as a tailwhip – that injects another dose of chills into an experience that’s already petrifying for many!

The DC Rivals Hypercoaster is an extraordinary creation. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Best Theme-park Deals

The no.1 tip when visiting any Australian theme park is to buy tickets online. The price is almost always considerably cheaper than the admission fee at the gate.

If you are planning on visiting several Gold Coast amusement parks, dedicated passes are available. They provide entry to various parks and provide tangible savings compared to purchasing individual tickets.

Some theme parks offer season passes, which provide excellent value if multiple visits are planned. You might find dedicated local-only passes, too.

High five for savings. Location: Dreamworld. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Underrated Theme Parks

If there’s not enough to work with above, we’re throwing in a couple of extra amusement parks that demand attention.

WetSide Water Park

Boasting a foreshore setting, the water park is a fantastic, family-friendly attraction that’s perfect for cooling off. It features twisting waterslides, an aqua adventure course, water play area, and a dedicated zone for under 5s among more. General entry is free, but there are costs for use of some equipment. Opening hours are varied.

Location: Hervey Bay, QLD.

Closest park: BIG4 Hervey BayIngenia Hervey BayTasman - Fraser Coast or Tasman - Torquay Palms​​​​​​​.

Wonderful WetSide. Credit: Fraser Coast Regional Council.

The Big Banana Fun Park

One of Australia’s most recognisable ‘big things’ offers so much more than a selfie essential. Behind the bright yellow façade is a massive seasonal water park, as well as a giant slide, ice-skating rink, reptile enclosure, toboggan, mini-golf course, and plenty else.

Location: Coffs Harbour, NSW.

Closest parks: BIG4 Park BeachBIG4 Sawtell Beach or NRMA Darlington Beach in the Coffs Harbour region.

Behind the facade, visitors can go bananas. Credit: Andrew Gregor/Destination NSW.

From theme parks to holiday parks – choose from a load of BIG4s across Australia. See all locations here.

*All entry prices quoted in this article are for single passes and are correct at time of publishing.

BIG4 accepts no responsibility for those who have been inspired via this article to visit one of the mentioned theme parks, elected to hop on board a roller-coaster, and regretted their decision mere seconds into the ride.

Related Parks

Perks+ members SAVE

on stays, plus loads more! 

Already a member? Sign in