Gold Coast Explorer since Jan 2010. Always on the lookout for fun, family things to enjoy with my four kids.
Published May 3rd 2015
Try it if you dare
Challenge yourself to the 10m rock-climbing wall, at the Gold Coast Recreation Centre (Tallebudgera Leisure Centre), next to Tallebudgera Creek. 10m is a decent assent by anybody's standards and, as happens with these kind of climbs, it seems a lot higher when you are on the wall, especially when nearly at the top. Will your disco leg overcome you, can you make it that final metre - your heart pounds as your friends cheer you on, until finally the top is within your reach. Now all there is to worry about, is leaning back and letting the abseil drop you back to the floor, which is just as nerve wracking the first time you do it.
It's a great activity for a kid's party. My youngest daughter had her 12th birthday there and voted it one of her best. The scene was set with a party invitation, headed "Girls Rock! Climb" and a group of girls rocked up on the day, ready for the challenge. Some scurried to the top like rock rats, others determinedly kept at it until they succeeded on their climb and a couple tried their hardest but their head for heights didn't quite get them past the first third of the way up. Performance didn't matter, as everyone was pitched against themselves and all went away with a sense of achievement, going that little bit higher each time they climbed. The wall progresses it's level of difficulty from left to right, so even the keen beans will be challenged right to the end of the session. Everyone was encouraged to start on the left hand end of the wall and the keen climbers didn't quite make it up the climbs at the right hand side but kept at the task with a dogged determination. Rock climbing does give a thrill, tests your limits and is excellent for fitness.
You can climb as long as you like during the 4 hour session. We stopped for a break of juice and snacks part way through. All you need to bring with are clothes that are comfortable to climb in (bike shorts or leggings are ideal) and you must wear shoes. Helmets and all other climbing equipment is provided, along with a friendly and encouraging instructor, who takes care of all the safety aspects. If you are taking a group of kids, call first and let them know you are coming so there are enough instructors for the session. You can also book in for a Sunday if you have a group of 10 or more (just give them advance notice by booking before the Wednesday that week).
At a cost of just $10pp, it was one of the most reasonably priced party venues we have experienced. You can also ask kids to brings swimmers and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy down at Tallebudgera Creek, which is a beautiful spot, with life guards on duty and no surf to contend with. Parking is outside the venue, note it will get busy on weekends. You can buy ice creams and food at the café so you don't even need to pack a picnic if you want to keep everything really easy. The wall is under roof cover and open sided, so offers shade in the heat and a dry area if it's raining.
Although you phone to let the centre know your numbers, your group will be there along with anyone else who turns up, it's not a private booking. Some Saturdays may be busy, so the Sunday may be worth considering but we found the whole experience ran very smoothly and other families came and went, enjoying the climb with their kids, while we were there. It was a challenge, which all our group enjoyed and definitely something we would go back and do together as a family or with friends in the holidays. The minimum age for climbing is 5 years old. A work team building session would be lots of fun here too.
The centre also offers school holiday activities with the Coast Club (Gold Coast & Sunshine Coast). These are for kids aged 8 plus and families and start from $25 p child and $30 p adult - you can drop off or join in. You can find out more about courses in the holidays by following the link.