All Posts By

Paige

History of Australia’s Sea World

By Blog, Sea World

History of Australia’s Sea World

Sea World

Sea World on the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most beloved theme parks. From their thrilling water rides and captivating animal exhibitions to their animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. It is also home to the Sea World Cruise terminal Hopo Gold Coast Ferry Stop. If you’re looking for a great family day out, purchase a Hopo day pass and travel to Sea World by Hopo ferry.

But did you know that Sea World has been part of the Gold Coast landscape since the late 1950s?  Read along and follow us as we take a journey through the history of Sea World Australia.

Surfers Paradise Ski Gardens

It all began in 1958 when local Gold Coast businessman, Keith Williams, purchased a block of land by the Nerang River and developed the Gold Coast’s first major tourist attraction. A lover of water skiing, Williams created the iconic ‘Water Ski Show’, which presented “water ski shows that combined comedy, aqua ballet and action”.  Surfers Paradise Ski Gardens was a huge success and even held the 1965 World Water Ski Championships.

The famous Water Ski Show taking place at Surfers Paradise Ski Park in, the 1960s. Image courtesy Queensland Places

Transforming into Australia’s largest marine theme park

In 1971, Ski Gardens moved to the Spit, changed its name to Sea World, and introduced dolphins and other marine life into the park.  Its main competitor was an aquatic theme park, Marineland. The company took a major step forward when Williams purchased Marineland in 1976. The performers and marine life were transferred to the ever-growing Sea World, taking the top spot as the premier aquatic attraction in Queensland. 

 

As its popularity grew, so did Sea Worlds attractions. In 1978, the much loved Vikings Revenge Flume Ride was built, which ran until 2016, when it was closed in 2016 to make space for new rides. 1981 saw the release of the Corkscrew, Australia’s first ‘triple loop’ roller coaster.

Gold Coast ‘Marineland’ before Williams purchased it for the Sea World brand. Image courtesy Queensland Places.

Sea World Australia today

The Gold Coast has become known as Australia’s theme park hotspot, with tourists flocking to check out the newest and coolest rides and exhibits. As a result, Sea World has dedicated the last decade to introducing modern and thrilling attractions.

The hype has been building about the construction of ‘The Leviathan’, the first wooden rollercoaster built in Australia in 35 years. It’s due to open in September 2021.

In December 2000, two orphaned polar bear cubs were rehomed to Polar Bear Shores. Today, the two brothers are accompanied by a young polar bear, Mishkah, whose playful personality is a crowd favourite.  Other animal exhibitions include little penguins, jellyfish, sharks, stingrays, sea lions and dolphins.

The thrilling Leviathan roller coaster at Sea World. Image courtesy Sea World Australia.

Marine wildlife rescue and education

Sea World plays a considerable role in marine rescue and rehabilitation of marine life through their non-profit Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation. Each rescue they make contributes to public awareness and scientific knowledge to help further educate people and protect wildlife.

Journey to Sea World Australia aboard a Hopo Gold Coast Ferry, with fares beginning from as little as $4.

BOOK NOW

More Like This

Blog

History of Australia’s Sea World

Sea World on the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most beloved theme parks. From…
Blog

Hollywood on the Gold Coast

There’s no need to visit Los Angeles (even when international borders open!) to spot your…
Blog

Hopo Free Birthday Travel

It’s your birthday, and Hopo Gold Coast Ferry is here to help you celebrate with…

Hollywood on the Gold Coast

By Blog

Hollywood on the Gold Coast

There’s no need to visit Los Angeles (even when international borders open!) to spot your favourite celebrities when more and more stars are making their way down under. Over the last few years, the Gold Coast has seen an influx of Hollywood A-listers. From the Hemsworths to Tom Hanks, our sunshine city is the place to be.

Take a journey with Hopo Gold Coast Ferry and witness all the glitz and glamour for yourself. Our ferries will take you down winding waterways and showcase the highlights of Hollywood best.

Celebrity lunch or dinner guests

Although the rich and famous love to soak up the Gold Coast sunshine, did you know they also love the delicious food scene? Matthew McConaughey, Bono and Diana Ross have reportedly been seen at chef-hatted restaurants such as Vanita’s at Marina Mirage.

Where legends are made: Southport School

Sporting legends were made here. The Southport School is a boys private school known for its sporting achievements, with alumni such as Adam Scott (Golfer), Mat Rogers (NRL), Bernard Tomic (Tennis) and numerous Rugby and Surf Lifesaving legends.

The campus consists of 9 sporting fields, a contemporary sports studio including a gymnasium and weights room, seven tennis courts, a pool and even a river centre for rowing and sailing.

Taste of Luxury at Paradise Waters

Paradise Waters was created in 1980 by the development company Hooker Rex. The average house price is $7M or up to a whopping $3000 per week for rent. Blocks of land sales have recently reached a new record of $8M for a single block. As you cruise past, you can see new luxury homes being built.

You can see celebrity houses such as Grand Prix motorcycle road racing World Champion Mick Doohan. His house is an incredible, multi-million dollar sight to see, complete with a helipad and display cannon!  Keep your eyes open for the home formerly owned by 22 world records and five gold medal-winning Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe. It is rumoured that he has an Olympic sized pool inside the house!

Our friendly skippers know even more secrets about Paradise Point and the Gold Coast waterways, so make sure to listen to the live commentary.

Mick Doohan’s incredible home - Image courtesy of Ray White

Italian Glamour at Palazzo Versace

Gold Coast’s only 6-star resort, Palazzo Versace, is everything you would expect in a hotel from the world of Versace: an exclusive waterfront setting, spectacular architecture, opulent accommodation and built from Italian craftsmanship, there is no wonder why A-list celebrities choose to make this their hotel of choice.

It has hosted a wide selection of stars from Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, Beyonce, Pink, Elton John and even Bill Gates.

See the Italian glamour resort for yourself at Marina Mirage. They also offer fine dining options open to the public.

Lights, Camera, Action!

If you haven’t heard, Queensland and The Gold Coast have become the place to be for cinema. An abundance of productions and their stars have moved down under, with more projects planned over the next few years. The Gold Coast has played host to some of the biggest blockbusters of the last decade.

The fifth Pirates of the ­Caribbean movie shot at The Spit for their ocean scenes. It was easier to build a life-size ship prop on the beach than at the nearby Village Roadshow Studios.

Other films shot in Southport, Main Beach, and Surfers Paradise include Muriels Wedding, Aquaman and Thor: Ragnarok.

The Dying Gull ship was built at The Spit for Pirates 5. Image courtesy of The Gold Coast Bulletin.

See the stars (on the big screen)

Okay, so you may not be seeing your fave stars in person, but HOTA, Home of the Arts, excellent cinema showcases the latest flicks. See your favourite celebrities on the big screen on their state of the art screens. 

Now you know more about Hollywood on the Gold Coast, it’s time you join Hopo for some celebrity spotting.

BOOK TICKETS

More Like This

Blog

History of Australia’s Sea World

Sea World on the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most beloved theme parks. From…
Blog

Hollywood on the Gold Coast

There’s no need to visit Los Angeles (even when international borders open!) to spot your…
Blog

Hopo Free Birthday Travel

It’s your birthday, and Hopo Gold Coast Ferry is here to help you celebrate with…