Tenpin Bowling on the Gold Coast

Tenpin bowling on the Gold Coast is fun and entertaining for people of all ages and levels of experience.

It doesn't matter whether you're a skilled devotee, or a casual 'by the seat of your pants' type bowler, it's a great feeling when that tenth and final pin hits the deck and you can shout 'Steeeerike!'

The aim of the game is very simple - bowl a ball down the alley or lane and knock down as many of the ten pins as you can.

Tenpin bowling is one of the activities my family loved to do whenever they visited, and made the trip to Queensland for a Gold Coast holiday.

Without fail, we always had a great time, and I think it's partly because there are so many ways you can approach this game.

Sometimes we'd tenpin bowl as a single team, and set a target score that we aimed to meet overall as a family. If we reached the goal, the prize would be ice-creams all around.

This is a great way of building family morale - it reduces individual competition, as everyone's on the same team.

Tenpin Bowling, Surfers Paradise JC

And everyone would closely watch the scores and encourage each upcoming bowler, knowing that each person's individual score would move us closer to reaching the team goal - and the ice-cream!

And it means everyone is part of the success - even if you have some family members (who won't be named and shamed here!) who aren't high scorers. (Hint: set a reasonably low target score, so you always reach it!)

And other approaches to tenpin bowling?

If we had a large group, we'd book two adjacent bowling alleys, and put all the kids together on one. This would allow the adults to split into teams and enjoy pitting skills and friendly insults against each other.

Or if we had a smaller group, we'd all play together. There'd be a friendly competition for the highest individual scorer, and everyone would encourage the younger children and cheer madly even if only one or two pins were knocked down.

And this reminds me - make sure you set up young kids (or perhaps older folk, if you have grandparents playing too) with 'bumper lanes'™.

Bumper lanes prevent the ball from rolling into lane gutters.

The operator will simply program the bumpers to automatically slide into place when that player's turn comes around. It takes about 10 seconds and won't slow the game at all.

And it means that at least some pins get knocked down by the kids on each turn, which continues to keep them excited and involved.

You may find younger kids lose attention and get a little bored after their first couple of turns at bowling - especially as each player has at least 20 shots at the pins in a full game.

My family would sometimes pair some of the younger ones (aged ~2-4 years) together, to act as a single player. This works quite easily, given each player has 2 shots at the pins for every turn (or 'frame').

All in all, my family has had some wonderfully fun experiences playing tenpin bowling.

One memorable moment was the time one of my brothers lost his grip on the ball and threw the ball backwards when he was swinging his arm to get some momentum.

Luckily noone was hurt - except maybe his pride. But he has a good sense of humour, and was able to laugh as much as the rest of us, once the initial embarrassment was over.

Tenpin bowling is a terrific family activity, suitable for people of all ages and levels of experience. And the scoring system is fully automated - so there's pretty much no excuse not to have a go!

From Coolangatta TweedHead Tenpin Bowling in the southern Gold Coast, through to Beenleigh in the northern region, you won't have to travel far from your accommodation to reach a Gold Coast bowling alley near you.

So if you're relaxing on holidays or celebrating an occasion with family or friends, it can be a great way to unwind, have fun and while away a few hours.

Tenpin Bowling by Night, Surfers Paradise JCAnd how's this for bowling with a difference - if you've never been disco or rock n roll bowling, you don't know what you're missing!

Kids especially will love this experience - but adults can groove along too. Lights are dimmed, music is cranked, disco lights flash and bowling balls, pins and lanes glow in the dark! It's Gold Coast tenpin bowling as usual - but everyone is bopping.

Session times will vary, so check with individual centres if you're keen to try this style of bowling - it's strikingly good fun!

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Adults: $10-$15 per game
Children $8-$12 per game
Cost includes hire of bowling shoes.
Toilets, refreshments.
Wet Weather
All venues are indoors.
Operating Hours
Bowling centres are generally open from 9am until late at night, with some centres open until midnight.
Strike on Cavill is a licensed bar, and a condition of their license is that under 18's are not allowed in the venue after 8pm every day.
Allow 90-120 minutes for a group of 4 social bowlers to play 1 full game.
Handy Hints
- Take a pair of socks with you, as you’ll need them with the bowling shoes.
- Special discounts are occasionally offered – eg. play a second game for half price. Check with individual centres for current promotional & group prices.
- Friday & Saturday nights are busy, and adult rates may apply to all bowlers (ie. incl children); check with individual centres.
- In peak times, or wet weather, it may be advisable to book ahead and confirm lane availability.
How To Get There
Refer map below.
Further Info
Refer bowling operator table below.

Ashmore Bowl
Currumburra Rd, Ashmore (between Cotlew St & Nerang Rd)
Tel 07-5539 6433
Coolangatta Tweed Heads Tenpin
55 Wharf St, Tweed Heads
Tel 07-5536 1606
Gold Coast Superbowl
36 Kortum Drv, Burleigh Heads
Tel 07-5535 4622
Surfers Paradise Lanes
Paradise Centre, Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise
Tel 07-5538 5222
Goldpin Tenpin Bowling Centre
148 Mt Warren Blv, Mt Warren Park
Tel 07-3287 5666
Strike Bowling Bar
Circle On Cavill, 35 Cavill Avenue Surfers Paradise
Tel 1300 787 453

View Gold Coast Tenpin Bowling in a larger map

Bowling Jargon

If you play regularly, you'll start to pick up some bowling terms and expressions.

It's not unusual for beginners to bowl a 'Mr Magoo' - a frame when both turns miss all the pins. If this happens too frequently, it may be less frustrating to use bumper lanes till you get the hang of things.

As you improve, you may begin to bowl more 'spares' - a frame when all the pins are knocked down, but it takes both turns to do it, or even a 'strike' - when all pins are knocked down with the first turn.

And it may please you to know that even regulars dream of bowling a 'turkey' - three strikes in a row.

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