Money doesn’t grow on trees folks, at least not here on the sandy shores of the Gold Coast. But we all know the best things in life are – that’s right – FREE BABY! So we’ve gone ahead and thrown together a list of 30 awesome things you can get on to that won’t cost you a single dollar or dime!
- Empty wallet? No worries! Check out HOTA’s free events calendar for all the deets on the coolest arts and cultural gigs happenings here on the GC.
- If you’ve got visitors or family in town, take them to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary for the daily lorikeet feeding. It’s free to watch or a gold coin donation for a dish to feed, so be prepared for a cuteness overload!
- Love a little nightlife? (Who doesn’t?!) Swing by Miami Marketta for awesome gigs and live events. Entry is free, but be warned…the scent of the irresistible street eats might just sway you to reach for the wallet.
- Recently opened, how about going for a jog, walk or run across the all-new Green Bridge at HOTA in Bundall? Connecting the ‘arts to the eats’, the brand new pedestrian and cycle link spans 130 metres across the Nerang River from Home of The Arts (HOTA) to Chevron Island. After eating at one of the many restaurants on Thomas Drive (Chevron Island), cycle or walk across the bridge to HOTA for a live music performance, show or movie.
- Keep the creative vibes rollin’ and hit up the urban art space 19 Karen, one of the Coast’s best-kept secrets for art aficionados. Tucked away in the industrial precinct in Mermaid Beach, the gallery nurtures the work of innovative and emerging artists.
- We’re all about healthy living here on the Coast, so grab a yoga mat and stretch out in the sun with the GCCC’s Active & Healthy program – from Tai Chi in the park to Pilates by the water, there’s a free sweat session for everyone.
- Who says window-shopping can’t be fun? The weekend vibes are strong when The Village Markets roll into town with their stellar line-up of stalls to peruse, live music sounds to soak in, and dang delish street-food eats to sample.
- With ocean views and rainforest vibes, the Burleigh Headland National Park walk will give you the best of both worlds. Give yourself at least an hour to take your time and soak all the magic in.
- During whale watching season find a local vantage point and look on as the gentle giants splash their way up the coastline. Miami lookout atop Mick Schamburg Park is one of our top picks.
- Spend a day exploring the Currumbin Rock Pools in Currumbin Valley. The fresh, flowing waters, lush grassy banks and crisp, clear air make for a perfect day-scape to relax and revitalise.
- Wanna watch the world’s most talented surfers take to the ocean and battle it out without a VIP ticket? Cue the Quiksilver Pro! Every year the international surf comp comes to Coolangatta, and locals swarm the shores to get a glimpse of the world’s best.
- Tallebudgera Creek (or “Talle”) is one of the dreamiest sandy spots here on the GC. Sunnies, towel and a good book – sorted!
- Explore the rich Indigenous history of the Gold Coast and visit Jellurgal Cultural Centre in Burleigh Heads (no admission fee!). You’ll browse the Aboriginal artworks, learn the language of the Yugambeh People, and be inspired by the traditional customs of one of Earth’s oldest living civilisations.
- Connect with your inner nature lover and trek to the Natural Bridge in Springbrook – a rock formation phenomenon that is visited and adored by sightseers the world over (and you’ll see why when you get there!).
- Glow worms on the Gold Coast? We’re not kidding! Take a trip to the forest after-dark and you’ll find them twinkling in the thousands. Best thing about it? These little bioluminescent guys put on their shimmering show free of charge.
- Tamborine Mountain in the GC’s Hinterland is home to some of the most spectacular natural wonders and waterfalls you’ll find in the south east. So disregard TLC’s legendary RnB hit, because today we’re totally chasing waterfalls (and rainforests!)
- Want to know the quickest way to brand yourself a Goldie local? Conquer The Oceanway. 36km from start to finish (The Spit to Point Danger), it’s a network of connected pathways parallel to the coastline, and only the most dedicated have ticked it off the list. Walk, run or cycle – we’ll shout you a beer if you make it to the finish line! Watch our video on the walk here.
- Another day, another almighty waterfall! Purling Brook Falls in the Gondwana Rainforest at Springbrook certainly is an awe-inspiring experience. Take the easy path to the nearby lookout for some seriously ace views, or two-foot it on the two hour trek for an all ’round immersive adventure.
- Sunset obsessed? Jump in the car and venture to the Mount Tamborine’s Rotary Lookout, more loving known as ‘hang gliders lookout’ and watch the sun melt into the horizon. #Instaworthy
- Sometimes music sounds oh-so-much sweeter when it’s free. The bank-account-friendly Blues on Broadbeach hits our shores once a year and we’re certain you won’t want to miss it – the line-up is always a cracking good one.
- A must-do of any trip to the Gold Coast is to take a stroll down Cavill Avenue in Surfers Paradise. From the retail outlets to souvenirs, the plethora of dining options, the hustle and bustle of our most iconic suburb is well worth adding to the itinerary.
- Public Service Announcement: The largest arts and cultural festival on the Gold Coast is – you guessed it – free to attend! Bleach* Festival is an annual event that celebrates all things culture and creativity with live acts, art displays and sizzling street parties to name a few.
- Take advantage of the local spectator sports. The Coolangatta Gold and the GC Marathon are both annual events that draw awesome crowds and electric atmospheres, not to mention, #Fitspo!
- Is there anything better than a classic outdoor Aussie BBQ? Grab the snags and get cookin’ at any of the GC’s public parks. Our favourite spots are Kirra Lookout and the Broadwater Parklands in Southport with their free-to-use BBQ’s and A-grade views to boot.
- Raid the pantry, grab that mandala rug and cruise on down to Burleigh Hill for your weekly wind-down session…it’s not the GC’s top picnicking spot for no reason.
- Held on the beautiful beaches of Currumbin, the non-ticketed SWELL Sculpture Festival is a GC must. An outdoor sculpture exhibition held annually along the shoreline is drawcard event, hosting impressive visionary artworks from creators both local and international.
- They say the early bird gets the worm, and we’d have to say we agree! Seaside sunrises at Snapper Rocks are the best EVER, particularly when the swell is charging and the barrels are beckoning your name…
- Take a trip to Freeman’s Organic Farm – with live music, fresh produce, and panoramic views overlooking Currumbin Valley, it’s a Sunday well spent.
- An obvious one but well worth the mention – the beach! Here on the Gold Coast we’ve got 52km of spectacular coastline, so jump in for dip, take a stroll, or ride a wave – the weather is epic all year round.
- Last but certainly not least – you’ve gotta snap a shameless Insta pic under the iconic Surfers Paradise sign! Blatant tourist or long-time local, it’s a tradition for everyone on the GC, so get out that selfie stick and get clickin’!
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region.
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.