Gold Coast comes under the roof of Australia’s finest destinations. Stay put here for a while to know your vicinity.
You may have visited this place many times, but there are endless things to do in Gold Coast that you cannot visit in a single day trip.
For the visitors, who are low on budget, we’ve enlisted FREE things to do on the Gold Coast.
If you’re planning a trip to the Gold Coast soon, book cheap flights from Sydney to Gold Coast to peruse these tips that will have you save a few bucks. Let’s begin –
Cycle the Gold Coast Oceanway
The Gold Coast Oceanway is a network of pathways along the beaches of the coast. These pathways range up to 4km long and are popular amongst cyclists and walkers. The Point Danger Lighthouse (Coolangatta) is in the south to the Gold Coast and Seaway (The Spit) in the north, 36 kilometers in total.
Make a fantastic day out to get some nature exercise, fresh air, experience the splendid coastal views. Don’t forget to pack your own lunch, bring plenty of water, swimmers, and a camera.
Lorikeet Feeding At Wildlife Sanctuary
See the adventure side of the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, twice per day, where you can feed the wild lorikeets for FREE. You just need to hold a bowl of sweet honey nectar in your hands to get it licked by a dozen of rainbow lorikeets as they descend on you from the surrounding trees. They, generally, will climb up your arms, on your head and just sit on your hands to drink.
It is worth a visit for an hour to see these beautiful birds up close.
Watch Sunrise & Sunset
Start off your day by watching the sunrise over the ocean followed by visiting one of the cafes nearby.
We recommend you watch the sunrise and sunset is from Burleigh Point, just follow the path up the hill from the surf club. Rainbow Bay Surf Club is also a great spot for sunset drinks as you watch the sky light up in the distance behind the Surfers Paradise skyline.
Go Whale Watching From The Headlands
Typically takes place from May to October, where thousands of humpback whales migrate north from Antarctica, passing up and back down the coast.
You don’t need to pay a significant amount to have a glimpse. Just try your luck for free from one of the elevated headlands along the coast, or even from your skyrise apartment, as whales come in quite close to shore.
Natural viewpoints include – Point Danger, Greenmount, Kirra Hill, Currumbin Rocks, Tumgun Lookout within Burleigh Heads National Park, North Burleigh/Miami headland.
Shop At The Gold Coast Markets
Wherever you go, always try to hit up the local markets, and you’ll be amazed at the choice of markets on the Gold Coast. From fashion to farmers markets, to art & craft, to music to everything in between, will be found here.
Here is the list of few shops, where you can try your hand –
Burleigh Farmers Markets: It’s a local market. The market has locally grown fruit and vegetables, bakery, meat, fish, deli, plus live entertainment and a great vibe.
Miami Marketta: It comes alive with street food, live music, boutique wine and craft beer, every Friday and Saturday.
Miami Farmers Market: The area’s first truly Organic Growers Market straight from the farm held every Sunday at the Miami State school.
The Village Markets: Boutique fashion and lifestyle market plus live local music and food from around the world occupies the space every 1st & 3rd Sunday at Burleigh Heads State School.
Marina Mirage Farmers Market: It is located at Seaworld Drive on the Broadwater Spit, Main Beach, opposite the Sheraton Mirage Resort and held every Saturday.
Carrara Markets: This market includes 500 stalls and a Gold Coast institution with locals and tourists that opens every Saturday and Sunday.
Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets: Held along the beach Esplanade at Surfers with over 100 stalls, every Wednesday, Friday & Sunday nights.
Famous Beachfront Markets: This market opens up every Sunday on a different beachside location from Broadbeach to Coolangatta to Burleigh.
Hit The Playgrounds And Parks
Almost every beach is dotted with a green space, where there is a playground with picnic benches and BBQ’s. There are facilities for everyone to enjoy, and usually right on the beach.
Kick a ball around or just relax with a picnic or BBQ, there is everything for everyone! Check out these locations –
Paradise Point Parklands: One of the most beautiful parks on the Gold Coast overlooking the deep water.
Justins Park: It is right on the beach next to the surf club in Burleigh Heads.
Pat Fagan Park in Coolangatta: It is right on the beach with views all the way to Surfers Paradise.
Mcintosh Island Park: Located in the middle of Surfers Paradise.
Laguna Park: At the Palm Beach, it has huge adventure playground with a pirate ship.
Kurrawa Pratten Park: It is right in the heart of Broadbeach.
Aquasplash: It is first open water fun park, open in Nov-Apr in Southport Broad water Parklands.
Broadwater Parklands: Located at three kilometers stretch of parklands along the foreshore in Southport.
Rockpools at Southport: It is an extremely popular playground for young ones on a sunny day.
Experience Gold Coast Festivals And Events
Gold Coast celebrates music, art, sports and its multicultural society that is held throughout the year, these are FREE events and festivals.
For something you probably have never experienced, check these places out –
Blues on Broadbeach: Known as one of the world’s largest free festivals with multiple stages and shows spread over a four-day period and held every year in May, this festival has its own charm where it brings together the best blues and soul music from all over the country, nurturing Australian talent, as well as provides a stage for international acts.
Cooly Rocks On It is the largest 50’s & 60’s Nostalgia Festival held annually in Coolangatta celebrating Classic Cars, Rock ‘N Roll, Dancing, Surfing, Nostalgia and more. A free event which is open to all ages.
Swell Sculpture Festival: This festival is home to dozens of sculptures by local, national and international artists. Held over a 10-day period in September, where visitors can experience the sculptures for free on twilight walks and even talks from some of the artists.
Quiksilver Pro Surfing Event: Watch the world’s best male and female surfers battle it out at one of the world’s best surfing spots, Snapper Rocks at Rainbow Bay in February or March each year.
Bleach Festival: Its largest arts and cultural Festival and coincides with the launch of the World Surfing Tour, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks in March. Held over 17-days.
Broadbeach Jazz Festival: Another free event featuring entertainment on outdoor stages and in venues, along with an array of activities for people of all ages throughout Broadbeach, held in August.
Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show: A 4-day event that attracts boating enthusiasts from around the globe.
Surfers Paradise Festival: It is one of the premier Gold Coast events that happens over the course of four weekends. Locals celebrate art, culture, music, and food in the festival. Also includes street parades and parties, concerts and a la carte in the park.
Hit The Gold Coast Beaches
A day out on the Gold Coast at one of the beaches along the 57 kilometers of pristine coastline.
Gold Coast is not only famous for fun but also renowned for their beaches which also happen to be home to some of the world’s most famous surf breaks.
You don’t have to be a surfer or even a water baby to visit these beaches. Soak up some sunshine, play on the sand where you can find grassland, playgrounds, and BBQ areas for a leisure time.
Sunshade/beach umbrella, sunscreen, towels, hats, rashies, water, snacks, sunglasses, bucket & spades are a necessary item to put into your bag.
Gold Coast Beaches –
Rainbow Bay: Queensland’s most southerly coastal town where you’ll find gentle rolling surf, safe swimming conditions, and year-round surf patrols. It is home to “Snapper Rocks” which holds the annual Quiksilver Pro Surfing event, makes it the perfect place for a relaxing family beach day.
Coolangatta / Greenmount Beach: Its 800 m long north facing beach protected by the headland. The beach has low waves and two surf lifesaving clubs and lifeguard towers.
Currumbin / Currumbin Creek: A popular spot where you can enjoy a range of water sports including surfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Tallebudgera Creek: Located on the southern side of Burleigh Heads National Park, it has no waves, but an excellent spot for a swim, stand up paddle board or kayak.
Burleigh Heads: One of the best swimming, body boarding and surfing spots on the coast. Known as “The Point,” a favorite for weekend BBQs and sunset drinks, while on a Sunday afternoon local musicians and fire-twirlers come out to the park beside the surf club for a jam session.
Broadbeach: It’s long, clean stretch of beach and bordered by extensive grasslands and a playground perfect for a picnic, localized towards the northern end of the coast.
Go Walking In A National Park
Walking is good for health and also the best way to explore any destination! Charge yourself and start taking long walks of the area around.
The coastal area not only offers excellent walking opportunities but the hinterland and National Parks lets you take lovely walks too.
These places can be on your list –
Burleigh Heads National Park: Catch a splendid sunrise before you move ahead to walk around the headland to Tallebudgera Creek. At the half-way back, halt at Tumgun Lookout, which offers overwhelming views over the Palm Beach.
Federation Walk: Located at the northern end of the Gold Coast Oceanway on the Southport Spit, you will find a 3.5-kilometre pedestrian walkway.
Springbrook National Park: This park has the Purling Brook Falls walking track circuit, the Natural Bridge Rainforest Circuit, Canyon lookouts and Twin Falls walk.
Lamington National Park: There are many walking trails from short walks to all day hikes. O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk is made up of 9 suspension bridges and 180 meters in length.
Coolangatta to Point Dangar: It’s a great little coastal walk from Green mount and Rainbow Bay. The sunset views from Rainbow Bay looking over to Surfers Paradise are magical.
Tamborine Mountain: It is known to be the third oldest National Park in the world with 12 walking tracks, each one is longer than 3 kilometers.
The Oceanway: Walk one of the sections each day, instead of cycling.
Currumbin Rock Pools
When the weather warms up again, it comes to a must-do list.
The Rock Pools is a favorite spot amongst locals and sounds like the perfect area for a family day out with picnic tables, BBQs, grassy river banks, and toilets close at hand.
It’s just a 15-minute drive from Currumbin Beach and if you move ahead another five minutes then you’ll reach to Mount Cougal section of Springbrook National Park. It has 800-meter walking trails to cascading waterfalls, more rock pools, and a historical bush sawmill.
There are varying pool depths for everyone and rope swings, rock slides and ledges. Here, nature is at its best!
Flights are getting cheaper to the Gold Coast. To avoid the peak holiday periods and travel in the shoulder-season you can save a pretty penny. Book flights from Sydney to Gold Coast to get the best bang for your buck.
Keep traveling! Visit like local!