I like to call the Gold Coast an adult playground, but it is also a playground for families and children as well. As suiting at the name may be, however, participating in an adult playground with a jungle gym of water parks and theme parks, and giant merry-go-rounds that drop people from the sky (er… skydiving is where I was getting at with that one) is not on the cheap side. I’ve already written about many of the ways you can make the most of your money while spending time in the Gold Coast, but what about some of the good, plain free stuff?!
Here is a list of things to do in the Gold Coast that are free and can therefore help offset the cost of your more expensive days.
Beaches, Beaches, Beaches
The Gold Coast is a collection of beach towns all lining the ocean, and all containing some excellent beaches! It is here that you can learn to surf, sunbathe, build sand castles or play beach volleyball (at Surfers Paradise Beach). Good beaches for swimming include Burleigh Heads Beach, Currumbin Beach and Kirra Beach. Good beaches for surfing include Snapper Rocks, Duranbah and Surfers Paradise (for the surf schools) beaches.
Sunrises and Sunsets
Catch a famous Australian sunrise or sunset in the Gold Coast while walking on the beach. There’s nothing quite like the calm of the early morning with the sound of crashing waves to set the background music to a beautiful sunrise. Sunsets are also a special occasion where many tourists and locals will hang around the beach or watch from onlooking restaurants as the sky changes colors.
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Go Shopping… well, Browsing
Window shopping can be done at the many shopping centers across the Gold Coast. Centro Surfers Paradise has a range of shops where you can try on designer clothes, shop for Ugg boots or just head over for a bit to eat (Hard Rock Cafe attached).
Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame
This sports museum is the first of its kind in Queensland. The museum now pays tribute to over 30 athletes at the top of their game while still living in the Gold Coast. It is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm.
Visit the Markets
If you love markets, then the Gold Coast region has you covered with everything from fresh food to art and crafts. Catch the Burleigh Arts and Crafts Markets on the last Sunday of the month in the Burleigh Heads Esplanade. The Coolangatta Art and Craft Market happens on the 2nd Sunday of the month in the Queen Elizabeth Park. The Marina Mirage Farmers Market happens on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month on Main Beach. For an extensive list of markets, see this website.
Walk Around the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens
The Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens covers 31 hectares of land in Benowna, which is actually only a short drive from Surfers Paradise. The garden is a perfect location for a relaxed picnic, a family BBQ or an afternoon stroll. Enjoy the lush foliage of the tropical plants or venture over to the Rose Garden for something a bit more fragrant.
Walk the (Federation) Walk
This 6 kilometer walking path starts at the car park near SeaWorld and takes visitors through the sand dunes of The Spit. The walk itself isn’t difficult to complete, but it can take a couple of hours to complete, which on a hot day can be dangerous if not prepared.
What are you waiting for? Look into planning a trip to the Gold Coast, now!