There’s no need to blow your budget on your Gold Coast trip, the place is literally packed with awesome attractions and things to do that are 100% no ticket required. Here’s my list of the top 10 free things to do on the Gold Coast.
National Parks – More than just amazing beaches, the Gold Coast is home to stunningly beautiful National Parks including Burleigh Head National Park, Lamington National Park, Springbrook National Park and Tamborine National Park. Throughout you will find walking and hiking treks, waterfalls, scenic lookouts, picnic, and BBQ areas. More about the Gold Coast’s National Parks.
Botanical Gardens – the large garden features lakes, lagoon, wetlands, rode gardens, forests, rockeries, BBQ and picnic areas, butterfly garden, kids playground, and a cafe onsite. Read more
Southport Broadwater Parklands – a large community area that features BBQ and picnic areas, Rockpools water play area, Bouncy Pillow, and parklands to explore. More about Southport
Gold Coast City Gallery & Evandale Sculpture Walk – The Gold Coast City Gallery located in the Arts Centre features regular exhibitions, and nearby you will find Evandale Sculpture Walk which includes 49 pieces of art spread throughout Evandale Parklands. More at theartscentregc.com.au
Currumbin Rock Pools – is a natural rock pool located in the scenic Currumbin Valley. Popular with swimmers and also for the natural scenery, picnics, and BBQ.
Go Swimming – There’s a large range of options for swimming, including man-made pools and natural swimming spots. Here’s my pick of the top 5 spots (excluding Currumbin Rock Pools already mentioned above):
- Cedar Creek Falls Rock Pools
- Tallebudgera Creek
- Snapper Rocks
- Southport Swimming Enclosure near the Broadwater Parklands
- Greenmount Beach
Explore the Beaches of the Coast – There is a whole world of beautiful beaches to explore along the northern NSW and southern coast of the Gold Coast. Here is a list of the Gold Coast’s top beaches but if you would like to get off the tourist track then check out Nobby Beach, or take a drive south to northern NSW and explore Fingal Head.
Amazing Scenic Lookouts – From stunning coastal views to amazing natural rainforest within ancient calderas. See my picks here
Meditation Classes – Join a free yoga asana, relaxation, and meditation classes at the Australian School of Meditation, see: http://asmy.org.au/locations/qld/gold-coast/community-classes/
Free Tai Chi Class – various beautiful locations across the Gold Coast, see: http://ytsacademy.com/classes/
Go for a pIcnic or BBQ – the Gold Coast is not only fortunate to have awesome natural scenery but also well-developed parklands that feature great amenities. Some of the top scenic natural picnic spots are:
- Apple Tree Park (Springbrook)
- Beree Badalla
- Bochow park
- Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area
- Eddie Kornhauser Recreational Reserve
- Jabiru Island Park
- Lower Beechmont Conservation Area
- Syd Duncan Park
- Tallebudgera Creek Bend Reserve
- Tarrabora Reserve
There’s a staggering 380+ BBQ facilities located throughout the parks and nature reserves across the Gold Coast area which you can see on a map here, here is my pick of the top 5 spots:
- Broadwater Parklands, Southport
- Justin’s Park, Burleigh
- Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach
- Winders Park, Currumbin
- Point Danger Park
Cycling Tracks – there’s a staggering 1000km+ of planned bikeways throughout the Gold Coast consisting of on-road and off-road routes. Routes include:
- Darren Smith Memorial Route
- Luke Harrop High-Performance Cycling Circuit
- Gold Coast Cycle Centre
- Freestyle BMX tracks
- Old Tambo Mountain Bicycle Track
- Peter Hallinan Mountain Bicycle Precinct
- Children’s Bicycle Education Circuits
You can view a PDF which includes info and cycling maps here [PDF]
More? See our complete list of attractions and things to do here.
Where to stay on the Gold Coast? Check out our review on choosing the best place to stay and hand-picked lists of hotels and resorts.