12 Free Things To Do On The Gold Coast

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Holidaying on the Gold Coast in Queensland? I know it can be a little expensive but there are a number of awesome FREE things to do on the Gold Coast, to help save you money on your holiday and stretch your budget further. In fact, some of the best things on the Goldy are free, as you will see from the following list of suggestions. So, I hope you enjoy exploring these wonderful sites and landmarks.

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Attractions that won't cost a cent!

In no particular order, here is my list of 12 amazing free things to do on the Gold Coast, in the state of Queensland, Australia.

1. Hota Art Gallery in Surfers Paradise

One of the newest and most modern attractions on the Gold Coast, is the exciting Home of the Arts Gallery. It is free entry, so a must-visit to explore local Australian Art. Recommended for adults and children.

free things to do on the Gold Coast

2. Evandale Lake in Surfers Paradise

A popular spot to swim and play safely in this man-made lake which is part of the cultural precinct of HOTA. Perfect for young children, with a playground nearby. An ideal spot for a picnic and a stroll along the nearby Nerang River. 

Open everyday for free. 

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3. Currumbin Rock Pools in Currumbin Valley

These rock pools are a hidden gem, popular with the locals, located in the National Park. The bush setting, large boulders, small cascades and fresh mountain water make it a lovely spot for swimming, as an alternative to the beach waves, sand and salt water. A delightful area for a bit of bushwalking and a picnic too. Turtles are often seen here.

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4. Pacific Fair Shopping Centre at Broadbeach

A destination in itself and a popular attraction for locals and tourists, with so many retail stores to browse in, and a lovely tropical resort setting. There are even lounges for you to relax in and take a break, because you will need it. This upmarket shopping mall is enormous and will take most of the day to explore.

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5. Surfers Paradise Beachfront Market on the foreshore

Get along to the market on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings, where there are over 100 stalls to browse for free. An iconic night-time attraction here at Surfers, where you will find all types of Australian goods and more. There are sometimes free tastings of local produce, live music by local performers, and fun activities for children. 

Check the website for details.

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6. Gold Coast Regional Botanical Gardens in Rosser Park

31 Hectares of parklands and gardens to stroll and admire nature. Have a picnic and swim in the lake here. 

Open everyday and entry is free.

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photo by GC Regional Botanical Gardens

7. Pelicans at Ian Dipple Lagoon in Labrador

A glorious spectacle to behold, as a squadron of pelicans descend for a feeding frenzy of fish. You can hand feed them yourself or watch the expert, at around 1.30pm everyday. Young and old will love this free attraction.

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8. Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Burleigh Heads

Visit the centre established by the original landowners of the Gold Coast. Browse the gallery of paintings and artefacts of the local Aboriginal culture and learn about their traditional lifestyle.

Entry is free. Open Monday to Friday. Check website before going.

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'Jalum', artist Steven Bekue, at Jellurgal

9. Hinze Dam in Advancetown

A popular attraction for hikes, picnics, and fishing too. You can also walk the top of the dam wall. As part of the Gold Coast Hinterland, you will enjoy the stunning views surrounding the area.

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10. Yoga classes at Kurrawa Park in Broadbeach

Get into Yoga with these free classes held weekly, early on a Saturday morning, in the open air at Kurrawa, near the beach. No bookings required.

Check website for more details.

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11. Whale Watching

See if you can spot Humpback Whales from the beach, for free. During June to October, they love to frolic in the ocean here on their migration journey. These majestic mammals can be best spotted from the shore at higher vantage points, such as Burleigh Heads, Kirra Hill, Miami Hill and even at The Spit. 

I’ve managed to see whales from Surfers Paradise foreshore, so you could be lucky anywhere along the Gold Coast. Just scan the horizon from left to right and look for anything that breaks the surface of the water.

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photo by Unsplash

12. Beaches

Finally, there are 70km of coast line here to and undoubtedly one of the best free things to do on the Gold Coast is to enjoy some of the golden sandy beaches and swim in the ‘sun-sational’ surf. The biggest problem is which beach to choose.

So, why not have fun beach hopping, down the coast. Starting from The Spit Beach, to Main Beach, Surfers Paradise Beach, Broadbeach, Kurrawa Beach, Mermaid Beach, Nobby Beach, Miami Beach, Burleigh Beach, Tallebudgera Beach, Pacific Beach and down to Currumbin Beach, Tugun Beach and Kirra Beach, and lastly, Coolangatta Beach.

Refer large map below for locations of all the Gold Coast beaches.

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Surfers Paradise Beach
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Currumbin Beach

Gold Coast Beaches

With so many free things to do on the Gold Coast you are sure to enjoy a budget-friendly holiday in Queensland. 

If you would like to explore further, you may consider a tour with the experts to get the most out of your trip. Here are some suggestions for you.


Further information about Queensland travel can be found on this website.

Specific things on the Gold Coast can be found on this website.

Thank you for reading

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5 thoughts on “12 Free Things To Do On The Gold Coast

  1. Kristina says:

    What a fantastic list! I would definitely choose the beaches, whale watching or Currumbin Rock Pools. But I do love a good botanical garden as well. I need to get back to Australia.

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