Sometimes it can feel like you can’t walk out the front door without breaking a fifty, let alone have a great day out in our fair-weather coastal home.
With that in mind, we’ve endeavoured to bring you 50 fun, tasty (sometimes free) things you can do on the Gold Coast for less than a pineapple.
That’s right, here’s an awesome list of 50 things to do on the Gold Coast under $50.
1. Taste a Neapolitan pizza exactly how it’s made in Naples, the birthplace of pizza. Broadbeach’s Double Zero is the only Queensland pizzeria to be awarded the converted “authenticity” accreditation by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. A Neapolitan will set you back just $21 (no expensive plane ticket required).
2. Promised yourself you’d unleash your inner Martha Stewart in 2016? The Craft Parlour runs regular macramé, hand lettering, and kimono sewing workshops, and for $45 you can join their beginners crochet class (next one is February 24). Seriously wanna-be creatives, you need to check this out!
3. See how many dumplings you can eat at any one of the Gold Coast’s best Yum Cha restaurants, then walk off your food baby with a brisk stroll along the nearest beach.
4. It’ll only cost you $3 entry to Helensvale’s NightQuarter, which leaves you $47 to eat your weight in street food. Good luck deciding though, the options are ridic!
5. Scoop up your date or best mate and head to Yatala drive-in, two tickets will set you back just $13 each and leave plenty of coin for choc-top ice cream cones. Good ol’ fashioned fun.
6. Twenty bucks will buy you a massive BBQ pack from the organic butchers at Burleigh State School’s Saturday Farmers Market. Weekend meal planning sorted!
7. Fifty dollars gets you FIVE $10 cocktails (*hick*) during happy hour at Southport’s Tonic on Chirn. That’s 4—6pm Fri-YAY arvos and all day Sunday, to be precise.
8. Hit up all of the Gold Coast’s best Mexican restaurants on a Taco Tuesday and determine who does the finest tacos on the GC—senors and senoritas, you be the judge!
9. So you may need to stretch the budget should you want anything but water on the side, but your last 50 bucks could buy you one of the tastiest meals of your life—that being the banquet at the best new restaurant in Burleigh—Rick Shores.
10. Grab lunch with a view at our all-time fave watering hole, Rainbow Bay Surf Club. With $10 midweek specials you can shout four mates as well. Cheers!
11. Indulge in some breakfast naughtiness at the Providore in Marina Mirage. They have banana pancakes with whipped peanut butter and honey cream (drool), maple syrup, and praline on offer. If you combine this with a stroll around the Broadwater, you’ve got yourself a sweet little morning out.
12. Find yourself a friendly designated driver and take a crawl of the Gold Coast’s best craft beer bars. Fifty bucks should let you taste at least five tasty brews and make for a fun afternoon of hops appreciation.
13. 2016 has only just begun and you’re already stressed up to your eyeballs? Yoga at one of the Gold Coast’s best yoga studios can help to find some inner-balance.
14. Have a cocktail at the highest point in Australia atop the 77 floor Q1 Hotel. It’ll be almost 50 bucks once you add the $24 SkyPoint entrance fee, but totally worth it. Mm-kay!
16. Wednesday is a kicking good time at Southport dive bar, Not Tonight. Get stuck into a few rounds of trivia, order some pub grub, and a craft beer or three to celebrate hump day. But be sure to book!
17. Luxe out at The 4217’s lovely Cha Tea Providores. Their modern take on a classic high tea will set you back just $35 per head, and it’s super cute.
18. Weather got you all hot under the collar? Take a jaunt up to the cooler air of Mount Tamborine. Grab a triple cream brie from Witches Chase Cheese deli and wash it down with a $20 beer tasting paddle from Fortitude Brewery next door. Local love, right there.
19. Get your groove on and lace up your bowling shoes at disco-esque Surfers Paradise Ten Pin. $48 will cover a game for you and two of your friends. Did we mention it’s licensed?
20. Sign up for a delivered-to-your-door mason jar vase filled with gorgeous blooms from Posy Lane. For $29 including delivery, spoil yourself (or treat someone else) or, better yet, sign up for a weekly delivery to bring a fragrant burst to your home or office.
21. Bine Beer Bar in Nobby Beach do a $15 parmigiana and beer paddle on a Thursday. That means you can get three parmis and three beer paddles for less than 50 beans. Winning.
22. Ladies! Pole dancing is so 2015…now it’s the era of the next fun workout—#WERKIT. At least on the Gold Coast that is—we got this! Drop sessions are just $10, those good vibes come for free.
24. Fifty bucks doesn’t go far at the cinemas these days, but at Harbour Town’s Reading Cinema all movies are just $8.50. Take the whole crew.
25. Hit the original night markets—Miami Marketta is sure to add some spice to your Friday and Saturday evening. Entry is free, how much you spend after that is totally up to you.
26. Breathe in that ocean air when taking a brisk stroll around the national park headland at Burleigh Heads, or any of GC’s awesome hikes for that matter.
27. Dine at one of the best BYO restaurants on the Gold Coast and you’ll easily come out on top.
28. Because we bet there is not enough pizza happening during your lunch hour, Salt Meats Cheese in Surfers Paradise have a weekday lunch offering of wood-fired pizzas for just $10 each. While you’re there, read up on their pizza-making master classes (a smidge over budget at $59).
29. Grab a friend and head to The Body Method, Tugun for a casual pilates reformer session/catch up, with bonus core toning (book into their $20 drop-in class).
30. Hit up the bi-monthly Carrara Markets car boot sale and treasure hunt for a piece of unloved furniture. Swing by Bunnings, slap on a few coats of wash and, voila, your very own DIY vintage furnishing, you talented minx you.
31. Bring your stretchiest pants and tuck into all-you-can-eat on Thursdays at Kirra’s Bread and Butter. It’s just $25 for a dinner feast including pizza, tapas, and a rotating menu of other goodies—like churros, chillis, and salmon. Serious value right there!
32. Grab a pub lunch with a view at one of Gold Coast’s best surf clubs.
33. Cheer on your favourite crustacean at the Sunday arvo crab races at Chinderah Tavern, just across the border.
34. Need a break from the Gold Coast gloriousness? Forty-five bucks will get you a one-way ticket to Sydney on Tiger Air. But you’ll need another 50 if you want to fly back.
35. Got a friend with a babe on the way? The locally-made kids wear on offer at The Village Markets (Burleigh and Paradise Point) will send you totally clucky. When you’re done, grab a coffee from the mobile trucks and relish in the insanely good (and free) live music.
36. Fifty bucks will cover a relaxing breakfast for two on the gorgeous sun-drenched patio of the new Garden Kitchen and Bar at Jupiters Hotel and Casino. Hot tip: The Pitaya Bowl is #instaworthy.
37. Explore Gold Coast’s stunning Currumbin Creek Estuary by hiring a stand-up paddle board from Currumbin Boat Shed—50 bucks will get you two boards for two hours’ worth of sunny fun.
39. Broadbeach’s Mamasan has the affordable luxury thing down. Late Friday afternoons from 5pm, you can nab yourself a bottle of Chandon Pink and sashimi platter for only $50.
40. BYOP, that’s bring your own picnic! And make an afternoon adventure in the great outdoors with any of the Gold Coast’s best picnic spots.
41. Three adults can play a round of putt putt at King Tutts’ Surfers Paradise venue for $50. And it’s open morning, noon, and night. Putt putt party!
42. Pick yourself up a classic at Nobby Beach Books, grab a pie from Foster’s Bakery, and curl up with your new read by the beach.
43. Gents, give your hair or beard some love at one of the Gold Coast’s best barbers—Barber Bros & Co. will sort you out with a sleek new do, plus a complimentary beer (or JD), and some manly chit-chat for just $35.
44. Catch a band at sweet live music venue, Sound Lounge in Currumbin. Tickets are cheap as chips starting at just 15 bucks. Check their site for gigs.
45. Fuel up the car and take the long drive up to our darling neighbour to the north, the Sunshine Coast. You have no idea how cool she’s become.
46. Home-grown surf goddess, Mazarine Aqua not only sells gorgeous active wear, but energetically promotes a healthy ocean-appreciation lifestyle. Another one for GC ladies, regular surf and SUP meet ups are free so, if you’re dragging your feet to get your body moving, there’s nothing like the moral support of female awesomeness.
47. Impress your mates by boosting your knowledge of your favourite brew with Introduction to Cupping classes at Paradox Coffee Roasters. Every Saturday from 8:30am, $50 will get you the class, a bag of beans, lunch, and coffee tasting galore.
48. Get vertical at Paramount Adventures and climb a wall (for up to three hours if you arms can take it) for only $18.
49. Ply through our pick of the Gold Coast’s best dining deals. With $50 in your wallet you can even shout your date or best mate!
50. That’s up to you. Let us know below!
Photo Credit: Christian Nimri for Metropolist