Sick of forking out big bucks for average activities on the Gold Coast? Then you’ve come to the right place.
You don’t have to earn a six-figure income to enjoy all of the brilliance our city has to offer. Nor do you need to spend ridiculous amounts of cash every time you want to try something new. Our pick of 25 awesome things to do on the Gold Coast for under $25 will have your pockets thanking you in no time.
1. Snorkel at Spiral Beach. Often overshadowed by its Duranbah Beach neighbour in Tweed Heads, on high tide Spiral Beach is a great spot to look at some of our glorious marine life, and one of the only places to have a gander at coral on the Gold Coast. If you don’t already own a mask and snorkel, borrow gear from a mate.
2. Check out Mermaid Bowls Club on a Tuesday night from 6:30pm for a swing dance lesson with Swing On In. For just 15 bucks, your inner vintage goddess will be twirling their way across the dance floor in no time.
3. Buy a bottle of bubbly and cheers to the sunset on Burleigh Hill. What’s not to love about celebrating the end of another busy day of slaying it at life?
4. Get SUPn’ at Currumbin Creek for only 15 buckeroonies. You’ve always wanted to give it a crack, so why not dive head first into this perfect Sunday arvo activity?
5. Friday nights just got a whole lot better for social penny pinchers. Gemellini Italian in Nobby Beach is now throwing late-night pizza parties with DJ beats and $15 pizzas from 9:30pm, leaving enough coin for a beer to wash it all down with. Cheers, fellas!
6. Tuck into nightly specials at Après Surf in Mermaid Beach. $5 cheeseburgers, $1 dumplings and 50c wings are some delish nibbles to expect, not to mention the killer beats pumping until late. You and your mates have weekly catch ups sorted thanks to this hole-in-the-wall social hub of ski lodge lovin’.
7. Snatch up a Doughnut Time fave and head to Miami Headland during peak hour exercise time to revel in making good life choices. We love the salted caramel Veruca Salt and DT’s tribute to Australia’s ice cream emblem—It’s Always A Gay Time.
8. Embrace Retro Sundays at House Of Brews in Surfers. Channel your inner 90s kid by bringing crop tops and SMP pants back into fashion. Play board games with your mates and reap the benefits of retro drink specials at HOB.
9. Chow down at the China Town Street Markets in Southport. Their bi-monthly Friday markets are well worth the trek, trust us. Add this cost to your tram fare and you’ll be travelling from home and back for under $25. All depending on whether or not you can resist splurging on every Peking Duck you see.
10. Swap an ocean swim for a dip under one of the best waterfalls on the Gold Coast. Our faves include Cougal Cascades and Cedar Creek Falls. A must if you’re hunting for free things to do on the Gold Coast this weekend.
11. If you’ve never had a putt putt party, have you ever really lived? From $6 per course, you can’t go wrong with a casual putt with the crew. BYO slushie cup and hip flask… Did we just say that?
12. Taking the G Link from Broadbeach to Parkwood is one of the best things to do on the Gold Coast if you’ve got a day to explore new ‘burbs. For only $3.20, this travel option can’t be beaten on price value when getting to know our pretty city from the rails. Or light rail pub crawl, anyone?
13. Check out cheap-as-chips yoga classes spanning from Kirra to Ormeau. Whether you’re a complete beginner or seasoned yogini, get your Namaste fix and downward dog your way into the day for next to nothing.
14. Get snap happy at the spit with a piping hot coffee, the morning sun and your selfie stick. If your tummy is grumbling, pack along the rod and a prawn or two, and try catching yourself a mid-morning snack.
15. Check out 19 Karen Artspace and peruse their mind-blowing contemporary exhibitions updated every few months. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, this gem will have you oo-ing and ahh-ing at each work’s brilliance all the way to The Archibald.
16. Hang out at the cheese factory in Tamborine Mountain and then “accidentally” end up at the brewery. With your $25, grab a wedge of cheekily named Tamembert or Misty Mountain Blue, a cracker pack, and pair with one of 15 craft beers on tap at Fortitude Brewing Co.
17. You might as well jump. Jump! Head to Bounce and boing around for only $16 an hour. Literally bounce off the walls and everywhere in between in their room full of 50 interconnected tram-bop-alines.
18. Dust off your skatey, scooty or blades (we won’t judge) and have a roll down the esplanade. Stretching from Main Beach to Burleigh, cruising this beach-side bliss fest is one of the best things to do on the Gold Coast. Best of all, it’s free!
19. Pay a visit to the Animal Welfare League in Coombabah and pat all of the little kitties. If their cuteness overwhelms you, why not look into adopting a furry friend of your own?
20. Flick off the thongs for a pair of Nikes and pound the pavement between Kirra and Froggies Beach, or any of these pretty hikes. Stunning views and increased heart rate come complimentary.
21. Put on your fancy pants and head into Burgster for $1 oysters every Friday from 3pm to 6pm (or until sold out). Feeling like royalty without breaking the bank is reason to celebrate in itself.
22. We wouldn’t be true locals if we didn’t tell you that one of the best things to do on the Gold Coast is to hit the beach. With so many picturesque seaside strollin’ spots, make the most of our coastal living and swish your hair in the sunshine like it’s nobody’s business. Here’s seven of our all-time faves.
23. We all love a bit of midweek Miami Marketta. Every Wednesday from 5pm to 10pm, $8 will score you a delicious tapas plate to share with your BFFs. This leaves room in the budget to sink swill from Marketta’s jam-packed wine and cocktail bar well into the evening while grooving to house DJ beats.
24. Take a scenic drive to the wilderness of Springbrook and get adventuring with a casual bush walk or intensive hike. Hands down one of the best things to do on the Gold Coast is visiting the perfectly-named Best of All Lookout and gazing over our sprawling hinterland views.
25. Book into Burleigh Heads Barefoot Bowls Tuesdays and Thursdays (4pm to 7pm) plus Sundays (12pm to 5pm) for fun that even gramps can get into. $5 will cover all equipment, as you lounge around with the locals and lap up all of the savings you’ve made.
In search of more things to do on the Gold Coast this autumn? Here’s another 50.
Photo Credit: Brooke Darling for Metropolist