Tired of feeling guilty about forking out $4.50 for a coffee?
Over worrying what your dismal bank account looks like? Angry that you can no longer afford smashed avocado (let alone ever dream of a bloody house deposit)? If you love your social life as much as we do, check out our handy bible of 25 things to do on the Gold Coast on a budget, so you can #treatyourself without breaking the bank.
1. Beach Volleyball | Fancy yourself a bit of an athlete? Test out your volleyball skills at the new Coolangatta beach courts—for free!
2. Night Markets | On Friday and Saturday nights, Miami comes alive with the Miami Marketta markets. There are food and drink stalls to satisfy every individual taste, complete with a dessert hall, live music, and fairy lights. It’s pretty much one of the best value things to do on the Gold Coast after dark. Been there, done that? Check out GC’s newest night market, The Social Markets, held every first and third Saturday at the Mermaid Beach Bowls Club.
3. Tallebudgera Creek Hangs | Crystal clear water and white sand is waiting for you at Tallebudgera Creek, so pack a picnic and a snorkel; it’s our fave daytime adventure at no cost.
4. Culture Kitchen Southport | To help out this hospitality training cafe, all you have to do is eat! Welcome to Culture Kitchen, where the portions are big and prices small for modern and delicious cuisine served from all over the world. The $8.50 chicken karaage bowl is a menu option that’s hard to overlook.
5. Gemellini | $20 all-you-can-eat pizza at Gemellini Nobby Beach on Tuesday nights? Enough said.
6. Monsoon | This hidden treasure in Paradise Point is deemed by many to make the best smoothies on the Gold Coast. Grab half a litre of any Monsoon smoothie for only $7.50—the Banana Espresso is a winner in our eyes.
7. The Arts Centre | Get your culture fix at The Arts Centre Gold Coast by strolling through the galleries free of charge. Happy to part with a few dollars? 19 Karen Contemporary Art Space is one of the city’s best.
8. Mount Warning Hike | Rise and shine! The Mount Warning walk is sure to take your breath away (in more ways than one). We promise the 4am start to catch the sunrise is totes worth it.
9. Doughnut Time Treats | Looking to satisfy a sweet tooth? Search no further as Doughnut Time is bound to put your sugar cravings at bay, serving fresh doughnuts for just $6 every day of the week.
10. Currumbin Rock Pools | Secret swimming holes, cascading waterfalls, and rock pools are waiting for you at Currumbin. The Currumbin Valley Harvest markets have a delicious supply of organic fruit and veges for all your picnicking needs too.
11. Cicchetti Mondays | Date night doesn’t need to be put on hold because the budget is tight. Cicchetti Pizza + Pasta Bar looks swanky any day of the week, but on Mondays they knock their stellar wood-fired pizzas down to a very reasonable $10 each.
12. Australian School of Mediation and Yoga | Channel your inner zen by joining a FREE class run by the Australian School of Meditation and Yoga, every Saturday and Sunday. To secure your spot, sign up online.
13. Jimmy Grants | No longer must you travel to Melbourne to get your hands on Greek street-food heaven, as renowned chef George Calombaris has opened his legendary Jimmy Grants right here at The Kitchens. The mouth-watering Mr Papadopoulos souva is a signature favourite for only $10. Dinner = sorted.
14. Puppy Lovin’ | Head to your local dog beach and pat all of the cute puppies.
15. Cooly Designer Markets | You’re sure to find a bargain at the Coolangatta vintage markets, running on the 3rd Saturday of every month. Missed it? Hunt down the sweet pre-loved rack sale at The Village Markets.
16. MexiCali | This Nobby Beach hot spot is serving $5 tacos every Tuesday night. Taco’ bout awesome!
17. Lights Out And Dance | Dance your money woes away at Lights Out And Dance, the dance class in the dark (yep, you just boogie without anyone watching for 60 minutes), which takes place at Burleigh Heads State School every Monday. At only $5 a session, it’s a fantastic way to boost your serotonin levels on a budget.
18. Black Hops | Stop by this neighbourhood Burleigh-based brewery between 10am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 12pm to 4pm Saturday, and grab a top-value beer tasting paddle for $16.
19. Rosin’s Lookout | You will not be disappointed by the breathtaking view at Beechmont Launch, known as Rosin’s Lookout. The launch pad, used by hang gliders, is the perfect spot for an Instagram pic, overlooking the stunning Numinbah Valley.
20. Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co. | A groovy interior, accompanied by mouth-watering patties wedged between buttery buns, will instantly transport you to a tropical summer destination. The Betty’s Classic for only $10 is the real MVP, and if you’re feeling a little bit adventurous the Pork Belly Burger for $11 is delicious too. Find ‘em in Surfers and The Kitchens.
21. Local Hikes | Strap on your hiking boots (or you know, your Nikes) and head to Gold Coast’s best next-level hiking trails for some time with nature.
22. Yatala Drive-In Movies | Need a cheap and comfy date option? Yatala Drive-In Movies has you covered. Adult tickets are just $14, so grab a pillow, some popcorn, and enjoy a unique old-school experience under the stars.
23. Après Surf Bargain Eats | This hidden gem, tucked away in Mermaid Beach, serves $1 dumplings on Thursdays from 4pm. More of a chicken wing fan? We’ve rounded up some of the Gold Coast’s best chicken wing happy hours. Get some.
24. Pickers & Co. | This fresh and funky cafe, occupying a 100-year-old homestead, has given the northern end of the GC a new, rustic, and unique brunch option. If Supreme Roasters coffee for just $4 isn’t enough to get you over the line, it’s dog friendly too!
25. Burleigh Hill Picnics | Our all-time fave thing to do on the Gold Coast on the cheap? A Burleigh Hill weekend picnic sesh; those good vibes come for free.
Looking for more things to do on the Gold Coast? Catching the sunrise at these epic spots will cost you nada.
Photo Credit: Brooke Darling for Metropolist