Things To Do

30 Of The Best Cheap Things To Do On The Sunshine Coast

By Jenna Kirkham

You’ve got 20 bucks burning a hole in your pocket and you don’t know how to spend it. Said no one, ever. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees, at least not on the Sunshine Coast, so the more fun you can have for less, the better.

With that in mind, we’ve foraged together 30 cheap things things to do on the Sunshine Coast in 2023 that are fun, sometimes tasty and maybe even free.

  1. You can order an espresso martini with a side of golf. Holey Moley is where cocktails and bar snacks collide with crazy putt putt golf and good times galore. Located in Maroochydore, nine holes here will set you back $15, just bring extra cash for beers and burgs. 

  2. The Sunshine Coast is home to a ridiculous selection of markets, and market-hopping is without question one of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast if you’re on a budget. For cheap street eats, vintage finds, free live entertainment and all those feel-good community vibes, start with this list of some of the region’s top markets.

  3. If you love beer, you don’t need a fat wallet to explore the Sunshine Coast’s burgeoning craft beer scene. Soak up the brewhouse atmosphere and order a tipple from as many local breweries as you can—starting with Your Mates, Land & Sea and Brouhaha Brewery. Fridays through Sundays are your best bet if you want to hit them all.the interior of a brewery

  4. Lace up your sneakers and explore any of these incredible national parks in our immediate backyard. While you’re at it, these stellar local bush walks will get you amongst nature—because the best things in life are free.

  5. A simple one—hit the beach. With literally dozens of sandy spots the entire length of the city, what better way to spend a cash-free day than with a good book and a beach towel? We've rounded up some of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast

  6. Bank account looking dismal until payday? Eat your way through this scrumptious list of the best cheap eats on the Sunshine Coast.

  7. Nothing beats a doughnut for brekkie or lunch, unless it’s a 1-kilo doughnut from one of the Sunshine Coast’s best bakeries. Go with an empty stomach and take the 1kg doughnut challenge at Kenilworth Bakery this weekend. 

  8. Get wet at Montville’s Kondalilla Falls, one of the best hikes found on the Sunshine Coast. This little slice of paradise is hidden among some lush southeast Queensland greenery and is the perfect place to chill out and swim without being attacked by a vicious wave. It's our pick among the best free things to do on the Sunshine Coast.

  9. Throw a sickie and spend a weekday trawling the best op shops on the Sunshine Coast. Want to dress like the locals? Go vintage and you’ll be safe. 

  10. The hill at Alexandra Headland is the greatest picnic spot on the Sunshine Coast and our absolute weekend afternoon go-to when guests are in town. Unless you hate crowds and looking for a place to park, in which case it could be the worst. But, for most of us, the sweeping views from Alexandra Headland up to Mount Coolum, and the ‘always Sunday’ mood make it well worth the effort.

  11. Flick off the thongs for a pair of Nikes and pound the beachfront bush track through the Noosa National Park, or any of these pretty walks. Stunning views and increased heart rate come complimentary, making this one of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast.  

  12. Soak up the Sunshine Coast’s vibrant cafe culture at 50 of the Sunshine Coast’s best breakfast spots. Delicious coffee guaranteed.

  13. The best way to see anywhere is from great heights, so test your conquering skills and tackle these next-level Sunshine Coast hikes. There will be sweat and maybe some tears, but those mountain-high views will make every step worth it, promise!

  14. If you're in the mood for an evening bevvy but can’t afford to splurge on a big night out with the rest of the crew. Sol Bar has you covered. In the heart of Ocean Street, these guys will fix you up with a food and drink deal just about every night of the week—their $10 hotdog and beer deal on a Thursday is unmatched.  

  15. Skip the cabin or holiday house, and pitch a tent at the Sunshine Coast’s best camping spots. From beach to bush, our picture-perfect region was made for exploring and what better way to cap off a day adventuring than sleeping under the stars. 

  16. Buy a kilo of fresh Aussie prawns from Fisheries On The Spit in Mooloolaba, lay down a rug beachside and soak up those sub-tropical vibes. If you’re looking for one of the best cheap things to do on the Sunshine Coast, this is it.

  17. If you’re not a local and need help navigating the ins and outs of the best fish and chipperies, we’ve curated a bit of a cheat sheet list. Check out the best spots for fresh seafood on the Sunshine Coast and enjoy these low-key budget-friendly Friday night favourites. 

  18. Got a craving only a stacked, cheesy burger will fix? Chow down on the Sunshine Coast’s best burgers which will satisfy all your cravings and won’t break the bank.

  19. Take time out and appreciate your surroundings at the Maleny Botanic Gardens and for a small fee, you can spend all day listening to the birds, the bees, and enjoy the serenity of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. It might not be a jam-packed day, full of adventure and adrenaline, but you will leave feeling refreshed and content.

  20. Pack the car and hit up these Sunshine Coast road trips which are perfect for a weekend adventure. Ride sand dunes down at Rainbow Beach or a 4WD along Bribie Island, get your mates to chip in for some fuel and you’ve got a full day of discovering some of the best natural wonders a few short hours from the Sunshine Coast.   

  21. Get out your calendar—May to November is whale migration season and with deep waters off our beaches, there’s ample opportunity to spot them on their journey north and south. For epic whale-watching views, we suggest gawking at these wonders from Point Arkwright, Noosa National Park, Point Cartwright and Moffat Beach. 

  22. You’ve binged all the latest crime dramas and are ready to take your newly acquired crime-loving, mystery-solving skills to the streets. Round up your mates for an afternoon of puzzle-solving at the best escape rooms on the Sunshine Coast.   

  23. Craving a bit of a sea change that won’t break the bank? We’ve mapped out the best stops for you on your next hinterland road trip. From waterfalls to stunning views this list is sure to tie you over until that next overseas holiday. 

  24. What could be better than enjoying some of the best walks here on the Sunshine Coast? Bringing your best furry pal and maybe their closest furry friend for a sweet day of discovering some of the best dog-friendly walks.  

  25.  Whether you’re up for a bit of a challenge and ready to tackle those hinterland hills or ready to wind down on a beachside self-guided cruise - check out the Sunshine Coast’s best bike rides for all skill levels. 

  26. Pick up a second-hand read and enjoy wandering through the towering aisles at the Sunshine Coast’s best bookstores.

  27. With the weekend fast approaching and the summer heat levels slowly rising, we couldn't think of anything better than a secluded dip in some of the Sunshine Coast’s best secret swim holes. So be sure not to tell your mates about this one and relax in almost uninterrupted bliss.   

  28. This one’s for those 5am early risers that are ready to seize the day without a moment to spare. So set those alarms and have your keep cups ready to go as you hunt down the perfect spot for your next sunrise. 

  29. Alternatively, if you’d never be caught dead in the early morning hours, why not BYO a picnic rug, a cold drink, some nibbles and a few of your mates to enjoy the best places to catch the sunset.   

  30. Look out, Melbourne.The Sunshine Coast is making a serious splash when it comes to art and culture, with new murals, street art and graffiti popping up in our alleyways and backstreets. Whether you’re a lover of public art or just need a sweet background for your next profile pic, you’ll want to hunt down the coolest street art on the Sunshine Coast.

Looking for more? Check out the best monthly events happening on the Sunshine Coast.

Image credit: Amy Higg for The Urban List & Supplied

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