Gold Coast, Queensland is a really enjoyable and worthwhile place to visit on your travels in Australia.
There is only one problem with travel in Australia and that it is expensive in comparison to many other travel destinations.
I often look at the backpackers in Australia and wonder how they do it. Perhaps, I am just looking at it through the eyes of someone who has traveled extensively through Asia and Africa, and I know how far your money can go there.
Not so very far in Oz. We have a stunning country to visit and a unique culture to explore, so you really want to find ways to enjoy it without it equating to the price of a new car.
After spending some time recently on the Gold Coast we have discovered 9 ways you can visit this adventure land on the cheap.
Stay outside of Surfers Paradise
Surfers is the party place on the Gold Coast, which may suit you, but it’s going to make it awfully tempting to dig a deeper hole in your pocket.
You can find more budget accommodation options in places like Coolangatta, (my favourite) which will also offer you a much quieter and laid back experience. There are still plenty of night time options, but with a lot less debacuhery and escalating costs.
Stay at Hostels or Holiday Apartments
Hostels are probably going to be your cheapest Gold Coast accommodation options. Make use of the kitchens to cook your food and drink your own alcohol in the common areas before you go out.
If there is a group of you, then I suggest looking into holiday apartment rentals. You can usually find a good apartment near the beach with all amenities that is clean and comfortable.
Bring your own or hire bikes and explore the coastline, riding the beach promenade trail from Surfers to Coolangatta.
Pack your own lunch,plenty of water, your swimmers and camera. It is a fantastic way to feel invigorated with some fresh sea air and exercise while checking out magnificent coastal views. The climate allows for biking year round and the terrain is mostly flat.
The Oceanway is 48 km in length starting in Coolangatta and finishing at Paradise Point. Don’t worry the gentle sea breezes will cool you down along the way. Bikes can be hired for around $25- $35 a day.
Aussie animals and adventure rolled into one
If you want to learn more about aussie animals then it might be well worth your while buying a ticket to see them at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Not only can you cuddle a koala, watch croc feeding, and feed kangaroos, but you can also enjoy the high ropes challenge for an afternoon of adrenaline fun.
It is all included in the one ticket price.
Free Bird Feeding at Currumbin
If your budget does not allow for the Aussie animals and adventure side of Currumbin Bird Sanctuary, you can appreciate some natural wildlife there for free. They have free bird feeding twice a day. Now you think this might sound a little boring, but it is actually quite a treat.
Hundreds of rainbow coloured lorikeets will descend upon you from the surrounding trees to get a lick at the sweet honey nectar that you hold out in a bowl in your hands. They will climb up your arms, on your head and just sit on your hands drinking. It is worth an hour visit to see these beautiful birds of Australia up close and personal.
Be Smart with Your Gold Coast Theme Park preparations
Visiting the Gold Coast Theme Parks are going to eat into your budget. It is not a cheap day out but it is a fun day out. To make it more of a budget experience, be smart in your preparation for them. Check their website for any special passes or deals they have going. You can get special 3 theme Park passes for unlimited visits to Movieworld, Seaworld and Wet and Wild.
Strangely enough, the opening hours for these parks are very short- late to open early to close. You can purchase an early bird pass for a couple of dollars more which will get you in the park and on those rides that attract the most people, before they enter the doors.
Consider spending extra money for the skip the queue passes for rides. Hours can be taken from your day just lining up for a ride. Spending an extra $10 on this pass may save you having to return the next day for an extra full price ticket just so you can get to those rides and events you missed.
Also, see which parks allow you to take in your own food. Buying food at theme parks makes for an ultra expensive day.
Go on the Backpackers Big Night Out
Most young backpackers enjoy checking out the local nightlife. Surfers Paradise has plenty of pubs, bars, and nightclubs. So that you don’t blow your whole month’s budget in one night, Aquarius backpackers organizes a Big Night Out on Wednesdays and Saturday Nights.
For the price of $30 you get 4 free entry passes to nightclubs, 4 free drinks, 1 party bus, free pizza, live entertainment, free group photo $5.50 basic drinks all night long, the biggest club crawl of the Gold Coast, and the wildest staff in town.
Hike in the Hinterlands
Within 30 minutes beyond the bustling Gold Coast beaches lies the Gold Coast Hinterland. Farmland, vineyards, quaint villages, sprawling National Parks and rainforest reserves are there for you to explore.
There are plenty of tree top walks and hiking trails which will give you a low budget day spent enjoying the beauty and tranquility of nature and some incredible views.
Bludge on the Beach
Really Australia is known for its beaches, and there is no better budget activity to do while you are on the Gold Coast. Pack a picnic lunch, grab your towel and swimmers, maybe a Frisbee or two, and bludge (that’s Aussie for do nothing) all day.
You could play beach cricket, swim, take a surfing lesson, go for endless walks, catch up on reading or just plain enjoy the view both of the scenery and the bronze barely clad bludgers surrounding you. Don’t forget your sunscreen!