Free and Low Cost are not always words that you would consider putting in the same sentence when talking about the Gold Coast. But if you are a regular reader of this blog then you will know I picked the Gold Coast as my No. 1 Christmas Holiday destination. Now I may be a little bit biased in my choice as we do live here. But what I’m not biased about is the fact that a trip to the Gold Coast can be very expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. There are some really great things to do that are either completely free or don’t cost an arm and a leg.
BROADWATER PARKLANDS –
The Broadwater Parklands is a three kilometre stretch of recreational parkland situated along Marine Parade at Southport and is the perfect spot for a family outing. It features a large playground area, suitable for a variety of ages, a jumping pillow, walking/cycle tracks, an enclosed swimming area which is patrolled by lifesavers during the summer months, as well as BBQ’s, toilets and showers. The area often plays host to free activities such as Movies in the Park, concerts and markets.
During summer, there is also an AquaSplash Water Park set up next to the swimming enclosure. Although not free, at $40 for a family pass (2 adults & 2 children) it is a reasonable price for lots of fun.
THE G-LINK TRAMS
Getting around the Gold Coast became a whole lot easier this year with the introduction of the G-Link Light Rail System. With 20 stations stretching between Broadbeach South and Helensvale Town Centre, it is the easiest way I know to get around the Gold Coast.
A trip between Broadbeach and Cavill Avenue in the heart of Surfers Paradise will take about 10 minutes and cost about $4.00 for an adult fare. You will find it a lot cheaper than driving in and paying for parking. Trams run approximately every six minutes so you won’t have to wait for long either. The easiest way to travel on the ‘G’ is to purchase a Go-card or tickets can be purchased at the tram stations.
BURLEIGH HEAD NATIONAL PARK –
Burleigh Head National Park is located at the southern end of Burleigh Heads Beach and is one of the most beautiful spots on the Gold Coast. It’s main attraction is the 1.2klm cliff top walk which affords you the most spectacular views of the ocean below. It is not unusual to be able to spot dolphins playing off shore and during spring whale sightings are common as well.
There is also a 2.3klm rainforest circuit walk as well. Once you have completed the walk, Burleigh Beach is the ideal spot for a swim.The foreshore park area is the perfect spot for a picnic or BBQ too. Burleigh Heads also has a fantastic selection of places to eat or grab a coffee.
DAVID FLEAY WILDLIFE PARK –
As an alternative to the expensive and often crowded theme parks try a visit to David Fleay Wildlife Park. Visitors can view a range of animals from boardwalks and pathways. Or you are able to join a guided tour or attend one of several daily wildlife talks. A range of school holiday activities are also offered including the very popular Wildlife Ranger Experience. A family pass which cover 2 adults and up to 4 children aged 4-17 will cost just over $51.00. I think this is really is great value for the budget conscious.
WHERE TO EAT – SOUTHPORT SHARKS AFL CLUB –
After a busy day spent exploring the Gold Coast, the kids will no doubt be hungry. If like me you don’t want them to eat McDonalds every night then try Southport Sharks. The Frenzy Food Court Buffet offers an extensive range of food – everything from Chinese to pizza to roasts. But best of all on Monday nights Kids 12 and under eat for free with a full paying adult!
We have taken advantage of this on many occasions and the kids never seemed to tire of going there. Southport Sharks also has a Kids Club. You can book the kids in for an hour which means that you can have a quiet drink before dinner.