Stretching those pieces of paper with the Queen's portrait on has become something of an art form, so it's always a beautiful moment when you can find a rewarding, fun activity to do for the cost of a button – or less. At East Coast Car Rentals, we are all for making your money go further – or even keeping it stashed away in your wallet, keeping the moths and dust company. Hence, we've put together a couple of fun, interesting and, above all, free things to do as you ride through the sun-lashed Gold Coast in your rental car that won't leave you brassic.
Beach to their own
The Gold Coast is renowned for the unwavering quality of its beaches – the clue lies in the name. Shimmering sands stretch far out into the distance, complemented by the lustrous, gleaming blue of endless ocean. The Gold Coast is home to numerous beaches, some in secluded spots that will take a little gentle exploration to discover, but there are three which remain prominent in the mind more than any others.
The aptly named Main Beach is resplendent in its old-school charm, where you'll find the male and female changing pavilions of the yesteryear still standing alongside more modern facilities. When you decide that you had better take some time out the glare of the sun's oh-so-dangerous rays, you can take sanctuary in the neighbouring park – a scattering of trees provide a perfect respite, and a fine opportunity to watch the surfers from a safe vantage point.
Broadbeach is perhaps Australia's cleanest, unless there are any clandestine ones we haven't yet discovered. Pristine to a fine degree, Broadbeach plays host to some towering waves, providing excellent surfing even to seasoned, salty veterans. From June to November, the sight of a mighty humpback whale breaching very close to the shore is a common one – watching among the largest creatures on Earth is an otherworldly experience. In a throwback to the classic seaside holiday of old, building sand castles and voracious ice-cream slurping is encouraged here.
Surfer's Paradise, probably the most famous of the Gold Coast's beaches, retains its iconic status simply by being what it is – an outstanding beach . Swimmers, joggers and surfers (but of course) return again and again to this three kilometre stretch of idyllic halcyon. Surfer's Paradise is also the spiritual home of beach volleyball where scantily-clad women (and men!) compete at all levels of the game, from bronzed professionals to budding beginners.
Once you've visited the gold half of Australia's national colours, complete the set by encountering the green side – the Coast's verdant expanses of parkland. Kept to an unerringly high standard, the parks of the Gold Coast are everything that makes Australia great. You can light a barbecue , kick a football around or simply partake in a lazy picnic. The Broadwater Parklands goes above and beyond what you might expect from most parks. Aside from the usual barbecue and picnic spots, there is a rooftop terrace, fishing opportunities and a water arena. Additionally, there are both scooter and BMX circuits, an adventure playground and bouncy castle. From the sounds of all these things to make and do, you'd expect your wallet to be in for a battering, but you won't have to take it out of your pocket once.