The 'glitter strip' may conjure up thoughts of depleted bank accounts and dollar signs, but there are some activities here that are completely free. As a bonus, all of these attractions are within easy driving distance. If you don't have access to a car, consider hiring one on the Gold Coast for you holiday.

Mountains and parks

It can be easy to forget that the Gold Coast is home to many forests and mountains, bit if you enjoy the outdoors, the local nature reserves are the place for you.

None of the National Parks on the Gold Coast charge admission, so you're free to roam without having to spend any money.

The subtropical climate of the area means the foliage of the area is lush and dense. It's full of walking tracks that will take you to great lookout points so you can get a view of the whole region.

The Great Walk is a total length of 54km, and takes you through the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, which is a World Heritage area. You'll see native species of plants and birds, waterfalls and striking landscapes. The routes are set out so you can choose how long you walk for and where you want to go.


The beaches have their reputation for a reason and best of all, they won't cost you anything. The most popular beaches are Burleigh, Kurruwa and Coolangatta for their soft white sand and balmy seas. A more secluded, picturesque location is Echo beach – a short walk from Burleigh beach.


The Currumbin Rock Pools are a natural freshwater playground for kids and parents alike. A favourite part of the attraction is 'The Jumping Pillow', which is similar to a trampoline, but built into the ground and brightly coloured – it's bound to get your kids excited.

Nearby is a rushing creek and a grassy knoll where you can have a picnic or a barbecue on the services provided. Just take your sausages, salads and drinks and kick back and relax with your family and friends.


O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk is a must. On this walk you can get right up close and personal with the lush vegetation of the Gold Coast. The entire walk is made up of nine bridges and is 180 metres long with two observation decks along the way – one of which is 30 metres off the ground. These bridges and walkways will take you through the canopy of the beautiful Lamington National Park. 

You'll be completely embraced by the forest and the many birds and other animals that live in the canopy. The trees are rich with life, covered in flowers, winding vines and ferns, making it not only magnificent, but a great way to get the kids interested in nature, too.