A family holiday to the Gold Coast doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. There are plenty of fun activities that you can enjoy in and around this popular destination for free.

The following are just a few. Once you’re in your Gold Coast car hire, you will have access to an even greater variety of entertainment options!


Rent a car in Surfers Paradise, take a 13-minute drive to beautiful Broadbeach and settle in for a night at the opera.

Yes, we know – opera is usually the domain of the rich and wealthy. However, if you’re visiting the Gold Coast this October, you can attend a performance of Phantom of the Opera under the stars for free.

This performance is taking place in Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach, on October 5. So, don’t forget to bring a picnic blanket and a warm jacket!

Don Cant, who is one of Australia’s best-known ‘Phantoms’, will sing his way into your heart as the eponymous hero. He will be paired with Danielle Everett, who will be playing the coveted role of Christine Daae.

If you will be around in August, check out the Broadbeach Jazz Festival. This three-day event (August 16-18) involves numerous outdoor stages, as well as jazz musicians performing various venues throughout Broadbeach.

You will be treated to the stunning sounds of youth orchestras, army bands and sultry jazz ensembles such as Big Kitty and Emma Hamilton.

And, again, it’s absolutely free! Those who love a bit of smooth jazz couldn’t ask for more!


There’s nothing like a park on a warm, sunny day – and the Gold Coast has plenty for you to choose from.

If you’re looking for a laid-back day out for the whole family, drive on over to MacIntosh Island Park. An “oasis in the midst of high risers”, this grassy paradise has everything you need to wile away an afternoon.

MacIntosh Island Park boasts barbecue facilities, as well as picnic tables and shelters. You can save a whole heap of money by picking up some groceries at the supermarket and having a family picnic instead of going to a restaurant for lunch!

There’s also a playground for the kids to enjoy, as well as a few walking tracks if you want to add some exercise to your fresh air.

Broadwater Parklands also comes highly recommended. This “vast expanse of green” is also perfect for family or romantic picnics, and it’s free to visit and enjoy.

What makes this park extra special is its water playground, known as the Rockpools. This is a group of shallow pools, complete with water-spouting animals and waterfalls that your children can run around in and have an absolute blast!

There are also plenty of free events happening at this park each and every weekend.


Probably the most tried-and-true of free activities, museums are a great place get a lot of culture for very little – or, in these two cases, no – cash. They are also a good fall-back plan if the weather decides to turn.

The Arts Centre Gold Coast, which can be found at 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise, is home to many beautiful and thought-provoking exhibitions and artworks. Whether you’re into ceramics, photography or abstract painting, this is the museum for you.

If you’re (or with) a sports fan, a visit to the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame won’t go amiss! Open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 16:00, this is Queensland’s first dedicated sports museum and well worth a look.

This museum is located at Owen Park, Queens Street, Southport, which is just a 15-minute drive from the central Gold Coast. On your drive there, you will get stunning views of the Coral Sea.