Short on funds and looking for fun? The Gold Coast is the perfect location for you – from surf festivals in Coolangatta to farmers markets in Burleigh, there are plenty of ways to have fun on a budget.

Hit up Miami Marketta

Head over to the Miami Marketta on Wednesday, Friday or Saturday night for live music, cheap street food and plenty of art to check out. Take in the atmosphere with friends for a fun night out.

Neon entrance sign for Miami Marketta
Miami Marketta | Photo by TEAN Alum Hannah Schube

Explore a new park or beach

With so many different beaches, why not venture out to a new location? From Coolangatta to Southport, and every beach in between, there are tons of parks and cool spots along the way. Fire up a barbeque, strike up a conversation with locals, or just enjoy the vibes of a new view. Each beach is beautiful for different reasons – try to check them all off!

Shop the Farmers Markets

By far the best farmers markets I found while on the Gold Coast were the State School markets in Burleigh Heads. Full of cute finds and located just a bus ride away from the beach, spending an entire day down in Burleigh Heads after the markets was not an uncommon way to pass the day.

Rent a surfboard

Look up one of the countless surfboard rental places located all around the Gold Coast and hit the waves. Splitting a day’s rental with your mates makes for a cheap day of fun – some of my best memories involve taking turns trying to ride the waves on a nice day.

Student on a surf board riding a wave
You’ll get an intro lesson to surfing as part of your TEAN cultural events on the Gold Coast – a great way to start riding the waves!

Go for a Hike

Go hiking and get lost in nature, checking out the rainforests and mountains you’re surrounded by. If you’re looking for a real challenge, climbing Mount Warning is great. For an easier day, go climb some of the paths in Burleigh. Want a more immersive experience? Check out the Currumbin rock pools, Springbrook National Park or the rainforest paths on Mount Tamborine.

View from the top of Mount Warning
View from the top of Mount Warning | Photo by TEAN Alum Michaela Kaplan

Bonus Tips

Look for free festivals: Keep an eye on posters and ads for free festivals. There are loads of free events on the Gold Coast year-round, from surf festivals to free wine tastings, cool art shows and more. The best way to find out about these is to simply keep your eyes and ears open when you’re out and about. Plus, your local TEAN staff will share upcoming events they recommend. Look for events near you on Facebook and read the posters on the train – you never know what you might find.

Do online research for deals: Before you go, check a venue’s website for good deals. Tourist attractions are always running deals, and oftentimes these might be online. You can also check Groupon. When I was in the Gold Coast, we got into the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary at a much cheaper price just by looking for deals on their website.

Keep these tips in mind and you’re never far from your next adventure. Have fun and keep exploring!

Erika Penrose is a TEAN Alum and graduate of University of Kentucky. She studied abroad with TEAN on the Gold Coast, Australia.  Are you interested in studying abroad on the Gold Coast? Get in touch with questions or request more information.