Australia is a destination that is known for giving budget travelers sticker shock, particularly in glitzy areas like the Gold Coast. The cost of food, accommodation, and travel can quickly add up, even if you’re doing little more than sitting and surfing these famous beaches. By keeping the following tips in mind, you can enjoy the area’s culture without breaking the bank.
Avoiding Peak Season
The Gold Coast is known for its fancy resorts and holiday cottages, but these can quickly eat into your budget. One way to lower the cost of accommodation is to avoid the peak tourist season of December and January. You’ll also want to avoid “Schoolies Week” in mid-November, when the beaches are packed with students and prices go up as a result.
Travel by Campervan
One of the best ways to get around Australia’s wild spaces is by campervan. You can save on the cost of accommodation and wake up with the pristine beaches of the Gold Coast right outside your door. If you choose to hire a campervan, be sure to compare rental rates carefully to get the best deal. However, another option is to relocate a campervan. Some websites allow you to sign up to move a campervan from one location to another, for a rate of as little as $1 per day. You may even get compensation for fuel, which covers your costs. If you time it right, you could relocate your vehicle from Brisbane to Sydney and see the Gold Coast with free transportation and accommodation.
Choose a Used Car
Driving your own car can save you money and give you added flexibility. You might want to choose a practical vehicle like Toyota Camry if you don’t go the campervan route, as these offer great fuel economy. By purchasing a used vehicle, you can then resell it at the end of your journey and get your money back.
Visit the Hinterland
The beaches are a major draw to the Gold Coast, but its hinterland is also an amazing place well worth visiting. Prices tend to be lower at cafes and theme parks in this area, and you’ll find three national parks to explore along with a bevy of mountains and waterfalls. You’ll also find some wineries in this region, which thrive in the cool climate. These offer free tastings to visitors, allowing you to sample some of the region’s finest produce and wine at little cost.
Visit Free Museums and Galleries
Brisbane is home to several free attractions, including the excellent Queensland Art Gallery and Museum. Art lovers also won’t want to miss the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, which also boasts free entry. In addition to these large museums, you’ll also find the Gold Coast dotted with free art galleries showcasing the best work of local artists. This is a good way to soak up the culture on a dime.
Go Duty Free Shopping
The Gold Coast is a mecca for budget shopping. If you want to take home some souvenirs of your travels to Australia, be sure to hit up the region’s outlet malls and duty-free shopping centres. The Harbour Town Outlet Centre is located ten minutes north of Surfer’s Paradise, and offers over 130 big brand shops to peruse at clearance prices. By shopping around and exploring the alternative side of the Gold Coast, you can save a bundle and enjoy all that the region has to offer.