Affordable Family Adventures: Your Ultimate Guide to Budget-Friendly Activities on the Gold Coast

  • All Ages

Welcome to the Gold Coast, where the sun always shines and the fun never stops.


Whether you're a parent of toddlers, pre-teens, or teenagers, we know that keeping everyone entertained without breaking the bank can be a challenge.  But don't worry, we've got you covered. From animal encounters to virtual reality experiences, we've curated a list of activities that are not only fun but also budget-friendly. 

So, let's dive in and explore the best the Gold Coast has to offer for every age group!

Toddlers: Where Little Feet Make Big Memories

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Tickets
Animal Encounters to Remember at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Ah, the joys of parenting toddlers! They're at that adorable age where everything is a new adventure. Let's make some priceless memories without breaking the bank, shall we?

1. Animal Encounters to Remember: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

This sanctuary offers close-up encounters with Australia's native animals in a safe and controlled environment. Interactive exhibits make learning fun, and there's even a petting zoo for tactile exploration.

Find out more: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

2. The Joy of Outdoor Play: Broadwater Parklands

This sprawling park is a haven for toddlers, offering playgrounds, water features, and open spaces. They can run, play, and discover the world—all while you relax in a natural setting.

Find out more: Broadwater Parklands

3. Beach Days Filled with Fun: Burleigh Heads Beach

The beach is a timeless destination for families, and Burleigh Heads is no exception. With calm waters and clean sand, it's a safe and enjoyable spot for toddlers.

Find out more: Burleigh Heads Beach

4. Explore the City by Boat: Aquaduck Gold Coast City Tour and River Cruise

It's a car, it's a boat, it's an adventure! This unique city tour combines road and river, offering a fresh perspective on the city's landmarks.

Find out more: Aquaduck Tour

5. Dining Options for the Whole Family: Surfers Paradise

Eating out doesn't have to be a hassle. Surfers Paradise offers kid-friendly dining options that are both delightful and affordable.

Find out more: Surfers Paradise Dining

6. Connect with Nature: Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens

Let your toddlers experience nature firsthand. This walk is more than just a stroll; it's an educational journey.

Find out more: Botanic Gardens

Kids (5-9): Adventure and Discovery Tailored to Young Explorers

Whale Watching
Majestic Whale Watching on a Dime.


Parenting school-age kids is a balancing act between their growing independence and your enduring guidance. While budget considerations are always there, the focus is on enriching experiences that cater to their adventurous spirits. Here's how to make their holiday unforgettable with activities perfect for their age group.

7. Theme Park Thrills Without the Spills: 7 Day Theme Park Pass

This pass is a dream come true for kids who love variety. With access to multiple parks, they can meet their favorite characters one day and ride roller coasters the next—all without exhausting your finances. Plus, with Experience Oz, save $10 on front gate prices!

Find out more: 7 Day Theme Park Pass

8. Majestic Whale Watching on a Dime: Whale Watching Cruise from Sea World

This cruise is a fantastic way for kids to witness the grandeur of nature. The sight of humpback whales breaching is awe-inspiring and educational, teaching them about marine life in an engaging way.

Find out more: Whale Watching Cruise

9. Gold Coast Wax Museum: Meet History's Heroes and Villains

Ever wanted to introduce your kids to Albert Einstein, Queen Elizabeth, or maybe even Captain Jack Sparrow, all in one day? Well, the Gold Coast Wax Museum is your ticket to a time-traveling adventure! With lifelike figures of historical icons and pop culture legends, it's like a history lesson and a Hollywood tour rolled into one. 

Find out more: Gold Coast Wax Museum

10. Nature Walks That Educate and Fascinate: Springbrook National Park

This national park offers a treasure trove of natural wonders, from waterfalls to unique wildlife. It's a great way for kids to learn about Australia's ecosystem while stretching their legs and their imaginations.

Find out more: Springbrook National Park

11. Scenic Cruises That Won't Sink Your Budget: Gold Coast Buffet Lunch Cruise

What's better than a boat ride? A boat ride with lunch! This cruise offers stunning views of the Gold Coast and a buffet that's sure to please even the pickiest of young eaters.

Find out more: Buffet Lunch Cruise

Pre-Teens (10-13): Thrills Without the Bills

Swing into fun topgolf
Swing into Fun with Topgolf Gold Coast.

Pre-teens are at that age where they crave adventure and excitement. Here are some activities that will keep them engaged without emptying your wallet.

12. The Ultimate Jet Ski Safari

Unleash your pre-teen's inner speed demon with a 2.5-hour jet ski safari. This journey takes you through pristine waterways and includes stops at South Stradbroke Island.

Find out more: Jet Ski Safari

13. Reach for the Sky: SkyPoint Day Climb

Let your pre-teens conquer new heights with a SkyPoint day climb. It offers endless sunny views of the Gold Coast.

Find out more: SkyPoint Day Climb

14. Swing into Fun: Topgolf Gold Coast

Test your swing at Topgolf. It's not just about golf; it's about enjoying a game where anyone can win.

Find out more: Topgolf

15. Step into Another Dimension: Infinity Attraction

This is not your average fun house. Infinity is a mind-blowing journey through illusions and special effects.

Find out more: Infinity Attraction

16. Explore Wavebreak Island: Gold Coast Kayaking and Snorkelling

This kayaking tour takes you from Biggera Waters directly to Wave Break Island, where your pre-teens can snorkel and explore marine life.

Find out more: Kayaking and Snorkelling

Teens: Cool Experiences That Won't Cost a Fortune

Go Karting Gold Coast
Unleash your inner speed demon!

Teenagers are a tough crowd to please, especially when it comes to finding activities that are both fun and affordable. But don't worry, we've got you covered.

17. Virtual Reality Gaming Experience

Step into a new dimension at Zero Latency. With a variety of virtual reality games, it's an immersive experience that goes beyond your typical gaming session.

Find out more: Zero Latency

18. ArtVo Gold Coast: Trick Art Gallery

Why just look at art when you can be a part of it? ArtVo offers an immersive trick art gallery where you can step into the paintings.

Find out more: ArtVo

19. Gold Coast Snorkelling Tours

Dive into an underwater adventure just off picturesque Wave Break Island and see the fish, coral, and more up close!

Find out more: Snorkelling Tours

20. Kingston Park Raceway Go Karting

Unleash your inner speed demon at Kingston Park Raceway. Choose between the Monte Carlo or Le Mans go-kart tracks for an exhilarating racing experience.

Find out more:  Kingston Park Raceway

21. Gold Coast Indoor Skydiving

If jumping out of a plane sounds too extreme, iFLY offers the thrill of skydiving without leaving the ground.

Find out more: iFLY

22. SkyPoint Observation Deck and Dine Combo Ticket

Elevate your dining experience—literally. This combo ticket gives you entry to the SkyPoint Observation Deck and a dining voucher worth up to $20.

Find out more: SkyPoint

Mum and Dad: Relaxation and Romance on a Budget

Sirromet Winery
Quality time in the Queensland sun!

Parenting is a full-time job, and let's face it, sometimes you need a break. From serene nature walks to romantic dinners, we've curated a list of activities that offer relaxation and romance without the hefty price tag. So go ahead, take some time off and rekindle that spark. You've earned it.

23. Winery Tour and Tasting with Italian Lunch at Sirromet Winery

Sirromet Winery offers a romantic escape from the daily hustle and bustle. Sample a variety of wines, each with its own story, and pair them with an authentic Italian lunch.

Find out more:  Sirromet Winery

24. Evening Rainforest, Waterfall and Glow Worm Guided Tour

Step into a world of natural wonder and enchantment. This guided tour takes you through a lush rainforest, past cascading waterfalls, and into the magical realm of glow worms.

Find out more: Southern Cross Tours

25. 90 Minute Twilight Stand Up Paddle Board Tour

As the sun sets over the calm waterways of Surfers Paradise, embark on a 90-minute twilight stand-up paddleboard tour.

Find out more: Go Vertical Sup Hire

26. Lamington National Park and O'Reilly's Guided Day Tour

Escape the noise and chaos of everyday life and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of Lamington National Park.

Find out more: Southern Cross Tours

27. Tweed River and Rainforest Lunch Cruise

Imagine cruising through scenic waterways, surrounded by lush rainforests, all while enjoying a delicious lunch.

IFind out more: Tweed Eco Cruises

Remember, the best memories are often the ones that don't cost a fortune. So go ahead, make those priceless memories and enjoy every moment on this sun-soaked stretch of paradise. Until next time, happy adventuring!

More Holiday Reads Here

Fun, Food and Family Time Await at Paradise Resort Gold Coast
Byron Bay Camping: Your Ultimate Guide for 2023
The Most Wish-listed Airbnbs in the World

Have you signed up for our newsletter? Join ellaslist to get the best family and kid-friendly events, venues, classes and things to do NEAR YOU!