These cultural experiences in Australia are great value and great fun

You can get your culture fix without spending a fortune. We've hunted down the most eclectic, interesting cultural activities that all cost $50 or less.

50,000 LED lights illuminate the dark landscape surrounding Uluru in the Northern Territory.
  • Jetstar
  • September 2019

Feed your brain without breaking the bank with a dose of cool culture such as a picnic at an art museum or walking through an LED artwork at Uluru.

Wander through the Field of Light in the NT

Every day, as the sun dips in the sky, 50,000 LEDs illuminate the red earth at the foot of Uluru. Meandering through the installation opens in new window by artist Bruce Munro – a desert spectrum of ochre, violet, blue and white lights – is a uniquely immersive way to explore the heart of Australia. Entry is AUD $43 (but you can also upgrade to dinner packages that include entry tickets for a higher price).

Have an art picnic in Victoria

Who would’ve thought that the perfect daytrip, combining art and nature, is just a 25-minute drive from Melbourne’s CBD? The Heide Museum of Modern Art opens in new window is a gallery containing the works of some of Australia’s most well known contemporary artists, including Albert Tucker and Sidney Nolan, plus heritage-listed gardens and a sculpture park. Located on a leafy 16-acre property in Bulleen that once belonged to Australian art patrons John and Sunday Reed, the museum incorporates the couple’s original home. Entry is AUD $20.

Families with young children explore the sculpture park at the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne.
The heritage-listed gardens and sculpture park make the Heide Museum of Modern Art perfect for families.

Take a backstage tour in Queensland

Stickybeaks and theatre lovers, unite. It’s time to go behind the scenes. The Queensland Performing Arts Centre opens in new window Weekly Discovery Tour is not only one of the most affordable tours in town at AUD $15, it’s one of the most fascinating. Taking place from 10.30am to 11.30am on Fridays, the backstage tour raises the curtain on the goings-on at Brisbane’s leading theatrical complex. An experienced tour guide will explain the history and architecture of QPAC, opened in 1985, and take you through the Tony Gould Gallery, which showcases collections from the theatre’s past shows in ever-changing exhibitions.

Catch a concert in Tasmania

Established more than 70 years ago, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra opens in new window is a much-loved cultural institution with something for everyone. Regular concerts in Hobart and Launceston showcase everything from Mozart concertos to Broadway hits. Many shows offer tickets under AUD $50 – keep an eye for the eclectic TSO Live Sessions, which should return in 2020.

Enjoy a show in Victoria

Going to the theatre is a good reason to get dressed up, put your phone on silent and sound really sophisticated when you tell your friends you missed their call because you were “at the theatre”. The Malthouse Theatre opens in new window in Southbank is one of Melbourne’s most revered and has been showcasing contemporary and classic productions for over 40 years. Ticket prices start at just AUD $35.

Hear dreamtime stories in Queensland

An Aboriginal walkabout might not be the first activity that springs to mind when you think of the Gold Coast but the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre opens in new window offers a fascinating traditional landowner-led walking tour for AUD $30 that focuses on the Burleigh Headland, known to Yugambeh-speaking people as Jellurgal or Dreaming Mountain. Along the way, you’ll learn creation stories associated with this lush pocket of rainforest.

Indigenous Australians perform a ceremony at the Burleigh Headland on the Gold Coast.
The Indigenous tour at Jellurgal (Dreaming) Mountain offers an immersive experience.

Score cheap tickets in New South Wales

Quality culture can often come at a cost, which makes Sydney Theatre Company’s opens in new window once-a-week drop of cheap tickets a very welcome treat. Set your alarm for Thursday 9am and score a AUD $20 ticket from a limited batch. With all the extra savings, you can splurge on a pre-show dinner or cocktails.