Top free things to do with kids on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast might be known for its glitz and its glamour, but there’s a whole lot of free family fun to be had too!

Two boys playing at the beach side
  • Jetstar
  • October 2018
  • Updated April 2021

With sun, surf and sand galore, the Gold Coast opens in new window is built for family holidays. Beyond the beaches, however, activities can really add up, so we’ve rounded up the best free things you can do that the kids will love.

Visit the Gold Coast’s Home of the Arts

HOTA opens in new window – Home of the Arts – in Surfers Paradise underwent a massive transformation with a $60.5 million gallery opening in May 2021. The art gallery spans six levels and includes a children’s gallery to explore.

With plenty of things to see and do, HOTA is a must-visit destination for all things creative with exhibitions, workshops, live performances, theatre and outdoor movies to enjoy. There is a constant rotation of family-friendly events opens in new window to choose from, many of which are free.

Spend time at the Currumbin Rock Pools

This is what idyllic childhoods are made of: scrambling over smooth, warm rocks, swinging on a rope and landing in the cool, clear water of the Currumbin Rock Pools opens in new window. Kids and adults love slipping down the natural waterslides and exploring the picturesque waterholes.

Currumbin Rock Pools, Gold Coast. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Enjoy some playground fun

The Gold Coast has a huge range of parks dotted all over the place, but Broadwater Parklands takes it to the next level. Lush and green, with that incredible Broadwater view, it’s perfect for a picnic (there are also free barbecues to use) and a day of play, with a bouncy pillow, a water playground and lots of other play equipment for the kids. You can also catch outdoor entertainment, markets and lots of free, family-friendly events at this gorgeous spot.

In Palm Beach, the fun-filled Palm Beach Parklands is another top spot for kids. The young ones can clamber on the pirate ship in the Treasure Island playground, or just splash around at the nearby beach. There is also a cafe on site.

One of the Gold Coast's beach side markets
One of the Gold Coast's beachside markets

Walk the treetops

If you have adventurous kids who love exploring and climbing trees, a visit to O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk in Lamington National Park will make their day. They can walk along the nine suspension bridges up to 16 metres above the ground and get right into the thick of the forest canopy, where they can get a good look at all that rainforest flora as well as the view below.

Tree Top Walk in Lamington National Park

Feed the lorikeets

A lot of Gold Coast attractions can come with pretty hefty admission charges, but if you want a dash of animal fun for free at Currumbin Sanctuary, you can go and feed the lorikeets twice a day – at 8am and 4pm. These multicoloured cuties are very people-friendly and front up regularly for their free feed. You don’t need to enter the Sanctuary to get up close with the birds, but there’s a gold coin donation if you want to buy them some feed.

Rainbow lorikeet feeding at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland