The best things in life are free, so they say. That’s especially true when it’s the New Year and your whole ‘saving more money so you’re not stuck eating two-minute noods the week before payday’ resolution is still in effect – for now.

So if you can go on a weekend vacay and get all the delights without having to fork out for tickets, why the heck wouldn’t you? I popped up to the Gold Coast recently and was shook by the rad free stuff they have now. Here are a few of my faves for you.

The Beaches

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Australia (@australia) on

Some things will never change, and the beauty and abundance of beaches all along the Gold Coast is one of them. So yes, I simply had to kick the list off with the most obvious, yet still one of the best features. So sue me (please don’t, I literally have no money). I personally have a soft spot for Burleigh Heads, particularly the stunning national park there – but you can’t really go wrong.

Mint Art House

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mint Art House (@mintarthouse) on

Eight artists call this studio, gallery and event space home. It’s all artist-run too, so you get to meet, learn from and contribute to the actual artists.

They run regular workshops, teaching us mere mortals their own particular talents. Those, naturally, cost money, but you can go at any time during opening hours to check out the latest works. Several people popped in while I was having my lesson, and the artists tell me they’re into it.

Miami Marketta

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Miami Marketta ???? (@miamimarketta) on

Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night, this market is such a cool hub for free live music. It’s absolutely free to get in and no reason you couldn’t pack your own food – but why would you want to when there’s also 25 food vendors with cuisines from around the world and a bunch of stalls selling arts, crafts, clothing and more?

The Walls

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by THE WALLS ART SPACE (@thewallsgc) on

The Walls art space is a regional artist-run initiative founded in 2013 by local artist, Rebecca Ross. Running on a not-for-profit basis with a goal that includes connecting “people with current and experimental art on the Gold Coast”, they hold many free exhibitions and events featuring the best of local artists.

Image: Instagram / @nathanprostamo