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Queensland on a Budget

27th March 2014

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Many British travellers have the misconception that Queensland has become too expensive to visit. But what a lot of people don’t realise is that there are many ways to save in the Sunshine State, especially now the pound is going the extra distance!

We all want to splurge and treat ourselves when on holiday, and this is made all the more feasible (and guilt-free) when there are places you can also experience the true wonders of Queensland on a shoestring budget. So what are the sin free options in Queensland that won’t leave your bank manager wincing?

The Great Outdoors

  • There is no better way to spend a Wednesday afternoon than on a yacht on the crystal waters of Moreton Bay with Wednesday Afternoon Go Sailing (WAGS), offering visitors a chance to enjoy sailing free of charge. (Free)
  • The Great Barrier Reef is most likely somewhere people are willing to splurge to experience this natural world wonder, but for those who want to continue to save, Ocean Free offer a cheaper option for a day trip out to the magnificent reef with a full day of snorkelling including gear. ($140pp approx. £83)
  • Natural Bridge, located in Springbrook National Park, is a spectacle of nature, created over millions of years by a unique waterfall, home to an incredible colony of glow-worms. (Free)
  • Head inland from Currumbin Beach to enjoy the Currumbin Rock Pools. Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, the Currumbin Rock Pools are the perfect spot to enjoy the shade and have a swim. (Free)
  • Burleigh Ridge Park is one of the largest of the Greenspace parks, providing a green backdrop to the city, views over the Tallebudgera Creek estuary, as well as habitat for plants and animals. Various birds and lizards are common sights and you may spot a koala too. (Free)
  • Cedar Creek Falls is located approximately 20 kilometres from Proserpine on Saltwater Creek Road, off Conway Beach Road, and is the picturesque Cedar Creek Falls. These waterfalls are spectacular in the wet season and offer a year-round natural swimming pool at the base of the falls. They are set in a natural rock amphitheatre, surrounded by lush rainforest. There are also bush walks up and around the falls. (Free) 
  • The Whitsunday Great Walk through the rugged Conway State Forest behind Airlie Beach. This beautiful forest contains lowland tropical rainforest remnants and picturesque rocky creeks. Walking through this wildlife haven is a unique experience with different sights, smells and sounds. (Free.)  

For the Foodies

  • It’s a little local known fact that the best farmers markets in Brisbane are those run by legendary foodie Jan Power. Wander around the stalls, which sell everything from the freshest homemade breads, jams, chocolates and cheese to chillies, beef, yabbies, berries, biscuits and more. A great spot to taste Queensland at a snip of the price. Plus and experience in itself. (Free)
  • Most people don’t associate vineyards with Queensland, but actually, the Queensland winemakers of the Granite Belt produce sensational wines, with a flavour quite unique to the Queensland climate. Visit the Girraween Estate in Wyberba; offering free entry, visitors can taste fabulous sparkling wines produced high on the Great Dividing Range. (Free)
  • For those travelling further North, the Eumundi Markets are the most well-known foodie markets on the Sunshine Coast. Sample local treats and tropical fresh fruit. (Free)
Culture on a Budget

  • Pandanus Aboriginal Art Gallery in Palm Cove exhibits fine Aboriginal art sourced from art centres in Aboriginal communities from the Central and Western deserts to the saltwater country in Queensland. (Free)
  • The old power station on the river has been converted into what is arguably Brisbane’s hottest inner-city venue, the Brisbane Powerhouse.  Comedy festivals, live bands, plays and art exhibits all unfold inside the graffiti–heavy walls, most of which have no entry fee. (Free)
  • The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and the Institute of Modern Art both present extensive programs of exhibitions, artist-run workshops, festivals and performances often themed around feature exhibitions. (Free)

  • Perfect for that quintessential camping ground on a grassy knoll overlooking the waters of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, is the Town of 1770. Wake up each morning to a stunning beach and surf side fishing, with the chance to surf on Queensland’s most northern break. Prices start from $33 per night (approx. £18)
  • Club Crocodile Airlie Beach is a multi award winning tropical resort located in the beautiful Whitsunday's and guarantees a relaxing escape at affordable prices. Prices start from $72 (approx. £40) twin share per night for a standard room. 
  • The best way to save on accommodation, on the Gold Coast in particular, is to book one of the many modern serviced apartments. An affordable and centrally located option overlooking the Broadbeach esplanade and the stunning beach are the Meriton Apartments, which start at $120 per night (approx. £67), and can easily sleep a family. 
Getting Around

Queensland’s vibrant and modern capital city Brisbane is the perfect place to save money on your trip to Queensland. With fun and affordable ways to see this beautiful city, travellers can join walking tours, cycle around the city on the many bikeways along the river (for only $2 per day), or hop on a CityCat and see the city from the Brisbane River ($2.40 off-peak if you use a go card which is the equivalent of the Oyster card) for the Riverfront Revival CityCat tour, whereby an audio guide can be accessed from your smart phone.

For more information on any of these experiences in Queensland visit

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