The Gold Coast in a day on a Backpackers Budget
Often there’s that one backpacker who enters reception flailing crumpled maps and a stricken look of distress, trying to figure out how to spend out their only day on the Gold Coast.
So with a good dose of local knowledge and a sprinkle of diverse interests amongst staff, we have put together a classic one day itinerary for back packers on the Gold Coast.
First step, purchase a go-explore card for $10. This gives you unlimited travel on public transport (Translink) trams and buses until midnight. Take the bus heading southbound on the Gold Coast Highway. At the time of writing, this is the Translink 700 or 777 buses.
First stop: Burleigh Heads
Walk over to James Street and source out a delicious breaky from one of the many great cafes. If you have room for it, grab a fresh juice from the local grocer.
Head towards the beach and up Burleigh Hill to take the coastal walk around Burleigh Heads National Park. On the other side you will reach Tallebudgera creek. If the weather suits, join the locals for a swim or rent a Stand-Up Paddle board from a small shack on the shore for $20/hour.
Walk back up to the Gold Coast Highway to get back on the southbound bus headed for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Check whether you can buy entrance tickets to the sanctuary from your Gold Coast hostel as they might have discounted tickets for backpackers. At the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary you can find many Australian animals. You can handfeed the kangaroos with some pre-purchased food and for a small extra cost you can get a picture holding a koala!
When leaving Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, walk in the opposite direction from the Highway towards Currumbin Beach. Currumbin Beach is a local favourite with great views, decent surf and plenty of space to have your fair share of sand. Head over to the giant rock, appropriately named ‘Elephant Rock’, to take in a great seaside view looking back on the city skyline. If you’re hungry again you can head to the local surf club on the beach for lunch with a view. Otherwise it’s time to jump back on the bus heading northbound and stop off in Broadbeach to try out some of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast.