25 Free Things to Do on Australia’s East Coast

25 Free Things to Do on Australia’s East Coast
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Travelling is expensive. Even if you’re staying in hostels, things can get pretty pricy if you’re paying for activities every day. Have no fear though because I’ve got 25 things you can do for free whilst travelling Australia’s East Coast. Save those pennies and you’ll have enough for that skydive or diving trip you’ve always dreamed of.


1. Cool off with a dip in the lagoon.

2. Try out a free fitness class on the esplanade. We loved both the Zumba and Aqua Zumba class. Timetable available here.

3. Visit the Botanic Gardens for some floral fun.

botanic gardens

4. Have a look around Rusty’s Farmers Market (Friday to Sunday) or the Esplanade Market (Saturdays).

Townsville/Magnetic Island

5. Walk or drive up Castle Hill for great views of Townsville – this is popular with locals after work.

6. Take a stroll along The Strand or go for a run if you’re feeling particularly energetic.

7. Go for a swim in the Riverway Lagoons.

8. Chill out in Florence or Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island.

9. Visit the WWII forts on Magnetic Island. The walk is roughly 90 minutes return and you may even see a koala or two.

forts walk magnetic island

Airlie Beach

10. Chill out at the Beach Lagoon.

11. Visit the Esplanade Markets on a Saturday morning.


12. The Bluewater Lagoon is another lovely pool area that is free to hang out at.

Agnes Water/1770

13. Visit Captain Cook’s landing site with a short walk along the coastline.

captain cook monument

14. Take a dip in the water at Agnes Water beach.


15. Hop on the CityHopper ferry for a free, scenic ride down the Brisbane River.

16. Have a culture day and check out The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art.

17. Visit Mount Coot-tha for views across the city.

mount coot-tha views free


18. Go for a walk around the harbour to see the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

sydney harbour bridge

19. Take a free tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

20. Tours of the Art Gallery of NSW are also free if you need a break from the heat.

Melbourne/St Kilda

victoria art gallery

21. If you fancy looking round some more museums, the National Gallery of Victoria is pretty impressive. We also really enjoyed looking around the Australian Centre for the Moving ImageThe Shrine of Remembrance was also very moving to visit.

shrine of remembrance view

22. Check out some cool street art on Hosier Lane.

23. Visit Queen Victoria Market for some local food delights. I wouldn’t bet on doing a lot of shopping here though unless you’re desperate for some knock-off Uggs.

24. Spot the little penguins on St. Kilda’s pier after sunset and view Melbourne’s bright city lights.

25. Take a drive along the Great Ocean Road.  Guaranteed awesome views – my favourite is The Twelve Apostles.

great ocean road

twelve apostles

There are also lots of free campsites available just outside of the cities, more info on WikiCamps.

So there you have it, 25 free things to do along the East Coast!


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