student travel: 7 ways to holiday on the Gold Coast

Student travel: 7 ways to make your budget last on the GC

While there’re several upsides to being a student (sleeping in ‘til midday, no compulsory attendance at lectures and cheap drinks to name a few), nothing compares to the perks attached to a little piece of plastic in your wallet, which opens the doorway to student travel.

Hold onto that student card – it’s worth its weight in gold.

If you’ve got one issued in Queensland – it’s valid in Queensland, making you eligible for two-for-one meals, affordable movie tickets, and travel discounts up and down the coast. Get on it!

This year, make the most of your four-month hiatus from study. Our pick? The surf-side city of the Gold Coast is your answer to student travel, dishing up free-fun without compromising the good times.

Read on for seven tips and tricks to getting more bang for your buck on the Gold Coast – #yourewelcome.

1. Travel by Tram

G-link Gold Coast | Student travel Gold Coast

First things first, sorting out your transit expenses will save you oodles of time and money for when your SnapChat filter reads Gold Coast.

Save yourself an Uber fare and jump onboard a tram to get from A to B. If you’re travelling around the CBD areas like Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, and Main Beach, the tram is your fastest and cheapest mode of transport.

Get yourself a student Translink Go Card and student travel like a local for as little as $1.30.

2. Make the most of the sun, sand and surf

Gold Coast | Student travel Gold Coast

Photo by @shipwreckphotography via IG

With 57kms of coastline framing the eastern edge of the Gold Coast, there’s no shortage of sand to claim as your own.

From Mermaid to Miami, you can switch it up and try out a new patch of paradise every day. Overwhelmed by the choices? Check out this local guide to the southern ‘burbs of the Gold Coast.

If you’re looking to hang ten, check out Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads, which serve up the waves on the daily. Want to stay close to the surf? Check out this 48-hour guide to Coolangatta.

The best part? All this beach action is totally free and whoever said student travel wasn’t glamorous clearly hasn’t lazed by the crystal clear waters of Tallebudgera Creek.

3. Get back to nature

Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park | Student travel Gold Coast

Photo by @shipwreckphotography via IG

Leave your wallet at home and set your Google Maps west to see what lies beyond the beach – the Gold Coast Hinterland.

You’ll find 100,000 hectares of World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest in Springbrook and Lamington National Park.

Save your pennies and hike one of the walking tracks in both national parks that take you through rainforests, waterfalls, and spoil you for choice when it comes to ‘grammable moments.

Get your nature fix by chasing waterfalls at Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park then head over to the Green Mountains section in Lamington National Park to witness this #insta-worthy view for yourself.

Green Mountains section, Lamington National Park | Student travel Gold Coast

Photo by @shipwreckphotography via IG

Can’t get enough of the Gold Coast Hinterland? Tighten those laces and work your way through these other wallet-friendly (aka free) student travel adventures:

4. Get more thrills for less dollar, dollar bills

Movie World Gold Coast | Student travel Gold Coast

Students and theme parks go together like smiles and squeals.

Once you know which theme park is for you, head online and secure yourself a 12-month pass. You might only be on the Gold Coast for a few days, but locking down a year-long pass guarantees unlimited entry for the equivalent price of 1.3 tickets.

If Dreamworld fulfils your theme park fantasies, pick up an Annual Pass which grants you access to both Dreamworld and its neighbour, White Water World.

If Sea World, Movie World, or Wet ‘N’ Wild spark your interest, take advantage of the 12-month Super Pass that gets you unlimited entry to all three theme parks (yup, we aren’t even kidding).

5. Shop in the Village

Burleigh Heads Village Markets | Student travel Gold Coast

Photo by The Village Markets via FB

Holidays = shopping, but you won’t have to feel guilty shelling out the shrapnel for a new outfit when you can purchase boutique looks for less.

Head down to the Village Markets at Burleigh Heads for good vibes, live music, the latest trends, homewares, vintage, and art.

Trading bi-monthly on the first and third Sunday morning of the month, the markets are also your go-to for delicious street food too.

6. Bunk in with your mates

Rainbow Bay | Student travel Gold Coast

Stay true to student travel by grabbing a few mates and heading to a backpackers for the duration of your stay. Backpackers like Bunk are mere metres from classic Gold Coast destinations such as Cavill Avenue in Surfers Paradise.

Not only does a backpackers mean cheap accommodation, but you can also take advantage of their many deals and partying packages with the bonus of meeting people from all over the globe. ICYMI – here’s our guide.

7. Don’t let money rain on your parade

Stumped on what to do on a rainy day? Say game on, that’s what.

Surfers Paradise (read gamer’s haven) is filled with arcade-style games that all offer student discounts so there’s no excuse for letting your mate take the win.

Or, enter an alternate universe at Infinity where you can get lost in a maze of mirrors, glow in the dark, and misleading shapes and colours. Book online to save and don’t forget to take your student ID.

Up the road, King Tutt’s Putt Putt puts a historic twist on mini-golf with each course transporting you to a different time and place – starting with the dinosaur era.

Want more tips on how to make the most of student travel on the Gold Coast? Check out these guides:

Gold Coast | Student travel Gold Coast

Photo by @bennysvisuals via IG

Have you spent your student holidays on the Gold Coast before? Tell us your student travel tips below.