CHRISTMAS can pack a punch when it comes to the purse strings, so we’ve hit the streets and come up with 15 fun freebies in south east Queensland. Trust us, these activities won’t hurt your wallet as you head towards the tail end of the summer holidays.
- How well do you really know Brisbane? When it comes to street art, Brisbane has some serious swagger, so book in a free walking tour with the eclectic bunch from Brisbane Greeters. All you need to do is BYO a water bottle, a hat and your selfie stick to record your adventures.
- Moreton Bay shines in the summer months, so head to Manly for a Wednesday Afternoon Go Sailing (WAGS) adventure with the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. There’s no such thing as a free ride though, so come prepared to learn the ropes and hit the decks running as part of the crew. You must be over 18 to participate.
- The Gallery of Modern Art is air-conditioned and gorgeously situated on the Brisbane River but best of all, they run a free children’s art centre… who knows, you might just unearth the next Archibald winner.
- Pack a picnic, some snags and your utensils and head to the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, New Farm Park or one of a hundred other choice spots around the state and take advantage of the free council barbecues. You’ve got to plan this one well in advance to get the choicest spot!
- Did somebody say road trip? South east Queensland is blessed with great national parks, bushlands and swimming holes, so hit the road and take the family. Coomba Falls at Maidenwell, Girraween National Park at Ballandean and Lake Leslie at Warwick are just three of spots you could pick.
- Head to Brisbane’s Powerhouse for their knock-off Fridays free comedy sessions. Just check in first to make sure they’re family friendly.
- Slip into farm life at Maleny Dairies. Did you know they run a tour of their farm and factory that’s perfect for kids? Cue the cuteness.
- For the adventurers amongst us, get up with the sparrows and climb to the top of Mount Coolum to catch the sunrise – it’s worth the climb!
- It’s free to enter the Yandina Ginger Factory on the Sunshine Coast and to visit their annual Ginger Flower and Food Festival which runs from January 18-20. Once inside, jump aboard ‘Moreton’ the ginger train for a puff around the gardens.
- Head to the fabulous beaches in and along the Noosa Heads Coastal Track and keep your eyes peeled for koalas in the treetops above the trail.
- Grab your stand-up paddleboards and take to any of the sheltered waterways in the Great South East.
- Go for a Sunday Drive any day of the week – after all you’re on holidays! Wind your way up Mount Tamborine, along the coast at Rainbow Beach (and catch a sunset at Carlo Sand Blow) or take to the hills in theSunshine hinterland.
- Queensland’s full of BIG things… plan a road trip and tick a few off your bucket list including these: The Big Cow, Nambour; The Big Hard Rock Guitar, Surfers Paradise; The Big Macadamia Nut, Nambour; The Big Pelican, Noosaville; The Big Pie, Yatala; and The Big Pyramid, Stanthorpe.
- Streets Beach in Southbank Parklands is a popular watering hole in summer… but there are also some pretty cool pockets of parkland on the river that are perfect for relaxing. Go early to get your pick of the bunch.
- Brisbane’s City Hall Tours are free-of-charge — the 120-year-old pipe organ alone is worth a gander!
PHOTO: Carlo Sand Blow at Rainbow Beach by Alan Jensen, courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.