How to have a good day out in Brisbane without paying a cent

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Photo by K. Brownlie-Smith

By Chris Carlaw

Paying back that credit card debt? Just lost your job? Finding it hard to know what to do on weekends? Well it may interest you that Brisbane has many free options when it comes to activities.

The best thing about Brisbane is that it appeals to people who haven’t got a lot of discretionary income. And that’s a few in times of rising unemployment and difficult times.  You don’t need to spend big to have a good time.

As a relative newcomer to the city, it’s refreshing to know you can do things for free. It has certainly helped me reach my financial goals and as a young person, attempt to save for a house purchase.

 Below are some of the activities I have done in and around the city:

· Have a picnic. There are some great places around the city in which you can go to, and use the free BBQ facilities. As long as you bring some bread and a few snags with some sauce, you’re ready to go. I would recommend Roma st parkland or the Kangaroo point cliffs.

· Go for a walk. It’s free and good for you. There are some nice walks you can do in Brisbane, such as the Mt-Cootha walking tracks or Brisbane Forest Park. If you want to make a day of it, drive to O’Reillys in Lamington national park.

· Have a swim at south bank. As the nearest beach for me is a 30min drive, south bank is actually closer.

· Be a tourist and sightsee. Many people I know have been living here for their whole lives but have not been for a swim at Redcliffe lagoons, have not been to Mooloolaba beach and have not been for a drive up Mount Nebo or into Dayboro.

· Browse at the markets. You don’t have to buy anything, its just fun looking! I would recommend the China town markets at Fortitude valley and the Southbank markets, both of which are on Sundays most weekends.

· Go for a bike ride around the city.

· If you have kids, take them to a park to be entertained, rather than taking them to the cinema or ten pin bowling.

· Dust off that old kite you have in the garage and take it to the beach and give it a go.

· Grab the soccer ball or football and have a game at new farm park.

As you can tell from above, I have scrimped when it comes to entertainment on weekends, but it still has been fun! It just depends on how fun you make it and the company around you. Make sure you have the essentials (sun screen, beach umbrealla, esky, football, picnic rug, good footwear and imagination and you can still have a good time without paying a cent.

Like having fun on the cheap or for free? Visit the Local Voices blog weekly to find out what’s going on each weekend that will cost you next to nothing in Brisbane!


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