Arguably one of Australia’s most iconic holiday spots, the Gold Coast evokes images of shore-hugging high-rises, world-famous surf breaks, sun-drenched days and family friendly hotels. Few associate the Gold Coast with the lush and ever-expansive hinterland that sits in the shadows of the sparkling shorelines.
We think the exploration of the surrounding hinterland and its abundance of rainforests and national parks is well worth your time, so here are our top hinterland experiences to get you started.
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Sitting in the Green Mountain section of Lamington National Park is the striking Morans Falls. Just a 4.6km return walk from O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, this plunging waterfall has a secret that most day-hikers do not know – it boasts one of the most beautiful sunsets. Grab a picnic and your special someone and head here before the sun hits the horizon. Plus, there’s enough light at dusk to make the walk back.
Tamborine Mountain might be known for its spectacular views, charming wineries and picture-perfect rainforest, but it is also home to TreeTop Challenge – Australia’s largest treetop adventure park. We recommend getting your adrenaline pumping with the three-hour Canyon Flyer experience – a canopy tour of heart-pumping zip lines (and a 4WD experience) that’ll have you flying over Cedar Creek Canyon and through the lush canopy of the hinterland.
Making up a quarter of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest, Springbrook National Park is home to some of the oldest trees in Australia. Walks include the four-kilometre Twin Falls Circuit, rewarding walkers with rock pools and two waterfalls, and the very popular and accessible Natural Bridge walk – a striking rock formation formed by the force of a waterfall – which only takes around an hour and finishes with a beautiful Basalt cave.
Away from the glittering lights of the coast lies some of the Gold Coast’s most beautiful scenery. The 6,725-hectare Lamington National Park is home to part of the ancient Gondwana Rainforest World Heritage area, with scenery ranging from lush rainforest to unspoilt mountains and dramatic waterfalls.
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