Exploring the Wonders of the Gold Coast Hinterland

Scenic Places to Visit near the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast may be synonymous with surf, sand and sea, but upon venturing further inland, you will soon discover that there is unique beauty hidden amongst the hinterland that is equally magnificent. Along with an abundance of beaches, the Gold Coast boasts a long list of scenic drives and walking trails that are just beckoning to be explored. So strap on those walking shoes, pack your picnic basket and head for the hinterland!

Mt Tamborine

Mt Tamborine is the third oldest National Park in the world and undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking. Consumed by an abundance of lush flora and fauna, Mt Tamborine boasts a range of walking tracks, each no longer than 3km long, and picture-perfect lookouts in which to enjoy this natural wonderland. One of the highlights of Mt Tamborine is by far the Rainforest Skywalk which catapults you to incredible heights, allowing you to safely explore the rainforest both on the ground and high up in the canopies. The kids will love the rock pools and butterfly lookout nestled amongst the rainforest, with plenty of historical information and displays to enrich their knowledge of their surroundings. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head further up the mountain to enjoy a relaxing lunch at one of the many award-winning restaurants imbued with a charming mix of old and new-world character.


Boasting a rich, natural history, O’Reilly’s is located in the heart of Lamington National Park and has been attracting visitors from the world over for many, many years. Upon visiting the ancient rainforest, casting your eyes over the breathtaking views and inhaling a deep breath of crystal clear air, it is easy to see why people continue to flock to O’Reilly’s year after year. Merely a short drive from the Gold Coast, O’Reilly’s is home to 160 kms worth of walking trails, more than 500 cascading waterfalls and countless native Australian animals. If reaching dizzying heights is for you, then the Tree Top Walkway is a must. The walkway is 180 metres in length and elevates you 15 metres above the ground. Brush shoulders with the tree tops and the birds that inhabit them on one of two observation decks, constructed in a Strangler Fig tree high above the walkway. A delicious meal or high tea on the verandah of O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards is also essential, serving award-winning wines and fine food.

The Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens

For a more leisurely walk yet equally beautiful experience, visit the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens. Spread across 31 hectares with expansive views of the Gold Coast Hinterland, it’s hard to believe that this green playground is a mere 10 minute drive from Surfers Paradise. Open to be explored from dusk until dawn each and every day, the Botanic Gardens are beaming with flowers, plants and local wildlife that flourish all year round. There’s fun for the whole family with plenty of picnic and barbeque areas, playgrounds, boardwalks circumnavigating the lake, along with the Sensory, Rose and Butterfly Gardens that are truly a delight for the senses. There’s even an off-leash area, so you can bring your furry friend along too, and guided walks are available by appointment. 

Lamington National Park

Spanning 200 square km, Lamington National Park is a Unesco World Heritage site that can be explored via the walking trails which extend beyond 160 km. Featuring lush rainforests, spectacular views and an array of wildlife, Lamington National Park is punctuated by deep valleys and steep cliffs that are bound to awe and inspire it’s visitors. The two most popular locations within the National Park are Binna Burra and Green Mountains. Both are accessible via winding roads that climb through the forest; a drive that is nothing short of spectacular. Green Mountains has it’s own canopy walk nestled 15 metres high amongst the trees, and for the more adventurous, there’s a 54 km Great Walk that passes through Binna Burra and reaches it’s conclusion at the Settlement Camp Ground on the Springbrook Plateau. Walking trail guides are available and if you’d like to extend your stay, the Binna Burra Mountain Lodge is a rustic retreat surrounded by flourishing flora that is well worth a visit.

Burleigh Heads National Park

For a welcome blend of the hinterland and coastal regions, visit the Burleigh Heads National Park. Nestled along the rocky foreshore, the Burleigh Heads National Park boasts walking tracks that wind through rainforest, mangroves and grassland with unrivalled views of the coast. Enjoy the ocean view walk around the headland from Tallebudgera Creek and marvel in the beauty of your surrounds and the six-sided basalt columns that have formed over the years. As you explore the national park on foot, keep your eyes peeled for whales during Winter and Spring and Sea Eagles that soar along the coast, along with an array of seabirds, water dragons and other native animals that frolick around the area. Afterwards, cool down at Echo Beach or enjoy a relaxing picnic in the shade of a tree on the Burleigh foreshore.

When planning your trip to explore the wonders of the Gold Coast, don't forget to book your airport transfer! The team at Con-X-ion are dedicated to providing an affordable and reliable transfer service. So if you need help getting to and from the airport, book your Gold Coast airport transfer with us now.

By Stuart Stratton at 14 Aug 2014, 14:23 PM