Photo: Touring the Hinterlands of the Gold Coast
When visiting places like Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, one would do well to take a drive or tour through the green fertile hinterlands. In complete contrast to the long sandy beaches, ocean blue and luxury hotels and resorts, you will find small villages to explore and sweeping lush green vistas.
Towns to visit include Canungra, Mt Tamborine, North Tamborine, Springbrook and Upper Coomera. You will find boutique and speciality shops, lots of interesting cafe’s and restaurants and beautiful scenery.
The food and wine trail here offers a range of experiences, from young and vibrant establishments to the historic and formal wineries.
The area has wonderful National Parks, including the stunning World Heritage Listed 50,000 acre Lamington National Park, see Gold Coast Map Queensland. Other scenic tourist spots include Tamborine National Park and the Springbrook National Park.
Lamington National Park, just 40km west of the indigo waters of the South Pacific Ocean, occupies the ridges, spectacular escarpments and cool green valleys and is the protector of the largest remaining tract of undisturbed sub tropical rainforest in Australia.
The Araucia Lookout affords a clear view across the Numinbah Valley and this vista can even extend to the Sand hills on Moreton Island.
The Dave’s Creek walk circuit has colourful wildflowers in abundance during the winter months. The track lifts to 1,000m above sea level at Yargabullang, Merino and Wanungara lookouts and there are picture perfect waterfalls at Toolana, Chalahn and Elabana.
Many walkers elect to stay the first night at either Binna Burra or O’Reillys and while undertaking the hike, the next day their luggage is transported by road in time for their arrival and overnight stay at the other lodge.
Tamborine National Park is actually made up from three separate parks, including Witches Falls, great for families and kids, MacDonalds National Park (note spelling: not McDonalds National Park) and Joalah NP.
A 30-minute drive from the Gold Coast, Tamborine Mountain is a rainforest oasis nestled high on the range. It has attracted a community of interesting artists and their work captures the beauty of the area. Their artwork features an interesting blend of colour, texture and shape, and includes ceramics, designer silks, sculpture, painting and leather work.
Take the Gallery Walk located on Long Road, Eagle Heights. There is also a popular community market that is held from morning to afternoon on the second Sunday of each month.
Springbrook National Park has sweeping vistas of the Gold Coast, ancient trees, waterfalls and plenty of walking trails to explore. Take a hike to Natural Bridge - a waterfall with cool waters and a swimming spot below.
A enjoyable day out is to follow the Gold Coast Hinterland Wine Trail. You will find some fabulous boutique wineries and cellar door outlets between Tamborine, Canungra and Springbrook.
Birdlife at these National Parks include the impressive Alberts Lyrebird which can mimic the sound of nearly every other forest dweller and of late, the ringing sound of a mobile phone! Hello?
There are Crimson Rosellas and King Parrots which always delight visitors with cameras and those who wish they brought them, and the strikingly beautiful, yellow and black Regent Bowerbird, the favourite of noted British naturalist, Sir Richard Attenborough. At dawn and dusk, the pademelons (which are cute marsupials) come out into the open to nibble on the green grass.
At Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a National Trust Reserve, open since 1947. There you will find huge flocks of Rainbow Lorrikeets and plenty of other Australian birdlife as well as other Australian marsupials and mammals. Kangaroos, Wallabies and Koalas are included.
Visit the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre at South Tweed Heads to learn about local Aboriginal customs.The Cultural Centre has exhibits, displays and videos showing all aspects of Aboriginal life and lifestyle on the north coast of New South Wales.
Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre has tours which include dance displays and a bush tucker (food) talk. Explore the Aboriginal trail along the adjoining mangrove area.
Tweed Heads straddles the NSW and Queensland border. Which, since there is no daylight savings (summer time) in Queensland, can be fun at New Years. Experience the big New Years Celebrations at Surfers Paradise at 12pm, then head to South Tweed Heads to do it all again, at 12pm!
Further reading about the Gold Coast Queensland:
Places to Visit on the Gold Coast
Search the Australia Tourist Guide
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