Providing the green behind the gold, the Gold Coast Hinterland is full of unspoilt Gondwana Rainforests and charming mountain villages, filled with antiques, artisan galleries and decadent caramel fudge worth the drive.
Spend a weekend in Mount Tamborine and experience the hinterland café culture or go on a wine tasting tour through the region. There’s also a local distillery, if you’re not a wine enthusiast.
Get back to nature at a retreat in Lamington National Park and taste local wines from vineyards like Cedar Creek Estate and Canungra Valley Vineyard. Or, throw on an apron and learn to cook using local produce at Worendo Cottages.
Lamington National Park is divided into two sections; Green Mountains Section and the Binna Burra Section. Both have walking trails and hikes through lush rainforests and ancient trees, waterfalls and creeks. There is a lot of wildlife in the Lamington National Park, so please leave your pets at home if you’re visiting.
There are toilets, picnic areas, parking and a kiosk in the park grounds.
Conquer the Coomera Circuit in the Binna Burra Section and see the magnificent Coomera and Yarrabilgong Falls cascade into a 160m gorge. This journey is a 7-hour circuit across 17.4km. If you’re looking for a shorter walk, try the Binna Burra Section’s 1.2km Rainforest Circuit (30-mins) or the Bellbird Lookout track (1-hr).
Retreat to the Green Mountains Section and camp near Morans Falls. This spot is perfect for an overnight camp trip or for hikers keen to stay longer and trek some of the longer walks in the hinterland. For an amazing sunset, walk to the Morans Falls or Python Rock lookouts.
Discover the waterfall circuit in the Green Mountains Section to find Elabana, Chalahn and Box Log Falls or explore the rainforest canopy with a Tree Top Walk.
Lamington National Park is a two-hour drive south of Brisbane or a one-hour drive from the Gold Coast. You can drive through Beechmont to access the Binna Burra Section via Binna Burra Road, or drive through Canungra and Sarabah to find the Green Mountains Section along Lamington National Park Road.
Springbrook National Park covers a whopping 6,725 hectares and is divided into four eco-quadrants; Springbrook Plateau, Mount Cougal, Natural Bridge and Numinbah. Discover moss-laden rainforests, cool cascading waterfalls and lots of wildlife. Pets are not permitted in the Springbrook National Park area.
The main attraction in Springbrook National Park is the Natural Bridge which is beautiful during the day or at night. It’s a natural phenomenon formed by the force of a waterfall. The pressure has created a natural moss-covered rock formation where flowing water falls through the centre. You can easily access the Natural Bridge from the Nerang-Murwillumbah Road car park.
Visit the Natural Bridge at night on a guided tour and you’ll be able to see the resident colony of protected glow-worms and microbats. And, on summer nights, you’ll also see luminous fungi and fireflies.
Cave Creek in the Natural Bridge section is a restricted access area. Swimming in the creek, including within the cave, and access to the creek bank is prohibited.
Trek the Purling Brook Falls Circuit in the Springbrook Plateau section to see the Warringa Pool and the Purling Brook Falls. You’ll be treated to colourful hakeas and wildflowers along the way. This is a 2-hour walk and it’s best to do the circuit in a clockwise direction.
There are 11 sites in The Settlement campgrounds and they are easy to find. It gets a little cold at night, so pack a jumper and a beanie.