Referred to as ‘the green behind the gold’ (a dual reference to Australia's national colours), the Gold Coast Hinterland is home to three National Parks, numerous mountains, creeks, waterfalls, valleys, and natural rock formations. The area is mostly covered in sub-tropical rainforest, but sections have been cleared for dairy farms and wineries. The Hinterland is best seen by car or on a bus tour as the roads wind through the mountains with various lookout points along the way and towering trees lining the roads - it is truly a beautiful drive. The area is popular among bushwalkers and day-trippers, rock climbers and horse riders. See:
- Tamborine Mountain a great cottage industry town with fantastic restaurants, fudge shops, and wineries - many of which offer free samples!
- Springbrook a small town with a glow worm research centre! The area offers excellent views to the Gold Coast and is known for its cliffs, waterfalls and forest walks, most of which are protected in the Springbrook National Park.
- Numinbah Valley contains many rocky outcrops, waterfalls, rainforest walks, and good hinterland scenery, including a natural rock bridge. This is the spot to see glow worms at night in the wild.
- Currumbin Valley World heritage listed sub-tropical rainforest on a four hectare nature reserve, very pretty.
There are many tours that operate in the Hinterland Area. Some are more like a bus tour than an all inclusive day, so watch the small print to prevent any surprises. 4WD tour companies generally offer all inclusive tours to the hinterland area, and online you'll find discounted tickets.
- Southern Cross 4wd Tours (+61 7 5574 5041) Four wheel drive tours.
- The Mountain Coach Company (+61 1300 762 665) Bus tours.
- Springbrook National Park Discovery Full-Day Bushwalk including Glow Worm Tour Explore the rainforest, waterfalls and lookouts of Springbrook NP, seeing glow worms and taking a 4.5 km bushwalk along the way. Lunch and hotel transfers included for $125 per person.
- Glow Worm Cave and Natural Bridge Tour from Gold Coast A three hour evening bus tour to view the glow worm colonies in Natural Bridge Cave. Hotel transfers, local guide, rainforest walk, park fees and torch included, from $108 per person.
- Gold Coast 4WD Eco Outback Tracks Tour A 4.5 hour tour to the waterfalls, mountain streams, rainforests and the rugged hillside trails of Tamborine Mountain. From $85 per person.
Queensland’s state capital is about one hour drive north of the Gold Coast. For the low down on what to do and great places to visit in bustling Brisso, check out the Appy Travels Brisbane app.
The less glitzy and more relaxed Sunshine Coast lies just north of Brisbane. For more information on this relaxed family destination, check out the Appy Travels Sunshine Coast app.
The awesome surf, beaches, markets and nightlife of this famous alternative lifestyle holiday town is only an hour's drive south. For more information on how to successfully get your Byron on, check out the Appy Travels Byron Bay app.
Lamington National Park
Lamington National Park is a World Heritage-listed park half an hour's drive west featuring great walking tracks through thick, lush rainforests full of ancient trees and funny little creatures called Paddymelons. Absolutely beautiful and peaceful and a very pleasant contrast to the pace of the Gold Coast.