Ready to enjoy a few days exploring the sun-soaked Gold Coast? Renowned for its glorious beaches, jaw-dropping hinterland scenery, and laid-back lifestyle, the Gold Coast is the perfect place to explore or unwind on a weekend. Here are our top five day trips that will give you an essence of what the Gold Coast and surrounding regions have to offer.
Blessed with golden beaches, the picturesque coastal town of Byron Bay is just a hop and a skip away from Gold Coast City. In just one hour’s drive, you can find yourself at the most easterly point of Australia, the jutting headland where the iconic Cape Byron lighthouse sits, surrounded by the glorious Cape Byron State Conservation Park. Visitors are spoilt for choice with hiking and swimming options, from the gorgeous Belongil beach to Wategos beach and the eight kilometre wild stretch of Tallows Beach that runs all the way to Broken Head.
Are you an adrenaline junkie? Seize the opportunity to go hang-gliding or skydiving. Nature lover? Watch humpback whales breach off the coast of New South Wales, go sea kayaking with dolphins, scuba dive or snorkel among the sea turtles, rays, sharks and corals. If you’re looking for a more laidback adventure, the friendly, relaxed town is the perfect place to enjoy a lazy afternoon devouring fish and chips and gelato.
Only 45 minutes’ drive west of Gold Coast City, the beautiful, picturesque Mount Tamborine is the world’s third oldest national park.
Here, you will have the opportunity to explore the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, a treetop walk with steel bridges reaching up to 30 metres above the lush rainforest. Journey to Hang Gliders ‘Rotary Lookout’ for a tandem hang-gliding adventure. Soar across the rainforest canyon on a zipline or take a rope course challenge at the TreeTop Challenge adventure park.
Explore the many horse-riding trails or fossick for thundereggs in ancient lava at Thunderbird Park. Take a swing at the adventure mini golf course or sample mouth-watering liqueurs and spirits at the Tamborine Mountain Distillery.
Murwillumbah is a charming country town nestled in the heart of the Gold Coast Hinterland, surrounded by the scenic, rainforested valleys of the Great Dividing Range and quaint dairy farms. If you’re seeking a relaxing weekend trip to a friendly town with plenty of character, this is one of the best choices in South East Queensland.
For a breathtaking panorama of the meandering Tweed River, seek out Budd Park, where you will find many picnic tables and barbecues available for you to cook up a feast along the banks of the river. For your art and culture fix, visit the stunning Tweed Art Gallery, which showcases exceptional exhibitions of Australia’s finest art. If you’d like to explore the local national parks, Murwillumbah is within easy reach of parks such as Wollumbin National Park, Mebbin National Park, Mount Jerusalem National Park, and Mooball National Park. For some quiet relaxation at the beach, head to Bogangar Beach, a long stretch of beach next to the pretty, serene Cudgen Lake.
A wild rainforest created by the eruption of a volcano 23 million years ago, Springbrook National Park is part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest. This national park entices visitors with its jaw-droppingly gorgeous mountain scenery, abundant with some of the most ancient flora and fauna in Australia. Notably, Springbrook offers visitors the chance to stand at the top of one of Australia’s ancient, dormant volcanoes for an amazing, 360 degree view of the surrounding landscape.
Other fantastic options at Springbrook National Park: Chase waterfalls at Twin Falls Circuit or Purling Brook Falls. Enjoy a glimpse of the stunning Natural Bridge, a basalt cave rock where a serene waterfall pours, completely backlit by natural light. In these secluded caves, you’ll find glow worms in summer. These beautiful, rare creatures are found only in Australia and New Zealand, and for a limited time in the year.
Lamington National Park is another glorious national park on the Gold Coast Hinterland, and part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. The national park is renowned for its wealth of stunning waterfalls, from the spectacular Yarrabilgong Falls, which cascades into the stunning gorge, to the enchanting Box Log Falls, Elabana Falls, Mirror Falls and Chalahn Falls, which each offer a lovely place to relax inside the rainforest. Take a walk along O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk to take in the gorgeous vistas. If you’re up for a hike, the highest peaks in Lamington National Park are clad in ancient, 2000 year old Antarctic beech tree forest that will you are unlikely to find anywhere else.
Escape to the natural, unique beauty of South Stradbroke Island’s native bushland and pristine beaches. An island just 1 hour and 25 minutes north of Gold Coast City, South Stradbroke Island is the perfect destination for hiking, camping and ocean fishing. Brimming with native wildlife, the island consists mostly of sand dunes, rainforest and wetlands with unique flora and fauna, including the golden wallaby and agile wallaby, which are well known for joining campers at their fires.
Looking for a serene kayaking adventure? Hire a kayak or paddle board from the Currumbin Boatshed for a relaxed afternoon exploring the beautiful Currumbin Creek. In the tranquil waters of this creek, you may spot everything from fish jumping out of the water to stingrays, dolphins and even a dugong. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on the banks of the creek after your kayaking trip. Alternatively, treat yourself to fine French dining at Allure on Currumbin.
Like to experience a Gold Coast day trip in style? Contact Hughes Limousines on 1300 615 165 and hire one of our luxury chauffeured cars today.