Gold Coast Attractions & Things to Do » National Park

The Gold Coast is an ecologically diverse area featuring a range of National Parks, nature reserves and World Heritage-listed national parks, it also has Australia’s largest area of subtropical rainforest and has the world’s biggest volcanic caldera (of which Mt Warning is the “core”) and 300kms of walking trails. Burleigh Head National Park is popular for it’s local proximity, walking track and scenic ocean views back to Surfers Paradise and down to Coolangatta. The Hinterland, often referred to as the ‘green behind the gold’, features a range of parks and is well signposted with roads meandering through subtropical rainforests hundreds of metres above sea level, with lookouts providing breathtaking views back to the coastal strip and Surfers skyline.

Throughout the Parks you’ll find maintained walking tracks that lead you through the rainforests to the natural attractions of each park section. Tamborine, Lamington and Springbrook National Parks all feature a range of beautiful waterfalls and spectacular lookouts. Time spent at each of these three parks depends on your own wishes to explore the area with a lot of the lookouts and waterfalls being a short distance from the main parking area and some tracks that offer full day walks. Such is the great expanse of the entire region that you could continually return to discover new sections of natural wonder.

Some of the key attractions, but far from limited to, include:

At Springbrook – Natural Bridge is popular attraction formed by natural forces a waterfall runs down into the cave below which is also home to thousands of glow worms which light up the cave at night. Also there are a number of waterfalls including Purlingbrook Falls, Goomoolahra Falls and Twin Falls along with lookouts Wunburra, Canyon and the Best of All Lookout.

At Tamborine – There are various sections to Tamborine National Park which include the waterfalls of Witches Falls, Cedar Creek Falls and Curtis Falls along with various lookouts and scenic walking tracks.

At Lamington – There are a vast array of walking and hiking tracks to explore this expansive area including half hour, one hour through to half day and full day tracks that explore the Green Mountains and Binna Burra sections. There are also day visitor and picnic sections which include bbq and scenic views.

The drive to the parks is a great journey in itself offering a wonderfully scenic journey although buses and caravans are advised to take note of some of the steep gradients. These sections are usually well signposted.

There is also the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk which is a mapped 54km trek that takes you through National Parks and along the rim of the ancient volcano. You can experience the lush rainforests, waterfalls, flora and fauna, and camping. There are plenty of charted short walks too. For more information on planning, booking campsites, maps and how to get there visit Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk at derm.qld.gov.au. For detailed information about the parks and nature reserves, including conditions, amenities, walking track/hiking maps and more the State Government Department of Environment and Resource Management website provides a wealth of information and guides, see: parks in South East QLD at derm.qld.gov.au.

Southern Cross 4WD Tours

Southern Cross 4WD Tours offer luxury day tours of the Gold Coast and Hinterland. Tours include destinations such as World Heritage Rainforests of Mt Tamborine, Springbrook National Park, Lamington National Park, Natural Bridge and O’Reilly’s. Tours include pick up and drop off and they also offer half day and full day private tours.     More things to do by location… Read more →

Curtis Falls, Tamborine National Park

Curtis Falls is located in Tamborine National Park and easily accessible by road and a short walk. Nearby, on the main road, there is also a cafe and several shops.     Curtis Falls track is a 1.1 km walk that takes around 30 minutes. You can also extend the walk by taking the Lower Creek Circuit track.   Curtis Falls,… Read more →

Nerang National Park and State Forest

Nerang National Park (commonly referred to as Nerang State Forest) is a national park Nerang. The protected area is located 12 kilometres from Surfers Paradise on Nerang’s north-west outskirts. Nerang National Park is known for its variety of birds, trails, and views making it a popular place for mountain bike riders, bushwalkers and bird watchers.       Nerang National Park… Read more →

Binna Burra, Lamington National Park

The Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park is packed with waterfalls, scenic lookouts, and natural beauty. The beautiful Binna Burra Lodge is also located here.     You’ll find numerous walking tracks here such as Rainforest circuit……….. 1.2 km………….. 30 mins Bellbird lookout…………. 2 km…………….. 1 hr Caves circuit…………….. 5 km…………….. 1.5 hrs Tullawallal circuit……….. 5 km…………….. 1.5 hrs… Read more →

Numinbah Section, Springbrook National Park

Numinbah is on the western side of the Springbrook plateau and whilst it lacks the marked walking tracks of the other sections it is an incredibly beautiful place for photography and a haven for many species of wildlife. Forest Park is a great spot for a barbecue or picnic. The park features wood-fired BBQ’s, shelter and running water for washing.    … Read more →

Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park

The Natural Bridge is a naturally formed rock arch over Cave Creek, a tributary of the Nerang River. It was formed from a waterfall which undercut a cave beneath the waterfall and dug a pothole on top, until the two joined and the creek flowed through the cave, leaving an arch across the front.     The cave is home to a colony… Read more →

Springbrook Plateau, Springbrook National Park

Springbrook Plateau of Springbrook National Park features a range of scenic lookouts, walking tracks, waterfalls, rainforest, and ancient Antarctic beech trees. It also features the popular Purlingbrook Falls, Natural Bridge, and much more.           Springbrook Plateau, Springbrook National Park Location Map   More things to do by location Benowa Biggera Waters Broadbeach Burleigh Heads Canungra Carrara… Read more →

Burleigh Head National Park

Burleigh Head National Park offers an easy to access nature escape where you can explore the rocky foreshore and ancient volcanic columns, rainforest, mangroves, wildlife, and ocean views.     Or, simply relax the time away with a picnic on the well-maintained foreshore.   There is a maintained walking track through the park with the two main tracks being the… Read more →

Mount Cougal, Springbrook National Park

Mount Cougal, Springbrook National Park is a mountainous section of Springbrook National Park which protects valuable wildlife habitat and a diverse range of animals. A popular feature is the scenic Cougal Cascades. Take the walking track past cascades and rock pools to the restored remains of a bush sawmill dating from the 1940s.       Getting to Mount Cougal… Read more →

Lamington National Park, Green Mountains Section

The Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park, located in the Gold Coast Hinterland, features lush rainforests, waterfalls, and spectacular views. Lamington National Park, Green Mountains Section is also the home of O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.     Camp at the park’s Green Mountain camping area. Choose from the many half-day or full-day walks that explore the park. (See Map) Centenary… Read more →