Where to go after iso ends for Gold Coasters? Starting with a day trip might be a way to ease back into the outside world and there are several amazing destinations perfect for an easy day trip from the Gold Coast. Here are ten picks under 150km away with map and travel times.
The attraction of Tamborine Mountain centers on Long Road and Gallery Walk featuring cafes, cellar doors, craft shops, and galleries. Nearby is the Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens, vineyards, waterfalls, walking trails, and adventure attractions.
Tamborine Mountain Highlights
Gallery Walk and Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens
Canungra Valley Vineyard, Cedar Creek Winery, Tamborine Mountain Distillery, Fortitude Brewing Company, Mount Tamborine Winery, Albert River Wines
Thunderbird Park and Treetop Challenge, Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
Waterfalls and nature trails inc. Curtis Falls, Cedar Creek Falls, Witches Falls, Cameron Falls, MacDonald Circuit, Joalah Circuit
Getting from Gold Coast to Mount Tamborine
Drive: 44 min (39.3 km) via State Route 90
South Stradbroke Island
South Straddie features an 1800-hectare conservation park along with 22km white surf beach on the eastern side and calm waterways on the islands western side. It’s the perfect destination for surfing, swimming, kayaking, fishing, native wildlife, and bushwalking. The island also features a cafe, Tipplers, and the Couran Cove Resort.
South Stradbroke Island Highlights
Watersports, fishing and surfing
Beaches and birdlife
Getting from Gold Coast to South Stradbroke Island
Couran Cove Island Resort ferry: service departs from Mariners Cove at Main Beach
Broadwater Taxi: service departs from Runaway Bay Marina
North Stradbroke Island
North Straddie features even more than its southerly counterpart offering scenic headlands, rich native wildlife, freshwater lakes, three village townships, rolling surf and endless white sandy beaches.
North Stradbroke Island Highlights
North Gorge Walk
Blue Lake National Park
Cylinder Beach, Flinders Beach, Main Beach and Frenchmans Beach
Getting from Gold Coast to North Stradbroke Island
Car/Bus & Ferry: Drive to Cleveland (1 h 2 min via M1) and take the ferry to North Stradbroke Island (40-50 min)
Springbrook National Park
Springbrook National Park is part of the larger UNESCO World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest offering ancient 3000 year old Antarctic Beech trees, waterfalls, serene rainforests, walking tracks and spectacular lookouts.
Springbrook National Park Highlights
Purling Brook Falls
Best of All lookout
Getting from Gold Coast to Springbrook National Park
Drive: 49 min (39.5 km) via State Route 99
Lamington National Park
Nearby to Springbrook National Park it is also part of the larger UNESCO World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest area. Lamington National Park features some 160 km of walking tracks to explore taking in waterfalls and the sounds of rainforest birdlife. In the area you can also visit O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.
Lamington National Park Highlights
A large array of developed walking tracks and hikes
Tree Top Walk & O’Reilly’s
Getting from Gold Coast to Lamington National Park
Drive: 57 min (45.7 km) via Beechmont Rd
Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area
Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area covers 1200 hectares including wetland, eucalypt forest, salt marsh and mangrove habitat which is also home to native wildlife including koalas, kangaroos, birdlife and more. You can explore by foot or take your own bike.
Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area Highlights
wildlife including koalas, kangaroos, and migratory birdlife
Getting from Gold Coast to Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area
Drive: 10 minutes drive past Harbour Town, Biggera Waters
Overlooking Brisbane, Mount Coot-tha offers visitors spectacular views over the city and out to Moreton Bay. You’ll also find several walking treks to explore the eucalypt forest, waterfalls, and picnic areas. You can also explore the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, and mountain bike trails.
Mount Coot-tha Highlights
Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha
Mt Coot-tha Lookout
Getting from Gold Coast to Mount Coot-tha
Drive: 1 h 32 min (89.9 km) via M1 and M3
The massive Hinze dam offers four picnic and barbecue areas with nearby playgrounds plus a state-of-the-art information centre on the dam, along with wall walk track, mountain bike trails, fishing spots, and a cafe with amazing views. The dam is popular with kayakers too.
Hinze Dam Highlights
Picnics & BBQ with a view
Getting from Gold Coast to Hinze Dam
Drive: 26 min (21.2 km) via Ashmore Rd/State Route 24
South Bank and its galleries, museums, and cafe/restaurants
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Shopping on Queen Street Mall or Fortitude Valley
Getting from Gold Coast to Brisbane
Drive: 1 h 4 min (79.3 km) via M1
Mt Joyce and Lake Wyaralong
Located just past Beaudesert, Mt Joyce offers hiking trails and great views while the park surrounding Lake Wyaralong offers facilities for horse riding, mountain biking, watersports, and picnics. The area is managed by SEQ Water.