Ten Fun Day Trips from the Gold Coast (under 150km)

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.

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tamborine mountain photo
Photo by stevepaustin

Tamborine Mountain

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

 

 Stradbroke beach photo
Photo by mikecogh

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
  • Walking trails
  • 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

 

straddie photo
Photo by Redland City Council

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
  • Point Lookout
  • 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 photo
Photo by Tatters ✾

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

  • Natural Bridge
  • Purling Brook Falls
  • Best of All lookout
  • Twin Falls

Getting from Gold Coast to Springbrook National Park

  • Drive: 49 min (39.5 km) via State Route 99

 

lamington National Park photo
Photo by Jussarian

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
  • Numerous lookouts
  • Waterfalls
  • Tree Top Walk & O’Reilly’s

Getting from Gold Coast to Lamington National Park

  • Drive: 57 min (45.7 km) via Beechmont Rd

 

Photo: goldcoast.qld.gov.au

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

  • Natural Wetlands
  • 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

 

mt cootha photo
Photo by Leonard J Matthews

Mount Coot-tha

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

 

hinze dam walk photo
Photo by simonmgc

Hinze Dam

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
  • Engineering marvel

Getting from Gold Coast to Hinze Dam

  • Drive: 26 min (21.2 km) via Ashmore Rd/State Route 24

 

brisbane photo
Photo by swampa

Brisbane

Queensland’s capital has much to offer for day trippers from the GC including cafes, river cruises, zoo, museums, galleries, shopping, and much more. See the top ten attractions not to miss in Brisbane.

Brisbane Highlights

  • 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

 

Photo: Rowing QLD

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.

Lake Wyaralong Highlights

  • 40km of multi-use tracks and trails see trail map [PDF]
  • mountain bike trails
  • canoeing, kayaking, rowing, sailing, fishing (permit required)
  • picnic facilities

Getting from Gold Coast to Lake Wyaralong

  • Drive: 1 h 15 min (77.3 km) via State Route 90

 

Important: Before traveling, please enquire with all destinations as to current operations and visiting requirements.