After much debate, we decided to head up to Tamborine mountain, really really enjoyed the day. A few wineries, cheese tasting and gallery walk. Really great day out....only 30 mins from Surfers Paradise.
People always think of the beach and the theme parks when it comes to The Gold Coast. The hinterlands are usually & unfairly forgotten! It would really be a pity to miss them!
Took a Scenic Hinterland day tour (can't remember the name of the company now) to O'Reilly's Plateau, Lamington & Mt Tamborine National Parks. (Then it only cost me A$30)
The itinerary took the group to an Alpaca Farm (Alpacas are Llama-looking creatures, reared for their wool) where we had morning tea, then a lovely stop at Kamarun Lookout to take in the beauty of Lamington National Park.
This was followed by a 160m suspension wooden bridge Treetop walk 45m above ground upon reaching O'Reilly's, where at one point you could climb up even further to reach the apex of the forest. Folks having no wish to sing "Top Of The World", could stay in the lovely gardens of the Guesthouse and hand-feed noisy Crimson Rosellas and King Parrots.
Lunch was at a lovely cafe in Eagle Heights village.
The afternoon saw time spent in a rainforest walk through Joalah National Park (part of Mount Tamborine National Park) where you'll get a chance to come real close to beautiful compact-sized Curtis Fall.
On the way back to the city, the tour stopped at a viewpoint where you can catch a panaromic view of The Gold Coast in the distance.
If you are headed to the Gold Coast, you should definitely take a day trip out to Springbrook National Park, and enjoy the Natural Bridge Walking track. It has some spectacular views, as well as a natural occurance of Glowworms. All in all, it is a beautiful nature walk, and well worth your time!
Take a self guided tour, though twelve individually themed air-conditioned galleries; featuring hundred's of unbelievable exhibits, amazing stories, magic, mystery, incredible illusions, interactive displays and two unforgettable movies.
A completely new experience that last's an hour or more.
Cost: A$13.50 for adults, A$8.00 for children
Opening hours: 9am - 11pm
Southern Cross 4WD offers a range of 4wd Eco-tours and customized packages throughout the Gold Coast Hinterland and surrounds. From nature walks, animal spotting and bird feeding to off-road driving, wine tours, conferences and overnight camping. Whatever your interest, they can find a tour to suit your needs!
During a day with SC4WD, they can take you to the beautiful Rain-forests of Mt. Tamborine National Park and the worlds largest Sub-Tropical rain-forests of Lamington National Park. Not forgetting the O’Reilly’s Canopy Tree top walk and feeding the wild King Parrots, Crimson Rosella’s and Regent Bower Birds. The whole day will be spent in Queensland’s Hidden Oasis.
Whilst on an off-road safari, you'll have the time to spot Australia’s wildlife in its natural environment. Koalas sleeping away in a eucalyptus tree or Kangaroos and Wallabies feeding on lush country fields.
Everything is taken care of from the moment you join till you arrive back to your accommodation. Homemade scones with Rhubarb jam and cream all the way through to our BBQ lunch and afternoon refreshments, all included in the tour packages.
Not just a tour for overseas guest but for locals wanting to see more of this great countryside and what’s hidden behind the theme parks and beaches of the Gold Coast.
About 40 minutes drive from the Gold Coast is Springbrook National Park. There is so much that you can do here and I'm afraid that we didn't come anywhere close to doing it justice. The walking track we took went to 'Best of all Lookout'. Whether it actually is the best, I can't really judge...as we only had time for this one! It was wonderful though...the view at the edge of the escarpment is absolutely spectacular! Even on an unclear day. It was a very easy walk...just over half a kilometre, with no steps or steep climbs. Along the way you will see amazing Antarctic Beechs, relics of the last ice age.
Other walks that we missed doing were Purlingbrook Falls, Twin Falls, and Warrie Circuit. Next time I will stay in one of the guesthouses up there and explore more thouroughly!
Visitors who think the only attractions are the beaches and the theme parks will not have explored the real Gold Coast. If they can put aside one full day to explore the hinterland, like what I did with my wife, they will appreciate the diversity of south-eastern Queensland.
At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, we had booked a full-day tour with Southern Cross 4WD Tours that took us to Mt Tambourine in the morning and the Lamington National Park in the afternoon. Along the way, we had a marvellous morning tea of freshly baked scones, home-made jam and fresh cream. For lunch, we stopped by a ranch somewhere in Sarabah where the ranch-owner had prepared grilled fish and chicken for us.
We made sightings of the koala bears, skinks, kangaroos and wallabies in their natural habitat. And from both Mt Tambourine and O'Reilly's at Lamington, the views were fantastic. Yes, I would say that a tour of the Gold Coast hinterland should be on everyone's To Do list. You'll be missing out on a lot if you don't.
Near the entrance to the Mountain Cafe and Gifts some of the local Crimson Rosellas gather for a feed. They're very tame and will feed from you hand so buy some seeds for them at the shop and give them a treat.
Lamington National Park is about an hour and a half drive west of the Gold Coast. Narrow, winding roads lead you high into the park to O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat.
Lamington has many walking trails, waterfalls, much wildlife and magnificent views. From the main guesthouse you can walk 300m to the Treetop Top Walk which allows you to walk through and experiencethe forest canopy.
The Tree Top Walk is 15m above the ground, 180m long and has 9 suspension bridges. Two observation decks have been constructed in a strangler fig above the walk way and one is 30m above the ground.
Access to the observation deck is on a steel ladder that is enclosed by a wire screen. It's well worth the climb for the view of the surrounding forest and distant mountains.
The Tree Top Walk is free to the public but there is a donation box at the end of the walk to raise money for maintenance work.
Once you have explored the forest and gardens head to the Mountain Cafe and Gifts for a meal or just a drink.
Next to the Tree Top Walk is the privately maintained Botanic Garden which is lovingly tended to my local volunteer green fingers.
In a forest setting along well marked meandering garden paths you will find beautifully coloured azaleas, camelias, rododendrons, bromeliads, clivias and many, many ferns.
I'm not sure about the wisdom of growing introduced plant species next to a National Park but they seem well maintained and contained.
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