Sun, Sand and Surf: Why Not Experience a Different Side of the Gold Coast?

Typically, when you think of the Gold Coast you think of golden sand, sunny beaches, great surf, and holiday theme parks. But there is another side to our great Gold Coast, and that’s the hinterland. From stunning rainforest skywalks to relaxing wine tours, scenic national park walks to exotic spa retreats. The Gold Coast hinterland is an experience not to be missed.

As you explore this region you will enjoy small mountain villages, antique shops, quirky local art galleries, market stalls and much more. You can stop at farms and taste the local produce or join a wine tour to sample some of the region’s fine viticulture. There are also plenty of great bushwalks around the area’s national parks where you can go for a relaxing hike and enjoy the fresh air. You can even take an elevated skywalk through the canopy of the rainforest at Mount Tamborine and Lamington National Park.

Venture 30 minutes away from the bustling coast and lose yourself in this region. Take your time and really enjoy the hinterlands, as this region moves at a slower pace and deserves to be savoured. Here are some ideas of what you can do during your trip to the hinterlands.

Gallery Walk at Tamborine Mountain

Take a walk down a street that is jam-packed from end to end with galleries and craft shops selling beautiful works of art and cute keepsakes by local artisans. You will surely find that one-of-a-kind work of art to take home as a souvenir.

This area is also filled with cosy and welcoming cafes and restaurants where you can stop for a snack. Be sure to check out the Witches Chase Cheese Factory at the top of Gallery Walk where you can sample a delicious cheese platter while sipping on beer brewed at the Mount Tamborine Brewery.

Rainforest Canopy Exploration at Adventure Parc

Would you love to swing through the treetops like Tarzan? Why not try out the ropes at the Tamborine Mountain Adventure Parc? This park is set within the towering rainforest trees at Mount Tambourine and it offers 76 challenges including ropes, bridges, jumps and flying foxes. All of this fun takes place in the forest canopy 18 m above the ground.

The course takes approximately three hours to complete and it is suitable for older children as long as they are taller than 1.6 m.

Sample Some Local Wine on the Gold Coast Wine Trail

The hinterland is a fertile grape-growing region where a number of superb wines are produced. You can take a tour around some of the local vineyards by following the Gold Coast Wine Trail, which will take you through Canungra, Nerang, Oxenford and Tamborine. Make sure you have a designated driver and don’t forget to bring your favourite bottle home with you as a souvenir. If you don’t want to have to worry about driving and just want to be free to enjoy the local wines, there are organised group tours that will take you around the wineries for the day.

Check out Albert River Wines, which was the recipient of the Best Tourism Winery at the 2005 Queensland Tourism Awards. Here you will find local produce and farm fresh eggs as well as wine.

Natural Bridge Rainforest Circuit

You can get out and stretch your legs with a walk through the subtropical rainforest at Springbrook National Park. Be sure to find the impressive natural rock arch formation located over Cave Creek. As you venture through these trails you will find strangler fig trees, buttress routs and lillypilly trees. You might even spot a rainbow lorikeet or a rainforest dragon.

The cave is big enough to stand under the arch and when the night falls it shines with the light of thousands of glow worms. This park is a great place to stop for a picnic while exploring the hinterland region and it offers BBQ facilities, a public toilet and a picnic area.

These are just a few of the adventures that are waiting for you in the hinterland, so why not go exploring?

About the Author: Rachael Newman is a freelance travel writer who writes a blog about great weekend trips throughout Australia. She likes to find Gold Coast hotels on Expedia.com.au when visiting the hinterland.

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