We have visited the Gold Coast a number of times although this visit was the first time we have made it to the Gold Coast Hinterland! I had been told on numerous occasions that it was definitely worth the effort. I have to agree that it is most certainly worth the visit.
You will need to hire a car to get the most out of this region. Don’t let this deter you though, we got a great deal for an intermediate SUV for $155 for 6 days with www.vroomvroomvroom.com, a car hire booking service. The vehicle was very economical and the size was perfect for us 5 and our carry on luggage. Although if you had stocked up at Luggage Direct and had more than we had, you would probably struggle a bit with the boot size. Alternatively you can go with one of many of the various organised tours that are advertised in the hotel foyers or online.
We packed ourselves some sandwiches to take with us for lunch, jumped in the car and headed off towards Mt. Tamborine. On the way I saw a sign with a picture of Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park, I said to Craig that looks nice, should we head that way? We decided to head to Natural Bridge first and head to Mt. Tamborine on the way back as Natural Bridge is furtherest away and around an hours drive.
It’s a really pretty drive and the scenery is breathtaking at spots. The weather was warm and muggy but once you get out to the Hinterland the temperature drops to a more comfortable mid 20’s and not so humid. We were there in March out of school holidays so were very happy to see that there weren’t many people around everywhere we went.
Once we made it into the rainforest at Natural Bridge is was a bit damp and water was dripping from the canopy in parts. From the entrance to Natural Bridge its a loop walk and when you head in, take the path to the right and go down the steps first. It’s not a place to be taking a pram as there are areas that you will need to go down a few steps that are damp and a bit steep. If you can get the kids to walk it would be much better. The loop takes around an hour and we did it in that time. We weren’t setting a cracking pace and stopped to take loads of photos.
The Natural Bridge is beautiful, you can walk under it into a cave below that has glow worms and bats flying around. The bridge was created by the waterfall undercutting the cliff below and then eroding a hole through the creek bed creating a ‘natural bridge’. If the sun comes out and shines through the hole it could make some spectacular photos. It was a bit cloudy when we were there but I was still really happy with the photos we got. Although it would be hard to take a bad photo, see for yourself! The rainforest walk to Natural Bridge is spectacular enough and Natural Bridge is the icing on the cake.
We then took a drive through Springbrook National Park and stopped to take in the sights at all the lookouts. There’s plenty of places to stop and quite a few short walks to the lookouts. One is actually called ‘Best of all Lookout’. With a name like that we had to head out for a look. They aren’t wrong, the view is rather impressive as with the little rainforest walk out to the platform, you could see for miles.
We stopped and had our sandwiches at Springbrook, on the seats outside The Fudge Shop. The shop has a huge selection fudge, at least 30 different types to choose from. The kids chose to have ice cream though and we, of course, got a sampler of fudge to test run. I had a piece of Malteser fudge and Craig and Alannah had the mixed taster that had a small piece of 6 different flavours. The fudge was $6 for 100g which I think is pretty reasonable considering it was homemade.
Now headed back towards Mt Tamborine, as I wrote earlier the original plan was to head there and spend the day exploring. But after our small detour we ended up making it to Mount Tamborine at around 3 in the afternoon!
I was very keen to get the kids to do the Tamborine Tree Top Challenge, after reviewing the prices we decided that we wouldn’t be able to do it this time. Click here to see the prices. We found the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk was a good affordable option for the family. We paid $54 for all 5 of us, adults are $19.50, children $9.50, family $49.00 for 4 and then $5 for each extra child. We spent about an hour here, as we were quite late in the afternoon it wasn’t very busy and we were able to move around quickly.
On the way to the Skywalk, I got a glimpse of the view from Mt. Tamborine back to Gold Coast and it was absolutely breathtaking. I had to find a great spot to get a photo. I asked the owner at the Skywalk and he sent us to the Eagle Heights Mountain Resort. We walked through to the beer garden and found the best view in town. You could clearly see the high rise buildings across the strip! Craig and I enjoyed a beer while the kids played on the jumping castle that is there permanently for the kids entertainment. I love pubs that take that initiative, makes you want to stay for that second beer instead of rushing off because the kids are driving you nuts. We were there during the day but I can just imagine how awesome it would be after dark. I will let the photo speak for itself.
From there we drove back to Surfers Paradise and had a swim in the hotel pool, we were staying at the Sun City Mantra on this occasion. The best thing about the day is that it cost us very little, only the cost of the Skywalk and the ice creams at The Fudge Shop and we had a full day of fun and exploring. I could easily have spent another day exploring the Gold Coast Hinterland, there is plenty to see and do. Its also a nice break from visiting Queensland theme parks. We even took a day trip to snorkelling at Tangalooma Wreaks off Morton Island which was amazing. I think the Gold Coast Hinterland is a little underrated, its a beautiful area and a great day trip from the Gold Coast.
Have you visited the Gold Coast Hinterland? Leave me a comment below if there is anything you did that you think was great.
Sal & Co.