Holidaying on the Gold Coast is all about golden beaches, surf that suits novice and professionals alike, fun activities on or near the water, dining out, shopping, clubs and bars, theme parks, nature zones and rain forest. Correct? Sure, you can plonk yourself down at Surfers Paradise or any other of the many superb beaches on the Gold Coast and have a wonderful holiday. But you can do that and more, for an even more rewarding break.
Make sure you include a tour of the Gold Coast Hinterland fit into your holiday plans. While there are a number of an organised bus tours into the mountains, by driving there yourself, you can go decide when and where you wish to go – and can stay as long or short as you want. GPS navigation units which can now be hired with most car rentals makes getting there and back much safer and enjoyable.
So you have decided to self-drive your Gold Coast Hinterland tour. A good point to start and end your search for a good rental car is with Cut Price Car Rentals on 1800 241 622. They can have a car ready for you at Gold Coast (Coolangatta) Airport when you arrive or will deliver to your hotel, resort or apartment block. Go to www.cutpricecarrentals.com for further information and online reservations on car hire Gold Coast.
Where should we go?
Here are a couple of great Gold Coast hinterland drives you might care to consider:
1. Tamborine Mountain National Park tour.
Tamborine Mountain National Park is a large volcanic plateau covered by large sections of sub-tropical forest and commanding views over Gold Coast, to Brisbane in the north and Mount Warning in the south. The National Park is populated by lorikeets, Lyrebirds, wallabies and scrub turkeys. It has many waterfalls including Cedar Creek Falls and Witches Falls.
Mount Tamborine has many eateries, boutiques and souvenir shops to win your attention.
Bush walks radiate from North Tamborine. If you prefer to have a faster snapshot of the area, take the elevated Rainforest Skywalk.
The Skywalk starts from the Rainforest Eco Gallery which displays some of the wildlife and vegetation that inhabit the National Park including an aquarium of Australian fresh water fish. The Skywalk is a secure steel structure that takes you through the upper and middle canopies of the rain forest following lookouts, rock pools and waterfalls. It then reaches a 40 metre long cantilever section some 30 metres above the valley which offers spectacular views of the valley floor and surrounding rain forest.
Lunch on the covered verandah of the ‘Songbirds in the Forest Restaurant’, North Tamborine – a multiple award-winning restaurant surrounded by acres of rainforest.
Don’t miss the Glow Worm Caves at Cedar Creek Estate in Hartley Road, Mount Tamborine. It is open daily between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Thousands of glow worms create a mysterious effect in the cave. Must be seen to be believed!
2. Lamington National Park tour
The Lamington National Park has many points of access and interest. This drive takes you through the cotton, dairying and timber areas surrounding the town of Nerang, through Canungra which is the location of the army training ground. You pass by Morans Fall and lookouts on the way to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in Green Mountains – at the end of the Lamington National Park Road.
O’Reilly’s is a family-owned eco resort developed over nearly 100 years. It offers excellent accommodation, dining and luxury spas. Many walks commence at or near O’Reilly’s. But if you are watching the time, why not settle for some bird feeding between 11:00 and 3:00PM and their treetop walk?
The Treetop Walk – the first of its kind in the world – provides a bird-eye view of the rainforest canopy with the highest observation deck some 30 metres above the ground. They also have guided half-day walks, 4WD bus excursions, a flying fox, giant swings.
The richness of the flora and fauna in the nearby national parks provides a refreshing change to the sun, surf, sand and activities that dominate life on the Gold Coast.