Take a drive up winding roads from the coast to discover Gold Coast's Hinterland, where wineries, mountain top villages and eco-retreats nestle in World Heritage-listed rainforest. Hike through ancient rainforest along waterfall tracks with jaw-dropping lookouts across Yugambeh Country. Read on for your 3-day adventure through this surprising region. Be sure to stop and admire the views and natural wonder along the way.
DAY ONE: SURFERS PARADISE TO CANUNGRA
Picnic with alpacas beside a pretty creek
If local wines, alpacas and a creekside picnic isn’t the recipe for a perfect afternoon, then we don’t know what is!
Just under an hours’ drive from the shores of Surfers Paradise, you’ll find the gorgeous O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards. Stretched along the banks of Canungra Creek, its picturesque grounds are host to the historic homestead ‘Killowen’ and The Mountview Alpaca Farm.
Enjoy lunch at the Vintage Restaurant and wine tasting at the bar or opt to indulge in a gourmet breakfast, BBQ or antipasto Homestead Picnic on the lawn by the creek. If cute critters are your thing, take one of the adorable resident alpacas for a wander around the grounds and vineyard. Selfies with your new furry friends are mandatory! (Tag #playgoldcoast.)
Experience an unforgettable sunset at O’Reilly’s
The next stop on your self-drive road trip is sister property, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, a 45-minute winding drive up the mountain from the vineyards. Book one of the 48 self-contained villas to experience magnificent views of the western McPherson Ranges and wider Scenic Rim region not to mention unforgettable sunsets right from your villa door. Better still, head to O’Reilly’s stunning Moonlight Crag deck for the best sunset seat in the house.
Stay the following day to experience a guided bird walk or pack a picnic and head out to one of the many waterfalls via 160kms of nature trails that surround the property. For relaxation enjoyed indoors, head straight to the Lost World Day Spa. Here you can put your feet up and be treated to everything from facials and full body massages to a unique vinotherapy session. Soak any remaining stress away in a handcrafted timber bath, in a very special wellness experience.
DAY TWO: CANUNGRA TO TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN
Follow the Gallery Walk and explore the diverse main street offering
Heading back down the winding mountain road from O’Reilly’s and on route for about an hour and 40 minutes, make a stop at Long Road on Tamborine Mountain. Park the car at either end of Long Street (Eagle Heights Road or Wongawallan Road) and start the popular ‘Gallery Walk’ to browse the near 60 local stores and culinary delights dotted along the way.
Taste mouthwatering fudge and flavoured macadamias at Granny Macs, indulge in beautifully crafted cheese at Witches Chase Cheese Co, sample liqueurs, spirits and old-world charm at Tamborine Mountain Distillery shop the latest fashion trends at Whispers Fashion House and finish off with a pint at Fortitude Brewing Co.
Journey through the rainforest to the picturesque Curtis Falls
After you’re all shopped out, store your shopping treasures back in the car and head to the Curtis Falls Walking Track, located just two streets over from Long Road.
This easy 30-minute family-friendly walk (1.1km track) to the breathtaking Curtis Falls is certainly one you won’t want to miss. Depending on the time of year and amount of rainfall, cascading water over the rock formation to the pools below will leave you marvelling at mother nature and marking this spot as yet another on your ‘places to return to’ list.
Rainforest glamping at Cedar Creek Lodges
Sink into the serenity of a Gold Coast glamping trip at Cedar Creek Lodges in Mount Tamborine, which offer rustic camping with lots of luxe. Sleep well on your king sized bed and stay in comfort with all the mod cons, a fire pit on your private deck and ensuite with open air shower. Bushwalks, waterfalls and treetop adventures are all on your doorstep.
DAY THREE: TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN TO SURFERS PARADISE
Taste local wines atop the mountain
For day three of your outdoor, nature-loving inspired road trip, sample a local drop at some Hinterland wineries. Witches Falls Winery is housed in a rustic barn venue with a pretty courtyard. Sample wine tastings over a DIY cheese platter curated from their range of locally made Jambreen cheeses, and you’re set for one delightful afternoon.
Watch sunset from an hang glider's lookout
Catch an unforgettable sunset from Robert Sowter Park on Main Western Road. It's a popular lookout, picnic spot and launch pad for the local hang gliding club amd there are often parachutes drifting peacefully above the landscape which just improves the incredible views.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region.
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.