We Are Explorers have created a five day itinerary that'll see you soaking up the experiences you didn't even know the Goldie has to offer.
Day 1: Surf at Snapper Rocks, Walkabout Tour and Beach Dinner
8:00AM - Arrive on the Gold Coast!
Grab your bags, pick up a rental car, and head to The Pink Hotel in Coolangatta (a nine minute drive from the airport). This retro hotel is right on Coolangatta Beach.
After you’ve worked up an appetite, head back to the Pink Hotel for a bite to eat at Eddie’s Grub House, known for its delish burgers, wings and $19 fancy dranks. Try The Grizzler and wash it down with a negroni.
1:00PM - Learn About Country
Hop into the car and drive 25 minutes north to the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Take a Walkabout Tour of the Burleigh Headland to get your bearings and learn about the Aboriginal history and culture of the Gold Coast (just make sure to call ahead as tours run on selected weekdays).
Day 2: Morning Kayak, Natural Bridge Visit, & Wild Swimming
8:00AM - Morning SUP or Kayak
Check out of your hotel and drive 15 minutes south to Currumbin Creek and do as the locals do by heading out on the water for a morning kayak or SUP (hire your boards from Currumbin Boat Shed).
10:00AM - Drive to Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park
With your morning exercise out of the way, it’s time to head to the lush Gold Coast Hinterland. Less than an hour’s drive inland, you’ll reach Natural Bridge in the western part of Springbrook National Park, part of the Gondwana rainforests of this World Heritage area.
Walk the short 1.1km circuit through the ancient rainforest to the Natural Bridge rock arch. Keep an eye out for Paradise riflebirds, Green catbirds, and rare species like the Cascade tree frog.
1:00PM - Lunch & Wild Swimming
Drive 30 minutes to Springbrook for tasty homemade food with a view, before a wild swim. You can’t swim at the Natural Bridge, but you can swim at Warringa Pool, a tranquil swimming hole tucked away just ten minutes from the cafe surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking views up and down the valley.
4:00PM - Drive to Canungra Cottages
Jump in the car and head to Canungra. Canungra Cottages B&B is the sweetest looking accom on this side of the Goldie.
5:30PM - Dinner in Canungra
For a quick and easy dinner that doesn’t skimp on flavour, head to Ginga Ninja Sushi Cafe and Bar in Canungra. Have your choice of sushi rolls, or mix and match between the tapas plates.
Day 3: Hot Air-Balloon Ride, Hike Lamington National Park, & Camp Under the Stars
5:00AM* - Sunrise Hot Air Balloon & Breakfast
Take in the stunning Hinterland views while floating in a hot air balloon, complete with a hot breakfast and sparkling wine. You’ll be picked up from and dropped back off for your hot air balloon ride. *Please note, start time varies depending on pickup location and time of year. Your time will be confirmed upon booking.
10:30AM - Drive to Lamington National Park & Hike
Checked out of Canungra Cottages, drive an hour to Lamington National Park to explore the ranges and rainforest you’ve spent the morning taking in from above.
Begin your adventure with an easy stroll on the Python Rock and Moran Falls trail (4.4km), a sealed track that ascends through subtropical and hoop pine forests to the Green Mountains' car park.
1:30PM - Lunch & Treetop Walk O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
After exploring the park, drive two minutes to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat for a yummy toastie at O’Reilly’s Mountain Cafe. Refuelled and ready to take a short drive to the Treetop Walkway for towering views 18m above the rainforest floor.
4:00PM - Settle in For The Night
Time to set up camp for your two night stay at O’Reilly’s Campground. For the ultimate luxury camping experience try out the Safari Tent, with everything you need for a comfy night under the stars (BYO linen but you can hire bedding on arrival).
With an open space communal camp kitchen, stunning views overlooking the McPherson Range and a firepit, there’s no better way to experience the Gold Coast Hinterland. Grab an aperitif and pizza at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Bar if you don’t feel like a camp cookout.
Day 4: Tackle the Stinson Trek
4:00AM - Guided Stinson Trek
Wake to the sounds of one of the 245 species of birds in Lamington National Park. Today, you're tackling the 37km Stinson Trek – a challenging but highly rewarding 12 hour hike. This guided hike only happens a handful of times a year - be sure to book ahead to ensure your spot! Obviously, a high level of fitness and endurance is required, but if you can, you must.
8:00AM - Hike the Box Forest Circuit
If you’re not keen on a 12 hour hike, but still want a challenging walk, check out the 10.9km Box Forest circuit grade four hike. Wander through stands of pink-barked Brush box and on to Darragumai Falls, Picnic Rock, and picturesque Elabana Falls that takes about four hours to complete.
8:00PM - Hit the Hay!
After a full day of exploring and walking, it’s time to settle in for another night at O’Reilly’s, whether that’s back in your Safari Tent or upgrading to a mountain view room villa.
Day 5: Adventure Across South Stradbroke Island or SCUBA Down Under
5:00AM - Drive to Marina Mirage at Main Beach
Check out and drive 90 minutes east to Marina Mirage at Main Beach to start your day of diving, or catch the ferry to Minjerribah / South Stradbroke Island.
6:30AM - SCUBA Dive Wonder Reef
Back on the mainland, if you’re a keen diver, we recommend booking a Wonder Reef tour with Gold Coast Dive Adventures or Queensland Scuba Diving Company. With 11 different dive spots along the coast, this region is loved by divers for its warm waters, epic shipwrecks, and boulder-filled rocky reefs. Please note: This adventure is for certified SCUBA divers only.
9:00AM - Ferry to South Stradbroke Island
A secluded paradise with untouched beaches, dunes, rainforests, and marshlands, South Straddie is a 30 minute boat road from the mainland. This mostly car-free island is best explored on foot.
9:30AM - Tour Around South Stradbroke Island on Foot
With 30km of white sand beaches, it’s a haven for surfers and swimmers, but you can also bushwalk, jet ski, and fish in a conservation park. Remember to adhere to the restrictions in place to protect the local environment and its flora and fauna.
1:00PM - Lunch at Tipplers
Head to Tipplers Campground for the perfectly placed kiosk with delicious meals to keep you fuelled.
4:30PM - Ferry Back to the Mainland
Book your late afternoon transfer well in advance so you can get back to the mainland and put your feet up in time for sunset.
6:30PM - Head to Your Last Night's Stay
After a sun-filled day packed with exploration, find your zen at qt QT Cabins, is urban rooftop oasis has six luxury cabins above Main Beach. Relax in your very own slice of open-air luxury before hitting up Surfers Paradise.
7:30PM - Your Last Gold Coast Supper
For a relaxed and mouth-watering meal right by the water, check out Surfers Pavilion. For something a little more swish, head to COAST Beach Bar & Kitchen for a modern share-style menu.
Day 6: Head Home
It's time to head home and start planning your next Goldie getaway – one trip is never enough.
Read the full itinerary at We Are Explorers here.
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.