Elabana Falls, Lamington National Park, Gold Coast Hinterland

How to spend 48 Hours in the Gold Coast Hinterland

There is never not a good time to visit the Gold Coast Hinterland. In winter, experience Queensland’s crisp winter nights and glorious sunshine-filled days, while come summer these ancient rainforests turn up the heat with long steamy days and balmy nights.

This is National Park country, where the views are magnificent no matter which way you turn, and Mother Nature takes the reigns. Trust us, if you’re looking to disconnect and reset the internal hard drive, this particular patch of Queensland hinterland has your back.

Discover the green behind the gold; here’s how to spend an incredible 48 in the Gold Coast Hinterland. The world hinterland is your oyster…

Day 1 

Driving west from the golden sands of the Gold Coast, leave the bustling coastline behind as you head into dense mountain ranges. Just a 45-minute drive inland, take in the towering eucalypt forests and various lookout points that capture sweeping views of the valley out to the GC skyline.

Stop For Lunch

Even though the drive to reach the Gold Coast Hinterland isn’t exactly long by Australian standards (anything under four hours is a leisurely drive around these parts), part of a good road trip is stopping for a bite along the way. Freeman’s Organic Farm is a true local gem, located on the slopes of Tomewin Mountain, famous for its roadside organic fruit stall and adjacent farm-to-table cafe. Take a load off, grab a coffee and house made pastry and kick it back to neutral; where you’ll stay for the next 48 hours.

Glamp Under The Stars

Nightfall Wilderness Camp 2019 Photo by Lauren Bullen (@gypsea_lust)

Photo by @gypsea_lust

Arrive at Nightfall Wilderness Camp just before sundown to capture the light fade beneath the lush rainforest. More than just a place to rest your head, Nightfall embodies the magic of the Hinterland, reconnecting you with the great outdoors. Their luxury glamping tents comes with dual bathtubs, an open fireplace and breath-taking views of the surrounding forest. Soak away a day’s hiking or driving, pour yourself a glass of local wine and settle in to the sounds of nature. Pure, unadulterated bliss.

Day 2

Rise and shine in pared-back paradise—today’s about hitting the hiking trails, so no slacking, now. Nightfall may be remote, but they do a fabulous wakeup call, courtesy of fresh coffee and a house made breakfast. Because who doesn’t love a flat white with a side of rainforest views? Nobody, that’s who.

Before you head out for the day, order a picnic from the team to take with you. You’ll thank us (and them) for the tip when you’re hungry mid-hike.

Get Walking

Lamington National Park photo by @mikevisuals

Photo by @mikevisuals

Depending on just how much walking you’re prepared to sign up for, the Gold Coast Hinterland caters to all levels of fitness (read: determination). Those with well-worn in boots and a penchant for challenges will revel in the Toolona Creek Circuit.

Taking approximately 6-hours to complete, this truly epic 18.5km circuit takes in Lamington National Park to Green Mountains. Take in towering waterfalls and winding creeks, exclusive glimpses of Mount Warning and walk amongst ancient beech trees. A long day it may be, but wow, is it worth your while.

If you prefer a gentler pace but still chasing the wow-factor, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Walk is ideal for those craving to disconnect from the chaos of city life, minus the hard yards. A leisurely 5km stroll, reward your eyes with views of dense tropical rainforest and wildlife overhead and coming face-to-face with the illustrious Moran Falls. Both here and Python Falls are beautiful spots to watch the sun set if you time your walk right.

An ideal middle ground? Purling Brook Falls Circuit is your go-to. Featuring a suspension bridge across a eucalypt forest, gentle descends and a cheeky climb, this 4km hike takes you deep into Springbrook National Park. Make your descent (and an extra 2km) for a well-deserved swim in the crystal waters of Warringa Pool.

Unwind The Body And Mind

After a long day flexing those muscles, reward your efforts with a spa treatment like no other. Back at Nightfall, their jaw-dropping massage treatment is set to the backdrop of nature: you’re literally face down right next to the running waters of the creek.

If you’re really feeling adventurous, you can choose to sleep a night under the stars at Nightfall, traditional swags fluffed and fire pit roaring ready to go for you.

Day 3

Canungra Valley Vineyards

No weekend away in the Hinterland would feel right without a leisurely drive back to reality. After bidding farewell to your digs, drive north-east out to Canungra Valley Winery for brunch with uninterrupted views of manicured vines and lush greenery. Enjoy traditional Devonshire Tea and scones on the historic veranda, then walk it off with a short stroll through around the property.

Before calling it quits, heads back via Currumbin Valley—one of the prettiest drives going. Pass working farms, small country towns, vast homesteads and even the odd fruit and veggie stalls selling local produce. Many of the farms in Currumbin Creek sell their own honeys and jams roadside, the perfect souvenir for a weekend well-travelled.

Splash Out

Last stop before checking those emails has to be Currumbin Rock Pools. Just 15 minutes outside the Gold Coast and on the very edge of the hinterland, these ancient pools are full of freshwater and surrounded by sloping cliff edges and green forest. Perfect for a refreshing post-vacation dip.

Have you visited the Gold Coast Hinterland?