Have you ever been to the Gold Coast Hinterland? As the weather cools down and the sun-kissed beaches get a little chillier (though still deliciously enticing in the warm midday sun), many visitors turn their attention to the rolling hills and mountains.

Think lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, charming villages, and picturesque wineries. From Tamborine Mountain to Springbrook National Park, there's an abundance of natural wonders and cultural delights to explore.

So, if you’re up for some day trips to the Gold Coast Hinterland this year, add these must-visits to your itinerary.

Tamborine Mountain: The Jewel of the Hinterland

Nestled in the heart of the hinterland, Tamborine Mountain is a haven for nature lovers and food enthusiasts alike.

Take a stroll through the charming village, sample local wines at the wineries, and marvel at the breathtaking views from the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk.

Springbrook National Park: Waterfalls and Rainforest Wonders

Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park

Discover the beauty of Springbrook National Park, home to ancient forests, stunning waterfalls, and panoramic lookouts.

Explore the lush greenery of the rainforest, take a dip in the refreshing waters of Natural Bridge, and marvel at the mesmerising glow worms at night.

Mount Tamborine Wineries and Vineyard Delights

Indulge in a day of wine tasting and vineyard delights at Mount Tamborine. Sample award-winning wines at boutique wineries, savour gourmet delights at local cafés, and soak in the picturesque views of the surrounding countryside.

If you’re on the hunt for romantic getaways in the Gold Coast Hinterland, a winery tour or long, lazy lunch is the perfect activity.

Canungra and Beechmont: Quaint Villages and Countryside Charm

Experience the tranquillity of Canungra and Beechmont, two quaint villages nestled in the hinterland’s Scenic Rim.

Explore the historic streets, browse artisan shops, and enjoy a leisurely picnic amidst the scenic countryside.

O'Reilly's Rainforest: The Perfect Gold Coast Hinterland Retreat

 O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat accommodation in the treetops

Credit: Scenic Rim

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, where lush rainforests, wildlife encounters, and guided tours await.

This incredible (and oh-so-luxe) accommodation places you among the treetops in stunning villas with some of the most incredible views Queensland has to offer.

Explore the treetop walk, embark on a guided bushwalk, soak in the pools, and unwind with a spa treatment amidst the serenity of the rainforest.

Scenic Drives and Hiking Trails

If you’re driving here for a blissful Gold Coast day trip, why not venture a little further and continue your scenic drive through the hinterland?

Soak in winding roads that lead to hidden valleys, panoramic vistas, and picturesque picnic spots. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the region's best trails, from easy walks to challenging treks, surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Best Hinterland Hiking Trails

Some of our favourite hiking trails throughout the hinterland include:

  1. Purling Brook Falls Circuit

    1. Duration: Approximately 2 hours (loop)

    2. Difficulty: Moderate

    3. Highlights: Spectacular waterfall views, including the impressive Purling Brook Falls, as well as lush rainforest scenery and a suspension bridge.

  2. Twin Falls Circuit

    1. Duration: Approximately 4 hours (loop)

    2. Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

    3. Highlights: Explore the beautiful Twin Falls and breathtaking vistas of Springbrook National Park, with a mix of rainforest, rock pools, and cascading waterfalls.

  3. Lamington National Park Coomera Circuit

    1. Duration: Approximately 7 hours (loop)

    2. Difficulty: Difficult

    3. Highlights: Venture through diverse landscapes, including dense rainforest, open eucalypt forests, and rocky terrain, with rewarding views of Coomera Gorge and waterfalls.

  4. Toolona Creek Circuit

    1. Duration: Approximately 4-5 hours (loop)

    2. Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

    3. Highlights: Traverse through ancient Antarctic beech forests, alongside cascading waterfalls, and witness panoramic views of the Border Ranges and Mount Warning.

The Hinterland’s Most Picturesque Driving Routes

A winding road in the rainforest

Credit: Gold Coast Australia

As for scenic Hinterland driving routes, we recommend you try:

Gold Coast Hinterland Great Circle Route

This scenic drive encompasses Lamington National Park, Springbrook National Park, and the charming villages of Canungra and Beechmont.

Enjoy winding roads, lush rainforest views, and stunning lookout points along the way.

Springbrook Plateau Drive

Explore the picturesque Springbrook Plateau with this driving route, taking you past natural wonders like Purling Brook Falls, Best of All Lookout, and the lush rainforest of Springbrook National Park.

Don't miss the opportunity to stop at local cafés and galleries along the route.

Lamington National Park Road

Embark on a journey through Lamington National Park, known for its ancient forests, waterfalls, and diverse wildlife.

Lamington National Park Road offers breathtaking vistas of the surrounding valleys and mountains, making it a must-drive route for nature enthusiasts.

Scenic Rim Tourist Drive

Discover the beauty of the Scenic Rim region with this picturesque driving route, which winds through quaint towns like Tamborine Mountain, Canungra, and Mount Tamborine.

Enjoy panoramic views of rolling hills, vineyards, and farmland, with opportunities to sample local produce and explore charming boutiques along the way.

Nerang-Murwillumbah Road

Follow the scenic Nerang-Murwillumbah Road as it meanders through the hinterland, offering glimpses of the Numinbah Valley, natural waterholes, and lush subtropical rainforest.

This tranquil route is perfect for a leisurely drive, with plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the stunning scenery.

Getting to the Hinterland from Dorsett Gold Coast

Each of the above gorgeous locations varies in duration and travel routes. Let's use the Lamington National Park (also where you'll find O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat) as a central location to guide you in the best directions.

Here are the driving routes to take from various starting points:

  • From Dorsett Gold Coast in Broadbeach:

    • Duration: Approximately 1 hour

    • Take State Route 90 towards Lamington National Park Road.

  • From the Sunshine Coast:

    • Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours

    • Head towards the M1 and take State Route 90, followed by Lamington National Park Road.

  • From Brisbane:

    • Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours

    • Take the Pacific Highway towards Beenleigh, then Exit 38.

    • Follow State Route 92 and State Route 90 before reaching Lamington National Park Road.

Experience the Best of Broadbeach and the GC Hinterland

Dorsett hotel room with a view of the Gold Coast

Uncover the magic of the Gold Coast's hinterland with a day trip from Dorsett Gold Coast. After a day of exploration, return to our stylish hotel in Broadbeach and unwind amidst indulgent amenities, stunning views, and warm hospitality.

Book your stay with us and discover the perfect blend of coastal charm and hinterland adventure!

Further reading: Brisbane to Gold Coast Road Trip: Places to Stop Along the Way