|Breakfree Moroccan||14 View Ave, Surfers Paradise||8:40am|
|Breakfree Peninsula||Cnr Clifford St and The Esplanade||8:40am|
|Budds In Surfers||6 Pine Avenue, Surfers Paradise||9:00am|
|Couple O'Days Backpackers||18 Peninsular Drive, Surfers||8:45am|
|Gold Coast Backpackers||28 Hamilton Ave, Surfers Paradise||8:40am|
|Jupiters Casino||1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach||8:30am|
|Legends||Cnr Gold Coast Hwy and Laycock St, Surfers Paradise||8:45am|
|Mantra Crown Towers||5-19 Palm Ave, Surfers Paradise||8:40am|
|Mermaid Beach Park View||40-44 Ventura Road, Mermaid Beach||8:25am|
|Nerang Train Station||Nerang, Qld||9:30am|
|Novotel Hotel||Surfers Paradise Blvd and Hanlan St, Surfers||8:50am|
|Ocean Blue Motel||2323 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach||8:25am|
|Paradise Centre Apartments||3 Hanlan Street, Surfers Paradise||8:45am|
|Paradise Resort||122 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise||9:00am|
|Peppers Broadbeach||21 Elizabeth Ave, Broadbeach||8:30am|
|Peppers Soul||8 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise||8:45am|
|QT Gold Coast||7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise||8:40am|
|Turtle Bay Resort||14-26 Markeri St, Mermaid Beach||8:25am|
|Vibe Hotel||42 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise||9:00am|
|Watermark Hotel||3032 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers||8:45am|
The Gold Coast is full of little gems just waiting to be explored, like Burleigh Heads, which sits between Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta. It’s renowned for its picturesque backdrop and its plethora of things to do along its pristine shores.
The Beach at Burleigh Heads
Known as simply Burleigh to the locals, Burleigh Heads is the ideal spot for swimming and surfing thanks to its protected waters that sit snug between a wild headland.
Around the beach, Burleigh Heads National Park unfolds in a pretty display of walking trails and wildlife, promising exceptional views out across the ocean to the horizon beyond.
The foreshore is renowned for its collection of pine trees and parkland. Here, visitors often pack a picnic or fire up a barbecue and while away the hours against the stunning scenery. This also marks the spot where a number of art and craft markets are held throughout the week, giving you the chance to delve into the local culture whilst still soaking up the amazing landscape.
Eating and Drink at Burleigh Heads
As well as an array of outdoor activities and a pretty coastline, Burleigh Heads is also home to a number of delicious restaurants, eateries, bars, and cafes.
Oceanfront dining is a must here, especially when the fish is so fresh. An emerging café culture has unfolded in recent years, too, giving you the chance to experience some of Australia’s newest heritage alongside its old.
The shops along the beach and beyond follow a similar vein. New designers have opened up stores along the stretches of shops, and a stroll through the boutique part of Burleigh Heads reveals a selection of upmarket designers as well as arts and crafts stores and everything in between.
Things to Do in Burleigh Heads
There is plenty to keep you busy in Burleigh Heads if you want to experience more of the area than its beaches.
John Laws Park is home to some of the most stunning views in this part of Australia, while Justins Park boasts a great selection of things to do for kids and older members of the family.
Elsewhere, the David Fleay Wildlife Park promises incredible encounters with some of the country’s most beloved animals.
Burleigh Heads is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. Its selection of pretty landscapes, stunning beaches, calm waters for swimming and surfing, and eclectic mishmash of cultural opportunities makes it the perfect hotspot for every kind of traveller.
The Gold Coast has long been a hotspot for trawlers, who have caught and sold their daily catches for decades. Prawn trawlers, tuna long liners, and crab trawlers all find themselves at home in the warm waters around the Gold Coast, where there are numerous varieties of fish and crustaceans to spot, catch, and serve up.
The boats leave the coast in the late evening, trawling their way through the night, and then return in the morning with boats piled high with the freshest seafood. Many of the trawlers sell their goods directly from their boats, and tourists and locals alike flock to the shores to pick up fresh food at the start of the day.
Crustaceans form a large part of the marine life in the Gold Coast, and you can find numerous species of crab, prawns, molluscs and everything in between in this part of Australia.
Crabbing is a popular activity here for all the family, giving you the chance to try your hand at becoming a trawler for a few hours.
Though there are many species of crab in the region, the light-blue soldier crab is one of the most popular. It is thought to be one of the most-loved crabs in the whole of Australia, and tends to be found on the sandy beaches of the country, including around the Gold Coast.
These distinctive creatures measure about 25 mm across, and boast a beautiful colouring of white with blue blacks. You can often find them hunting in the sands, looking for detritus to feed off. As they go, they leave rounded pellets of discarded sand behind.
If you find yourself on a Gold Coast beach around low tide times, keep an eye out for the blue soldier “armies”, made up of the males of the species who form together in large groups to go hunting for food. When the tide rises, they dig into the sand and wait for it to lower again so they can continue their hunting escapades.
Crustaceans are an important part of the ecosystem along the Gold Coast. The numerous species hunt for smaller marine life and keep the waters clean, as well as provide entertaining wildlife watching along the beaches. They form an important part of one of the Gold Coast’s most popular activities, too – crabbing – and the dishes made with fresh seafood caught by local trawlers are some of the best in the country.
The Gold Coast is famed for its sprawling white-sand beaches and its plentiful swimming and surfing opportunities. But, head further inland, and you’re greeted by a breath-taking landscape characterised by jutting peaks and dipping valleys.
This area is known as the Gold Coast hinterland, and it makes up a large part of southeast Queensland. Here, beaches are replaced by mountain views, and swimming and surfing are taken over by hiking, camping, and other mountain-based adventures.
Known for its rainforests, mountain resorts, lookouts, and an eclectic selection of flora and fauna, the hinterland provides the perfect backdrop for the vibrant coastal strip.
The region surrounding the Gold Coast is made up of numerous mountain ranges, which we’ve laid out for you here.
1. The Tweed Range
The Tweed Range sprawls out to the west of the Tweed Volcano caldera rim, which makes up part of the spectacular Scenic Rim and the Great Dividing Range. Here, you can experience one of the region’s finest natural wonders in the caldera, and explore the stunning views from the mountain’s peak.
2. The Nimmel Range
This small mountain range is set in the heart of the hinterland, and is characterised by its most prominent peak, Mount Nimmel. Again, hiking is a popular activity in this intimate range, as there are plenty of spectacular views to soak up from the top.
3. Tamborine Mountain
Tamborine Mountain is one of the most popular peaks in the region and promises a whole host of adventurous activities for visitors to get stuck into. Around every twist and turn, there are new views to marvel at, an abundance of native wildlife, and plenty of unique activities that the mountain is renowned for, including arts and crafts, award-winning wineries, country markets, festivals, and upmarket restaurants.
4. The McPherson Range
The McPherson Range forms a spur of the Great Dividing Range and spans out in an easterly direction from Wallangara to the sparkling expanse of the Pacific Ocean. This huge mountain range is one of the biggest in the region, and promises an eclectic range of landscapes for visitors to enjoy. Like the other peaks in the region, the mountains that make up the McPherson Range are popular hiking destinations peppered with stunning lookout points.
The Gold Coast hinterland and its incredible ranges give visitors the perfect introduction to the spectacular beauty that lies just inland from the sprawling beaches and glittering coastline.
The volcano is now extinct, but the surrounding landscape still provides an incredible backdrop to explore if you’re in the area. You might have heard of the scenery under a different name – it’s also been dubbed Mount Warning Volcano, Tweed Volcano, and Tweed Caldera amongst others.
It has also been declared as a Landscape of National Significance by the National Landscape program, who has also given it the title of Australia’s Green Cauldron.
From these names alone, you can see just how magnificent the volcano and caldera is. Today, the valley carves down more than 1000 metres into the landscape and boasts a diameter of over 40 kilometres. This makes it even bigger than the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.
So, you might be wondering what a caldera even is.
It’s actually a bowl-shaped depression that has been caused over many years by the collapse and erosion of a volcano.
The Tweed Shield Volcano and Caldera is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere and one of the most impressive calderas in the world, creating a jaw-dropping natural wonder that is a must-visit when you’re exploring the Gold Coast.
The Geology of the Caldera
For the past 20 million years, most of the material that has been pushed out of the volcano has eroded away, affecting the minor creeks and tributaries that wind their way across the valley floors.
The remaining landscape is still incredibly impressive, though. Thought to be the central magma plug, Mount Warning and a series of ring dykes that are made up of a harder rock than the rest of the landscape have resisted erosion and now dominate the valley, particularly around the township of Murwillumbah.
A lid of hard, basaltic rock has protected the rim around the western side of Mount Warning, which now soars skywards to around 1100 metres. These days, it is becoming commonly known by its Aboriginal name, Wollumbin.
The Tweed Shield Volcano and Caldera is a sight to behold, etching a hearty dose of ancient geological history into the picturesque surroundings of the Gold Coast. As well as exploring the immense beauty of the region, you can also learn about the fascinating geological formations that have taken place over the years to lead the landscape to look like the way it does today.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast’s vibrant nightlife in search of some of nature’s most incredible wonders. Glow worms, a creature found only in Australia and New Zealand, shimmer around ancient forests in this part of the country, promising a magical experience that takes place after dark.
The area the glow worms live in is a heritage site, which means the only way to get up close and personal with them is to take a guided tour. While on these tours, you’ll not only get to see the creatures and their fairytale habitat, but you’ll learn all about their life cycle, behaviour, and eating habits.
The tours begin after dark, taking you on a mystical bushwalk through the ancient rainforests that characterise the region. You’ll soon arrive at a cave that is illuminated by the magical light of the glow worms.
Here, you’ll get to watch the creatures flit from side to side, casting a surreal glow against the backdrop of old caves with plenty of stories to tell. What’s more, once you’ve concluded watching the glow worms, you’ll be able to enjoy a different kind of glow – the glow of the stars that light up Australia’s night sky. You’ll be able to gaze out at the constellations of the southern hemisphere as they shine down on the surrounding mountains.
These tours provide a real escape from the bright lights of the Gold Coast’s cities, and instead give you the chance to explore a different side to the area that has been around for centuries. You can escape the liveliness of modern suburbia and expose your senses to the serene calm of the Gold Coast’s countryside, which is made up of rainforests with centuries-old trees and pretty walkways that guide you to the glow worm caves.
The cave you visit on the tour is the Natural Bright cave, which is where you’ll find the country’s largest collection of glow worms. They cover the entire ceiling of the cavern, creating an illumination of nature that casts whimsical shadows across the surroundings. It’s almost an artistic display, as you watch the creatures wriggle around their habitat.
Seeing the glow worms on the Gold Coast is a must-do while you’re in this part of Australia. Nowhere else in the country can you see such a large population of the creatures in one place, giving you the chance to learn an incredible amount about them and their surroundings.
The Gold Coast is a haven of incredible natural experiences, from the lush Hinterland to the sprawling coastline. But the night sky holds some of the most fascinating secrets in this part of Australia, and you can experience their stories at the Springbrook Research Observatory.
Seeing the pure glow of the night sky is enough for some people, but if you want to see the stars up close, this attraction has you covered. The owner, Andre, has spent years creating a destination where visitors of all ages can marvel at the beauty of the stars and learn more about famous constellations.
The observatory itself is characterised by a spinning dome structure that is topped with two roof lookout points where you can take in the night sky.
The History of the Springbrook Research Observatory
The observatory has a sweet and humble history that all began with Andre. His interest in the stars was sparked at school after seeing a video about an American priest known as “the sidewalk astronomer”.
His inspiration led him to host star parties, where he would share the sky with children – if he amazed just one or two of them, he considered it a success.
This close-up experience with such a natural wonder allowed people to become a part of science as it was happening in the moment. So, with the intent to do something similar, Andre purchased his first telescope.
Years later, he set up the Springbrook Observatory to share his passion with the masses. It took over five months to build the first dome of the observatory, but it was all worth it – today, the attraction is one of the most visited and impressive along the Gold Coast.
While there, you can gaze through one of the many telescopes, look at pictures of the stars close up, and learn more about the fascinating patterns that light up the night sky. There are tours you can take that let you dig deeper into this vertical of science.
Getting to the Springbrook Research Observatory
To get to the Springbrook Research Observatory, you have to arrive via Nerang on the Nerang-Murwillumbah Road. When you get to Pine Creek Road, turn left and then right onto Springbrook. From there, it’s 4.8km to the Springbrook Observatory, and it is well signposted along the way.
If you’ve ever wondered what the night sky in Australia has in store, take a visit to the Springbrook Research Observatory to bring this slice of science to life.
Australia’s Gold Coast is a haven of wildlife and a firm favourite for keen fishermen. The sprawling landscape and many different waterways make it the perfect spot to try your hand at fishing for crabs, yabbies, and other marine species.
Fishing on the Gold Coast
Fishing is a popular sport on the Gold Coast thanks to its excellent beachside setting. This means there are plenty of spots along the coast to cast your rod into, regardless of whether you’re an amateur fishermen or someone with slightly more experience.
Deep Sea Fishing
There are plenty of opportunities to go deep sea fishing along the Gold Coast. Expect to catch species from offshore reefs, like parrot fish, snapper, and black kingfish. Though fishing in this part of Australia is do-able year-round, if you head out in winter you might catch a glimpse of the migrating humpback whales.
If you’d rather stay on dry land, you can try your hand at fishing from the beach. Via this method, you can catch things like snapper, bream, and flathead species, particularly during the winter months.
This popular pastime gives you the chance to fish on rivers and estuaries, exposing you to unique species like trevally, mangrove jack, and even mud crabs.
The Hinze Dam is the best spot for freshwater fishing along the Gold Coast. Here, you can catch species like Australian bass, Mary River cod, and silver perch. To fish here, though, you need to have a fishing permit.
Yabbie Pumping on the Gold Coast
Yabbie refers to two different kinds of Australian crustacean: the crayfish and ghost shrimp. In many parts of the Gold Coast you can join in the fun activity of pumping for these creatures, especially along the sprawling beaches.
Crabbing on the Gold Coast
Boasting a landscape filled with mangrove islands and mud banks, the Gold Coast has plenty of clean waterways that make perfect habitats for numerous crab species. The most popular crabbing spots lie between Cabbage Tree Point and the Pin Bar, but you can pretty much catch crabs from anywhere on the many rivers, creeks, canals, and waterways.
Expect to catch species like blue swimmer crabs, mud crabs, coral crabs, and spanner crabs amongst others by setting pots in mangrove creeks or deep holes in main channels.
Fishing, crabbing, and yabbie pumping are great ways to get involved in the local fishing culture of the Gold Coast, plus you’ll be able to catch some delicious treats for dinner as you go.
The sprawling expanse of the Gold Coast is made up of lush rainforest scenery and wild coastlines – all of which you can explore with the Mount Tamborine Skywalk.
Offering visitors a unique way to explore the popular landmark of Mount Tamborine, the skywalk soars alongside the rainforest canopies, looking out over pretty rock pools and rich vegetation.
The walk itself takes place along a steel, structured bridge that guides visitors through the canopies of the rainforest. It takes about 45-minutes to do the whole walk at a slow and leisurely pace, taking in the stunning scenery and stopping along the way to read the information signs and educational panels.
The route winds its way past a collection of unique flora and fauna display, giving you the chance to learn more about the fascinating wildlife of the region. At one point, you’ll emerge onto a 40-metre cantilever bridge that sits 30 metres above the mesmerising creek and rainforest below, providing you with a unique perspective of the surroundings.
Things do to at and Around the Mount Tamborine Skywalk
It’s not just the skywalk that draws visitors to the region – there are plenty of other things to see and do while you’re there.
As well as the interpretative panels that decorate the walk, there is also an aquarium that is home to a huge number of Australian freshwater fish.
Elsewhere, the Birdwing Café serves a delectable selection of refreshments – choose to eat on the deck right next to the rainforest to feel at one with nature – and the gift shop is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir.
Away from the Skywalk, you can explore the rest of the scenery of the Tamborine National Park, where the landscape is characterised by more lush rainforest and pretty waterfalls. Here, you can take several different bushwalks and cool off in the collection of plunge pools that dot the region.
For something a little more cultural, take a stroll along Mount Tamborine’s Gallery Walk, where a selection of cute little cafes, galleries, and craft shops line the street.
And, to satisfy those hunger cravings, head to the Scenic Rim’s wine trail, where you can indulge in delicious wine tastings all along the Gold Coast Hinterland and beyond.
Want more? Stay for longer by booking into one of the quaint B&Bs that can be found around the rainforest and its surrounding scenery and wake up early to enjoy the sunrise through the lush canopies.
The Gold Coast boasts a plethora of incredible sights and unique landscapes, including the Broadwater Estuary. This landmark, also known as Southport Broadwater, Gold Coast Harbour, and the Gold Coast Broadwater, is a huge shallow estuary set in South East Queensland.
Reaching from Southport to the beautiful Moreton Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site – it encompasses a range of attractions and things to do. Originally, the body of water was a lagoon that was created with water from the nearby Nerang River, but today it is separated from the Coral Sea by Stradbroke Island.
The History of Broadwater Estuary
The area was first discovered by Captain Patrick Logan, a European explorer. It wasn’t until the early 1880s that the Southport Pier was opened to the public. Then, in 1925, the Jubilee Bridge was erected to provide access to the Broadwater area.
What the Broadwater Estuary Includes
The region including and surrounding the Broadwater Estuary is home to a number of key attractions and things to do. You can discover the Spit Arm and visit the Marine Stadium, as well as check out what’s on offer on the western Spit foreshores, like Sea World, Marine Mirage, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Southport Yacht Club.
Elsewhere, there is Pelican Beach and Main Beach, where you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the views, you can explore the Southport Broadwater Parklands, and visit Marine Parade. In addition, you can visit the Broadwater Esplanades of Biggera Waters, discover Runaway Bay, and explore the Paradise Point Broadwater Parklands.
One of the most popular activities in the region is fishing at the on-site “Deep Hole”. It doesn’t matter if you fancy fishing at night or during the day, this top fishing spot is ideal for catching bream and soaking up local life.
If you find yourself exploring the Gold Coast, make sure Broadwater Estuary is on your list. Not only is this expansive sight an impressive natural wonder, but it’s also home to a great collection of things to see and do. Whether you’re looking to do some serious shopping in waterfront boutiques, try your hand at fishing with the locals, or simply want to kick back and relax on the beach, the Broadwater Estuary has you covered.
With a rich history dating back to the early 1880s and incredible views to boot, you won’t regret your decision to head out here.
Springbrook National Park is one of the Gold Coast’s most popular attractions and Natural Bridge is one of its finest features. It is a natural rock formation that has been formed over thousands of years by the cascading water that runs over the erosive basalt cave that surrounds it. Here, you can experience the majestic scenery of a stunning waterfall, the resident glow worms that live in the cave, and the colony of bent-wing bats that occupy the area.
Getting to Natural Bridge is very simple. You join the Nerang Murwillumbah Road that takes you through stunning mountain scenery and picturesque little villages on the New South Wales and Queensland border. From there, you can turn-off to Natural Bridge.
The Natural Bridge Circuit Track
As well as plenty of wildlife to discover and a landscape that looks like it has stepped out of an ancient history book, Natural Bridge and its surrounding area has lots for you to see and do.
The Circuit Track is one of the more popular activities, as it gives visitors the chance to enjoy everything the area has to offer. The sealed route weaves its way through lush forest, across the impressive Cave Creek, and into the arched cave itself where you can see the cascading waterfall for yourself.
If you’re visiting at night, the centuries-old basalt cave comes to life in the glow of the resident glow worms. Thousands of these creatures light up the crevices of the cave, providing a magical backdrop for exploring. The glow worms are visible throughout the year, but if you want to see them at their best, visit in the summer months when their glow is significantly brighter than in the winter months.
Along the route, you can learn more about the special features of Springbrook National Park and Natural Bridge through a series of interpretive signs. You can also catch a glimpse of some of the region’s oldest plant life, taking in hoop pines that date back almost 180 million years.
You can start the one-kilometre circuit from the carpark, and then weave your way clockwise through the ancient Gondwana rainforest to the rock arch itself. Keep your eyes peeled for colourful creatures, like paradise riflebirds, green catbirds, wompoo fruit-doves, tree frogs, sooty owls, and the native koala. At night, see the glow worms in the cave as well as the resident microbats that live in the area.
Set in the hinterland an hour from Brisbane and the vibrant Gold Coast, Mount Tamborine promises an eclectic showcase of stunning scenery and plenty of things to do. Spread out amongst a landscape of breathtaking rainforest and outdoor paradises, there is also a strong arts and crafts scene, pretty villages to explore, and many local markets and festivals to enjoy.
Here are some of the best things to do if you’re in the area.
1. Get Adventurous
One of the best ways to explore Mount Tamborine and all it has to offer is to hit the skies or get your adrenalin pumping. There are plenty of walking tracks to enjoy, but if you want something a little more action-packed, there are plenty of opportunities to take to the sky in a hot air balloon or get to know the scenery from a 4WD.
2. Art Galleries and Antiques
The art scene in Mount Tamborine is incredibly colourful. Throughout the landscape, there are numerous locally-run art galleries and antique shops that showcase local talent and provide the perfect place to pick up any presents or souvenirs you want to take home with you.
Like with art galleries, there are plenty of breweries in the Mount Tamborine region, too, giving you the perfect chance to soak up some of the unique local flavours and learn more about how some of the finest craft beers in Australia are made.
4. Restaurants and Cafes
If you’re feeling peckish, Mount Tamborine has you covered. Throughout the region, you’ll find plenty of unique restaurants and cafes serving a whole range of breakfasts, lunch, and dinners, including lots of Australian fare and international dishes from all over the world.
5. Festivals and Events
Mount Tamborine is a hive of local activity, and every year there are numerous events and festivals that take place throughout the stunning scenery. As well as produce fares filled with local goodies, there are festivals like the Tamborine Mountain Scarecrow Festival that celebrates the lifestyle of the mountains.
6. Gallery Walk Shopping
For shopaholics, Gallery Walk is the perfect place to head. This stretch of road is flanked by tonnes of boutique shops and stores that you can spend an afternoon browsing at your own speed.
7. Gardens and Nurseries
Because of its incredibly beautiful natural scenery, Mount Tamborine is alive with plant life and unique species of flora. At the 27 acre Botanic Gardens you can marvel at all the breathtaking colours and smells.