Things to Do on the Gold Coast
Travellers to the Gold Coast area already know that there is plenty of natural beauty to experience in the region. From perfect beaches to unique wildlife excursions to heritage-listed expanses, the Gold Coast has a lot to explore, and they welcome visitors with open arms.
Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
Located on Tamborine Mountain, this skywalk is an ideal spot to see some of the most unique Australian landscapes and critters. The 300-foot-long bridge is built into the rainforest's canopy, so you can feast your eyes on winged friends, tree-climbing species and breathtaking fauna. There is also a rainforest eco centre on the grounds where you can learn all about the animals and plants you had an up-close-and-personal encounter with.
Tamborine Mountain boasts 85 percent of all animal species and 65 percent of all plant species in the Gold Coast area, and some of the most common critters you will encounter on a trip here include brush turkeys, scrubwrens, pademelons, the land mullet, Albert's lyrebird and the Richmond birdwing butterfly.
Lamington National Park
Set on World Heritage-listed acreage, the vast expanse of Lamington National Park is unlike anything else you'll see in Australia. There are two sections to explore here: the Green Mountains and the Binna Burra range. This is one of the most complex areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, and has been a crown jewel in the Gold Coast since 1915. If you want to feel like a true explorer, this is the place to be. Here you'll find breathtaking waterfalls, rugged cliffs and dormant volcanoes that are waiting to be climbed and ancient ferns and flowering plants on the park's floor to admire.
If you are a bit of a stargazer, the Springbrook Observatory is a must-see. Open nightly for tours and appointments, you can explore the wonders of deep space and open your eyes to a whole new dimension at Springbrook. This massive telescope and dome can give you an extra special glimpse into the final frontier, and its remote location can prompt romantic and scenic drive back to your accommodation under the stars.
If you are bringing along the kids, it's likely that they will want to spend at least one afternoon in the riverside sanctuary of Cascade Gardens. This massive picnic, barbecue and playground spot provides great places for the kids to play, as well as rainforest walks, Aboriginal cultural landmarks and bird sanctuaries for viewing. You can also pay your respects at the Queensland Korean War Memorial, which is located on-site.
Springbrook Glow Worms Research Centre
If you are a kid, a kid at heart or simply love seeing things glow in the dark, the Springbrook Glow Worms Research Centre is an excellent spot to learn about nature and experience creepy crawlers that pack an extra punch. Here you can go on a 200-metre night tour of a glow worm light circuit at the centre, which conducts ongoing research about these bioluminescent animals. If you visit during November to February, you can take a tour of the worms as well as view luminous mushrooms.
Burleigh Head National Park
If you are staying right in the heart of the Gold Coast, chances are you will be wanting to make a trek through Burleigh Head National Park part of your holiday adventures. The park is around 90 kilometres from Brisbane as well, making it an ideal afternoon getaway, even if you aren't on holiday. Here you can walk through rocky cliffs, enjoy some time on the beach and meander through the connecting rainforest. During the spring, this is an ideal spot to catch whales during their migration.
Currumbin Rock Pools
Sure, you could spend all of your time along the foreshore, but after a while the crowds and steamy weather could get to you. Fortunately, there is a way to enjoy the water, relax and experience solitude that isn't too far from Currumbin Beach. Hop in your car and get around 15 minutes into the Currumbin Valley to experience the Currumbin Rock Pools, calm cool rock formations that let you sit back and enjoy the water a bit further inland. There are barbecues, picnic shelters, toilets and walking tracks available, so you and the whole family could make a day of it here.
Nerang Forest Reserve
Located just 12 kilometres from Surfer's Paradise, Nerang Forest Reserve is a great way to explore the amazing rainforest landscape while still being close to the beaches. Mountain bikers, bushwalkers and bird watchers are popular visitors here, as there are plenty of trails, feathered wildlife and a large expanse of open forest to explore. This is also one of the best habitats in the region for koalas and black cockatoos, as the dry rainforest and eucalyptus are prevalent in the green space.