Destination: Gold Coast Hinterland
Just 30 minutes inland from the Gold Coast is the Hinterland; an area of national parks, rainforest, farmlands, vineyards and quaint little village communities. The area encompasses the townships of Mount Tamborine, Canungra, Springbrook, Advancetown, Beechmont, Lamington and Beaudesert. In spite of its proximity to the glitzy coastal strip, the Hinterland is a change of pace with tranquil mountain views and a calmer atmosphere.
While the area offers relaxed dining opportunities, wine tasting, local arts and crafts shows and markets, there are still activities that like a faster pace while still enjoying the outdoors. There are plenty of hiking and 4WD tracks to utilise, and even locations for hang gliding and abseiling for the truly adventurous.
Things to do in the Hinterland
There are plenty of well-maintained bushwalking trails at Lamington National Park, a total of 160km in fact. Grab a map from the information centre and choose anything from a leisurely stroll up to the more arduous tracks for the more regular hikers.
Springbrook National Park has a range of hiking tracks, perhaps the most popular of which is the one leading to the Natural Bridge. This beautiful geological feature has formed over millions of years of water tumbling through the roof of a basalt cave. Have a picnic there by day then after sunset take a nocturnal tour of the cave to see the delicate glow-worm colony and even fireflies and luminous fungi on summer nights.
O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, initially a guesthouse establishes some 90 years ago, has grown under several generations of the family and now offers a range of accommodation from mountain villas to on site camping. They also recently opened the Lost World Spa, facilitating rejuvenating therapies for both visitors and guests.
Just outside of Canungra visitors can take a walk through the old tramway tunnel cut through sandstone; remnants of the sawmill that marks Canungra’s timber heritage.
Make the most of the lack of city lights and visit Springbrook Observatory. Viewings are available every night by booking (weather dependant) and an astronomer takes you for a tour of the stars and wonders of the night sky.
As one of Queensland's fastest growing wine regions, the Gold Coast hinterland is making its mark with state, national and international wine and tourism awards. With a range of wineries located at Mount Tamborine, Mount Nathan, Canungra and Lamington, you can fill a couple of days visiting them all. The range of different micro-climates of the Gold Coast wine-growing region make for optimum growing conditions in which a variety of grapes can be successfully grown.
If you're a wine lover or wanting to escape the city, then a visit to any one of these vineyards should be a delight:
- Albert River Wines
- Aussie Vineyards
- Cedar Creek Estate
- O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards
- Heritage Wines
- Sarabah Estate Vineyard
- Witches Falls
More information about Gold Coast wineries.
Dining & Nightlife
The Gold Coast Hinterland is host to a beautiful selection of boutique wineries, breweries and distilleries, not to mention a selection of restaurants and cafes with views of the native flora and fauna. No matter what your taste you will find something to suit your palate and some Australian wine to match. Book a table at any of the listed restaurants or just take a drive and find any number of small, boutique cafes.
The Mount Tamborine Coffee Plantation is a small, family owned and operated boutique plantation specialising in high quality gourmet coffee. Drop into the Gallery Café to enjoy a cup of their Black Magic while looking out over the plantation.
Delivino On The Deck is a provider-style deli that offers international cheeses, meats and other gourmet delights paired with the best Queensland wines. Their restaurant, wine and cocktail bar is open daily for breakfast and lunch menus, and Thursday through to Monday for evening dining.
Sundowners restaurant is a cosy venue offering French/European cuisine.
Serving German wine and beers the Bavarian Grill Haus restaurant is a great location for any occasion. The restaurant offers scenic grounds for walks by the lake, Bavarian style food, entertainment and function catering all amongst the warm ambience and authentic décor of a German beer hall.
Jacques Manor Restaurant boasts a chef renowned for his meticulous preparation of classical French cuisine. With lovely views and exquisite food, why not make the most of their stay and dine packages with the Bungunyah Manor Resort? Corporate functions and weddings are elegantly catered here too.
The Heritage is a majestic building with an elegant atmosphere, serving fabulous food and award winning wines.
Masala Shanti offers traditional Indian food promising you an explosion of flavour. Enjoy this feast for the senses amid the peace and tranquillity of the sights and sounds of Tamborine Mountain.
The intimate restaurant at Pethers Rainforest Retreat has a reputation as one of southeast Queensland’s most romantic dining experiences. Set around an open fireplace, with full views of the pristine surrounding rainforest and serving delicious food three days a week, you’ll need to book ahead for this boutique restaurant.
Selecting the finest ingredients to create a sensual, aromatic experience for your palate, Songbirds restaurant has won awards for their service and organic dining. Enjoy the freshest seasonal flavours and talk to the waiters for their advice on the best matched wine for your meal.
Situated to offer tranquil views of the Tamborine Valley, Guanaba Gorge and the Gold Coast skyline, St Bernard’s Hotel caters fine dining for every occasion.
Head to Canungra country markets on the fourth Saturday of each month for fresh, local produce and a range of arts & crafts.
The Beaudesert Market is held on the first Saturday of each month and has over 150 stall sites selling arts & crafts, fresh produce and antiques.