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Gold Coast HinterlandHoliday Destination

Nestled just 30 minutes from the coastline, The Gold Coast's lush Hinterland is often referred to as "The Green Behind The Gold" or "The Emerald City." This area features a predominantly green landscape, characterised by dense subtropical rainforests and fertile farming grounds.

Despite its proximity to the glitzy coastal strip, the Hinterland is a change of pace with tranquil mountain views and a calmer atmosphere. The mixture of the two ensures that visitors will have a wide range of things to do from bushwalking to winery tours. It's the perfect place for a romantic getaway, a family-friendly road trip, a fun-filled day trip or just a day away from the beach.

Natural Attractions

There are plenty of well-maintained bushwalking trails at Lamington National Park, a total of 160kmt. 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. Along the way, you'll find rugged mountain scenery, caves, waterfalls, rainforests, creeks and there's even a crayfish which only calls the Lamington Plateau home. 

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.

Waterfall in the Gold Coast Hinterland
O'Riley's Rainforest Retreat
View of the Gold Coast Hinterland

Tourist Attractions

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, initially a guesthouse established 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. There are a number of activities you can enjoy a this rainforest property, like the Birds of Prey Show, Flying Fox Adventure, Segway Safari and each day countless birds come in to feed on seeds available at the Gift Shop. 

O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk

 O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk allows you to walk through the canopy to see flowering and fruiting trees and vines, the epiphytic orchids and ferns, and the birds and animals that inhabit the tree tops. The Tree Top Walk is only 300 metres from the Guesthouse via the Booyong Walk, a lush rainforest boardwalk that was built by the Green Mountains Natural History Association.

The first of its kind in Australia, the walk is 180 metres in length, made of 9 suspension bridges, with most of the walkway hovering 15 metres above the ground, offering amazing views. There are 2 observation decks along the way, the highest being 30 metres above the ground!

Check out O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk

Make the most of the lack of city lights and visit Springbrook Observatory. Viewings are available every night by booking (weather dependent) and an astronomer takes you for a tour of the stars and wonders of the night sky.

Glow Worm Caves, Tamborine Mountain

Discover the mesmerising world of glowworms within the caves. These natural wonders offer a unique experience as you explore their illuminated beauty in the underground. Engage in a guided tour where you'll witness the captivating glow emitted by these fascinating creatures, creating a magical spectacle within the cave's depths.

The scenic rainforest Skywalk is located in Mount Tamborine, taking you on a journey 1.5 kilometres high through the middle and upper rainforest canopy. With spectacular views of the surrounding hinterland, this stable steel structure will let you explore the rainforest from above, or you can venture down and follow the signs and paths to nearby rock pools, waterfalls, a butterfly lookout and local history enclosure.

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These Gold Coast hinterland tours will let you experience this untouched gem that provides a refreshing, natural break from the normal expectations of glitz and glamour that is just waiting to be explored! Behind the Gold Coast's amazing beaches, city skyline and meandering waterways lies an impressive range of rolling hills, temperate rainforests and hinterland mountains. Check out our list of picks of Hinterland Tours.

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A short drive from the Gold Coast through Numinbah Valley with its high cliffs and green country pastures leads us to the World Heritage-listed Springbrook National Park. Explore the ancient Gondwana rainforest with Antarctic beech trees dating back over 3000 years. Visit the stunning Natural Arch waterfall on a fully guided walk led by your local guide. View waterfalls and breathtaking views from the Best of all Lookout.

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Explore the highlights of the Gold Coast hinterland and discover the natural beauty of Lamington National Park, O'Reilly's and Canungra on this guided experience. Experience a guided subtropical rainforest and treetop canopy walk with expert commentary. Then see stunning 300-degree views at Kamarun lookout. Visit the township of Canungra and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine at Canungra Valley Vineyard.

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Journey up into the Gold Coast Hinterland for an evening tour through an ancient national park and see the incredible glow worms come to life after the sun has disappeared behind the mountains. On this guided tour you'll be given a spotlight to help you navigate to Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park where you'll hear fascinating commentary about these creatures and the park itself. Optional star gazing if the weather permits.

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Wineries & Wine Tours

Siromet Tour
Wine is universally adored and pairs perfectly with another beloved pleasure — cheese. Luckily, the Gold Coast Hinterland hosts several top-tier wineries, all within an hour's drive or less. Grab your picnic blanket, free up space in your car, and get ready to visit these excellent cellar doors for a delightful sip.

If you're a wine lover or want to escape the city, then a visit to any one of these vineyards in this beautiful region should be a delight: 

Easily book any of the tours listed below and enjoy discounted admission prices:

Visit a number of Mount Tamborine's award-winning wineries on this guided wine-tasting tour. Stopping at 5 destinations, you'll get to sample reds, whites and beers at Tamborine Mountain Distillery, Witches Fall Winery, Mason Wines, Cedar Creek Estate Winery and the Heritage Estate Winery. You'll also get a delicious 2-course lunch at a top winery and for cheese lovers, there's an optional stop at Witches Chase Factory.

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One of Queensland's largest and most awarded wineries, Sirromet Winery is a premier destination for wine and food lovers. Go behind the scenes and learn how their product is created and the Australian family behind the brand. Enjoy a private sampling of 6 Sirromet  award-winning wines, and depending on which tour option you choose, couple your tasting with a delicious cheese platter or lunch at Restaurant Lurleen's.

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If you’re looking to enjoy the award winning wineries of Tamborine Mountain in Queensland, this tour is for you! Embark on an unforgettable full day winery tour and a delectable 2-course lunch from Brisbane with a door-to-door pickup from your accommodation or home in Brisbane. Travel along the famous Tamborine Mountain food and wine trail setting the stage for a fun filled day with tantalising flavours and picturesque landscapes.

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Dancing Waters Cafe in Springbrook National Park
The Outpost Cafe is home to some of the best pies in Australia. The building was originally built back in 1946 to feed the men at the Canungra Army Barracks and since then has gone onto become a local fave. There's pies galore but also an extensive menu serving all-day breakfasts, chicken parmis, burgers and fish and chips to hungry bikers, bushwalkers and visitors. 

At the Historic Rivermill, dining is an exceptional experience, featuring a variety of delicious flavours set in a beautiful location. The restaurant offers a culinary adventure highlighting local produce and seasonal treats. Enjoy carefully prepared dishes while taking in the charming rustic atmosphere and serene Coomera River views, creating a relaxing dining atmosphere at our family-owned ranch that makes every meal a memorable part of your visit.

Dancing Waters Cafe is located right next to the Purlingbrook Falls lookout and walking track and is known throughout the whole Hinterland for its hearty food made from the best local produce. Whether you are a carnivore, vegan, vegetarian, celiac, lactose intolerant or dairy free - you'll find a tasty treat to satisfy you!

O’Reilly’s Mountain Cafe & Gift Shop is a popular spot for a cup of tea and scone or a decadent meal from the full menu. You will have three options; O’Reilly’s Mountain Cafe, the Dining Room and the Rainforest Bar are open for all of our guests including day visitors.Sit out on the balcony and enjoy the gorgeous view as you enjoy one of O'Reilly's own wines.


The Canungra Valley Markets are held on the last Sunday of the month which are held indoors so that they can operate under any weather conditions. There's lots of stalls to discover here with farmers bringing in their fresh produce, arts and craft, artisanl foods and everything in between. 

Every third Sunday the Beechmont Community Market welcomes shoppers to come peruse wares grown, made and designed by locals. There's an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies, cakes, cookies, jams, woodwork creations and even a stall for bikers! 

Main Events

Beaudesert show
As Spring blooms, the Hinterland hosts vibrant events. The Beaudesert Agricultural Show delights families with Queensland's best agriculture, rides, live performances, demolition derby and fireworks. The Scenic Rim Eat Local Week celebrates the region's produce and food culture through farm tours, cooking classes, and delectable food sampling events over a 10-day period.

Every year in November, O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat hosts Bird Week. It is the longest-running birding program and in 2017 it celebrated their 40th anniversary. Bird lovers from around the globe come to the Lamington National Park to spot birds and rub shoulders with researchers, authors and photographers. 

The Lamington Classic is a two day trail running event starting and ending at Binna Burra with a 3 minutes compulsory stop at O'Reilly's. It's a hostile race and only for the toughest runners out there. A version of the race has been running since 1970 and it remains a highlight on the marathon calendar. 

The Tamborine Mountain Scarecrow Festival invites visitors to explore creatively designed scarecrows displayed throughout the area, accompanied by local food, live music, and market stalls. The Flashjack Festival in Canungra offers country-style festivities and a breathtaking fireworks display, celebrating the region's cultural heritage.

Embrace the Winter season with captivating events. The Winter Magic Festival in Tamborine Mountain enchants visitors with a magical atmosphere, featuring local food, live music, and mesmerising fire displays. Additionally, the "Glow Worm Caves" on Tamborine Mountain offer a fascinating display of glowing worms for wildlife enthusiasts.


The Canungra Pub is an iconic venue that has been keeping locals and visitors happy since 1937. Behind the white and black facade lies Settlers Restaurant which has a fantastic menu full of chicken parmis and burgers, a gaming room with TAB and Keno facilities in the main bar, footy games at the public bar and a massive beer garden. There's something on every night here whether it is live music and meat tray raffles on Friday night or Poker Night on a Monday. 

Images courtesy Tourism & Events Queensland, Tourism Australia, Destination Gold Coast, Getty Images & Dancing Waters Cafe

Things to do and seeOn the Gold Coast in Queensland

Theme Parks

Combo passes & packages

Free things to do

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary


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