Close to Queensland's glitter strip yet a world away in atmosphere is the Gold Coast Hinterland, where couples will be surrounded by nature for a refreshing retreat away from big city living. From wine-tasting to breathtaking sights, ecotourism and misty rainforest walks, everyone will enjoy a little slice of Hinterland paradise.
Why you'll love it:
Couples will love a romantic break in the Gold Coast Hinterland for it's laid-back vibes, go-at-your-own-pace adventures and cosy accommodation options.
See and do:
The first stop on our itinerary is Springbrook. To get to the town itself and the many incredible lookouts at the summit, you will drive up a narrow and winding mountain road, some parts of which were carved in the first half of the twentieth century by Boggo Road Jail inmates (don't worry – they are maintained by the Department of Transport and Main Roads). For the person in the passenger seat (so long as they're not afraid of heights) this provides a spectacular view over the valley below which looks more like a scene from Jurassic Park than the Gold Coast. There are many lookouts on the way, but be sure to visit the aptly named Best Of All Lookout. To get there, follow the signs up the mountain and walk a short distance through a rainforest path, admiring the ancient trees and colourful fungi along the way. Blink and you'll miss the main shops, but there are a few quaint and charming cafes along the way. Don't forget a stop at the Natural Bridge at Springbrook – one of it's most popular attractions. Walk inside the cave (home to many glow worms) and watch the enchanting waterfall above you crash into the pool below.
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Fifty kilometres north is our next destination, Tamborine Mountain. This is a popular site for couples due to its balance of man-made and natural attractions. Couples can visit award-winning wineries and take home a piece of Tamborine Mountain culture with something from one of the art and craft shops. The new Skywalk is a must-do eco-adventure, giving couples a unique new way to explore this stunning region. The entire walk is one and a half kilometres, comprising 300 metres of steel bridges that take you high up in to the rainforest canopies. There are many looking points and information panels along the way so it's the complete experience.
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Lamington National Park
Further South, Lamington National Park is perfect for couples who have a four-wheel drive and want to do a bit of adventuring. There is a camping area in the Green Mountains section of the park as well as the Binna Burra section which are both close to the fantastic walking tracks that are on offer. The walking tracks offer couples different distances, from a full on hike to a leisurely round trip. Along the way you will stumble upon waterholes, creeks and even waterfalls which will beckon you for a dip, but be warned – the water can get very cold!
The Gold Coast Airport (OOL) is less than an hours' drive away from our top picks for hinterland accommodation, and around 20 minutes' drive from the fringe of the hinterland region itself.
Hinterland accommodation options:
Mouses House: Located on the famous Springbrook Plateau, the Mouses House sits high up in the rainforest, 850 metres above sea level. Stress will melt away and be replaced with peace and tranquility, removing all distractions so you and your loved one can make the most of your romantic getaway.
Springbrook Lyrebird Retreat: Here you will be immersed deep in the rainforest with no phones to distract you. Like a window in to another world, enjoy the richness of wildlife that surrounds you while you enjoy the luxurious features of your cabin or cottage.
Crystal Creek: Although technically not in the Gold Coast Hinterland, this retreat is just over the border in the Tweed Valley and has been designed specifically for romantic getaways incorporating privacy, comfort and luxury into their stunning bungalows.