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When you dream of relocating to Australia’s sunshine state, certain images spring to mind instantly – endless stretches of golden sand and crystal-clear water, shopping and eating at the markets, and partying until dawn in a packed nightclub.

The Gold Coast is located an hour south of Brisbane, and it is famous for its beaches and nightlife. Considering 13 million tourists and 12,500 new residents flock to this area each year, it’s safe to say that the Gold Coast is a highly sought-after destination. However, many people don’t realise that the beaches are only one point on the compass.

The Gold Coast is blessed to be nestled amongst some of the most beautiful rainforests in the world. Turn away from the ocean and you have a plethora of choice for hiking, swimming and marvelling in natural beauty. When you need a break from the bustle of the city and the harsh Aussie sun, you can step into tranquillity in almost any direction.

Moving to the Gold Coast is an opportunity to experience the incredible variety of landscapes that Queensland has to offer. For those of you looking for a mountainous escape, we’ve created a guide to exploring the rainforests on the Gold Coast.

Take It Slow on Tamborine Mountain

If you’re looking for beautiful hikes and tranquil things to do on the Gold Coast, your first stop needs to be Mount Tamborine. The Tamborine Mountain plateau encapsulates everything that is unique about Australian fauna and flora. As soon as you begin the ascent to the top, you’ll be left breathless by the scenery that surrounds you.

Abundant wildlife, mountain air, local arts and crafts, and exciting natural and manmade attractions await you here. The plateau was created by a volcanic eruption 22 million years ago, and the surrounding lowlands allow you to see out to the Gold Coast city which is breathtaking by day or night.

Spend Your Days amongst Native Flora and Fauna

Since becoming one of the first national parks in Queensland, the mountain has returned to its glory as a sanctuary for native flora and fauna. Keen birdwatchers can spot lyrebirds, parrots and lorikeets, bowerbirds, tawny frogmouth owls and so many more rare species of birds that form a symphony in the trees.

Explore the mountain to see adorable native wildlife, including possums, koalas, wallabies, green tree frogs, and platypuses. Tamborine Mountain is also home to the giant earthworm which grows to one meter long and can be seen at the surface after heavy rain.

Things to Do in Mt Tamborine

Whether you opt for a day trip or choose to stay at one of the many cottages and B&Bs, we have no doubt you’ll wish you stayed longer. Close to one million people visit Tamborine Mountain each year to explore the multitude of wineries and beer distilleries for a unique tasting experience.

There are many more exciting activities to be found here, including:

  • Glowworm cave tours
  • Long and short hikes to the waterfalls
  • A gallery walk-through over 60 local arts & crafts stores
  • The rainforest skywalk above the trees
  • Hot air ballooning

Immerse Yourself in Springbrook National Park

Lovers of nature will find paradise in Springbrook National Park with spectacular waterfalls, humming rainforests, ancient trees and extraordinary views at your fingertips. This stunning national park is located in the foothills of the Border Ranges, and it has been protected as an area of great ecological importance.

Make sure you bring your camera to capture the rugged mountain vistas on one of the various waterfall walks. You don’t need to be an avid hiker to enjoy these walks; instead, you can stroll at your own pace as you soak up the clean, mountain air. If you are looking for more of a challenge, the Warrie Circuit will take you into the canyons below before ascending back to the plateau.

Embark on the Natural Bridge Walk

Allow 40 minutes to explore the 1.5-kilometre Natural Bridge Circuit where you can see an impressive variety of native flora, including strangler figs, buttress roots and epiphytic ferns. The Natural Bridge is a monumental rock arch formation that opens up to a streaming waterfall. Take a tour by night and experience the cave come alive with glow-worms and microbats as far as the eye can see.

Celebrate Your Hike with a Delicious Meal in Springbrook

In addition to hiking, swimming and looking out over the plateau, there are multiple locations across Springbrook National Park to set up a peaceful picnic and eat amongst the trees. Alternatively, save yourself the effort and pay a visit to one of the many eateries and cafes in the area. Enjoy live music in the sunshine on a Sunday afternoon, or stop into the famous fudge shop to stock up on treats for your friends at home.

Walk Your Way through Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park is a part of the connected Gondwana Rainforests, the most extensive subtropical rainforest in the world. Exploring this area should be on everyone’s bucket list because you won’t find anything like it elsewhere. This area offers stunning waterfalls and over 160km of walking trails deep in the hinterlands of the Gold Coast.

Look out over the Coomera Valley on the Caves Circuit, or have your breath taken away by wildflowers and rare fauna at the Antarctic Beech. No matter which area you choose to explore, you’ll be happy to get lost here. Remember to pack a jacket because Lamington National Park is 1000 metres above sea level, making it 5-8 degrees cooler than the Gold Coast.

Join an O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk

Nestled within this World Heritage-listed National Park is O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk. You will have the opportunity to observe the intricate ecosystem of the rainforest canopy from a close range as you travel along the first suspension bridge of this scope that the world has ever seen.

There are nine suspension bridges that stretch over 180 metres. From here, you’ll get a first-hand view of the unique plants, birds and animals that live in the treetops of this ancient rainforest. The best part? This walk is free of charge; however, small donations are greatly appreciated to help with maintenance efforts in the surrounding areas.

Explore the Green Mountains Section

The Green Mountains are a section of Lamington National Park with a dense cluster of lush rainforests and breath-taking views that you have to see to believe. Choose between half-day and full-day walks to properly explore this huge landscape. Listen to native birds and frogs on the Python Rock Track, or spot some leaf-tailed geckos on the West Canungra Creek track. Your pathway through is up to you.

How to get to the Gold Coast’s Rainforests

The best way to explore the Gold Coast’s vast expanses of rainforest is by car. You can move at your own pace and create a custom tour for yourself and your friends; however, make sure to carpool there in order to lower your carbon footprint.

There are also a great number of tour groups that leave from the Gold Coast and head in any direction you wish. Moving to the Gold Coast means you don’t have to limit yourself while exploring these rainforests and their endless walking trails. You can spend a weekend on Mt Tamborine and head off a fortnight later to explore the waterfalls of Lamington National Park.

Tips and Advice for Exploring Rainforests

In order to protect Australia’s stunning National Parks, there are a few things to remember. If you’re planning a camping trip to one of the rainforests, whatever you take with you needs to leave with you. Make sure you dispose of your rubbish appropriately and always stick to the walking trails to ensure you don’t cause damage to this sensitive ecosystem.

To keep your hike as comfortable as possible, remember to pack all of the equipment, water and supplies you may need before setting out. Also, many of Queensland’s National Parks don’t allow domestic animals to enter, so look for your chosen park on this list before bringing along your four-legged friends. You won’t experience any issues if you read the signs wherever you go!

Cleanse Yourself with Mountain Air

Living on the Gold Coast is an opportunity to experience the varying and unique ecosystems that Queensland has to offer. When you’ve had your fill of shopping and beaches in Surfer’s Paradise, don’t forget that you have dense rainforests and untouched splendour at your fingertips.

Australians are always excited to share their beautiful part of the world with newcomers, so put on your hiking boots and get ready to embark on a journey you’ll never forget.

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Should you wish to add or remove any items, we will adjust our fixed quote accordingly. Hence, no nasty surprises at the end of the move process.

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