This article was originally published on the #WeAreGoldCoast Blog – the official tourism blog of Destination Gold Coast as 24 hour hinterland itinerary.
Put the car into cruise control, the body on breathe and point that sat nav due west – a velvet cloak is waiting to surround you in a oasis of serene emerald green.
The journey is part of the destination right? So relax, let those shoulders sink away from your ears, wind the windows down and pop the radio on some classical tunes. Before you know it, ribbon-like roads will reel you through a canvas of verdant hills dotted with vineyards, roadside stalls brimming with freshly grown produce, and rambling gardens with whispering streams. This place is the green behind the gold – our heavenly hinterland – and we already know you’ll be back before you even arrive.
First stop is for a cup of tea (we did say relax), so pop in for a decadent high tea with all the trimmings at Tea and Niceties, or delight in a side of extra sugary sweetness at Granny Macs famous fudge factory. Walk it off by pottering along the many stores and art galleries along Gallery Walk.
Stock up on hand-made chocolates, stash some cheese in the hamper for later and treat yourself at the distillery with award winning liqueurs, vodka, schnapps and our all-time fave – eaux-de-vie.
By now you’ll need some exercise, so how about chasing a waterfall, two or even three? For those that are not that fussed on too much walking, take the easy option with the 1.5km Curtis Falls circuit for palm-dotted rainforest, scrambling brush turkeys and a swish of mist as the falls tumble over the rocks. Cedar Creek Falls is a little farther, but easily worth it for its cascades, rock pools and one of the best swimming spots on a hot day. And if you really like a challenge, add Witches Falls to the itinerary – there is no such thing as too many waterfalls, right?
LINGER OVER A LONG LUNCH
The multi-award winning Songbirds in the Forest Restaurant is a must-drop-in if gourmet dining is your thang, with Insta-worthy dishes (c’mon we all do it) and a menu that reads like a story of grow, source and provide – all within a locally sourced radius. Leave room for the six course lunch – it will double up as dinner and say yass to the paired wines for a hard to beat self-treating – just be sure to have your designated driver on standby or pre-arrange a sleepover and let the treating roll on. Image: Witches Falls Winery, Mt Tamborine.
With the sun starting to wane, it’s time to whip out the picnic blanket, load up the cheese board and sit back and watch one hell of a sunset from 500m above the sea. Grassy knolls pepper most of the western side of Mount Tamborine, but if you want to know where the locals go, head to either Rotary Lookout or Hang Gliders for the best sun-soaked vantage spots around.
When the day is done, wind your way back down to the city and let a sea of glittering fairy lights be your guide. Or why not stay over? There are plenty of places with a comfy bed, from luxury lodges, rainforest retreats (Songbirds I’m staying!), cosy cabins and even some pretty sweet spots to pitch a tent or roll out a swag under a big sky canopy sprinkled with stars.