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Top Spots

  •   Gold Coast - Natural Attractions

•   Cascade Gardens
A delightful family picnic area, with BBQs, shaded playground equipment for all ages, tranquil rainforest walks, traces of Aboriginal culture and a sanctuary for water birds. Take the Kokoda Memorial Walk through authentic rainforest jungle, established to honour the men who fought on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea during World War II.

•   Mt Warning National Park
Mt Warning, named by Captain Cook, is a volcanic remnant. The park has camping facilities, picnic areas and wood fire barbecues. The steep walk to the top of Mt Warning will reward the energetic with great views, but if you’re not feeling up to it, Lyre Bird track which takes only about 20 minutes, would be perfect.

•   Burleigh Heads National Park
This small National Park, sitting right in the heart of the busy Gold Coast, provides a haven for wildlife and an opportunity for visitors to escape for a while. The park is quite diverse, with mangroves, rainforest, tussocky grassland and open forest. You can see flocks of brightly coloured lorikeets roosting in the trees at night, and you may catch a glimpse of dolphins or even whales out to sea.

•   Hinze Dam
Hinze Dam is a great spot to do some freshwater fishing. Permits are available from all Council offices or from the park ranger. Take a walk round the dam to experience the natural surroundings and lookout points or get active with the bike tracks. Wood barbecues, toilets, picnic areas, a cafe and boat ramps are available.

•   Currumbin Rock Pools
Close to Currumbin in Mt Cougal National Park, you’ll find these rock pools. The water is cool and the rocks and waterfalls make for lots of fun for the whole family.

•   Springbrook National Park
In the hinterland behind the coast lies Springbrook National Park, noted for its creeks, waterfalls and gorgeous views. It is a deliciously cool retreat from the heat of summer and it is a popular spot for picnics, bushwalks and swimming. See the Natural Bridge, the glow worm caves and Purlingbrook Falls.

•   Mount Tamborine
The charming village of Mount Tamborine lies in the heart of Tamborine Mountain, within coo-ee of nine National Parks. There are delightful homes and gardens, antiques shops, art galleries and tea rooms, or you can take one of the many walking tracks through lush rainforest.

•   Pine Ridge Conservation Park
One of the last wallum remnants on the Gold Coast is protected in Pine Ridge Conservation Park at Runaway Bay on the northern edge of the Gold Coast. It forms a quiet oasis amidst the bustle of the Gold Coast, with plenty of birdlife to spot and wildflowers to enjoy in spring.

•   Nerang Forest Reserve
Nerang Forest Reserve is a fairly undeveloped area of dry open forest with secluded creeks. You can go cycling or horseriding (by permit) or walk along the Casuarina Grove track. Birdwatchers may see glossy black cockatoos feeding in the casuarina groves.

•   Lamington National Park
The extensive Lamington National Park protects the McPherson Ranges and is part of the world heritage listed Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia. There are two main entry points, at Binna Burra and O’Reilly’s, both of which offer accommodation and facilities for daytrippers. There are many walking tracks in the park, ranging from short strolls to all-day hikes. The 21km Border Track traverses the park and is one of the top 10 walks in Australia.

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