Reboot while you untap into nature, Refresh with the air flooded with oxygen and rainforest aroma, and Recharge yourself with spectacular views in the best national parks in Gold Coast, Australia!
Well, all you seek now, my friend, is a much-needed escape into the blooming rainforests of Australia’s Gold Coast national parks.
Take over some adventure-filled activities, walking through the green foliage and searching for hidden waterfalls in the deep woods, camping under the star-studded sky, and waking up to the jaw-dropping scenic beauty of the natural landscape. Sounds tempting, right?
1. The Top National Parks on the Gold Coast
The National Parks in Gold Coast are undoubtedly one of the best-suited locations to steal time and explore nature while stepping into the wilderness. Each adorned and characterized by its features, Gold Coast National Parks will pose before you with jaw-dropping geographical features for you to explore and fall in love with.
Here is a list of national parks in Gold Coast for you to untick while you visit and experience them individually.
1.1. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Established by a beekeeper and floriculturist, this small-scale tourist venture is one of the heritage-listed zoological gardens in Queensland. It is also one of the National parks in Gold Coast that have been listed in the Queensland Heritage Register.
The place now hosts its visitors with various experiences, making it one of the iconic destinations of Australia to visit. Some of the significant components of the national park include geographical features like a creek, aviary, etc.
Bird watching and feeding huge flocks of rainbow lorikeet here can be a rewarding activity since the Sanctuary is world famous. Thriving with Australian native species, one can also spot wildlife creatures like lemurs, red pandas, tree kangaroos, top cotton tamarind, capybara, etc.
Speaking of recreational experiences in the Sanctuary, one can enjoy riding a miniature train that takes you through the site. One can enjoy meals and shop for souvenirs as a memory. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is undoubtedly one of the best national parks on the Gold Coast.
- Key Attractions: Twilight Tour, Grazy Arvo With Koalas, Breakfast with Koalas, Lemur Encounter, Creature Feature Tour.
- What to do: Viewing wildlife
- How to Reach: Tram from Broadbeach South Station, 16 km from Gold Coast
- Places to visit nearby: Freeman’s organic farm, Cornerstone stores, TreeTop challenge
1.2. Burleigh Heads National Park
The diverse headland of Burleigh, situated just 90km south of Brisbane, is one of the most visited places on the Gold Coast, with the reason being 27 Hectare Burleigh Head National Park.
It is blessed with rainforest and beaches, plenty of eucalyptus forest alongside mangroves, creeks, and tussock grassland with coastal heath and rocky foreshore.
i. More About Burleigh Heads National Park
The park is a must-go for walkers and joggers, with scenic tracks around the headland, enjoying the soothing nature, sea breezes, and incredible views. Both ways take nearly an hour to complete and are more or less at sea level, letting you scale to a maximum height of 88m above sea level. These peaks hold a few of the most majestic views, with benches and viewing balconies to add to your comfort.
One of the best places to spot migrating Humpback whales is Tumgun Lookout, and they mainly pose a show in the spring and winter seasons. National park tracks also lead to Echo Beach, offering a refreshing dive into the oceans.
You may also come across wildlife like brush turkeys, koalas, lace monitors, tree snakes, and sea eagles accompanying you on your walk. The park prohibits you from camping and campfires and is also not pet friendly, taking into consideration the native wildlife present in the park.
- Key Attractions: Ocean Views, Rainforest circuit, Echo Beach,
- What to do: Hiking, Walking, Jogging
- How to Reach: Brisbane (90km south of Brisbane)
- Places to visit nearby: Justin’s Park, David Fleay Wildlife Park
1.3. Lamington National Park
Sprawling over 51000 acres of land, the Lamington National Park will delight you with its beauty and rich ecosystem. Resting on the McPherson Range, the park offers spectacular views.
The rugged mountain, partly capped with lush green rainforests, valleys, caves, and waterfalls to explore, all these attributes make the national park a perfectly picturesque location to witness and fall in love with its beauty, making the Lamington National Park an excellent place to visit.
While traversing the bush tracks, don’t be surprised to hit up beautiful waterfalls. With over 500 waterfalls being part of Lamington National Park, the place becomes a perfect location to maze around the rainforests and end up on the trail on an excellent, splashy note while you hit the waterfalls.
i. Lamington Rainforests
Apart from its beauty, Lamington National Park has other significant reasons why you should visit it when in Queensland. For instance, you stand breathing amidst the air of Ancient Gondwana rainforests and the protected lands of Eastern Australian temperate forests.
Additionally, the park also encloses a section of the most prominent hoop pine forests. The location is a thriving place to watch wildlife in its natural habitat, and birdwatching here can be a rewarding activity while you walk your trails. You can try your luck spotting the rare Albert’s lyrebird or other species of endangered birds. How about spotting plants not found in any other part of the world?
- Key Attractions: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk, Green Mountain campsite, O’Reillys birds of prey, O’Reillys Rainforest retreat day experiences.
- What to do: Hiking, Walking, Camping, Picnic, Viewing wildlife, Guided tours
- How to Reach: 1-hour drive from Broadbeach, bus transfers from Binna Burra.
- Places to visit nearby: Moran’s Falls, Elabana Falls, Treetop Walkway, Pinnacle Walk, Gold Coast Great Walk – Binna Burra Trailhead, Moonlight Crag, Toolona Creek, & lookout, etc.
1.4. Tamborine National Park
Capture alluring views of the magnificent Pacific Ocean standing atop one of the cliffs of Tamborine National Park amidst the green oasis. The park is one Gold Coast national park to be enlisted as a National Park in 1908.
Tamborine National Park flaunts its diverse landscape features. Cliffs stand 560 above sea level, basalt rock columns and rugged outcrops, owing to volcanic eruptions that date back a million years ago, pristine waterfalls, and a cape of green rainforests that encompasses the richness of flora and fauna.
Explore the beauty of this scenic location by walking through the trails. Witness the abundance of flora like rainforests, piccabeen palm groves, and woodlands.
i. Tamborine’s Wildlife
Get a chance to spot wildlife, including Australian brush turkeys, scrubwrens, pademelons, and land mullets. Delight your ears with the chirping of colourful birds that inhabit the rainforests at high altitudes.
The Tamborine National Park houses about 85 percent and 65 percent of animal and plant species, respectively, found in the Gold Coast city. So now you can imagine the richness of thriving wildlife you will be stepping into.
Your eyes cannot sum up the beauty of this forest with numerous scenic waterfalls that flow at different locations. You can enjoy your day here for short walks or assuring a good family time by picnicking at various locations. Catch glimpses of breathtaking views of lookouts at different points of the park. There are several walking tracks that your group or family can have fun walking along.
- Key Attractions: Glow worm caves, rock pools, Palm Grove circuit, Jenyns circuit.
- What to do: Walking trails, exploring waterfalls, caves
- How to Reach: 80km south of Brisbane
- Places to visit nearby: Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens, Tamborine Mountain Distillery, Curtis Falls, Witches Falls Winery, Cedar Creek Falls.
1.5. Springbrook National Park
Springbrook National Park is one of the spectacular national parks on the Gold Coast. The unique features of the park include the park being a UNESCO world heritage site, making it one of the most recognized places in the world.
This is because the park offers its rare and unique geographical features, rare fauna, and temperate rainforests. The landform reserve of the park includes Springbrook Plateau, Mount Cougal, Natural Bridge, and Numinbah along the crest, east, and west, respectively.
Springbrook National Park conserves 1700 species of flowering plants and inhabits diverse vertebrate creatures, around 500 of their species. The unique geography of the park can be attributed to volcanic events dating back 23 million years ago.
i. More About Springbrook National Park
The central landscape of the park sits on Springbrook plateau on McPherson Range. Eroding their way out of these rocky, rugged volcanic formations, the beautiful waterfalls make their way through the forests, creating a beautiful escape and scenic points in the park.
One such fascinating place in the park is the Natural Bridge, an exemplary example of nature’s perseverance. This beautiful cave formation stands above Nerang River and is home to glow worms. Springbrook National Park is a Gold Coast national park where you can enjoy your summers out due to relatively calm and comforting temperatures.
- Key Attractions: Egg Rock, Pages Pinnacle, Natural Bridge, Purling Brook Falls, Antarctic Beech Trees, Twin Falls, Goomoolahra Falls.
- What to do: lookout points, walking tracks, camping, picnicking, horse riding
- How to Reach: 100km from Brisbane
- Places to visit nearby: Best of all lookout, Warrie circuit, Apple Tree Park, Mount Cougal, Wunburra lookout
1.6. Nerang National Park
Providing a lush green backdrop to the town of Nerang, the Nerang National Park is just 12km from the Surfers Paradise. The 17 square km park is mainly a dry rainforest and open eucalyptus forests covering its vegetation. One of the best places amongst national parks on the Gold Coast is Nerang National Park.
If you are planning an adventurous trek with your buddies to chill and have a great time, or you are just looking for a walk in solitude to have a good quality time, the park has you covered with 18 trails.
i. Nerang Trails
The trails are diverse, with difficulty levels ranging from beginners to professional hikers covering 155 to 4213m elevation gain. It has designated mountain biking trails and also cycling tracks to get you going at your pace. The place allows you to enjoy horse rides along these tracks, although horse riding is prohibited on the designated mountain bike trails.
You can also engage yourself in bird watching, with the park being home to around 325 different species of birds. Other animals like koalas, Richmond birdwing butterflies, grey-headed flying foxes, echidna, and tusked frogs can also be seen in the park. The park does not allow you to camp or have campfires and prohibits bringing pets.
- Key Attractions: scenic bushwalk, open eucalypt forests
- What to do: Bushwalk, horse ride, mountain biking, cycling
- How to Reach: 12km from the Surfers Paradise
- Places to visit nearby: Slideways go karting, Arthur Earle Park, Nerang Cineplex
1.7. Nicoll Scrub National Park
Sprawling across 27 hectares, Nicoll Scrub National Park adjoins the Currumbin Valley reserve. Like other national parks on the Gold Coast, this destination is the perfect location to experience the diversity of plant life that flourishes here.
This is one of the national parks on the Gold Coast that is like a refuge for flora and fauna. With a fair number of 200 plant species, including endangered ones, the Nicoll Scrub National Park is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts.
The wildlife that inhabits the park includes about 78 vertebrate species, alongside 56 species of birds. Get a chance to spot the rare inhabitants of the park, which include Grey-headed flying foxes and black flying foxes. The park also has about eight species of amphibians and six reptiles.
Apart from the rich diversity of creatures thriving, the park offers some of the best scenic views of nature. One of the fascinating parts of the park is that it protects remnant rainforest vegetation.
- Key Attractions: Wildlife
- What to do: walking tracks, viewing points
- How to Reach: 88 km southeast of Brisbane
- Places to visit nearby: Currumbin rock pools, Miami Marketta, Snapper rocks
2. Did You Know?
- Australia’s Gold Coast is one of the most diverse cities regarding wildlife, with more than 1,300 animal species and 1,700 plant species.
- Tourism is a significant source of income for the Gold Coast, with around 13 million visitors every year.
- With close to 57 km of land kissing the seas, this land is also blessed with around 300 days of sunshine yearly.
- The Burleigh Head National Park along the Gold Coast is renowned for spotting migrating humpback whales in the spring season. The Burleigh coast is hence nicknamed the “Humpback Highway.”
- One rare parrot species, the “Colorful rainbow lorikeets,” can be spotted in the dense green cover of the Gold Coast’s national parks.
3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Are the national parks in Gold Coast worth visiting?
Ans. National parks in the Gold Coast region are natural attractions attracting many visitors. It is blessed with natural beauty and astounding views of the breathtaking scenery.
They also provide visitors with adventure-filled activities like hiking, camping, picnicking, spotting spectacular waterfalls amidst the rainforest, or exploring other geographical features. National parks on the Gold Coast are perfect for nature enthusiasts.
Q. What is unique about Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk?
Ans. The Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk is an ideal location for visitors willing to enjoy bushwalking on their day out in nature.
Additionally, one can also indulge in other nature exploring things like hiking or watching birds and animals in their habitat.
Q. What are some of the famous national parks on the Gold Coast?
Ans. National parks like Nicoll Scrub National Park, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Nerang National Park, Burleigh Head National Park, and Lamington National Park make their place in famous national parks on the Gold Coast.
Q. Which of the Gold Coast national parks have proximity to Queensland’s coastline?
Ans. Baga National Park, Lamington National Park, Great Sandy National Park, Burleigh Head National Park, Peel Island, etc, are just a short drive from Queensland’s coastline.
Q. What to know about Tallebudgera Creek?
Ans. Located in Southeast Queensland, the Tallebudgera Creek is well known for its popularity with water sports activities like swimming, paddle boarding, angling in the river nearby, etc.
The place is also excellent for spending family time and is kid-friendly, with a playground nearby.
Q. Why is Cedar Creek famous?
Ans. Cedar Creek is a stunning location with picturesque waterfalls and rainforest foliage where you can enjoy traversing through your trails.
The place is a perfect spot for family and friends to hang out since the destination has Accessibility for all and poses dining options nearby while you enjoy the outdoor environment.
Undoubtedly, visiting the best national parks on the Gold Coast will amplify the quality of time spent. National Parks in Gold Coast offer their visitors a perfect metropolitan escape in green oasis spots of the region.
The national parks take them through a multitude of adventures for thrill seekers, relish a calming and soothing stroll in nature or watch wildlife residing in their natural habitat or their special nature reserve.
Creativity knows no limit, hence here I am!
An Architect who loves to explore, travel and observe spaces be it manmade or natural, and aspires to showcase her vision through her writing.