There’s more to the Gold Coast than surf beaches and theme parks – although these are definitely worth visiting if you’re in town.

We recommend organising a rental car on the Gold Coast and taking a scenic drive to any or all of the following.

Killarney

It will take you about two and a half hours to drive from the Gold Coast to Killarney.

There is a lot to see and do in this quaint village. We suggest visiting the Killarney Heritage Centre when you arrive and having a look at the historical artefacts and photos within. If you travel here in the warmer months, you might want to take a refreshing dip in Killarney’s swimming pool, which is located on the main street.

The Queen Mary Falls are situated near the town of Killarney, so if the weather’s nice you may want to pay them a visit. This magnificent waterfall cascades down 40 metres of beautiful rock, and offers the perfect backdrop for a romantic picnic.

Tamborine Mountain

It will take you about an hour to drive from the Gold Coast to Tamborine Mountain.

This area is renowned for its scenic beauty, offering a mixture of park and coastal views. If you feel like stretching your legs, try the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. This offers a unique, eco-friendly way to experience the flora and fauna of Tamborine Mountain.

While you’re in North Tamborine, you may want to stop by the Tamborine Mountain Distillery. It’s received 260 international awards, and recently garnered three gold medals at the World Spirits Awards. These were for its Cherry Liqueur, Coffee Liqueur and Eucalyptus Gum Leaf Vodka – so make sure you purchase a bottle or two!

Boonah

It will take you about an hour and a half to drive from the Gold Coast to Boonah.

According to Visit Scenic Rim, there are four heritage trails that you can explore from the comfort of your rental car.

The trails have their own themes: Colourful Characters (history), Inspiration (artists), Feathered Friends (bird-watching) and Serenity (scenery). Brochures for all four are available from Visitor Information Centres in the area.

If you get the chance, visit the Art and Soul Gallery. This is a great place to get a bite to eat and admire beautiful works by contemporary artists. It hosts exhibitions twice a month, so you may want to consider this when planning your trip.

These three scenic spots are just the tip of the iceberg. The Gold Coast has plenty to offer those who organise rental cars – so don’t be caught without one on your next holiday in Queensland.