When you organise a car hire in the Gold Coast you may want to experience more than the glitz and glamour of beachside cities.
Only 90 km south of Brisbane, the Burleigh Head National Park is the perfect answer to this problem, as this stunning natural area gives you plenty of opportunities to get back to nature.
Whether you decide to take a walk through the area's spectacular rainforest or meander along the rocky foreshore, you are guaranteed to be impressed with what this beautiful stretch of land has to offer.
The Rainforest Circuit
This walking path is around 2.3 km and it will take you on a journey around the forest. Keep your eyes peeled to see if you can spot any native plant life along the way.
This area is known for its littoral rainforest, a type of forest that only grows near the sea, in nutrient-rich dark soil that is derived from basalt parent rock.
In the open forest, further from the sea, you will notice the effect of different rocks and soils on the plant life.
The poorer yellow soils, derived from ancient sedimentary rock, are the perfect home for eucalypt forest and ironbarks, forest red gum, and brushbox. Bloodwoods may also be spotted here.
Make sure you also take time out for a break at the Tumgun lookout, particularly if you are heading this way in winter or spring as you might be able to spot humpback whales from this vantage point.
Ocean view walk
This walk is around 1.2 km one way and is not strenuous, giving you all the more opportunities to enjoy the sights and sounds of this spectacular area.
Its six-sided basalt columns, caused by slow cooling of thick lava from Mount Warning's many eruptions around 20-23 million years ago, are a must-see.
The lava cooled and caused the basalt coastline to shrink and crack into these six-sided columns.
Further erosion was prevented as these huge boulders fell to sea level, and stopped the headland flanks from crumbling.
Wildlife to keep an eye out for
While you are traversing these beautiful tracks, make sure you are looking out for the diverse wildlife that can still be spotted in the area.
The headland is important for local wildlife and in particular migrating birds. You might be able to get a glimpse of ospreys, white-bellied sea-eagles and brahminy, and whistling kites along the creek in this park. Another bird to watch out for is the brush-turkey. The male birds make large leafy mounds for the hens to lay their eggs in.
There are also a range of fruit-eating birds to spot along the treetops, and on rock formations you might be surprised to see carpet pythons or bearded dragons.