When someone says Gold Coast, you probably think of skyscrapers and long stretches of sand where tanned surfers and activewear-clad women roam. We’re about to let you in on a big secret, though; in the area inland from the Gold Coast’s beaches lie densely forested mountains, national parks and dreamlike waterfalls. There is wildlife in abundance, a bounty of walking trails and the chance to see Queensland’s cooler, quieter side. Here are a few places to visit in the Gold Coast Hinterland.  1. Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk Start off with a hiking tour of the Gondwanan rainforest and the remnants of ancient volcanoes. The Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk is 54 kilometre trek from west to east, beginning in the Lamington National Park and ending in Springbrook National Park. The trail is a highlight reel of the region’s natural beauty and mystery, taking you through a World Heritage Area that conserves some of the world’s most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest. Exploring the ancient landscape is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! 2. Springbrook National Park Just 45 minutes from the beach is the lush Springbrook National Park, a serene and verdant forest wilderness full of mossy fern groves, tangled vines and swimming holes. One of the main attractions in the park is the picturesque Natural Bridge rock formation. This is reached via an easy walk under the leafy canopy, with plenty of photo opportunities before arriving at the fairytale waterfall that eroded the basalt rock and created the arch. Keep an eye out for birds, frogs and koalas along the way! For an altogether different experience, you can join a night-time tour to the Natural Bridge in order to lay eyes on a luminous glow worm colony.

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Jan 29, 2017 at 2:56am PST
3. Tamborine Mountain This so-called mountain is a plateau in the Scenic Rim area. Cruising around Tamborine Mountain, you will come across glorious scenery at every turn, with waterfalls, greenery and breathtaking views all bathed in sunshine and fresh mountain air. Tamborine Mountain is a great place to stay while you explore the wider hinterland, as there are dozens of romantic cottages and bed and breakfast style accommodation available. The Rainforest Skywalk, an elevated walkway that takes you through the rainforest canopy and gives you a completely different perspective, is one of the most popular activities in the area. 4. The Best of All Lookout At the southern edge of the Springbrook Plateau is the Best of All Lookout – and don’t worry, the name isn’t over-hyped. From here you’ll get a stunning view of the lowlands below, with the added bonus of a short walk past some gnarled old Antarctic beech trees. They only grow around the Scenic Rim region, so are incredibly rare.

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May 9, 2017 at 6:35pm PDT
5. Witches Chase Cheese Company All of the fresh air you get walking around the Gold Coast hinterland can make you hungry, and what better way to satisfy your appetite than by stopping for a bite of cheese? Witches Chase has been churning out small-batch, locally produced cheese for over a decade. After you have snacked on some fantastic cheese, you can head next door to the Fortitude Brewing Company for a cold pint – just make sure your driver sticks to water.

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Mar 18, 2017 at 7:17pm PDT
You can easily explore all of the treasures in the Gold Coast area by hiring a car at the Gold Coast airport. Come hither to the hinterland!