It's Not All Clubs and Theme Parks

Many backpackers who visit the Gold Coast, Australia, get so caught up in the adrenaline of the theme parks and the hedonistic nightlife, they don’t even realise they’re surrounded by some of the best natural parks in the country.

These are four of the best in the region.

Burleigh Head National Park

One of the smallest and most charming national parks in Australia, what Burleigh Head (main picture) lacks in size it more than makes up for in natural beauty and diversity. It occupies a little splodge of land a few miles south of Surfers Paradise and offers magnificent views of the same. The beach which forms its eastern boundary has some great breaks, making it popular with surfers, and inland you’ll find verdant valleys and pretty heathland, which make for good hiking trails.

Springbrook National Park

Located in the gorgeous hinterland of the Gold Coast (basically the rural area behind all the urban beach fronts), Springbrook National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, a World Heritage-listed region which encompasses some of the world’s most ancient woodland. There are several waterfalls and swimming holes  along the various trails, the most famous of which is Cave Creek, which features a natural rock arch which is home to a population of glow worms.

Lamington National Park

Sprawling over a scenic plateaux among the magnificent McPherson Mountains, Lamington National Park is, like Springbrook above, part of the Gondwana Rainforests region. The park is laced with some world-class hiking trails peppered with spectacular lookout points, so make sure you bring your camera. The area is teaming with wildlife, with particularly impressive variety of bird and butterfly species, as well as the elusive platypus.

Tamborine National Park

Spread atop Tamborine Mountain and around its foothills, this beautiful national park offers some of the best walking trails in Australia. Expect to see waterfalls, swimming holes, mountain streams, gigantic palm trees and amazing views across the Gold Coast hinterland. As with Lamington National Park, the birdlife is abundant, varied and beautifully exotic, so make sure you purchase a decent pair of binoculars before visiting.

Want to see these national parks for yourself?

Our Complete Aussie East Coast package takes you up the legendary East Coast, where the Gold Coast is one of the top stops, and as well as all your flights includes a load of awesome extras too!

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