It's Not All About the Coast
When you think of the Gold Coast, you think of exactly that; stretch after stretch of the most pristine and perfect beaches. However, there's more to the Gold Coast than meets the eye.
If you drive just 45 minutes inland, you'll come across an area that's very different and distant from the beaches and surfers that the Gold Coast is famous for. In fact, it's so dissimilar, it's easy to think you're in a completely different country; honestly, it's hard to think the two areas are part of the same region.
The Gold Coast Hinterland is an area of south east Queensland that comprises of Nimmel Range, Numinbah Valley, Tamborine Mountain, Tweed Range and eastern parts of the McPherson Range, and it's an area of deep, dense rainforests and bushland. Think of green forests for as far as the eye can see and you're just about there. Add in the fact that there are rolling hills and you've got a place that's peaceful and tranquil, a cool respite from the hustle and bustle of the cities. In fact, that's exactly what the Hinterland is used for; a retreat to get away from the burning summer sun, a place to cool down and relax.
And this was where I found myself this morning, in the quiet little mountain lodge of Binna Burra in Lamington National Park. I went to see just how different the area could be and I was stunned.
Binna Burra Mountain Lodge is an old school campsite with stereotypical open fire and quaint wooden cottages. One of the things I find so endearing about Australian's is their love of the outdoors. I had barely stepped through the front door before Damian, one of the adventure coordinators, came bouncing over saying "do you fancy abseiling off a cliff Macca!?" Of course I did, and all of a sudden I was hanging over a precipice with these astounding views before me. As Damian so aptly put it: "Sometimes, the only way to get back to nature is throwing yourself off a cliff."
In the afternoon, continuing my quest for the green behind the gold, I went on a quad bike safari with ATV Adventures. Based in the Numinbah Valley, this is a company that's been around for just over five years offering quad bike adventures to all ages.
With a powerful machine between your legs you're given licence to explore the surrounding area and discover one or two of your own gems. You can navigate your way through rivers and creeks, along forest trails and to the top of the surrounding hills. If you really want to explore nature then this is one of the best ways to do it.
So there you have it, it's not all about the coast. Next time you're on the Gold Coast then make the short trip inland and see a completely different world; it's a decision you won't regret...