two people sitting on top of a mountainside looking at the hinterland view

Discover rugged mountains, lush valleys, and cascading waterfalls a quick drive from our city’s heart.

Gold Coast’s verdant hinterland bustles with wildlife, rare species of plants, kilometres of dazzling walking track and twinkling waterfalls. Amongst all this splendour, a cache of quaint communities and charming small businesses have flourished. Take a look at some of the key hinterland gems just a short drive from our city’s heart:



Known colloquially as the gateway to the hinterland, Mudgeeraba is a picturesque green township that sits snugly north of Reedy Creek and south of Worongary on the western side of the freeway, opposite Robina. It beautifully navigates the line between being convenient to a major hub and removed enough to be able to develop its own quaint village feel. Just a short drive to stunning reserves and conservation areas, it’s an enviable spot indeed.



Popular with locals and day trippers, Springbrook’s rugged natural beauty on a clear day is enough to mesmerise even the most hardened and experienced hikers. The straightforward two hour Purlingbrook Falls hike is achievable by most, with time for breakfast with a spectacular view afterwards, while the popular Natural Bridge, complete with glow worms, is a simple one hour round trip, great for taking the kids. If you’re feeling a little more active, take on the 17km Warrie Circuit through the national park and gaze in awe at the multiple waterfalls.

Purlingbrook Falls, Springbrook

Springbrook Waterfalls


Nerang is another convenient locality that acts as an access point to the hinterland. Kicking off as a well-appointed retail and commercial hub at the point where it meets the freeway, it gradually gives way to greener pastures, the further west you get. The Nerang National Park is largely undeveloped, and is known as a “dry rainforest” with grey gum, stringybark, blue gum, and tallowwood trees. Explore the rainforest on foot with a bushwalk, or grab some mates and get mountain biking. You can even navigate the forest on horseback.



Guanaba is a tiny, friendly, semi-rural locality that sits between Maudsland and Tamborine Mountain. Clean and green, Guabana sits along the Coomera River and has swimming holes a-plenty for the kids, as well as rolling green hills and twinkling streams. Although you might feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale, it’s actually only around a 15 minute drive to the freeway. Well worth the trip.



Wongawallan is a rural community accessible by Tamborine-Oxenford road. Notable for its lush, green, mountainous aspect, Wongawallan is a breathtaking spot, perfect for a picnic by the three crystal clear creeks or even some nature photography. Keep your eyes peeled for wallabies, green tree frogs and bush turkeys while you’re there.