The Gold Coast is geographically blessed.
Idyllically positioned between world heritage listed rainforest in the West and pristine coastline that meets the Pacific Ocean in the East, the Gold Coast has it all.
With over 100,000 hectares of rain forest and 60 kilometres of beach, the best way to explore its beauty is by car.
The southern end of the Gold Coast is renowned for its luscious green valleys and sub-tropical rainforest in the surrounding mountains.
Here is a list of our top five Southern Gold Coast drives – you can view the map and find further details on the Southern Gold Coast website.
1. Springbrook Drive
A short drive out of Tugun up a winding mountain road will land you at the top of the picturesque Springbrook Mountain.
Highlight: Aptly named Best of All Lookout offers a viewing platform like no other, the view at sunrise will take your breath away.
Don’t miss: Wunburra Lookout which gives you exceptional views of Purling Brook Gorge and Mount Cougal.
Best trail: the Purlingbrook Falls 4km circuit takes you down into a gorge to a waterfall surrounded by a number of rock pools, (don’t forget to take your swimmers).
At night: the Springbrook observatory provides an exceptional vantage point to see the stars.
Read more about Springbrook National Park including maps and camping information.
2. Numinbah Drive
This drive will take you right to the heart of the Gold Coast’s hinterland, crossing the border of Northern NSW before you head North again via Tomewin Mountain.
Highlight: Natural Bridge is a site you cannot miss. A short walk will take you to an amazing bridge-like rock formation that was created over millions of years from water plummeting through the ceiling of a basalt cave.
Don’t miss: the crystal clear waters of the Currumbin Valley Rock Pools.
Best trail: Tomewin Mountain offers a challenging walking track for the more adventurous. Located near the top of the mountain, bushwalkers have the opportunity to take an early exit point and reduce the walk to a half-day bushwalk.
3. Binna Burra Drive
This drive takes you to Lamington National Park. Plenty of bush walking options are available for various fitness levels. This is a trip not to be missed.
Highlight: take the time to navigate at least one of the national park walks where you can see wallabies and kangaroos in their natural habitat.
Don’t miss: the Binna Burra Teahouse which offers exceptional views of the hinterland and beyond.
We recommend: if you have time, Binna Burra offers fantastic accommodation and camping facilities, giving you more time to explore the natural beauty that the region has to offer.
4. Tumbulgum Drive
Enjoy this half day adventure which takes you through Currumbin Valley and up Tomewin Mountain.
Highlight: the entire drive offers exceptional scenic views of the coastline
Don’t miss: this drive takes you through the mountains and back along the foreshore of Kirra beach which offers plenty of fantastic restaurants. Time this drive to finish at lunch or dinner and enjoy an oceanfront dining experience.
5. Currumbin Valley Drive
An approximately 2 hour turnaround drive allows you to get a glimpse of the natural beauty the Gold Coast hinterland has to offer.
Highlight: if the weather is warm pack your swimmers because the Currumbin Valley Rock Pools offer exceptional safe swimming under a sub-tropical rainforest canopy.
Don’t miss: Freemans Fruit Stall, located near the top of Tomewin Mountain. The stall offers an abundance of in season fruit that you can enjoy on your trip. On the return trip check out the Currumbin Valley Harvest, where you can enjoy locally harvested coffee and learn about their hydroponically grown vegetable gardens.
Along with finding out more about the Gold Coast’s attractions and things to do, you may also be interested to read: