The Gold Coast is the starting point for some of the best scenic drives in Australia. Surrounded by magnificent beaches, lush rainforest and waterfalls, there is a lot to explore in the region. When you've finished exploring the sights of Surfers Paradise, and you've visited the Gold Coast's famous theme parks, check out VroomVroomVroom's recommended destinations to explore.
A journey south across the border to New South Wales will yield even more beautiful beaches. Take time to stop in at Burleigh Heads along the way. From the foreshore and Burleigh Head National Park you can get a great view of the Gold Coast skyline.
Marking the southernmost point of the Gold Coast, Coolangatta is a popular place for surfers, and for good reason. From the headland at Greenmount Beach you will see some of the most impressive waves on the coast. Be sure to visit Snapper Rocks to see the surfers in action.
Travel Time: 40 minutes
Directions: From Surfers Paradise, head south on State Route Three toward Burleigh Heads. The road will merge with the Pacific Motorway, where you should continue to head south, following signs for Coolangatta.
Top Attractions: Burleigh Heads Beach, Snapper Rocks, Point Danger, Coolongatta Beach.
Even if just for the impressive view of the Gold Coast skyline in the distance, Springbrook National Park is a must-see. The rainforest is home a number of scenic waterfalls, like Goomoolahra Falls and Purling Brook Falls.
Nearby, visitors can head to the stunning Natural Bridge, a waterfall cut through the rocks. Go on a bush walk and explore the rainforest. The glow worm tunnel is another popular stop along the route. There are plenty of scenic lookouts in the area where you can enjoy different views over Springbrook.
Travel Time: 1hr
Directions: From Nerang, head west to the Nerang Murwillumbah Road. Turn off at the Gold Coast Springbrook Road and follow it south into Springbrook National Park.
Top Attractions: Best of All Lookout, Purling Brook Falls, Natural Bridge, Goomoolahra Falls
There is plenty to see in Queensland's capital city. Whether it is culture, art, wildlife, scenery or even a beach in the middle of the city - Brisbane has what you are looking for. Explore the South Bank Parklands, and stop in at the Gallery of Modern Art to see some unique artworks.
For a culinary adventure, head to the Eat Street Markets which features various street food from all around the world. If you'd prefer world-class restaurants, the city features many options. There is also cafes and restaurants offering international cuisine along South Bank.
Travel Time: 1hr
Directions: It is easy to reach central Brisbane from the Gold Coast. Simply head north on the Pacific Motorway. If you are heading for the CBD, take the exit onto Elizabeth Street.
Top Attractions: Gallery of Modern Art, South Bank Parklands, Story Bridge, Queen Street Mall, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lamington National Park
Only 90 minutes from the Gold Coast, Lamington National Park offers a wealth of incredible scenery. The access road to the park is very windy, but you'll have plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the view.
Follow signs to O'Reilly's, a guesthouse at the top of the mountains. Here you can enjoy a walk through the treetops and see the rainforest from a unique perspective. Aside from the tree top walk, you can enjoy other short walks including the Wishing Tree Track and the track leading to the Morans Falls Lookout. The area is home to unique Australian wildlife, so keep an eye out to see what mammals are around.
Travel Time: 1hr and 30 minutes
Directions: Head west to the Beaudesert-Nerang Road. When you reach Canungra, take the Lamington National Park Road. Another route is via Beehcmont Road. At the roundabout, take the first exit onto Binna Burra Road to reach Lamington National Park.
Top Attractions: O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Kamarun Lookout, Mount Bithongabel and Border Track.
Map of Gold Coast Day Trips
Do you know that you can download this map directly to your phone? Press the box symbol located on the top-right corner of this map to open in your Google Maps app. Now you can easily access this map on your next day trip in the Gold Coast.