There’s plenty of green behind the gold which makes up the Gold Coast whether its paddling in rock pools or waterfalls, hiking ancient rainforests, or taking beach walks which wrap around the ocean. Home to community gardens, bowling greens, botanic gardens and parks, the green scene is alive and kicking.
Currumbin Creek Road winds inland to the Currumbin Rock Pools, a shady spot in which to cool off on a hot day. Along the way, stop at Dust Temple, which embraces its eco edge from its red retro couches to its graffiti and Indigenous art.
Lamington National Park
There’s much to love about Lamington National Park and its 23 million-year-old Gondwana Rainforest. Encounter the purple and gold male Regent Bower Bird, crimson rosella and black land mullet lizard, on one of many circuit walks. At night, check out the glow worms.
Literally named after the green hill which separates Greenmount Beach from Rainbow Beach on the southern Gold Coast, this has been a popular tourist spot for decades. A paved walkway around this coastal headline connects the two beaches and is a prime position from which to sit and watch surfers.
Burleigh Head National Park
One of the prettiest patches on the Gold Coast, this 27ha national park is home to rainforest, eucalypt forest, pandanus groves, tussock grassland, coastal heath, mangroves, creeks, rocky foreshores and beaches. For great views, take the 1.2km one-way ocean view walk or the 2.3km return rainforest circuit.
Springbrook National Park
Photographers adore Sprinbrook National Park for its waterfalls, rainforest and ancient trees. Walkers are pretty keen on this area too, particularly with its recently-added suspension bridge across Little Nerang Creek Gorge. The Purling Brook Falls Walking Track is the most popular trek and takes 90 minutes return.
Tamborine National Park
Tamborine National Park’s Witches Falls section, declared in 1908, is Queensland’s first national park. Wander piccabeen palm groves, wet eucalypt and open forest. Tamborine Mountain hosts 85 per cent of all animal species and 65 per cent of all plant species found in the Gold Coast city.
Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens
Just ten minutes from bustling Surfers Paradise at Benowa sit the 31ha Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens. Open every day of the year for 14 hours a day, check out the Sensory, Rose and Butterfly Gardens, and local plants at the Mangroves to Mountain walk.
Considered the best playground on the Coast, a highlight of this fully-fenced playground at Palm Beach is the Liberty Swing which allows kids in wheelchairs to also play. Overlooking a lake, other attractions include a pirate ship, pedal power monorail and funny faces interactive board.
The Green Bistro Byron Bay
Considered a Byron Bay icon, the Green Bistro overlooks the town’s bowling green. And it’s green in every sense of the word, sourcing local producers to supply its unpretentious menu featuring “chook burgers”, “Gran’s curry”, the obligatory Sunday roast and The Green Daily Smoothie.
Just because much of the Gold Coast tends to spiral skywards, this doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of places in which to grow a vege or two. Leading a long list, the Joan Park Community Garden has been around for more than 10 years.