Things to do in and around the beautiful city of Gold Coast

Tripoto
31st Dec 2018
Photo of Things to do in and around the beautiful city of Gold Coast by Mahima Dharani


Planning for a trip and trying to make the most out of the few days you spend in a new city can be tedious. For most people, getting a vacation week from their work itself can be a hard task, let alone plan for the vacation. So here is my little guide to a short trip to Gold Coast.

Welcome to the south coast! The city well known for its beaches and tropical climate. I flew to Gold Coast from Melbourne. Since my parents were in town, we decided on this short trip. I booked my stay via Airbnb and I felt like it was the best decision I made. Let me just tell you why, I spent a lot of time browsing through hotel websites and package tours but then I came across some places via Airbnb and  found that the rates were far better and the homes looked pretty good. We stayed in a studio overlooking the pool at Varsity Lakes. Trust me, after my week long stay at the studio, I was not disappointed. When I go on tours with my parents, we always end up planning our trips through touring agencies. This time I thought I will try it the other way around and I made the bookings on my own. At the end of the trip it turned out that the money I spent on my entire trip didnt even come up to the package tour charges for flight tickets and accommodation put together. I visited most of the places based on blogs and some local magazines that I found in Goldcoast which made the entire trip a whole lot easier.

I rented a car at East coast car Rental. Those guys were good. They picked us up from the airport and dropped us off at their nearest office from where we could collect our vehicle. I had my Indian license, so I drove around with it. (Just a heads up- you will be charged extra for renting a car if you are underage (under 25)). https://www.eastcoastcarrentals.com.au/car-hire/gold-coastsport

We picked up our vehicle at Tugan and drove off to varsity lakes (20 minute drive).

It is a beautiful and quite neighborhood. Best suited for a quite stay. It is just a 20 minute drive to the Miami beach. It is also closer to the iconic Burleigh Heads beach. Best place to stay and visit places in and around Gold coast.

These are some of the pictures I took during my stay in Varsity Lakes. It is home to different varieties of beautiful butterflies (and also creepy spiders).

When you head towards the Reedy Creek around dusk, you can see little fishes jumping out of water.

With the shades of orange hitting the skies and the fishes jumping in and out of water, its just a very pleasing site to watch from the deck.

By the end of this blog I am sure you will see how breath taking Gold coast can be. so keep reading.

Photo of Varsity Lakes QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Varsity Lakes QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Varsity Lakes QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Varsity Lakes QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

We started to purling falls, sprinbrook around 9.30am. Of course like everyone else, I let Google maps navigate me to the location. The initial ETA was about an hour and half. Half way through the journey, we came to a hault. The roads were closed. I couldnt reroute from that location as there was no signal in my phone. Luckily, another couple joined us in a few minutes. They had a route map in hand. We were in the sprinbrook road. We had to go back all the way to the Nerang Murwillambah road to take the pine creek road towards Purling falls. Turns out a small part of the springbrook road has been closed for ages.

As we got back to the highway, we headed towards natural bridge, springbrook and then we visited the Purling falls.

The road to Natural bridge was pretty good. Beautiful trees, lush rainforest and chirping birds. I guess that is more than enough to calm your mind. You can find cafes on your way to the Natural Bridge. Just as we crossed a bridge over the pine creek, we saw the Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre. You can stop by if you like. The view of the pine creek from the bridge was so soothing. You can see trees amidst the creek.

As we reached Natural bridge, it was drizzling. We started our circuit walk down to the viewing platform. The Natural bridge is home to glow worms. The continuous wet condition of the cave makes it a suitable habitat for them. These little guys glow out of their butts. (No, they are not fire flies). I will tell you more about glow worms in the next section of the blog.

The walk to the viewing platform was lovely. It was drizzling and also the afternoon sun was doing its job, so it wasn't too hot nor too cold.

Before you head towards the bridge, there is a viewing platform that let us see the water flowing into the cave. Beautiful site.

Once you reach the bridge, it might be a little dark and wet down there. (Which makes it a perfect place for the glow worms). But the view is spectacular. You can see the Water flowing right into the cave through the natural bridge.

In our trip, I missed on one good thing about springbrook. It is a very popular location for star gazing. So I would suggest an overnight stay.

Photo of Natural Bridge Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani

Water flowing into the cave

Photo of Natural Bridge Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Natural Bridge Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani

Natural bridge

Photo of Natural Bridge Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani

We headed towards the purlingbrook falls via pine creek road. There are two things you can do here. Either you can just see the falls from the viewing platform which is not very far from the car park or you can do a circuit walk down to the base of the waterfall. The look out from the viewing platform is breathtaking. You can see the water fall plunging into the depths of the Springbrook plateau.

If you are up for the circuit walk down to the base of the waterfall, then take a left as you walk from the car park towards the first viewing platform (to start your trek in a clockwise direction) and continue downhill. Its a 4km (return) circuit walk. It is advised to start your trek in the clockwise direction otherwise you might end up climbing 450 steps. Its all written clearly in the instruction board as you enter the location. Its a class 3 track, so it requires moderate fitness. You can always carry some water.

In our case, The weather was very much in our favor. My parents are almost 60 and they were able to finish the circuit walk with just one break in between (they work out regularly ).

The loop takes 3 to 4 hours to complete. As you descend down the hill, you are welcomed by the sound of the water falling from 100m above. Its very colorful and a great spot for some scenic pictures. If you are looking for a place to swim, you can walk 2km further from this point to warringa pool. I did not visit the pool, so look out for any caution or restriction signs if any, before you jump in.

Oh.. I almost forgot to tell you something ! Watch out for snakes.

Photo of Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park, Forestry Road, Springbrook QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

Purlingbrook falls lookout

Photo of Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park, Forestry Road, Springbrook QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

Springbrook plateau

Photo of Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park, Forestry Road, Springbrook QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park, Forestry Road, Springbrook QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park, Forestry Road, Springbrook QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

Purlingbrook falls

Photo of Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park, Forestry Road, Springbrook QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park, Forestry Road, Springbrook QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park, Forestry Road, Springbrook QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park, Forestry Road, Springbrook QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park, Forestry Road, Springbrook QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

There are so many things you can do in tambourine mountains. Here is the list of places you can visit in Tambourine mountains.

Let's start with a place that kids will enjoy.

This is something you can find only in Tamborine mountains. The glow worm cave is the only artificial breeding centre in Australia for glow worms. You can visit the place with kids. They will love it. Its a half an hour tour. You can also see the different varieties of frogs and scorpions in a shed just close to the cave.

Glow worms are tiny littles worms, that glow out of their butt. They are usually confused with fireflies. These guys can survive up to a year. They are quite the cannibals (when they don't find enough food, they feed on their eggs).

You cannot take any pictures inside the cave as the worms might mistake the light from our phones as the sun and they might turn off their glow.

When you are done with your glow worms tour, You can also do some wine tasting and take a stroll in the wineyard.

Photo of Glow Worm Caves, Cedar Creek Estate, Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

Glowworms cave

Photo of Glow Worm Caves, Cedar Creek Estate, Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Glow Worm Caves, Cedar Creek Estate, Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Glow Worm Caves, Cedar Creek Estate, Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

Wineyard tambourine mountains

Photo of Glow Worm Caves, Cedar Creek Estate, Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Glow Worm Caves, Cedar Creek Estate, Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Glow Worm Caves, Cedar Creek Estate, Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

It is just a 10 minute drive from the glow worms cave. The ticketing and reception building is very close to the parking area. The entire walk is 1.5kms and it may take around 45minutes to an hour to complete.

Just as you enter the area you will be walking on a 30metre (approximately) high steel bridge amidst the dense rainforest canopies. You can see different varieties of flora and fauna here. The walk leads down to the ceder creek.

You can get a better view of the ceder creek and the tall trees from the cantilever bridge.

No tour guides here so you can stroll through the area as leisurely as you want at your own pace.

Photo of Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, Geissmann Dr, Mt Tamborine QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

Ceder creek

Photo of Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, Geissmann Dr, Mt Tamborine QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, Geissmann Dr, Mt Tamborine QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, Geissmann Dr, Mt Tamborine QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, Geissmann Dr, Mt Tamborine QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

Yet another attractive walking track. It is a 1.5km return circuit walk. Due to the presence of glow worms, it is prohibited to go beyond the viewing platform. The falls itself is magnificent with the water pouring into the rock pool below. You can continue the walk further down to the Joalah lower creek where there are number of small pools. You might come across eels or even platypus(rarely I guess).

You can either start your walk from Dapsang drive or you can start it from near the cafes in Eagle heights road which will add 800 to 900 metres to the entire circuit walk.

These are the only three places that I visited in Tambourine mountains and I have given you just a glimpse of what it has to offer, there is still a lot more to see and do.

Curtis falls

Photo of Curtis Falls viewing platform, Eagle Heights Road, Eagle Heights QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Curtis Falls viewing platform, Eagle Heights Road, Eagle Heights QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Curtis Falls viewing platform, Eagle Heights Road, Eagle Heights QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Curtis Falls viewing platform, Eagle Heights Road, Eagle Heights QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

Its a whole world of sea creatures out there. Different varieties of jelly fish, turtles, polar bears, sharks, dolphins, seals, penguins, stingrays and what not. The Seal and dolphin shows will amaze you. Its really great to see how friendly these guys are. You can also get special tickets to interact with dolphins. A single day pass is 85 dollars. You can also get a combined pass for 130 dollars (rates might vary) which includes entry to movie world, sea world and wet 'n' wild Gold Coast. I am not a theme park kind of person neither are my parents (of course) so we didn't want to do that. But if you love it, it makes more sense to try the combo passes.

If you are visiting with your toddler, dont miss out on sea world. They also have some fun rides for kids. They will surely enjoy it.

Dolphin show: sea world

Photo of Sea World, Seaworld Dr, Main Beach Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Sea World, Seaworld Dr, Main Beach Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Sea World, Seaworld Dr, Main Beach Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Sea World, Seaworld Dr, Main Beach Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Sea World, Seaworld Dr, Main Beach Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Sea World, Seaworld Dr, Main Beach Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Sea World, Seaworld Dr, Main Beach Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani

I would say this is one of the most popular location in Gold coast which makes it impossible to find a parking space on 'perfect weather days' and weekends. A definite Hot spot, so lots of activities. Surfing and swimming being the most common ones. You can also find malls, cafes, restaurants close by.

Photo of Burleigh Heads QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Burleigh Heads QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Burleigh Heads QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Burleigh Heads QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Burleigh Heads QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Burleigh Heads QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

If you want to have a spectacular view of the city, this is a great spot. Just along the southern end of the beach, a small hill also called the northern burleigh (Mick Schaumburg park lookout) gives a wonderful view of the coast below and the city towards the north. The Miami surf life saving club is also located in the southern end.

Photo of Miami Beach, Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Miami Beach, Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Miami Beach, Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Miami Beach, Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Miami Beach, Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Miami Beach, Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Miami Beach, Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Miami Beach, Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Miami Beach, Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Miami Beach, Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Miami Beach, Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani
Photo of Miami Beach, Queensland, Australia by Mahima Dharani

Okay, this is probably the best part about the entire trip. I did my first scuba diving at Mariners cove. If you are a first timer, and also not a great swimmer(just like me) I would recommend doing your dive through these guys-Queensland scuba diving co Pvt ltd. You have to make your booking 2 days prior to the day you plan to dive. Probably everyone knows, you cannot fly on the same day you dive. So if you are flying back home,you might want to finish your dive 24 hours prior to that.

Set aside half a day for your diving adventure. It starts around 8 am in the morning. Before you get on board, they will teach you about the scuba gears and basics signs you need to know. You will be diving in shallow waters not more than 7m high. They can take you up to 12m but they don't prefer that in most cases. you will be trained as to how you can breath underwater, how to find your breathing tube if you lose it underwater, how to push the water out of your mask in case it fills up and things like that.

After your lessons, you will be underwater, swimming amongst number of fishes. You will be hand feeding the fishes. Its a really good experience.

You can also snorkel around if you like after your dive.

You can definitely give it a try if you have never done this before.

Photo of Mariners Cove, Main Beach QLD, Australia by Mahima Dharani

Just like the name suggests, everything in there might look like its going beyond infinity.

Its a 30 minute journey into a maze that puzzles your mind. Enjoy your time inside this spectacular piece of art. I would highly recommend this place if you haven't seen something like this before.

THINGS THAT I MISSED IN GOLDCOAST BUT YOU PROBABLY SHOULDNOT :

I was very disappointed about not being able to see the whales. Only after I booked my tickets to Goldcoast for the first week of December did I know that it is not a season for whale watching.

Whales usually spend the summer in the Antarctic region and they migrate towards the warm waters of sub tropical region for breeding. You can see hump back whales in most parts of Eastern Australia during their migration period. The migration period varies every year but it is mostly from April to November. Whale watching usually closes during the first or second week of November.

The spit is another popular location in Goldcoast. Beautiful rocky shore. You can take a walk till the end of the pathway. The sea can be rough, so watch out.

It has a wide range of fun activities. You can go horse back riding, feed the birds, swim in rock pools, go bush walking and so much more. You can even camp out here. Sounds like a really fun place to visit with friends and family.

This hot spot doesn't get quite after dusk, they start only then. This night market attracts a lot of tourists and locals. You can find all sorts of jeweleries, accessories, and even art works.

You can always go and take a look around, you might find something you like.

Even if two people are looking at the same place or reading the same book or listening to the same song, they kindle a different emotion for each one of them.

Though I never grew up closer to a coastal region, this place made me feel at home. I hope you bring back something closer to your heart just like I did.

Peace.

See you in my next blog.

If you have any suggestions at all to improvise my blog, please feel free to DM me.

My Instagram: mahimadharani

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