If you have had enough of the beach and theme parks are not your cup of tea, you can consider taking a day trip from Gold Coast to get closer to nature. These are just some of the day trips (and super easy hikes) that we took during our recent trip in May. There are many more hidden gems within the Gold Coast hinterland so go on, take the road less traveled and explore to your heart’s content!
1. Cedar Creek Falls & Tamborine Mountain
Tamborine Mountain is home to several waterfalls and rockpools. To get there, head north from Gold Coast. Tamborine Mountain is 36km from Southpart via the Pacific Highway and Oxenford-Tamborine Road or 28km from Nerang via Nerang-Beaudesert Road.
Cedar Creek Falls is very accessible and only a short 30-minute hike from the carpark. The path is well paved with wooden steps and is an easy route for non-hikers too.
You can even take a dip or swim here if you like but do watch out for danger signs as parts of the falls are not meant for swimming.
 On the way to Cedar Creek Falls, you can also stop by Mt Tamorine Village for a quick bite at one of the cafes within these quaint and pretty houses.


2. Byron Bay 
Byron Bay needs
little to no introduction. A popular spot among locals and tourists
alike, I’ve heard so much about its beauty long before I visited its
iconic lighthouse.
It takes just slightly over an hour’s drive from Gold Coast via the Pacific Motorway and is very accessible by car. There is a little ice-cream parlour near the lighthouse, so you can just sit back and relax with dessert (who says no to ice-cream??) as you take in the beautiful panoramic views atop Byron Bay.


 3. Natural Bridge
Pictures do not do Natural Bridge justice, and you really have to be there physically to witness the beauty bestowed upon us by Mother Nature in its full glory.
Located at Springbrook National Park, the easy hike which only spans about 30 minutes to and fro is an absolutely rewarding one especially when you approach Natural Bridge, a natural phenomenon formed by the force of the waterfall over an erosive basalt cave.
To get to Springbrook National Park from Gold Coast, use the Pacific Motorway, exit at Mudgeeraba and follow the Gold Coast-Springbrook Road.
If you love scenic drives, you have to drive up to Springbrook National Park. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed the drive as the breathtaking scenery along the way reminded us of New Zealand and Southern France.
 Planning a trip to Gold Coast? I hope you found this post useful.
Here are my previous posts on Gold Coast too for your reference:
Have fun!