Away from the beach, there’s more to the Goldie than meets the eye. We've rounded up the best things to do on your next Gold Coast Hinterland adventure.

The just-add-water holiday formula of the Gold Coast’s beaches has drawn sun-seekers to Queensland for decades but just 30 minutes west lie the sleepy mountains of the Gold Coast Hinterland. Friendly locals, remarkable produce and bucolic beauty remind you that even though its views stretch to the Glitter Strip, you really are a world away.

Drop your bags

Verandah House Country Estate

Look to your left from the cedar hot tub perched on the fringe of Verandah House Country Estate’s sprawling lawns on Tamborine Mountain and you’ll see all the way to the Pacific. Pan right and you’ll take in pinch-yourself views over the Gold Coast Hinterland’s “Green Cauldron”, a jungly bowl scooping back up to Wollumbin (Mount Warning) and across to Binna Burra in the Lamington National Park.

As hard as it may be to drag yourself away from this vista, the estate itself – with eight country-luxe suites cloaked in Ralph Lauren and Hermès – is equally easy on the eye. Owner Judy Pereira, an award-winning interior designer who, along with her builder husband, Laurence, transformed the site in just eight months, is the jewel in the B&B’s crown, offering a warm welcome the moment you open the car door.

Local fare

The restaurant at the Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation, dishes up all-day brunch and (not surprisingly) excellent coffee. Loll in the sunshine with a flat white and a seasonal menu that never misses – the swimmer crab benny with smoked miso hollandaise on toasted milk bread is a food memory in the making.

The Polish Place

Stop in for lunch at The Polish Place to admire Scenic Rim views while you enjoy Eastern European favourites, such as pierogi (dumplings), slow-roasted ham hock and apple pancakes. When Phil and Ania Sowter bought a block of land perched on Tamborine Mountain on their honeymoon 40 years ago, they wanted to create a place that felt like home. Specifically, the tastes, smells and traditions of Ania’s native Poland. Today, the couple and their adorable chalet-style inn and eatery are woven into the fabric of the region.

At dinnertime, the contemporary interiors of Main Street newcomer Wolf Restaurant are softened by the grand stone fireplace in the dining room. The menu – a Modern Australian variety pack of complex flavours – runs the gamut from kangaroo tataki and lighter-than-air zucchini flowers kissed with truffle malt syrup to 55 degree Wagyu 6+ tenderloin.

Happy hour

Witches Fall Winery

If you arrive at family-run Witches Falls Winery on a Sunday, when there are food trucks, live music and happy kids playing tag in the vines, you might think you’ve stumbled into a party. Book ahead for a table – weekends are especially busy. If spirits are more your speed, two minutes down the road you’ll find Cauldron Distillery, just over seven hectares of rolling meadows where the award-winning Five-To-Five gin range is produced.

Take a walk

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

Three hundred metres of steel somehow manages to camouflage itself inside the swooping canopy of Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, where the 1.5-kilometre round trip will take you through palm trees, gums and cathedral figs jostling for their glimpse of the sunlight above.

The surprise

It’s quiet in the Hinterland at 7am and even more so 3000 metres above the earth, drifting silently in a hot air balloon over the blanket of mist covering the region’s farmland. Hot Air Balloon Gold Coast doesn’t put a time limit on its sightseeing flights so you’ll find yourself floating for as long as the wind – and gas in the balloon – will allow, before landing in time for Mimosa and eggs at O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards. After breakfast, make friends with some alpacas, care of the neighbouring farm where you can even take a long-necked companion for a walk or engage in a (one-sided) conversation.

Find Flights with Qantas Now

Start planning now

Image credit: Krista Eppelstun/Tourism and Events Queensland; Verandah House Country Estate; Destination Gold Coast (The Polish Place); Witches Fall Winery; Destination Gold Coast (Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk).

SEE ALSO: 21 of the Coolest Things to Do on the Gold Coast

You may also like