10 Best Day Trips from The Gold Coast
Looking for ideas for day trips from the Gold Coast? There are so many things to do while you are there but once you have visited the theme parks and other attractions why not venture out on a day trip to somewhere nearby.
Best Day Trips from the Gold Coast
There are so many day trips from the Gold Coast and with so many options. Many of these are great for any type of traveller but as always we love to include options for those with kids as well.
Once you have visited the area and ticked of the main things to do in the Gold Coast, consider taking a day trip to one of these amazing destinations.
Here we have come up with the best day trips from Gold Coast for families and beyond.
Of course, the travel time to each destination will depend on where you stay on the Gold Coast however most of these day trips are close by or within a few hours to make it easy.
1. Brisbane – Best City Day Trip from the Gold Coast
If you are looking for a day trip from the Gold Coast into the city, Brisbane is under an hour away and well worth a visit.
Brisbane is a vibrant city set on the banks of the Brisbane River. There are lots of shopping opportunities and some great places to eat. The Botanical Gardens are great to explore if you want to have a stroll. The Brisbane Eye and Old Town Clock Tower are great if you are looking for panoramic city views. There are also lots of events going on throughout the year too.
2. Tamborine Mountain
Looking for an adventure? Tamborine Mountain is one of the most popular day trips from the Gold Coast for those who want to get into the nature. Just 30 minutes from Surfers Paradise you can escape to the mountains.
There are lots of walking and hiking tracks, you can go chasing waterfalls and even explore the treetops. It makes a great day trip from the Gold Coast for all ages and is excellent all year round.
3. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the best day trips from the Gold Coast, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular attractions if you are visiting the Gold Coast with kids.
You can get up close to a range of Australian animals, feed some kangaroos and even cuddle up to a koala. It is about half hour from Surfers Paradise and the same from Coolangatta.
4. North Stradbroke Island
The locals call it “Straddie” and this island paradise is just a 25 minute ferry ride away from Cleaveland. You will find beautiful beaches, plenty of dining options and accommodation. You may even get to do some whale watching depending on the time of the year.
Although it is a great day trip from the Gold Coast, it is definitely a place where you could spend a night or two.
5. South Stradbroke Island
So it may not be as famous as the north, but South Stradbroke Island is actually one of the most easiest day trips from the Gold Coast.
This 1800 hectare conservation park is the perfect place to chill and relax in the nature. There are no cars, so no traffic, and it is still kept a big enough secret that there aren’t generally crouds.
Day trippers will love the water activities from windsurfing, jetskiing, kayaking and more. There are also plenty of walking trails to explore.
You will have to get there by ferry and takes a couple of hours but it is well worth it.
6. Lamington National Park
Any post on day trips from the Gold Coast wouldn’t be complete without the addition of Lamington National Park just an hour’s drive away.
Known for its section of ancient Gondwana rainforests, it features 160km of walking tracks and numerous breathtaking waterfalls. There are plenty of lookouts if you aren’t up for a long hike, and of course the tree top walk too. It really is a nature lovers dream.
7. Scenic Rim
Another must to day trip from the Gold Coast is the Scenic Rim, named one of the world’s top travel destinations for 2022. If you love nature and food this one is for you.
Weave through the country roads of the sub tropical bushland, and discover six beautiful national parks. You can stop at the regional markets selling the regions best locally grown produce, or have lunch at one of the traditional pubs.
8. Moretown Island
Further up from the Stradbroke Islands on the coast you will find Moretown Island which is famously known for it’s beautiful beaches and spectacular sand dunes it makes a great day trip from the Gold Coast.
If you love to snorkel or dive it is a great spot. There are plenty of tropical fish to spot as well as sunken ship ruins. You can usually watch the dolphins too.
9. Byron Bay
If you are looking for somewhere with a relaxed vibe, Byron Bay makes a great day trip from the Gold Coast.
The main attraction is the walk up to the Byron Bay Lighthouse where you are rewarded with the most stunning views of the bay. Right next to the Lighthouse there is a path that takes you to the most easterly point of Australia.
The beaches are beautiful, whether you are up for a swim, surf, or just to lay on the sand. Food options are plentiful, and there are lots of organic eateries.
Byron Bay is just 40 minutes from Coolangatta and about an hour and a half from Surfers Paradise you will feel the difference from the moment you arrive in this chilled, free spirited seaside town.
Not the shortest day trip from the Gold Coast but definitely worth a visit. You will find lots of natural beauty including beautiful beaches and the nature conservation of the Noosa national park.
If you love to surf, head to Noosa heads which is a great surfing spot. Lots of delicious places to eat serving up fresh seafood daily. If you can stay for sunset it is just magical.
The tranquil town of noosa on the Sunshine Coast is around 2-2.5 hours away depending on where you are staying. If you leave early it is a beautiful drive.
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