After two months of city life, I wanted a break, a real break. I really needed to escape the hustle and bustle of Melbourne. My little holiday to the Gold Coast was already a big step in the right direction, but after some good time on the beach, huge parties and a scenic sunset kayak tour (check out more about this here) I still wanted more. Kaylene from Rainforest Tours Australia appeared to be my soul saviour. She invited me to “Come and see the Green behind the Gold”. The endless forests and national parks in the Hinterland.
A lot of people see the Gold Coast as the Miami of Australia. Great parties, clubs, beaches, and good surfing are attracting thousands of schoolies and backpackers each year. And boy how much fun it is indeed. Maybe it’s because of this, that I never realised the pure beauty of the green hills around the city.
These green hills, also known as the hinterlands, are a real outdoor wonderland, consisting of various national parks, endless windy trails, rainforest, Antarctic Beech Tree forests and numerous fairytale waterfalls. Two of the national parks: Lamington & Springbrook, are World Heritage Listed. And for good reasons!
As I had a severe lack of outdoor, hiking and nature, I decided to get the most out of the day and signed up for the full day hike crossing the spectacular Coomera Gorge Circuit.
A whole day in the wilderness is better with an early start. So I beat my hangover, resulting from the previous night, found out I was smart enough to pack my bag the night before and had plugged in all my cameras to charge overnight. Luckily Bunk Hostel appeared to be one of the rare hostels in Gold Coast where you can get a perfectly good night rest. So after a quick shower, I was ready to rock the day! (at 6:30 AM)!
Kaylene was spot on, on time, waiting for me in her beautiful white ‘Rainforest Spirit’ boot in front of my hostel. The 1,5-hour drive to the start of the trail was already worth to go on a trip for. Passing different viewing points, mountain villages and forest, I just didn’t allow myself the time to take a little nap. I just simply did not want to miss a single thing.
In a hinterland far, far away,
The trail starts on top of the mountains and kicks off with a breathtaking lookout from the restaurant. There’s nobody around yet when we arrive, not even in the parking spot. I take a couple of seconds to suck it all in. The air feels so incredibly fresh. It smells fresh eucalyptus, flowers and a bit of forest that just had a nice rain shower. The number of birds singing is almost unbelievable. Kaylene tells me that this area is an absolute must go for bird lovers. There’s a countless number of bird species, and some of them are even endemic to this area.
The walk appeared to be a true gateway to heaven, passing perfect lookouts over valleys, cliffs and the gorge. The number of waterfalls we passed along the way was so much that I lost track of counting. And when you thought you had seen the best one of the day, the next one appeared to be even more beautiful. The forest is full of majestic trees, green mosses and endless other plants. I’ve seen a lot of national parks around the world, and this one is definitely in the upper bit of my top 10. The area is so peaceful and beautiful that you would almost expect fairies to appear from behind the broad green leaves.
Kaylene patiently takes her time to answer all my curiosities about the bird sounds I hear, the plants we come across, the trees and where the next stop will be. Her knowledge about the area and its living beings go above and beyond. Before I know it, we’re already back at the car. Gosh, how I just wish this day would never end….
Easier than it seems:
The trail is almost 18 kilometres in length, which sounds like a fair bit, but appeared to be way easier than I thought. The trail remains on the upper part of the valley and is more or less flat the entire way. The trails are perfectly maintained and easy to walk on. It is doable for anybody with a decent condition. It takes about 6 hours to finish the tour, 7 hours if you’re just as addicted to photography as me 😉
Can’t wait to come and see it with your own eyes? All visitors of Backpacker Deals get a 10% discount! Check it out now!
Want to take it a bit easier? The Half Day Hike to Purling Brook Falls gives you the opportunity to explore the hinterland without sour calves.