Cosy Gold Coast winter weekend escapes 


Away from the beach, there’s plenty to warm up – and entertain – the whole family. Here’s our favourite cosy winter weekend escapes within a stone’s throw of the Gold Coast. 

The Mouses House

Just a 45-minute drive from Surfers Paradise is a beautiful collection of 14 chalets nestled in the rainforest of Springbrook in the Gold Coast hinterland. Named after fairytale characters, no one chalet is the same as the next, so you’re guaranteed a different type of experience from everyone else. Some are perched right near mountain streams while others have sky lofts and spa baths, but each are fully contained and include a fireplace, pod coffee machine (BYO pods), and complimentary use of an iPad mini.


Mount Barney Lodge

This family-run lodge, located 90-minutes from the Gold Coast at the base of Queensland’s second highest mountain in the Scenic Rim, is the epitome of country camping. There are plenty of eco-activities to keep warm during the day and campfires to gather around at night.


O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat 

There’s a reason this property in the Lamington National Park is so popular with Queenslanders. Its 66 rainforest retreat rooms and 48 self-contained luxury eco-villas are a rainforest paradise and are now complemented by an adjoining space featuring powered safari tents and campsites. The oversized fire pit is a spectacular way to end the day and share a tipple with other guests. There are numerous eco-activities that are perfect for winter, including the Tree Top Walk along nine suspension bridges 15 metres off the ground, glowworm caves, off-road Segway tours and guided bird walks. 


Binna Burra Lodge 

An hour from the Gold Coast, this is an eco-tourism certified property that’s an ideal base for exploring the Lamington National Park. It offers self-contained lodges – with all the comforts you could want – as well as campsites and safari tents. It hosts campfires and offers a range of activities such as abseiling, a flying fox, ropes courses and spotlight nightwalks. 


Cedar Glen Farmstay 

A 90-minute drive from the Gold Coast is this cosy farmstay, situated on over 1000 acres of lush green pastures near the spectacular Lamington National Park. The traditional cottages come with their own wood fireplace and you can get the true farm experience with animal feeding, cow milking and trail rides that travel through the foothills of the Lost World Valley. 

Thunderbird Park

Nestled on 112 hectares of rainforest on Tamborine, Mountain Thunderbird Park is an ideal winter destination for so many reasons. Guests can choose from campsites, glamping tents and recently renovated two-bedroom bush lodges that can sleep up to six people and are very cosy indeed. Nights are spent around the campfire toasting marshmallows while by day, the surroundings offer zip-lining, horse riding, the Thunderegg Crystal Mine, treetop challenge, and mini golf.


Spring Gully Stays 

This campground is less than an hour from the Gold Coast and is well equipped for families wanting to get back to simple weekend pleasures. Perched in the stunning Scenic Rim, the property is dotted with spots for open fires, and if you don’t feel like bringing your camping equipment, there are safari tents to choose from. 


By Josephine Agostino

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Written by Kids on the Coast/Kids in the City

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