The BEST bushwalks on the Gold Coast for families

While some Gold Coast families head to golden sands and bask in the delight of a Gold Coast winter, many locals prefer to escape to their favourite Hinterland trek. The green behind the gold offers some of the best bushwalks on the Gold Coast. There’s a bushwalk to suit anyone, and most of them are closer than you think!

Bushwalking is a great free pastime for families. From the winding tracks and unique landscape, to the peaceful sounds of indigenous birds. Trekking through the bush offers more than the exercise and education, it’s a perfect way to switch off from technology and get away from the distractions of life.

To make sure you are properly prepared, the top tips for a safe and happy trek would be:

  • Wear good enclosed walking shoes, thongs and sandals will start to hurt your feet and you will end up with blisters
  • Wear a hat, preferably a wide brimmed hat or a legionaires cap, not only for sun protection, but also to help keep the dreaded tick off your scalp
  • Load your backpack and pockets with healthy treats, you never know when you might need a snack
  • Bring plenty of water
  • Pack a basic first aid kit
  • Leave as early in the morning as possible
  • Layer clothing so that it can be taken off as you get into the hike
  • Make sure you have your phone and it’s fully charged. You may want to take photos and videos but also in case of emergency tell a friend or family member where you are going

Getting back to nature is good for the mind, body and soul, and a fabulous alternative to the golden sands of the Gold Coast. The must do Hinterland escapes are:

The Natural Arch

Also known as Natural Bridge, the Natural Arch is a great beginners walk. It’s only about 1km to the naturally formed bridge and it boasts a lovely waterfall and cave and for a keen eye and ear, lots of native flora and fauna. It is found on the western side of Springbrook National Park and it’s easily accessible with a car.

Accessible from Nerang-Murwilumbah Road carpark 


Springbrook is a stunning example of the Gold Coast hinterland. Punctuated with waterfalls and rock formations, the routes can be as challenging or as leisurely as you would like. The best part is the Purling Brook Falls. Make sure you pack a picnic and your swimmers for this one. The swimming hole in the middle of the walk is a perfect place to pull up a rock and refuel for the walk back to the car. The circuit is a 4km return trek, and the return is a decent climb so be prepared for some hard work.

Springbrook Road, Springbrook QLD, 4213


Austinville bushwalk on the Gold Coast

Austinville is a quaint little corner of the Gold Coast, boasting a gorgeous little swimming hole as well as some fairly difficult walking terrain. This trail is rugged, challenging and off the beaten track. There is a steep incline, so this is definitely one for the more experienced walker. Austinville is found nestled behind Tallebudgera Valley and and easy half-hour drive from the southern end of the Gold Coast.

Austinville Rd, Austinville QLD 4213

Binna Burra

The Lamington National Park and offers some of the best bushwalks on the Gold Coast. And with Binna Burra (“where the beach grows”) and Lamington in the same place name, how could it not be stereotypically Australian! There are treks for any level here, from a 12km circuit to a short 1km lookout stroll. You can be as challenged or walk as leisurely as you wish. From the enchanting flick of a whip bird to the gentle rustle in the bushes from a Pademelon kangaroo and everything in between, it’s a great place to spot wildlife.
Binna Burra is about an hour’s drive from the Gold Coast via Nerang and also has a lodge, camping ground and cafe.

Binna Burra Road, Beechmont QLD, 4211

Mount Warning

best bush walks on the gold coast

Proudly watching over the southern end of the Gold Coast, Mount Warning is not for the faint hearted. You need to allow at least four to five hours for the return trek. Make sure you leave early morning to avoid a return at dusk. There are a lot of stairs and uneven ground. You can use the built in chain to help pull yourself up and lower yourself down. The 360 degree views from the summit can only be described as breathtaking. There is limited Mount Warning is about an hour’s drive south of the Gold Coast via Murwillumbah. Because there aren’t any amenities on the climb, it’s best to use the bathrooms at the base.

The bushwalks on the Gold Coast offer something different and exciting for families. Happy hiking!

Yvette lives in the heart of the Gold Coast with her husband and three children. She brings a wealth of hands-on experience to raising well-rounded and responsible kids. Having been a Nanny in Paris and the French Alps, Yvette’s views are infused with the wisdom of real-life experiences.


For more family-friendly ideas on the Gold Coast, try Family-friendly weekends at Tangalooma Island Resort and The most UH-MAZING family-friendly resort!