If you are looking for the most amazing bush walks on the Gold Coast then you have definitely come to the right place. In this article, you will get to discover five of the very best national parks walks that will have you getting back to nature and enjoying the best of the great outdoors.
Federation Walk Coastal Reserve
How to Get There – Only a 15-minute drive from Surfers Paradise, Federation Walk Coastal Reserve offers fantastic bush walks along the Gold Coast. For those looking at taking the bus, you can take the 705 towards Sea World from Surfers Paradise bus stop. The 705 departs every 10 minutes and there are a total of 9 stops before you get off. The entrance to Federation Walk Coastal Reserve is less than 100m from the bus stop.
Why Visit Federation Walk Coastal Reserve
The bush trail at Federation walk meanders gently through macaranga groves, guides you through areas of rainforest, and passes some mighty she-oaks. Rolling sands help take the edge of any incoming sea breezes and various small paths trail off toward the beach. With 93 hectares to explore, Federation Bush Walk can make for an entire day out. Its close proximity to surfers paradise also makes it an excellent option for those who rely on public transportation.
For those who enjoy a little bit of bird watching, hundreds of different species occupy this coastal reserve, including parrots, kingfishers, cockatoos, osprey, hawks, eagles and owls. For families, the beach will offer endless fun in the sun for small children looking to cool off from the heat of the day. With plenty of seating options throughout the area, it is also a great place to enjoy a picnic or simply kick back and relax.
Best Time to Visit? It is best to visit early in the morning to avoid the midday sun. During winter, it makes for a great day long bush walk in the Gold Coast region.
Tallebudgera Creek Conservation Park
How to Get There – Just a 20-minute drive from Surfers Paradise and in the heart of the Gold Coast, Tallebudgera Creek Conservation Park provides some of the best bush walks in the area. For those without a car, you can take the 747 bus from Bundall Road, Evandale. Get off after 6 stops at Robina station and then walk for 5 minutes toward Southport Burleigh road. Take the 754 bus from here and 13 stops later, get off at Burleigh Heads. Walk 800m toward Burleigh Connection Rd to reach the park.
Why Visit Tallebudgera Creek Conservation Park?
The walking loop at Tallebudgera Creek passes through some of the most beautiful mangroves in the area. The walkway covers 1.5km and can be accessed by walking up ocean parade. For those who appreciate a little bit of adventure, you can tackle the washout that descends into a gully and comes out on the opposite side.
There are various different roles that venture off into the rainforest, where you can enjoy a little bit of isolation while listening to the cockatoos in the canopy. There are also several different species of snake to be seen, along with a whole plethora of native wildlife. The views looking over Palm Beach are breathtaking and make for some memorable photographs.
Best Time to Visit? The best time to visit for a Gold Coast bush walk is in the early morning or late afternoon when the heat of the day is not too strong
Nerang National Park
How to Get There – Just a 28-minute drive from Surfers Paradise, Nerang State Forest is an absolute must for bushwalking on the Gold Coast. For those without a car, you get the 740 bus from Slatyer Ave at Corporate Court and alight at Nerang station after 8 stops. Crossover to stop E at the station and then take the 735 for three stops. Get off at Price Street and then walk approximately 500m to the entrance of Nerang State Park.
Why Visit Nerang State Forest?
Nerang State Forest and National Park offer up some of the area’s most beautiful eucalyptus forests and dry rainforests to explore. Located on the outskirts of Nerang, you can enjoy a mesmerising bush walk that takes you through some beautiful scenery. When going on a bush walk through this forest, you will have the chance to see koalas in their native habitat, along with glossy black cockatoos.
Soak up the sights, sounds, and smells that this area has for a genuine ‘back to nature’ experience. For those looking for a little more adventure, why not enjoy the trails on horseback? Located just 12 kilometres from Surfers Paradise, you are guaranteed of a full day out filled with plenty to see and do. Of all the bush walks on this list, this is one that you definitely do not want to miss out on if you appreciate natural beauty.
Best Time to Visit? The dense canopy of the forest means that you can enjoy a comfortable visit throughout the day. For a truly magical experience, arriving at dusk or dawn is a treat for the eyes and ears.
Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area
How to Get There – Just a 27-minute drive from Surfers Paradise, Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area offers some of the most amazing Gold Coast Bush walks. By bus, you can take the 747 from Bundall Rd at Evandale toward Southport. After eight stops you will arrive at Southport bus station where you change onto the 719 toward Paradise Point from stop B. Get off at Pine Ridge Road after 21 stops and then walk for approximately 1.9 km to the conservation area.
Why Visit Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area?
With more than 1,000 hectares of Gold Coast bush, walking opportunities are abundant and how far you go is entirely up to you. Coombabah Lakelands offers up several different ecosystems and a diverse range of flora and fauna. If you want to see kangaroos and koalas in their natural habitat with your own eyes, then you will find it hard to find a better place than here. You can also watch the swamp wallabies as they play around and watch the hundreds of different types of bird to be seen.
The two best tracks to take for your Gold Coast bush walk are the spoonbill track and the koala track, where an encounter with a kangaroo is almost guaranteed. Once you have finished with your bush walk, you can indulge yourself in a little bit of retail therapy in Harbour Town Shopping Centre. While there are plenty of wildlife parks in the surrounding area, there is no need to pay to go to them with such an abundance of wildlife in their natural surroundings outdoors.
Best Time to Visit: Coombabah Lakelands are perfect to visit throughout the day and into the early evening. For maximum visual impact, try to schedule your bush walk at sunset when everything is cast in a stunning golden glow.
Purling Brook Falls
How to Get There – Located just a 50-minute drive from Surfers Paradise, Purling Brook Falls is a natural beauty spot well worth a visit. Unfortunately, this is one of the few locations on this list where you will need a car to reach it. There are no direct public transport routes available but check with your hotel to see if they are able to provide any transport for you.
Why Visit Purling Brook Falls?
No bush walk on the Gold Coast would be complete without visiting a waterfall at least once. Located in Springbrook National Park, Purling Brook Falls are among the most famous in the area. Nestled deep within the UNESCO world heritage Gondwana Rainforest, you are going to find it hard to top the beauty that this area possesses. This bush walk totals four km and is perfect for those who enjoy a slightly more challenging terrain to tackle.
The eucalyptus forest dramatically drops into the rainforest below, giving an outstanding view of the falls. Further along the track, the falls gently ebb and flow into natural pools perfect for a quick dip in. There are several other tracks that you can take for your bush walk that are easier to achieve and over a shorter distance, but this is by far the best. Looking up at the 100m tall waterfalls, you gain a greater appreciation of just how magnificent Mother Nature really is.
Best Time to Visit? Visiting at any time of the day or early evening will prove to make for a beautiful walk. If you are lucky enough to visit after it’s just finished raining, then this is when the bush really comes to life and transports you into a real-life wilderness.
To plan your route to these places via public transport, you can use the Translink Journey Planner to help you.