Gold Coast is located in Queensland, Australia, and is best known for its incredible beaches including its most popular, Surfers Paradise with its stunning scenery and pristine shores. Aside from the sandy coasts and water sports, people in Gold Coast experience the laid-back vibe of its neighborhoods and the amazing food sold in the city's restaurants. Visitors will also discover a fantastic shopping scene and amusement parks that are known around the world.
The lucky people who call the Gold Coast home enjoy a pleasant sub-tropical climate year-round, and it's sunny and warm almost every day. The fabulous weather draws in visitors from all over and, as long as it's not too hot and humid, most people choose to spend the majority of their days outside. The land is home to ancient rainforests with waterfalls and beautiful public parks that are the best spot for anyone in the city, whether locals or tourists, to enjoy the sunshine and nature.
Below we'll introduce you to some of the parks in Gold Coast so you can visit them on a nice day. Planning on a surfing excursion in Surfers Paradise or a shopping spree at Pacific Fair? Stow your stuff at a Gold Coast luggage storage facility before taking a break at one of these terrific parks in Gold Coast. Bounce luggage storage is easily booked on our app. Safely secure your non-essentials and see the best of Gold Coast!
Tamborine National Park
Tamborine National Park is located on Tamborine Mountain and sits 560 meters above sea level. As you can imagine there are some incredible views from up here, and they are some of the park's top attractions. Admire views of the city skyline and the Pacific Ocean to the east and the lush greenery of the parks on the Scenic Rim to the west. A fun activity for those who aren't afraid of heights is the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk.
As you venture through the park be sure to walk around the entire area to see as many natural wonders as possible. Some of the different sections include Cedar Grove, Palm Grove, the Knoll and Witches Falls, which are marvelous locations for a picnic. The latter was actually the very first national park in all of Queensland and has been around since 1908. Curtis Falls is another gorgeous site, and if you're lucky you might catch a glimpse of local platypus. The natural landscape of the mountain is very impressive with columns of basalt, rocky outcrops, and cliffs. The rainforest and groves of large red cedars and piccabeen palms provide a nice cool place to take a walk, and you'll come across several waterfalls during your hike.
In total, there are nine walking trails that will bring you throughout the park and each one is worth exploring. The Arthur's lyrebird, a threatened species, lives in this forest and can be heard mimicking other bird calls. Being situated close to wineries, restaurants and breweries, you can definitely go for a nice meal or a few drinks before or after your hike. This park has been around since 1993 and is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
Lamington National Park
In Lamington National Park you'll find groups of people from all over as its natural beauty and diverse wildlife make it one of the most popular parks in Gold Coast to visit. Many of the plants and animals that inhabit the park are threatened and they rely on the green space to survive. Lamington National Park spans 206 square kilometers and can be found 900 meters above sea level in the Lamington plateau of Gold Coast. As you traverse the area you'll come across heaths of wildflowers and lush green rainforests with waterfalls.
The park dates back to 1915 and was added to the list of National Heritage sites back in 2007, and is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. The park is made up of incredible walking tracks and is home to more than 500 waterfalls in total. Depending on which trail you choose you'll see incredible sights like the Larapinta Falls, the Elabana Falls and the Chalahn Falls. If it's a hot summer day you'll love spending time here, as the mist from the waterfalls is cool and refreshing.
A nice place to relax after your hike is O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, offering camping as well as a lodge where you can hang out. One of the park's most interesting attractions is the Tree Top Walk. This park, as well as Tamborine, Springbrook and Beechmont, are made up of the northern end of the Tweed shield volcano.
Palm Beach Pirate Park
Although there are many national parks in Gold Coast you'll also find smaller green spaces with playgrounds and activities, perfect for a whole day of family fun. One of the best locales is Palm Beach Pirate Park which has just recently undergone renovations, making it much better than its ever been. You'll find this playground by Currumbin Creek at the Palm Beach Parklands.
As hinted at in the name, the park has been designed with a pirate theme so kids can let their imagination run wild as they pretend to be sailing their own boat along the beach. It's suitable for kids of all ages, so take the entire family out to play.
The pirate ship located inside the park has lots of exciting elements, from ropes and climbing nets to suspension bridges and swings. The little ones will have a blast playing with the spinning globe, telescopes, interactive panels and cannons, and can pretend to look out for other ships in the crow's nest tower that is 7 meters up in the air. You'll also find a tunnel slide that is 8 meters long and many other play toys. The row boats with talk tubes are a big hit among small children, and older ones can still have fun exploring the caves or relaxing on the hammocks and basket swing.
Burleigh Head National Park
Located right in the center of Gold Coast is Burleigh Head National Park, the smallest national park in the area but still an amazing place to go for a walk. This lovely park has rocky foreshores and cool rainforests, as well as ancient volcanic columns that can be found by the sea. Plan to spend most of the day here, as your journey will bring you through a variety of natural landscapes. Tussock grasslands, mangroves, eucalyptus forests and groves of pandanus are just some of the places you'll see on your trek.
If you enjoy surfing or want to go for a swim, head to the northern side of the park, which is one of the most popular places for water sports in the city. Those looking for a nice walk should take the ocean view trail beginning at Tallebudgera Creek. It'll introduce you to basalt columns and gorgeous views of the water. The rainforest circuit is another great choice, with an impressive display of plant species. Echo Beach and other spots along the Burleigh shore provide nice areas to sit and relax, or to have a picnic.
If you stop by the Tumgun lookout, keep an eye out for humpback whales who migrate past the area during the winter and springtime. You might also see brush turkeys as you navigate the park since they like to make their nests in the mounds. Water dragon lizards and seabirds can be spotted around the grounds as well.
If you're planning to spend time at the famous Surfers Paradise, you'll already know where to find the Broadwater Parklands located not too far away. These community and cultural parklands are popular among families and are the perfect destination to go after shopping in the Australia Fair Shopping Centre found directly opposite the park.
The park has recently benefited from an upgrade and now boasts interactive elements like telescopes, binoculars, rope tunnels and suspended nets, as well as a fun enclosed slide and a spiral tower with more than four levels. Trampolines, digging toys, a carousel, balance beams and climbing walls are some of the other new additions, as well as all of the older favorites like the bouncy pillow, a zipline, seesaws and a monorail track that will bring you around the park's perimeter.
Plenty of nice shaded picnic areas are to be found here, and the Rockpools water playground is the place to go when the weather is sunny and hot. The Rockpools playground also has lots of cool sculptures as well as a creek bed and tide pools where people of all ages go to splash around. There are several electric BBQs close to the playground that you can use to make yourself food, plus an on site cafe. You'll build up an appetite here but definitely won't go hungry.
Eagle Tree Park
This lovely public park can be found at Foreshore Coomera and is one of the newer playgrounds in the northern part of the Gold Coast. The perfectly manicured grounds provide somewhere safe and fun for kids of all age groups to play. There's a dedicated toddler play area, plus a swing set and a basketball court that teens and older kids can enjoy.
The flat pathways are perfect for strolling or for riding bikes and scooters, and if you're up for it you can even bike all the way to the Foreshore Jetty Park from here. Also featured in the park are BBQs and a picnic shelter, as well as water fountains and restrooms.
If your kids like climbing then they'll have the time of their life here, with all kinds of platforms connected by bridges and slides that are fun to ride on the way back down to the ground. The sandpit is a favorite among the adventurous as well, with shells that the kids can search for using the diggers. The playhouse has music features and different interactive games that will exercise the mind as well as the body.
Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens
Situated right in the heart of Gold Coast are some of the most beautiful gardens in the city. This green oasis covers 31 hectares of space with lakes and parklands, and the area can be enjoyed by everyone whether young or old.
The Mangroves to Mountains trail is a nice place to go for a stroll while observing the city's native ecosystems. For a bit of history, visit the Story of our Country Garden, highlighting the journeys taken by the Yugambeh people. To see some beautiful insects head to the Butterfly Garden, and find a nice place to sit and enjoy the fragrant smells in the Rose Garden, too. One of the coolest and most educational areas in the gardens is the Aboriginal plant use trail where you'll find all kinds of bush foods. On the Kaialgumm aboriginal games trail, discover all kinds of fun activities for kids.
The Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens are a good place to go birdwatching, and an outing by the boardwalks is always pleasant. Make sure to stop by the Friends Centre for organic coffee, ice cream and other snacks to eat at one of the picnic areas. There's also a playground plus regular activities held on school holidays. If you want to learn about the entire garden, consider following along on a free guided tour.
Spending time in beautiful Gold Coast
The Gold Coast has plenty to keep you occupied, from amusement parks and zoos to exciting events and cultural attractions, but some of the city's best features are its beaches, parks and gardens. Since most of the public parks have free entry you can stop by and visit them at any time, and they're the ultimate place for the entire family to spend time together and around nature.
Of course, you can't visit Gold Coast without spending at least a few days at a beach. This guide on the best beaches near Gold Coast will introduce you to some of the city's nicest oceanside areas. If the national parks mentioned above piqued your interest then you'll love these best hikes in Gold Coast.