10 Beautiful Walks on the Gold Coast not to miss

Ask me what my favourite way to explore a destination is and I always say it’s walking. Especially in Goldie, as there are so many beautiful walks on the Gold Coast that allow you to see the best landscapes of the region.

Whether it’s finding a hidden beach or backstreet cafe or hiking to the top of a hill, you can experience more or the city and the joy of the landscape just by wandering around.

There are many Gold Coast walks for you to choose from.

Sure the Gold Coast has its imposing concrete skyline, but it’s built around the great outdoors and the local council has done a great job in providing excellent footpaths, walking tracks, and cycleways for the active locals to enjoy their own backyard.

But if you’re not sure which walk in the Gold Coast you want to add to your itinerary, below are my favourites…

Is the Gold Coast Good for Hiking?

The Gold Coast is a great base for hikers and walkers, it’s one of the reasons we loved living on the Gold Coast.

Get up at 6.00 am on the Goldy and it feels like midday with everyone out walking, cycling, and surfing. You can’t help but get caught up in the energy of the place.

And the great thing about taking a bush walk on the Gold Coast is that it’s FREE and you’re seeing things at a slower pace, which means you’ll take more in and appreciate an area more.

The Gold Coast is so great for walking, when we lived there, we didn’t own a car. Plus, many of the walks are family-friendly and our small children could do them too.

If you want more strenuous hikes, the surrounding national parks have plenty of green mountains you can explore.

The best thing about the Gold Coast is you’re not sitting in traffic or rushing around on public transport, instead, you’re soaking up the local landscapes and walking off the overindulgence of eating on your holiday.

The Best Gold Coast Walks

So once you’re done with the theme parks and laying on the beach, get active and get beyond the concrete skyline and choose one of the many fantastic bush walks on the Gold Coast.

1. Burleigh Heads National Park

  • Distance: The combined Oceanview Track and Rainforest Circuit is 3.4 km
  • Time to complete: 1.5 hours without stopping for breaks
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Start / Finish: start and finish at the park entrance near Tallebudgera Creek

Burleigh Heads is one of our favorite spots on the Gold Coast, but for reasons I can’t answer, we’d never ventured into Burleigh Heads National Park before.

We’ve been recommended this walk many times as one of the best and most popular walks on the Goldy. Finally, we’ve done it.

We suggest getting up early for this Gold Coast hike. Grab a takeaway coffee from Nook Espresso then head to the point and catch the magnificent sunrise whilst watching the surfers at one of Australia’s most famous point breaks.

sky pink from sunset

After the sun has risen and you’ve had your coffee fix and been inspired by the surfers, head off on the ocean view walk around the rocky Burleigh headland.

woman and child walkign trail along headland

A wild, natural headland in the heart of the Gold Coast offers walks along the rocky foreshore and through the rainforest, and the chance to see whales in spring and sea eagles soaring along the coast. The terrain was paved all the way.

At Burleigh Head, where ancient volcanic columns meet the sea, this park features rainforest, eucalypt forest, pandanus groves, tussock grassland, coastal heath, and mangroves.

trail along headland

Its northern side is one of Australia’s most famous surfing point breaks. Walk the Ocean view walk around the rocky headland from Tallebudgera Creek and look at the tumbled masses of six-sided basalt columns.

Explore the Rainforest circuit, wander through a living museum of plants, and watch for humpback whales from the Tumgun lookout in winter and spring. See Australian brush-turkey nesting mounds, seabirds and water dragons.

girl walking along grail surrounded by rocks and lush forest

Picnic on Burleigh foreshore or relax on Echo Beach.

It’s a beautiful start to the Burleigh Heads National Park hike as you round the bend getting awesome ocean views combined with walking through eucalypt forest.

After you round the Burleigh headland, you’ll come upon what must be one of the Gold Coast’s hidden gems, Tallebudgera Creek. I’m sure only the locals, or those in the know, spend time at this Talle.

We stopped at secluded Echo Beach whilst the kids played in the sand and climbed on the rocks, and watched a few kayaks and paddle boarders cruise down picturesque Tallebudgera Creek.

smalll cove withrocks on hedland and forest
Echo Beach
gitl playing on rocks bside Tallebudgera Creek, Gold Coast, Australia
Tallebudgera Creek

When you finally drag yourself away from here head uphill and begin the rainforest walk which loops you back to the starting point at Burleigh.

About half-way back you’ll come to Tumgun Lookout which offers awesome views back over Tallebudgera Creek and Palm Beach off in the distance.

path way going through forest

This photo hangs above my office in our home in Raleigh to remind me of my beautiful Australian home.

tallebudra creek spilling into ocean with pa,m beach on one side

Burleigh Heads is where we’d live if were in Australia.

It’s pretty much downhill from here and once you get back to the Burleigh foreshore grab a seat on the grass with a drink, or maybe even a picnic, and enjoy the view of Burleigh Beach.

Burleigh Heads skyline framed by tree branch

The coastal walk combined with part of the rainforest circuit is about 2.5 km all up.

It’s not difficult as both of our young kids walked most of the way, just keep an eye on your young ones on the ocean part of it.

Check out Bujerum Apartments right on Burleigh Beach and our favourite place to stay on the Gold Coast.

2. Coolangatta to Point Danger, Southern Gold Coast Walk

  • Distance: 2km
  • Time to complete: 1 hour (longer when stopping for photos)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Start / Finish: Coolangatta Beach

This is a great little Gold Coast walk we did over and over again whilst staying in Coolangatta for 5 days.

If you only do it once, we suggest saving it for late afternoon as the sunset views you get at the end are magical, as you’ll see in a moment.

beach
Greenmount headland.

This walk may not take you long, it’s about 2 km in total, but that really depends on how often you stop as the scenery along the way will have you reaching for your camera at every outlook.

A palm tree on a beach

Start this walk on the path that runs parallel to Coolangatta Beach and head towards Greenmount Beach. If you desire, grab a coffee from the Go with the Flo Cafe at Greenmount surf club then start heading around the Greenmount headland.

Greenmount Beach is our little piece of paradise on the Gold Coast, family friendly for a swim and from the pathway you get a nice view back over Coolangatta.

The point is also a popular surfing spot for the locals.

people walking on a pathway next to a beach
people surfing

Once you’ve seen the surfers catch a few waves keep heading around the headland and shortly you’ll get to Rainbow Bay which is also a top spot for families.

Rainbow Bay, Gold Coast, Australia
Rainbow Bay

From here you have two options. Walk on the sand up to Rainbow Bay Surf Club, or simply stay on the path.

Along this section of the pathway is a playground for the kiddies to enjoy whilst you take a seat on the grass and admire the beach.

girl playing on sand at Rainbow Bay, Gold Coast, Australia
Beach option

Continuing past the Surf Club you’ll come to Snapper Rocks, one of the most famous surf breaks in the world and home of the Quiksilver Pro surfing contest.

And once you climb the small hill up to Point Danger on the Queensland / NSW border you’ll be overlooking another well-known surfing beach, Duranbah.

Duranbah Beach - with jetty in background
Duranbah Beach

If you have done this walk in the afternoon, now is the perfect time to grab a cold drink or even dinner on the west facing deck at Rainbow Bay Surf Club.

You can’t beat the views of the sun setting over the Gold Coast and the Surfers Paradise skyline from here!

sunset at Rainbow Bay, Gold Coast, Australia
Sunset over Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia
Sunset silhouette at Rainbow Bay, Gold Coast, Australia

For a place to stay at Coolangatta, I recommend the Mantra. It has the best views on the Gold Coast!

3. Lamington National Park Hike, Gold Coast Hinterland

  • Distance: 180 meters
  • Time to complete: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Start / Finish: O’Reilly’s Reception and car park

Fancy a bit of Rainforest bushwalking but don’t have a lot of time?

Lamington National Park is in the Gold Coast hinterland great walk, and the place to stay up there is O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. You could do a day trip, but it’s a windy road and a good 3 hour return trip from Surfers Paradise.

Once you’re at O’Reilly’s, there are two short walks beginning near the entrance to O’Reilly’s Reception, The Booyong Walk (the entire walk is 10 miles, but you only do a short section of it) and the Tree Top Walk.

a blue sign on a pathway

O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk allows you to walk through a canopy of flowering and fruiting trees covered by vines whilst you explore the epiphytic orchids and ferns surrounded by the many birds and animals that inhabit the tree tops.

The Tree Top Walk, was the first of its kind in Australia, is 180 metres in length and is made up of nine suspension bridges, with much of the walkway being 15 metres above the ground.

Profiles depicting the rainforest flora close by have been placed along the walkway to assist visitors in identifying the plants in the immediate vicinity.

swinging bridge at O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk

Two observation decks have been constructed in a Strangler Fig above the walk way, the highest one being 30 metres (approximately 110 feet) above the ground.

The Tree Top Walk is a unique and innovative structure that gives visitors what can only be described as an exhilarating experience – a chance to observe life in the rainforest canopy at close range for the first time in their lives.

woman holding child hand on boardwalk
boardwalk ythrough forst

The Tree Top Walk consists of 9 suspension bridges up to 16 metres above ground allowing you to walk through a canopy of trees and at the end of one bridge is a ladder up a fig tree that leads to a deck 30 metres above ground.

The Booyong Walk in the Lamington National Park is easy to navigate and suitable for young kids in a stroller, and it’s popular with the bird lovers out there.

4. The Gold Coast Oceanway

  • Distance: 36km (one way)
  • Time to complete: The entire walk will take you 7 to 8 hours without stopping, so we recommend you do it in sections
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Start / Finish: Point Danger Lighthouse to The Spit

The Gold Coast Oceanway is a 36 kilometre network of pathways along the beaches of the Gold Coast, from Point Danger Lighthouse (Coolangatta) in the south to the Gold Coast Seaway (The Spit) in the northern Gold Coast.

It’s an epic Gold Coast walk!!

people walking out of surf at Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, Australia
Burleigh Beach

Once our kids are older it’s on our list to one day walk the entire length but on this recent visit we managed to walk a 10km section one-way from Burleigh Heads to Surfers Paradise which took us 2 hours with minimal stops.

A sign on the side of a pathway

If you want to replicate this walk on the Gold Coast, grab yourself a juice from the kiosk underneath Burleigh Surf Club, pack some snacks and water in a day pack, and off you go.

At the North Burleigh end you’ll climb a cliff and some stairs to a viewing platform lookout over Surfers Paradise.

Surfers Paradise skyline on beach
Lookout over Surfers
woman waling on beach at surfers paradise

You might also want to bring your swimmers and towel for a dip along the way, and if you want a lunch or coffee break we recommend the BSKT Cafe in Nobby’s Beach.

We did most of this walk on the pathway, but as we got closer to Surfers Paradise we did the last section on the beach.

We didn’t get great weather on this walk, but this is what the Oceanway looks like on a nice day in Surfers Paradise.

woman walking coastal path

5. Twin Falls Circuit, Springbrook Plateau

  • Distance: 4km
  • Time to complete: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Start / Finish: Tallanbana Picnic Area or Canyon Lookout

Springbrook National Park is full of amazing hiking trails that pass through rainforests and take you to some beautiful waterfalls.

man looking at Twin Falls, Springbrook National Park

The whole part is over 6,100 hectares and is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.

One of my favourite walks in the national park is the Twin Falls circuit.

As it was drizzling when I did the walk, I chose to take on the 4-kilometer twin falls circuit alone while leaving Caz and the kids at home.

Starting at either the Tallanbana Picnic Area or Canyon Lookout, hikers can explore the track counterclockwise while marveling at the stunning gorges and palms along the way.

The path is well-marked, guiding trekkers through the forest and rocky crevices. However, parents with children should remain vigilant as the terrain can be demanding.

The Gold Coast area has much more to offer than its beautiful beaches, which the Twin Falls trek clearly shows.

People hiking under twin falls on the warrie circuit
Hiking under Twin Falls | Credit: Tourism & Events Queensland

Once I arrived at the falls, the serenity of two simultaneous waterfalls was unbeatable.

Although not directly in the centre of Goldie, Springbrook’s only a brief drive from our coastal home. However, if you’re traveling from Brisbane, you can arrive in just under an hour as well.

If you’re looking for a place to stay near Springbrook National Park, we loved our stay in the Mouse House Rainforest Retreat.

6. Warrie Circuit, Springbrook National Park

  • Distance: 14km
  • Time to complete: 5-6hrs walking time.
  • Difficulty: moderate to challenging (grade 3)
  • Start / Finish: Canyon Lookout

If you finish the Twin Falls circuit in record time, you can find the Warrie Circuit from the same trailhead (Canyon Lookout).

Hiking through the forest along the trail
Hiking through the forest along the trail

The terrain of this one is much more rugged with some rocky parts that may be impassable after a heavy rain storm. Some of the trail is also overgrown and not well maintained.

But I personally think the best thing about Springbrook National Park is its ruggedness, and this trail is a true example of this.

This walk is the longest and most fascinating walk in the park and takes you on a circular loop around the Springbrook plateau before heading back to The Canyon.

You’ll pass the Goomoolahra Falls, Rainbow Falls, and several creeks before climbing back up the gorge.

7. Curtis Falls Track, Tamborine National Park

couple walkking on curtis falls track
Credit: Destination Gold Coast
  • Distance: 1km
  • Time to complete: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Start / Finish: There is a car park off Dapsang Drive where you can enter the trail

A well-maintained walk in Tamborine National Park is the Curtis Falls Track, which although is only 1km long, has been listed as grade 3 because it’s quite strenuous.

The walk takes you through a wet eucalypt forest and gum trees, which is known to be a haven for Australia’s bird species.

Once you’ve climbed your way through the forest, you will meet a huge curtain of water tumbling over. the rocky cliff and into the pool below.

In the pool, you may see some turtles, fish, platypus, and eel. At night, glow worms light up in the surrounding cliff-face.

8. Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park

  • Distance: 1km
  • Time to complete: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Start / Finish: Bakers Road

Springbrook National Park’s Natural Bridge is one of its most popular attractions and can be reached very easily from the trailhead on Bakers Road.

waterfall coming through cave roof
Credit: Gold Coast Tourism

The formation itself receives its name due to the natural rock that looks like a rock bridge amid a cavernous waterfall.

To get there you must hike through the dense subtropical rainforest where you can observe local fauna, however, due to vulnerable ecosystems and rare glow worms, there is now limited access to the Natural Bridge area, and swimming is strictly prohibited.

Don’t forget to make time to explore the Cave Creek trail located nearby, as it is another breathtaking wonder of nature.

9. Witches Falls, Tamborine Mountain

Rainforest walkway to the exterior of Witches Falls Cottages
Credit: Destination Gold Coast
  • Distance: 3.1km
  • Time to complete: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Start / Finish: parking lot on Main Western Road

A little further out of the city in the Witches Falls section of the Tamborine National Park, the first national park in Queensland, is the Witches Falls Circuit.

This is an uphill bushwalk through dense forest and overgrown bush. The trail is a natural surface and requires some level of fitness to make it up the mountainside.

However, those who do will be rewarded with incredible sweeping views of the verdant valley and of course, Witches Falls.

TOP TIP: While here, why not treat yourself with a stay at the Witches Falls Cottages. They offer intimate adults-only private accommodations nestled among flower gardens and native trees. Each bathroom has a glass roof, allowing guests to watch the stars from their double spa bath.

10. Cedar Creek Falls, Mount Tamborine

aerial view of Rainforest walkway to the exterior of Witches Falls Cottages
Credit: Destination Gold Coast
  • Distance: 1km
  • Time to complete: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Start / Finish: Thunderbird Park

Another popular bush walk in the Gold Coast region is Cedar Creek Falls, which is located in Tamborine National Park.

The walk is short and sweet, at only 900 meters in total. The path winds down from the car park to a picnic and bbq area about 500 meters away, where you will meet the refreshing creek where you. can paddle or swim.

The first section of the track to the picnic area is easy to walk along and is also suitable for strollers and wheelchairs, but those with reduced mobility might struggle to make it to the next area.

Continue on for another 400 meters and you will reach the falls which have lush swimming holes underneath that you can swim in. It’s one of the few croc-free swimming holes in Queensland so it’s worth the trek!

More tips for the Gold Coast

Are you in need of more inspiration for a trip to the Gold Coast? Then you may find the below resources helpful…

Gold Coast Tours

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