THERE IS SO MUCH TO EXPLORE HERE ON THE GOLD COAST, AND THE BEST WAY TO SEE IT ALL IS DEFINITELY BY FOOT. WHETHER IT’S A HIKE OR A STROLL, THESE WALKS ARE THE PERFECT WAY TO SPEND YOUR DAY OR A ROMANTIC EVENING WITH THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE.
GOLD COAST OCEANWAY
Connecting the Spit and Point Danger, the Gold Coast Oceanway is a 36km network of pathways that are particularly popular amongst walkers and cyclists. No matter where you start your stroll, the Oceanway offers you spectacular ocean views right from the world-famous Gold Coast coastline. With the city skyline on one side and fish, dolphins and even whales on the other, it’s quite easy to walk a considerable distance along this stretch of pathway without even realising. The track is well-lit and well maintained, and takes you past some of the Gold Coast’s best sights – it’s perfect for a sunset stroll, or an early morning walk to start your day off right. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even try hiring bikes and setting off on a romantic ride, but we recommend walking if you’re keen to enjoy some quality chit-chat with your partner.
BURLEIGH HEADS NATIONAL PARK
The rugged headland and rocky foreshore of the Burleigh Heads National Park make it a stunning spot for hiking. Head ‘round the bend, making the most of the uninterrupted sea views as you do, and be sure to treat yourself to a dip at one of the swimming spots along the way – Echo Beach is our top pick. The rainforest canopies make this hike a ‘walk in the park’ all year round, and there’s no better place to get to walk and talk with your significant other.
Look out over the mangroves down by the sea and up at the Pandanus groves that line the walkways, and – depending on the time of year – try making your way down to the water or stopping at one of the lookouts along the way to see migrating humpback whales or dolphins at play. Then, when you’re done, a romantic picnic on Burleigh Hill is the perfect reward for your efforts.
SPRINGBROOK NATIONAL PARK
This spot is known for its cascading waterfalls, rock pools and glow worm caves, making it one of the most magical parts of the Gold Coast. If you’re feeling brave, why not enjoy the views and caves on the daring trek up Mount Cougal? Stretching 10km, the walk takes you through fields, up rock faces, across the rainforest floor and up to the peaks of the mountain itself where you can enjoy sprawling views of the coastline, Mount Warning and Tweed Valley.
And, if you’d prefer to keep your feet planted firmly at sea level, Mount Cougal offers another great walk – the Cougal Cascades – that is a little less daunting. A 1.6km round trip, partially on well-maintained bitumen, you’ll pass the remnants of a 1940s sawmill that was once used to produce timber before coming upon the beautiful rock pools. Be sure to pack a picnic and make the most of the beautiful surrounds.
CURRUMBIN CREEK ESTUARY
The boardwalk of the Beree-Badalla Reserve is one of the best places to slow down and watch the sea and bird life in their natural habitat. Set back from the coastline on the Western side of the Gold Coast highway, the Beree-Badalla Reserve boardwalk is less than a kilometre in length – but those hoping for a longer route can continue through Tarrabora Reserve and back again for a 2.4km round trip – making it ideal for a quick morning stroll before grabbing breakfast at one of the nearby cafes.
It’s also a great spot for swimming, and is dotted with picnic tables for those hoping to make a day of it. Pack yourself a picnic and a change of clothes and plan to spend the whole day there, basking in the relative peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast.