Things To Do

Lace Up And Hit The Best Bush Walks Around The Gold Coast In 2024

By Kaitlyn Smith
4th Jan 2024

If you need a break from the beach and are up-to-date on shows from your last Netflix binge, then there’s really only one solution. Get kitted up in your activewear and shock your system by actually using your Lululemons for their intended purpose. 

At Urban List we're passionate about getting out and about and embracing the pristine Gold Coast environment we live in. With that in mind, we’ve broken down 14 of the best bush walks on the Gold Coast/Yugambeh language region, from a quick stroll to a full day in the wilderness that’ll even make Tarzan jealous. 

Witches Falls Circuit

Tamborine National Park

Unbeknownst to most of us, Mt Tamborine offers much more than just awesome wineries. If you’re looking for a day on the mountain minus the booze, we suggest this easy, but not-too-easy trek. Descending into the valley and admiring nature at its finest has never been easier, especially when you know Witches Falls Winery is back at the top of the hill. Hello, motivation. 

THE DETAILS

Distance: 3.4 kilometres
Time: 1.5 hours
Grade: Moderate

Twin Falls

Springbrook National Park

twin falls
Image Credit: Tourism & Events Queensland | Supplied

This well-known Gold Coast bush walk meanders through rainforest rock clefts and rewards you with a deep swimming hole and a path behind two gushing twin falls at the base. You can complete Twin Falls Circuit in two directions, starting from the picnic area or Canyon Lookout, but anti-clockwise is recommended. This track gets very busy on weekends, so we suggest hiking early or in off-peak times.

THE DETAILS

Distance: 4.6km
Time: 1.5 hours
Grade: Easy

Koala, Jabiru and Melaleuca Track Loop

Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area

If you're after a central Gold Coast bush walk that won't take an hour in the car, we rate this Coombabah bush walk highly. The moderately challenging track traverses the wetlands and is home to plenty of koalas, kangaroos and birdlife, so you have to leave the doggo at home. We also recommend packing insect repellent as the wetlands can have alot of mosquitos, especially after rain. 

THE DETAILS

Distance: 9.2km
Time: 2 hours
Grade: Moderate

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat Walks

Lamington National Park 


Image Credit: Brooke Darling Photography | Supplied

Roughly an hour’s drive away from the glitter of the Gold Coast is where you’ll find yourself on a windy road incline with views that’ll take your breath away. Say hello to O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat. With a drive equally as entertaining as the various walks, it’s the perfect remedy for a day off the grid and there's a plethora of walks, ranging from 1km to a full-day 21.4km Border Track walk. Do one better, take the kids and explore the 800m sky-high treetop walk for some family fun. 

THE DETAILS

Distance: Varies from 1km to 21.4 kilometres
Time: 2 hours
Grade: Easy to moderate

Ocean View Burleigh Headland Walk

Burleigh Headland National Park

A calming contrast to the craziness of Burleigh and the Gold Coast Highway, this ocean view headland walk will smack you in the face with its beauty. If you’re lucky, you can perch up and watch whales breach, leaving you feeling worlds away. Good for either a leisurely Saturday morning stroll or a blood-pumping trot. We try to avoid going in the middle of the day, as there is little tree coverage.

THE DETAILS

Distance: 1 kilometre
Time: 30 minutes
Grade: Easy

Burleigh Headland Rainforest Circuit

Burleigh Headland National Park

Another Burleigh Headland bush walk we love is the Burleigh Headland Rainforest Circuit, which traverses the headland's dense rainforest sections. This looped route stars two lookouts, so you'll get plenty of ocean views, without all the the sun. There is quite a hill to conquer, but the panoramic views are worth it. We recommend visiting Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre after your walk, where you can immerse yourself in First Nations culture.

THE DETAILS

Distance: 3km
Time: 1 hour
Grade: Moderate

Natural Bridge Circuit

Springbrook National Park

natural bridge circuit
Image Credit: Tourism & Events Queensland | Supplied

Combining the tranquillity of rainforest streams and canopies? Yes, please. For a little day activity, take an easy stroll with your mates along the Natural Bridge Circuit and awe at the beauty of the naturally formed bridge, while the birds sing to you like you’re Snow White.  If you’re looking for something extra cool, head here after dark to take in the glow-worms. 

THE DETAILS

Distance: 1 kilometre 
Time: 1 hour
Grade: Easy

Cedar Creek Falls

Tamborine National Park

Essentially, you’re walking this track to take in the tranquil cascades of Cedar Creek. With an easy one-kilometre stroll to the creek, you’ll have worked up enough of a sweat to take a dip in the three waterfalls and fresh creek water. 

THE DETAILS

Distance: 1 kilometre
Time: 30 minutes
Grade: Easy

You Might Also Like:

Purling Brook Falls Circuit

Springbrook National Park

purling brook fallsImage Credit: Brooke Darling Photography | Supplied

Whith a suspension bridge for optimum views, you’ll walk through eucalypt forests before descending into the gorge for a view from below Purling Brook Falls. With a steady descent and climb involved (best travelled in a clockwise direction), we suggest packing some lunch to rest at the picnic area. If you’re feeling adventurous, add two kilometres and take a dip in Warringa Pool.

THE DETAILS

Distance: 4 kilometres 
Time: 2 to 3 hours
Grade: Moderate

Warrie Circuit

Springbrook National Park

warrie circuit
Image Credit: Tourism & Events QLD | Supplied

Starting at a cliff base before descending into a rainforest, on Warrie Circuit you’ll be exposed to stunning canopies, flowing streams, creeks and gullies. Take your time to appreciate the beauty of the canyon and its cliff of cascading waterfalls. Take adequate supplies (AKA food) as you’re in for a solid day of walking. 

THE DETAILS

Distance: 17 kilometres 
Time: 6 to 7 hours
Grade: Hard

Curtis Falls Circuit

Tamborine National Park

If you’ve not visited the gushing beauty of Curtis Falls on Tamborine Mountain, you’re missing out. For a strong flowing waterfall, visit right after heavy rainfall with a rain jacket and brolly in tow. With the most stunning setting in lush rainforest, you’re bound to be feeling all the chilled out feels with this picturesque setting. 

THE DETAILS

Distance: 1 kilometre
Time: 30 minutes
Grade: Eaesy

Cougal Cascades

Currumbin Valley 


Image Credit: Brooke Darling Photography | Supplied

If you’re not feeling a mission drive to reach the hinterland, this is your perfect option. Located roughly 30 minutes drive into the Currumbin Valley, the treetops along the Cougal Cascades track will have your neck sore from constant craning. Perfect for an easy family walk or romantic stroll, clamber down to the rock pools and cool off in the fresh water streams and flowing waterfalls.

THE DETAILS

Distance: 1.5 kilometres  
Time: 30 to 40 minutes
Grade: Easy

Toolona Creek Circuit 

Lamington National Park

The gorgeous Toolona Creek Circuit walk will see your day jam-packed with beauty and countless waterfalls and cascades. With a day lost (metaphorically speaking) in the wilderness, make sure you’re sorted with food, adequate hiking shoes and lots of water. You don’t want to be underprepared for this one. Rained recently? Beware of leeches...

THE DETAILS

Distance: 17 kilometres 
Time: 5 to 6 hours
Grade: Hard

Green Mountains Section

Lamington National Park

The Green Mountain Section of Lamington National Park is for everybody, with trekking options to suit beginners or pros. If you really want to challenge yourself, take the Mount Merino track for a full-day experience. You’ll be too distracted by stunning canopies so you won’t pay much attention to your burning legs (hopefully). 

THE DETAILS

Distance: 24 kilometres (shorter options available) 
Time: 8 hours
Grade: Hard

Looking For More?

Main image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland | Supplied

Urban List Best Of: has our highest stamp of approval—curated lists of the very best recommendations for you to eat, do, see, buy or book, carefully chosen by our Editors.

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.