Whether walking on a Saturday morning is your weekly fitness ritual or your hangover cure, it’s time to get out and about on the Gold Coast. To help you in your quest, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite pretty walks from leisurely strolls to sweaty hikes. And since it's 2020 and last-minute restrictions can come into play at any time, make sure any National Park trails (and any other scenic trails) you're hitting up are actually open before you lace up.
That said, here are 7 of the prettiest walks on the Gold Coast.
Kirra to D’bar
Great for people watching, this walk has pretty ocean views, pretty greenery, and even prettier surfers to ogle. Start the walk at Kirra Beach with a tasty ice cream from My Gelato and follow the coast south along the walking path watching the waves roll in (and the topless boys on skateboards). As you pass Coolangatta’s main drag and reach the end of Greenmount Beach, stroll up through the trees keeping an eye for resident brush turkeys, lizards, and Ibis. Back on beach level, follow the path round to Snapper Rocks, to Froggies Beach, and then up the stairs and hill to D’bar—a magic whale watching spot in winter and spring.
The perfect end to a long lunch on Mount Tamborine, the Curtis Falls walk starts from Eagle Heights Road and takes just under an hour. Walk through the towering palms and impressive strangler fig trees down to the base of Curtis Falls. From here, you’ll get a fabulous view of the water tumbling down the rock face, before heading back through the forest to the main shopping street for some homemade fudge.
A well-worn route for locals, this is one walk that will simply never get old. Burleigh Headland has a shady path with lots of greenery, a few steepish parts, and glimpses of the ocean, making this route perfect for a quick afternoon stroll after a day at the beach. Catch sunset from the northern viewing point, Tumgun Lookout or, if you happen to visit during August, look out for fireflies that appear just as it gets dark.
The Pinnacle Lookout
Border Ranges National Park
Another spot that looks its best at sunrise, the 800-metre round trip to The Pinnacle Lookout takes about 45 minutes. Whether you get up early or don’t make it until the afternoon, the sprawling hinterland panoramas never fail to impress.
Purling Brook Falls Circuit
Springbrook National Park
Starting at the Gwongorella picnic area, this route is bursting with Springbrook’s heritage-listed rainforest flowers, shrubs and trees, all on display in an accessible four-kilometre circuit. This walk has a few (okay, a LOT of) steps down into the gorge, but it is totally worth it for the incredible view of Purling Brook Falls from the forest floor, and the lush tropical greenery fed by the waterfall. Just don’t forget you’ll be hiking back out!
Wake up before dawn and don your head torch as you hike and scramble in the dark. For your hard work, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular sunrise and views of the hinterland. For those Gold Coasters who are not morning people, the view will still be there at 11am after a big brekkie at Mavis’s Kitchen.
Kingscliff to Cabarita
Depending on whether you stroll or power walk, this one-way route along the coast will take about two hours and twenty minutes. Starting from the southern end of Kingscliff Beach, follow the riverside path and then along the coast. Shady and flat, this 12-kilometre route is great for running and cycling too. Although you can’t see the beach most of the way, you can hear the sound of the ocean, look out for wild birds, and occupy yourself with imaginary house shopping as you wander past the mansions of Casuarina. Pack some BBQ food and set up at Norries Head for lunch before getting the #603 bus back to Kingscliff which takes 15 minutes and goes once an hour.
In a mood for walking? Lace up and hit the best bush walks around the Gold Coast.
Image credit: Brooke Darling for The Urban List