One of the best activities we can do at the moment, aside from going on essential walks and grocery shopping trips, is get in the car and drive to forget the pandemic.
Scenic drives, with the aid of some good music and snacks, can be some of the most relaxing experiences you can get, and given that we’ve all been frequenting the same places, getting out and about and into nature could be the one thing that will spare our sanity.
So make sure you’ve got a full tank of petrol and get on the road with these scenic drives within 50km of the Gold Coast.
Mount Tamborine has a plethora of gorgeous scenery that can be digested from within the car windows, whether it takes you soaring through the escarpments of Eagle Heights, or skirting past forgotten spreads like Wonglepong or Boyland. If your legs get restless, wander around Mount Tamborine National Park’s endless lengths of walking tracks and hiking circuits, or make your way up to the Rotary Lookout for even fresher fresh air. You can make a pitstop for fudge at Granny Macs and pick up some booze at Tamborine Mountain Distillery, just remember to keep to social distancing guidelines.
Springbrook National Park
Sometimes the best part of the walk is the drive it takes to get there, and this scenic drive to Springbrook National Park is no exception. Follow the winding road as it gradually climbs through the cool rainforest, and let your eyes take in as much of the cliff faces, waterfalls and dappled sunlight as they can. Most of the cafes around the area are closed temporarily, so remember to take a packed lunch—and go to the bathroom before you leave.
State Road 98
If a dramatic change in pace is what you’re after, then jump onto State Road 98 and watch as the hustle and bustle of the coast fades into the peaceful scenery of Currumbin Valley. You can stop in for fresh baked goods at Pasture & Co to eat along the way, but even if not, the gorgeous drive is one to take in slowly.
State Route 97
Motor off the M1 somewhere around Mudgeeraba or Nerang and head in the direction of a wee little suburb called Advancetown. From there, head into the mountains and feel all your tension melt away, as the trees guide you into cool, lush foliage and soft light. The winding road will take you all the way through Numinbah Valley, where you can stop for some fudge, and pass Hinze Dam. On the way back, stretch your legs with a wander around the dam and take in the views.
Image credit: Brooke Darling for Urban List