Whisking yourself away to the mountains and neighbouring valleys is about the closest thing you’ll find to winter on the Gold Coast. Those bright, crisp mornings; the crackle of a fireplace; babbling streams; and getting snuggly under the covers. Sounds blissful, right?
You don’t need to travel far to feel you’ve truly escaped, and, fortunately for us, there are plenty of incredible options right on our doorstep. So, dust off your cosiest winter jumper and slippers, pack up the car and check into any one of these cosy Gold Coast cabins and cottages, which are perfect for your next winter escape.
The Mouses House
Nothing screams cosy romance like a setting taken straight from the page of a fairytale book. Snuggled amid an enchanted forest that could be filled with pixies and unicorns, The Mouses House Rainforest Retreat is just a 30-minute drive from the Gold Coast, yet a world away from your every day stresses and worries. These magical cedarwood chalets are self-contained and fully kitted-out with a fireplace, BBQ, cosy furnishings and some with their own jacuzzi on the deck. Okay, maybe we lied about the pixies and unicorns, but they’ll probably visit you in your dreams at these cosy Gold Coast cabins. Book here.
Tucked away in the hills a short distance away from Tamborine Mountain, you’ll find this dreamy Gingerbread Cottage. The charming cottage boasts beautiful interiors that’ll make you feel luxe and cosy at the same time. A veranda wraps around the house where you can barbecue, eat, and sit and read all to the relaxing hum of native birds. Enjoy views of the ocean while enjoying your breakfast and get toasty by the fireplace on the chillier nights. You may just get so comfy you won’t want to leave. Book here.
Witches Falls Cottages
Nestled in Tamborine Mountain’s lush rainforest, Witches Falls Cottages are sanctioned as 'adults-only' so you can count on the serenity of chirping birds and crickets, rather than screaming kids. You’ll love the daily baked bread and breakfast hamper delivery, wood fireplace, fluffy bathrobes, private courtyard garden with BBQ, and all just a very short drive from Tamborine's local wineries and cheese-making factory. Without a doubt, Witches Falls Cottages is one of the best winter getaways on the Gold Coast. Book here.
It’s secluded, serene, and absolutely gorgeous. Bangalow Bails is truly a must if you’re looking for a place where you can truly unwind and immerse yourselves in tranquillity far away from the city. This converted dairy is nestled amongst the hills just outside the town of Bangalow in the Byron Bay Hinterland. At this wintery getaway, you'll find there is no one else for miles so you can enjoy the scenery, read a book, soak in the outdoor bath, do some yoga—whatever you like—uninterrupted. Book here.
Hinterland Barn Loft
Dreaming of the perfect countryside escape? Then this cosy hinterland barn stay nestled on 18 acres of woodland at Tamborine Mountain has your name written all over it. Boasting the most striking warm, wooden interiors and rustic décor, this stay is the ultimate farm style retreat. So book yourself in and get ready to snuggle up and roast marshmallows by the fireplace on those frosty winter nights. Book here.
Private Eco Rainforest Cabin
If you want to feel like you're sleeping among the trees, this stylish eco cabin, then you’re going to want to look at checking in to this recently renovated rainforest hideaway. Boasting stunning views from Tamborine Mountain over the Gold Coast, Private Eco Rainforest Cabin was lovingly reconstructed from recycled timbers and uses expanses of glass to give that fully immersive, 'sleeping in the treetops' rainforest experience. The king bed with Italian linen, French coffee press, friendly chickens and Gilly the farm cat are all addded bonuses to this incredible Gold Coast cottage. Book here.
Gold Coast Hinterland, Austinville
If a hilltop spot nestled in the gumtrees with glorious private views tickles your fancy, this Gold Coast Tree House is for you. The sleek, multi-storey tree house is definitely one to write home about. You’ll be gushing over the stunning solid 1.2 ton stone bath, impressive communal hillside pool, and amazing views that stretch around the entire house. You can also become acquainted with the wildlife as free-ranging peacocks, alpacas and mini goats grace the land, so you’ll really feel at one with nature here. You can also enjoy a touch of wellness in the form of yoga, meditation and pilates tailored to your preferences. There is no internet at this hinterland getaway, so be prepared to go off-grid. Book here.
Joints In Byron—Friday Hut
She's chic, she's cosy, and she's begging for a spot on your Insta feed. The latest accommodation option at Joints in Byron (which houses four adorable cabins), Friday Hut is a two-person wood-textured, minimalist's dream, with a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom and cosy living spaces, plus access to the communal fire pit and veggie garden. You can always duck into Byron for the essentials, but we reckon you'd be crazy to leave when "home" looks this good. Book here.
Nestled among the trees on an avocado farm, this tiny retreat is the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. and boasts some of the most gorgeous panoramic views we've ever seen. Soak up incredible sunrises each morning and the twinkling lights of Surfers Paradise at night, all over a glass of vino, of course. The timber cabin has a queen bed, ensuite and all your cooking essentials but the real stars are the leafy private deck (complete with fairy lights) and the garden area below the cabin, which is prime for a picnic around the firepit. Or, many guests have used this special spot to pop the question, if you're feeling bold. It gets chilly at Oceanview Retreat, so be sure to pack warm clothes and your UGGs. Book here.
Blue Fig Cottage
Byron Bay Hinterland
A true in the Byron Bay Hinterland is this unique rainforest escape. Blue Fig Cottage is a 70-acre luxury destination set within the World Heritage Listed Nightcap National Park. Decked out in beautiful antique furniture, the house exudes luxury and class. An impressive timber deck is where you can host wine nights (or mornings—you’re on vacay after all) or just curl up and enjoy the serenity. Not to mention the cottage boasts all holiday essentials; there’s an indoor fireplace, a private campfire area, BBQ and a free-standing bath with views for days. We love that this retreat is completely off-grid and has no connection with the outside world—the power is created by solar and fresh spring water from the National Park provides you with pure mountain spring water. There are also over 75 fruit and nut trees on the property and a kitchen garden to pick seasonal ingredients. Book here.
Tommerup’s Dairy Farm Stay
If you’re the type who can’t sit still reading books we reckon you’re going to love the full experience on offer at the 200-acre Tommerup’s Dairy Farm Stay. Tommerup’s only cottage oozes rustic charm or you can book the whimsical historical homestead which sleeps 12, in case you need room for extra bodies. What’s best, guests are invited to join in on activities like cow milking, animal feeding, and egg collecting, or to take a picnic by the nearby creek. Later, snuggle under the stars and beside the outdoor chiminea fireplace, just don’t forget the marshmallows and red wine. The 90-minute drive from the Gold Coast to this wintery spot is absolutely worth it. Book here.
A picturesque stone cottage with leadlight windows, timber interiors and white walls, Tamborine’s Enchanted Cottage is the kind of house in the woods that'd put Hansel and Gretel on notice. Inside, a suspended fireplace warms the open living space. Outside, the encroaching woodland blocks out the modern world, and the cottage’s garden is a beautifully landscaped mix of hedges and herb gardens. The cottage can sleep up to five guests, so it's perfect for a weekend with your coven. And it's just a short drive to the wineries and rainforest walks of Tamborine. Book here.
This wee cottage will melt your heart, with its daintiness and lakeside position in the meadows lining the foothills of Mount Tamborine. Bundle up your loved ones and get cosy watching movie marathons by the pot-belly stove, but not before a dreamy afternoon exploring the postcard-worthy countryside surrounds, or an evening counting shooting stars. Self-contained and rustic Spiddal Cottage even comes with access to a tinnie and kayaks for rowing out and fishing on the glassy lake. What do they say? Good things come in small packages. Book here.
Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat
Warning: this place will take your breath away. Set in the forested rolling hills, just across the border in northern NSW, Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat is a little, okay a lot of luxury, but totally worth the splurge. Although we wouldn't describe Crystal Creek as a cabin or cottage, you certainly feel cosy surrounded by all the lush rainforest, so we though it deserved a place on this list. All of the private accommodations are architecturally designed, and you can choose between creek-side spa cabins and rainforest canopy bungalows, or go completely blingin’ by booking into the stunning luxury lodge with its own solar-heated plunge pool fringed by tropical lushness. Book here.
Seaview Farm Retreat
Just beause you’re headed for the hills, doesn’t mean you need to camp out in a musty wooden shack with haphazard décor straight out of the 80s. We’re loving Seaview Farm Retreat for its modern yet still little-bit-country take on a mountain escape, featuring vaulted ceilings, a light and bright sitting area, timber floors, crisp white linen and morning breakfast basket delivery. While Seaview was first established as a farm in 1903, you certainly wouldn't know it from the beautiful interiors. Once a sprawling cattle farm, today the grassy property is home to a few resident alpacas plus the odd guinea fowl and sheep. Paired with dreamy 180-degree views across the Gold Coast’s glittering coastline, there’s a good chance you’ll want to settle in for good. Book here.
Booked your stay and now need an itinerary? Here's the best things to do in Tamborine Mountain.
Image credit: The Mouses House, Stayz, Booking.com & Airbnb
Editor's note: Urban List editors independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. Urban List has affiliate partnerships, so we get revenue from your purchases.