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Hidden Wonders of the Gold Coast

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Surfers Paradise, Burleigh Heads, theme parks, luxury shopping… the Gold Coast’s top attractions are well known all over the country, but beyond the well-trodden paths lie hidden natural and cultural wonders waiting to be discovered. From tranquil natural retreats to artistic havens, these lesser-known jewels offer a unique perspective on the Gold Coast’s rich and diverse beauty. Shhhh… read on to learn just what you’ve been missing.

Currumbin Rock Pools, Currumbin
Tucked away in the lush hinterland, the Currumbin Rock Pools offer a refreshing escape from the bustling coast. This idyllic spot features a series of natural pools perfect for swimming, diving, and relaxing. Surrounded by greenery, the pools cater to all ages, with shallow areas for younger children and deeper spots and even rope swings for adventurous swimmers. Pack a picnic and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for crabs and starfish, anemones and maybe even a lobster or two scurrying along the pool floor. 

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Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park
Venture into the ancient Gondwana Rainforest at Springbrook National Park and follow the well-signed path down to Natural Bridge, a breath-taking rock formation created by the force of water over millions of years. This enchanting site is home to a cascading waterfall that flows through a basalt cave, creating a natural arch. At night, the cave transforms into a magical grotto illuminated by glow worms, offering a spectacular natural light show. The park also features walking trails that lead to scenic lookouts and other waterfalls. It’s an easy hike suitable for all ages. 

Wonder Reef, Main Beach
Located off the northern Gold Coast spit, man-made Wonder Reef is designed to promote marine biodiversity and offer an easy-access local diving experience. The reef’s sculptures are not only an artistic marvel but also serve as a habitat for a variety of marine creatures, from vibrant fish to delicate coral formations. Diving here feels a little like exploring an underwater gallery, where art and nature coexist harmoniously.

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Froggies Beach, Rainbow Bay
Nestled between Snapper Rocks and Point Danger, Froggies Beach is a secluded little slice of coastline best known for its clear waters and pristine sands. This small, sheltered beach is perfect for those seeking a quiet spot to sunbathe or swim away from the larger crowds. It’s also a favourite among local surfers, thanks to its consistent waves. The beach’s intimate setting makes it a great location for a peaceful day by the sea—just look for the painted frog perched on the rocks, presiding over his cove. 

Curtis Falls, Tambourine Mountain
Located in the heart of Tambourine Mountain, Curtis Falls is a serene waterfall surrounded by lush rainforest. The easy walking trail to the falls winds through towering trees and stunning flora, leading to a picturesque viewing platform. The sound of the cascading water and the beauty of the natural surroundings make Curtis Falls a tranquil retreat. It’s an excellent spot for nature lovers and photographers looking to capture the essence of the rainforest.

Dust Temple, Currumbin Waters
For a dose of culture and creativity, beeline to Dust Temple in Currumbin Waters. This unique space combines an art gallery, café, and event venue, making it a hub for the local arts community. The industrial-chic setting features rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, live music performances, and workshops. Dust Temple’s relaxed atmosphere and artistic vibe make it a great place to unwind, enjoy a coffee, and immerse yourself in the local creative scene.

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South Stradbroke Island
Just a short boat ride from the mainland, South Stradbroke Island offers a pristine escape with its untouched beaches, diverse wildlife, and outdoor activities. The island is a haven for nature enthusiasts, with plentiful opportunities for bushwalking, kayaking, and surfing. Keep an eye out for wallabies, goannas, and a variety of bird species that call the island home. Whether you’re camping overnight or visiting for the day, South Stradbroke Island provides a serene getaway from the hustle and bustle.

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