Gold Coast Hinterland

Holiday here this year - It’s on the glamour strip’s doorstep, but leisurely day tripping the Gold Coast and Scenic Rim can seem a veritable world away.

Gold Coast, Tamborine Mountain, Canungra, O'Reilly's




Distance  109 kilometres 
Travel time  2 hours 30 minutes
Time of year to go  All year round
Vehicle type  Convertible
Best bakery  The Outpost Café, Canungra
Highlights  Driving through lush rainforest.   
RACQ safety tip  Drive to conditions and watch for cyclists and motorcyclists, especially on hilly, winding sections. Take a break every two hours.

Gold Coast to Tamborine Mountain, 40km

(via State Route 90)

With the Gold Coast’s imposing high-rise skyline in the rear vision mirror, head out past Benowa on Highway 24 and then Highway 20 through Nerang. The urban confines give way bit by bit to more open green space, and the road climbs and contorts with every kilometre that rolls under the wheels. 

The gentile village of Tamborine Mountain soon glides into view and, even though you’ve only been driving a short while, take the time to stop. There’s plenty to vie for your attention and pleasure: niche shopping, galleries galore, a plethora of eateries and coffee houses and even a boutique brewery and distillery. Book a tour and taste the flavours of five different wineries accompanied with a two-course lunch. 

Tamborine Mountain to Canungra, 33km

(via Main Western Rd and Tamborine Mountain Rd)

Continue on Highway 95 and you will surely be tempted to stop off at the Gold Coast Hinterland Treetop Challenge, Australia's first adventure theme park in the trees including high ropes, flying foxes and zip lines.

Then, take Highway 92 south to Canungra where you will be challenged to drive by The Outpost Café without stopping. Their selection of pies is legendary.

Canungra to O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, 36km

(via Lamington National Park Rd)

From the Canungra Hotel, turn onto Kidston Street and then Lamington National Park Road. This is a road less travelled, taking you up the mountain and through the rainforest past Canungra Valley Vineyards to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. O’Reilly’s has been welcoming travellers from around the world for nearly a century. A visit will show why.

Images by Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Queensland.


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Taking your own road trip?

RACQ can help you on your way, whether it’s providing maps and guides for your journey, car hire, discounted motorhome hire with Apollo Motorhome Holidays, insurance or roadside assistance so you’re covered 24/7 on your trip.

RACQ members receive 15% off Thrifty's daily car hire rates on a wide range of vehicles, plus:

  • $5 per day off Ultimate Protection or Premium Protection
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The RACQ travel team can help you plan and discover your perfect Queensland holiday. For specialist advise on touring, self-drive and rail holidays talk to the team today on 1300 888 449 or visit

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