Gold Coast hinterland
The Gold Coast hinterland is an area of South East Queensland, Australia that comprises the Tweed Range, Nimmel Range, Tamborine Mountain, Numinbah Valley, eastern parts of the McPherson Range and western parts of suburban Gold Coast.
The comprehensive exploration of the area was conducted only as late as 1842. Surveyors attempted to map the Queensland/New South Wales border during the 1860s were hampered by the rough terrain and plateaus. Shortly after timber-getters passed Numinbah Gap from the Tweed Valley, establishing a route from the Tweed region to Brisbane that was later used by coach and bullock teams. In 1908, Witches Falls was protected by Queensland's first national park declaration.
In the Gold Coast hinterland there are various scenic attractions and guesthouses that have led to the development of a vibrant tourism industry, providing a major attraction for visitors to the Gold Coast and people living in the region. Visitor surveys to the hinterland's parks and forests indicate the area is one of Queensland's most significant tourist destinations. Wine-tasting, bird-feeding, eco-tourism and bushwalking are some of the pastimes that attract visitors to the hinterland. Other attractions in the area include O'Reilly's Guesthouse, the Natural Bridge and Binna Burra. In March 2008, the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk connecting the Lamington and Springbrook plateaus was opened. The moderately difficult walking trail provides 54 km of uninterrupted track and takes three days to walk from start to finish.
This elevated area is part of the Great Dividing Range and contains the headwaters for a number of rivers and creeks including the Coomera River, Nerang River, Pimpama River, Tallebudgera Creek and Currumbin Creek. Some of the highest mountains in the hinterland are Mount Nimmel (489 m), Mount Tamborine (525 m), Mount Cougal at (739 m), Tallebudgera Mountain (664m) and Springbrook Mountain (900 m). In New South Wales to the south are the Tweed Valley and Border Ranges, while the Scenic Rim overlaps and extends westwards from the hinterland.
Suburbs and townships
Land use in the hinterland is divided between protected areas and rural residential living. On the eastern foothills of the hinterland lie the Gold Coast suburbs of Mudgeeraba, Tallebudgera, Guanaba, Cedar Creek, Wongawallan, Mt Nathan, Maudsland and Nerang. There are a number of small villages like Advancetown, Beechmont and Canungra that are considered part of the hinterland.
The region has significant natural heritage that is preserved in national parks and has been a major tourist drawcard. Much of the national parks are UNESCO World Heritage listed as well as listed nationally as part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. Springbrook National Park covers 2720 hectares of rainforest, plenty of which is accessible by walking trails. Remnants of early forestry history await you as well as several waterfalls, including the famous Purlingbrook Falls, as well as many gorges and much rainforest.
Lamington National Park covers 20,590 hectares of rainforest, consisting mainly of two sections, the Green Mountains and Binna Burra. The longest available walk is 24 kilometres, about 8 hours walking time. Tamborine National Park covers 1160 hectares of the Tamborine Mountain, a remnant of the once giant Tweed Volcano.
Closer to the coast, although not technically part of the hinterland, is the Currumbin Valley Reserve.
- Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (2000). Heritage Trails of the Great South East. State of Queensland. p. 13. ISBN 0-7345-1008-X.
- "Gold Coast national park tourism contributes $677 million to State Economy". e-Travel Blackboard. Agents Support Systems. 2008-11-18. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
- "Gold Coast Hinterland". Australianexplorer.com. 2006-11-19. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
- "Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk". The State of Queensland. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- "Springbrook National Park". Gold-coast.net. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
- Lamington National Park. Department of Environment and Resource Management. Retrieved on 28 June 2012.