Dana Dillon is a student at University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in the Gold Coast, Australia.
If you ever find yourself in the Gold Coast of Australia and happen to love road trips, I know of a few things you can do. Though the Gold Coast itself is an incredible place with spots like Burleigh Heads and Surfers Paradise, there are also so many different national parks and hidden adventures within an hour or so drive in any direction. If you’re up for it, I say go for it.
Befriend an Aussie student with a car, and you’re good to go. Over the past few months here, I’ve had the pleasure of being able to go on some of these road trips. Here are some of the places I would highly recommend:
- Lamington National Park
We didn’t spend much time in Lamington, but we all agreed that we should have. Driving up to the park was like driving into another world. The views of the mountains completely covered in green took my breath away. We did a hike to Moran Waterfall and then up to Moonlight Crag to watch the sunset. It was completely amazing, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good sunset hike. This magnificent place is only a little less then an hour from the Gold Coast area.
2. Springbrook National Park
In Springbrook, we just stopped by the Natural Bridge. It was still extremely beautiful and definitely worth the visit. Though there’s only a short walk around the bridge and not much else to see. This national park is a little less then an hour drive from the Gold Coast area and definitely worth exploring.
3. Noosa Heads
This little town up the Sunshine Coast is one of my favorites that we’ve visited so far. It’s a quiet little hippie town with not much to do but sit on the beach. If you’re anything like me, it’s just the perfect place to plop down by the water and take a nap or catch up on a good book. Being a two and a half hour drive from the Gold Coast area, this little place sure is worth it.
4. Byron Bay
This place in New South Wales is definitely my favorite place so far that I have gotten the pleasure of visiting. Being a little larger than Noosa, Bryon is just the perfect surfer town. It has lots of character and is full of great places to eat and shop. Having many different choices of beaches, Bryon is definitely a hippie paradise. It’s a beautiful hour and fifteen minute drive from the Gold Coast area.
Though there are many more national parks and little beach towns around the Gold Coast area; these are just the ones that are permanently branded in my mind. I have found that some places make you feel like you’re in a completely different world. Australia is an amazing place completely full of beauty I never imagined I would experienced. Places like the ones I’ve listed above make me fall more in love with this place everyday and breaks my heart a little bit to think about leaving in a few months.
The world awaits…discover it.