Put your best foot forward

Two women exploring Tamborine Mountain (image supplied by Tourism Australia)Two women exploring Tamborine Mountain (image supplied by Tourism Australia)

Sundays are reserved for one of three purposes; chilling with the fam and getting prepped for the week ahead, sneaking in a little Sunday sesh to delay Monday as long as humanly possible, and our fave, a spot of road trippin! We’re lucky on the GC as we’re inundated with scenic drive options, and only need to travel an hour or two to find lots of beautiful, unique sights and activities.

We’ve broken it down to five destinations and provided a small snapshot of what you can find at each. Toot toot!

Cauldron Distillery (Image: 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Cauldron Distillery (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Mt Tamborine

Gallery Walk
A trip up the mountain isn’t complete without a stroll along Gallery Walk. It’s a melting pot of eclectic finds, with over 70 shops in the one block. You’ll find everything from fashion, jewellery, arts and crafts, cellar door outlets, chocolate, fudge, food outlets, cafes…and even a cuckoo clock shop. If you’re looking for something unique or need to buy that friend who has everything a gift, chances are you’ll find something here.
Where: Long Road, Tamborine Mountain

Curtis Falls
Enjoy a beautiful walk through the rain-drenched Eucalyptus forest to the magical Curtis Falls. Wander past towering trees and through a canopy of ferns, down to this miniature and photogenic waterfall. The 1.1km walk should only talk half an hour or less to get down to the falls, but you will likely want to stay awhile and soak up the peacefulness. Top it off with a spot of morning tea at the Curtis Falls Cafe. Lovely!
Where: 16 Eagle Heights Road, North Tamborine – Get there via Eagle Heights Road and park right at the entrance to the walk.

Curtis Falls (image supplied by Tourism & Events Queensland)

Curtis Falls (image supplied by Tourism & Events Queensland)

Cauldron Distillery
This 18-acre working distillery is the darling of the Scenic Rim. A Prohibition-style space with an established vineyard, lush rolling meadows and of course, a generous gin and cocktail bar, there’s a lot to love. Settle in for a bev or a feed, or BYO picnic rug and chill amongst the vineyards. You can partake in complimentary lawn games if you so desire, and they’re pro pop here so Fido can come too!
Where: 89-123 Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain

The Glow Worm Caves
Take a guided half-hour walk through lush rainforest to a purpose-built cave, filled with thousands of shimmery glow worms! Everyone can get up close and personal with a glowworm here without damaging delicate wild habitats #CueApplause. And the best part? It’s conveniently located in the Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery, you can enjoy a tipple pre or post tour…or pre and post tour!
Where: Cedar Creek Estate, 104-144 Hartley Road, North Tamborine

Mountview Alpaca Farm (image supplied)

Mountview Alpaca Farm (image supplied)

Canungra

Mountview Alpaca Farm
Located in O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard, you can meet alpacas and drink wine and srsly, life made. Choose between 15 and 60 minute alpaca experiences where you can walk and feed these cute creatures, or go all out with an alpaca picnic, alpaca devonshire tea, or a wine, cheese and alpaca package (#us). Set in a boutique vineyard and historic Queenslander homestead, it’s as picturesque as it is fun.
Where: 852 Lamington National Park Road, Canungra

Farm & Co Restaurant (image supplied)

Farm & Co Restaurant (image supplied)

Cudgen

Farm & Co.
No doubt Instagram has informed you there is a field of sunflowers just a short 25 minute drive away where you can frolic, take selfies, pick said sunflowers and generally pretend you don’t have a care in the world. There’s also a coffee shop where you can sink into an oversized lounge chair while gazing at the sunflowers and contemplating a new career in farming, live music of a weekend, a tasty array of brunch eats and fresh veggies you can take home too.
Where: 529 Cudgen Road, Cudgen

Tropical Fruitworld
Take a 5-minute drive to Duranbah to the iconic Tropical Fruitworld where you can see, taste and learn about fruits from around the world grown in the family plantation. The award-winning farm tour is a must and speaking of musts, you do need to pre-book. Grab a bite to eat from Plantation Café, and shop for the delicious fresh home-grown produce and unique fruit products made on site from the Marketplace.
Where: 29 Duranbah Rd, Duranbah

The Chindy
Check out restful riverside town Chinderah, stopping in for a refreshment and snack at The Chindy. Also known as Chinderah Tavern, The Chindy boasts a large old deck overlooking the widest river in the world (not a fact) and supplies all the cold beer, wine and tasty eats you could wish for on a Sunday afternoon. There’s live music, sunsets if you time it right, and just general non-city good times. Right next door is Cubby Bakehouse you can get yourself some dessert for the drive home.
Where: 156 Chinderah Bay Drive, Chinderah

The Farm, Byron Bay (image supplied)

The Farm, Byron Bay (image supplied)

Byron region

The Farm Byron Bay
A must visit for everyone (especially anyone with a little person in tow), The Farm is a destination in itself. See how the farm operates and say hi to the animals, and meet the infamous mascots Braveheart the Scottish Highland cow and Bobby the rooster. Collect macadamia nuts from the macadamia trees, have a meal at Three Blue Ducks restaurant, or grab a little something from The Bread Social to eat outside on a picnic rug. There’s a playground for the anklebiters and plenty of beautiful open space to explore.
Where: 11 Ewingsdale Road, Ewingsdale

The Crystal Castle in Mullumbimby
Instagood alert! Sit in an ancient amethyst cave, pose with rare and amazing giant crystals, and wander five hectares of subtropical, crystal-filled Shambhala Gardens and rainforest. You can even touch the World Peace Stupa, a project blessed by the Dalai Lama, and join in Crystal Sound Healings at 12pm and 3pm! Grab a bite with a stunning hinterland view at Lotus Café and let the kids run amok in the playground.
Where: 81 Monet Drive, Montecollum

Shambhala Gardens, Crystal Castle (image supplied)

Shambhala Gardens, Crystal Castle (image supplied)

Hotel Brunswick
The heart of beautiful Brunswick Heads, swing in for a drink or a feed at this classic Aussie pub. Somewhat of an institution and a fave far and wide, relax under the beautiful Poinciana trees in the beer garden and soak up the ambience. Always busy on Sundays, if you can push the friendship and stay on till the early evening, you’ll generally be rewarded with live music and an even more awesome vibe. Pub group at its best.
Where: Mullumbimbi Street, Brunswick Heads

Newbar Merchants
A collective of creative local artisans and curators of fine goods who are passionate about what they do, this is our jam! Honoring the space and the essence of the Byron Bay Hinterland, Newrybar Merchants enables customers to experience rustic charm effortlessly blended with sophistication within a beautiful and unique retail space. Shop everything from faaarshion, to homewares, to wellness products and everything in between, it’s a must.
Where: 16 Old Pacific Highway, Newrybar

Ivory Waterside (image supplied)

Ivory Waterside (image supplied)

The Tweed

The Ivory Waterside
Barely over the boarder but for the northern GC folks, it’s a Sunday drive to Tweed Heads so we’ll let this one fly. Recently undergoing a bit of a nip and tuck and overlooking the adjoining marina and picturesque Terra Creek, it’s the ultimate in casual waterside dining. The food is consistently delish and guys, you can even get your rad on with tons of vintage arcade games in Benny’s Arcade. Talk about a one-stop-good-times-shop! Add it to the list.
Where: 156 Wharf Street, Tweed Heads

Wollumbin National Park.
Unfortunately closed until the end of October due to flooding etc. This World Heritage-listed national treasure is well worth a look once it reopens. Previously known as Mt Warning National Park, lose yourself in some of the largest and oldest tracts of sub-tropical rainforest on Earth. Wollumbin, which rises from the park to a height of 1,157 meters above sea level, is a remnant central vent of an ancient volcano and yep, that’s a drawcard right there.
Where: About 12km south-west of Murwillumbah off Kyogle Road, Mount Warning

River Terrace, Tweed River House (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

River Terrace, Tweed River House (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Tweed River House
This one is special! From the vantage point of the verdant riverbanks, settled at the tropical foothills of the Tweed Caldera in Murwillumbah, this century-old riverside plantation house has been lovingly restored to maintain its original character and charm. The elegant yet relaxed renovation creates a unique space that reflects the gentle pace of the Northern Rivers, oozing 1930s style with a French twist. They’ve even been nominated for a Chef Hat Award by the Australian Good Food Guide so if the aesthetics aren’t enough to get you there, the nosh will be!
Where: 131 River Street, South Murwillumbah

Baked at Ancora
Another one that’s close by when you’re a bit strapped for time is Baked at Ancora. Believers that sweet treats and waterside picnics go hand in hand, we concur and we can’t get enough of this Parisian style café bakery. From their signature croissants and traditional classics like pain-au-chocolate, to the more unique and inventive flavor combos, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in actual Paris. Well worth the waistline damage.
Where: 118 Wharf St, Tweed Heads

Interior Wine Wall, Rob Roy Deli & Drinks (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Interior Wine Wall, Rob Roy Deli & Drinks (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Rob Roy
You just know this one will be cool by the name. A small independent boutique bottleshop and delicatessen run by a chef and a sommelier, this trendy yet totally unpretentious local fave is #goals. Grab a sub and stock up on a vast array of sensational deli goodies for your evening platter. Don’t even get us started on the booze, which you can take home (including phenom cocktail ingredients) or enjoy in-house. We recommend passing on DD duty and settling in for a few.
Where: 20 Bay Street, Tweed Heads

Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre
There’s always something new to discover at the Tweed Regional Gallery, housed in a large, modern, architecturally award-winning building with views to Wollumbin/Mount Warning. While you’re there, a meal at the new in-house eats haunt Apex is an absolute non-negotiable. With a stunning outlook and design to reflect the vista, indulge in a unique combo of rustic French patisserie goodies and modern cafe plates with a very ‘now’ pan-Asian twist. Add a cocktail and instant happy place.
Where: 2 Mistral Road, South Murwillumbah

Important side note incoming…. Check out What’s on in the Tweed for the region’s official event calendar here

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Dining room at Apex Dining (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Dining room at Apex Dining (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)