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Top Ten Things to do on the Gold Coast with a Campervan

Need inspiration on where to go? We’re covering the top 10 destinations near the Gold Coast to visit in your campervan or motorhome.

Brisbane (80 km north)

As Queensland’s sunny state capital, Brisbane is a thriving cosmopolitan metropolis with a festive food and drink scene. Go for a stroll around its leafy parklands or hop on the CityCat Ferry to admire the skyline as you cruise.

Brunswick Heads (79 km south)

A laidback alternative to busy Byron, Brunswick Head offers a more subdued, old-school vibe. A tranquil river straddles its circumference to enhance the slow-paced way of life.

Byron Bay (91 km south)

Australia’s most iconic beach town, Byron Bay, has reinvented itself over the years. The hip bohemian playground now hosts a smorgasbord of sleek cafes and bopping bars. Naturally, the lofty rainforested ridges of Cape Byron and its sun-drenched beaches are still as beautiful as ever.

Lamington National Park (45 km southwest)

A classic Gold Coast weekender, Lamington wows bushwalkers with its panoramic ridges and thickly forested trails. Home to over 500 waterfalls, this misty stretch of Gondwana Rainforest crisscrosses the cragged McPherson Ranges.

Nightcap National Park (141 km south)

Sopping wet rainforest blankets this 8,080-hectare park, where verdant trails lead to lofty lookouts and thundering falls. Nature lovers can extend their outdoor adventures to the nearby Border Ranges and Wollumbin national parks.

North Stradbroke Island (104 km)

SEQ’s favourite offshore playground, this sprawling sand island, is all about pristine beaches and secluded coves. While you’ll need a 4WD to explore Straddie’s most remote crannies, a campervan will get you between its stunning seaside villages.

Springbrook National Park (43 km southwest)

Next door lies Springbrook, an equally impressive national park home to a brilliant basalt arch dubbed the Natural Bridge. Other spectacular waterfalls and hiking trails traverse the 6,197-hectare park—don’t miss the thundering Twin Falls.

The Sunshine Coast (186 km north)

Stretching for 60 km, this sought-after seaside strip houses a string of cool coastal communities. Sparkling surf beaches and leafy national parks add natural splendour to the urban sprawl. Head uphill to the hinterlands for a slice of quaint country life.

Tamborine Mountain (39 km west)

A steep windy road from the city takes you towards Tamborine Mountain, where gargling waterfalls and world-class wineries await. Hike rainforest-shrouded trails or clamber inside glow worm-strewn caves in this spectacular Scenic Rim locale.

Yamba (208 km south)

Nuzzling the mouth of the Clarence River, this laidback coastal hamlet is blessed with beautiful beaches and glistening ocean pools. Once you’re done soaking up the sun, refuel with fresh seafood from a waterfront fish ‘n chip shop.

The Gold Coast Experience

“The Goldie,” as the locals call it, took off as a holiday hotspot in the 80s and shows no sign of slowing down.

For sun-seekers, the Gold Coast’s big-ticket attraction is its picturesque golden-sand beaches. Warm year-round weather and consistent waves appeal to frolickers and seasoned surfers alike. Hit Ian Dipple Lagoon, Tallebudgera Creek, Currumbin Creek, Sea World Drive, or Budds Beach for scenic swims in the calm, lapping waters. Wave chasers should check out Surfers Paradise, Burleigh Point, Greenmount, or Snapper Rocks instead.

The Gold Coast is equally famous for its fabulous theme parks, which enchant the little ones and the young at heart.

Dreamworld is your best bet for white-knuckle rides like roller coasters and spinning claws. Spring for SeaWorld to admire curious marine animals or Warner Bros. Movie World for flamboyant Hollywood-style shows. Wet’n’Wild has the best selection of water slides, perfect for cooling off on a sweltering summer’s day.

Shopping is another Gold Coast drawcard. Pacific Fair is the city’s top retail destination; other popular options include Harbour Town, Robina Town Centre, and The Strand.

To cuddle up with cute native critters, head to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Or, if you’re craving lofty cityscape views, try the SkyPoint Observation Deck.

Exploring Southeast Queensland & Northern NSW from the Gold Coast

Renting a camper in the Gold Coast gives you easy access to the splendour of SEQ and Northern NSW.

The Gold Coast Hinterlands

You don’t have to venture far to find a slice of paradise.

Just 40 minutes west of the city sits Tambourine Mountain, a misty rainforest-shrouded region with striking views. Perched in the aptly-named Scenic Rim, the area is awash with gushing falls and lush forested trails. Waterfall chasers should hit Curtis Falls, Witches Falls, and Cedar Creek Falls—the latter has a refreshing swimming hole.

Further south, you’ll find Lamington National Park, home to vast swathes of the ancient Gondwana Rainforest. The Binna Burra and Green Mountains sections afford dramatic views of the McPherson Ranges.

To the east sits Springbrook National Park, a spectacular expanse brimming with cragged canyons and lichen-encrusted coachwood trees. Swing by Natural Bridge to snap a pic of its cascade-eroded basalt cavern.

Northern NSW

The Gold Coast is also a handy base to explore the laidback hamlets and scenic beaches of Northern NSW.

The most iconic destination is Byron Bay. Once a low-key surfer and hippy haunt, the town has evolved into a mecca for well-heeled socialites and bohemian types. Yet its beaches—try Wategos, Belongi, and Main Beach—remain as breathtakingly beautiful as ever. Tackle the hilly Cape Byron Walking Track for the most epic ocean views.

Less crowded seaside towns lie peppered along the Northern NSW coastline. Charming villages like Brunswick Heads, Yamba, Evans Head, and Lennox Head offer similar spectacular scenery without the hectic Byron-style gridlock. Closer to the Gold Coast, a string of scenic coastal settlements lines the sparkling shore: Kingscliff, Casuarina, Cabarita Beach, Pottsville, and Hastings Point.

Quaint rural villages abound in the Byron Hinterlands. Bangalow is a hit for its chic cafes and vintage boutiques. Murwillumbah wows creatives with its eclectic art scene—try the M|Arts Precinct and the Tweed Regional Gallery. Free spirits still make the pilgrimage to Nimbin, a flower child hippy hamlet with a hedonistic ensemble of hemp shops.

Keen to get reacquainted with nature? Northern NSW delivers.

The most emblematic peak is Mount Warning (Wollumbin), a towering ancient volcano visible from miles around (scaling the summit is no longer permitted).

Nightcap National Park hosts great swathes of protected rainforest and pristine cascades. Head to Minyon Falls to admire a thundering display or Protestors Falls to meander amid lush, moss-covered scenes.

Nearby, Mount Jerusalem National Park has a vast network of thickly forested trails. Further north, the Border Ranges National Park boasts scenic drives and secluded campsites with a view.

Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast

An hour north sits the state capital of Brisbane, a laidback yet cosmopolitan hub with a thriving nightlife and leafy parks. Catching the car ferry to North Stradbroke Island is the quintessential SEQ getaway.

Further north, you’ll find the Sunshine Coast, a picturesque 60 km stretch of sun-kissed beaches and pristine waterways. Noosa National Park and Mount Coolum National Park offer the most jaw-dropping natural views.

Heading west takes you towards the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands, a fertile food-producing region full of dairy farms and produce markets. Cruise through towns like Eumundi, Kenilworth, Conondale, and Maleny to savour quaint countryside vibes. Top natural spots include Mapleton Falls National Park, the Glasshouse Mountains, and Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.

While you could venture further north up the coast, you’re probably better off hiring a camper in Brisbane (or Cairns) instead.