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National Parks on the Gold Coast - Campervan Guide

Which are the best National Parks to visit around the Gold Coast?

When you're on the Gold Coast, you simply must explore the enchanting national parks nestled nearby, each one providing a serene haven away from the bustling city. These tranquil oases are the perfect spots to rejuvenate and reconnect with nature, and you'll be left in awe as the sun sets, painting the sky in spectacular fiery red tones.

Here are a few of the best ones to visit:

Lamington NP: Prepare to be absolutely enchanted by Lamington's lush rainforests and magical waterfalls. With over 200 bird species, including the captivating Albert's lyrebird, you'll be serenaded by the sweet melodies of the park's avian residents. Don't forget to experience O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk, where you'll gain an extraordinary bird's-eye view of the rainforest below.

Springbrook NP: A hiker's dream, Springbrook boasts meandering trails and stunning panoramas that leave visitors breathless. Ancient cedar and hoop pine trees, dating back to the time of the dinosaurs, tower majestically over the landscape. The park's shimmering waterfalls, cascading like liquid silver down the mountainside, are a sight to behold.

Burleigh Heads NP: Set along an idyllic stretch of coastline, Burleigh Heads is known for its golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and ample opportunities for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The park is also a sanctuary for diverse marine life, including playful dolphins, stately whales, and graceful sea turtles.

How much is campervan entry to a national park on the Gold Coast? Are any permits required?

Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science (DES) doesn’t require entry permits for its national parks, barring a few notable exceptions.

National park camping fees across Queensland cost only $7 per person per night or $28 per night for families. Book ahead online to reserve your spot, especially during peak periods.

Across the border in NSW, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) requires an entry permit for 45 national parks and reserves—the best parks almost always entail a fee. Prices vary from $8 to $12 per vehicle, which you pay on arrival via card or cash (bring exact change). Eleven NSW national parks currently accept payment through an online digital day pass.

Travellers intending to visit six or more NSW national parks should invest $65 in an annual Multi Parks Pass. The money-saving pass allows unlimited access to all NSW parks except Kosciuszko.

Camping in national parks is a lot pricier in NSW than in Queensland. Expect to pay $6 to $45 per night, depending on the popularity of the campsite and the number of happy campers. Again, book online to ensure you don’t miss out.

Popular National Parks on the Gold Coast

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.

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.

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.