Five ways to escape the city this weekend

Cruise around Springbrook National Park

Take a drive through Springbrook National Park for an ample fill of dreamy views, winding roads and fresh country air. If you head toward Purlingbrook Falls, at the top of Mt Cougal National Park, you’ll find Dancing Waters Café, the cutest little cottage overlooking the rainforest where you can enjoy a wholesome, healthy lunch or some cake and a steaming cup of coffee.

The Purlingbrook Falls lookout is right next door for your token road trip snaps and if (read: when) you fall in love with the place stay overnight in the cosy cottage accommodation (there’s a claw foot bathtub for ultimate chill time). 

LOCATION: Dancing Waters Café, 33 Forestry Rd, Springbrook

Soak up the serenity at Spiral Beach

Just past Duranbah Beach, Spiral is somewhat of a local’s secret making it the perfect spot to enjoy some solitude. No matter the season, there is usually some sun to be had on the Gold Coast so pack up your umbrella, a good book and your best do-nothing vibes and prepare for sweet serenity.

Spiral Beach is also the perfect place for snorkeling around these parts due to the abundance of colourful coral and magical marine life. Get in quick before the water gets too chilly.

LOCATION: Around the Corner from D’bah Beach, near Coolangatta (see, secretive)

Hike the Witches Chase Track at Mt Tamborine

For those with energy to spare after a long working week, the Witches Chase track is for you. It’s a moderately difficult track that’s about a two hour round trip. The track descends through rainforest to Witches Falls and continues along the cliff to Witches Chase, passing big, beautiful red cedar trees and through the eucalypt forest and of course, there’s plenty of wildlife to keep an eye out for.

You’ll be famished once you’ve made it back so pack a picnic or some BBQ supplies and put your feet up and relax for awhile before you head home.

LOCATION: The Witches Chase Track starts from the picnic area on Main Western Road, Mt Tamborine

Have a beer at The Wallaby Hotel

The Wallaby Hotel, in Mudgeeraba, is one of Queensland’s oldest and most rustic hotels. Heritage listed, it opened in 1884 and was a watering hole for both horses and patrons and became the centerpiece for the Mudgeeraba township.

Today, it’s the perfect place to escape the city for an afternoon coldie, a spot of live music and delicious pub-style eats. Bonus; if you find you’re having too good a time to come home, you can always stay the night.  

LOCATION: 45 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

Mount a steed at Gold Coast Equestrian Centre

There’s something so peaceful about sitting atop a horse with the wind in your hair and a world of adventure at your fingertips. The Gold Coast Equestrian Centre is the perfect place to experience exactly that whether you’re a beginner or simply in need of an activity where all you have to do is sit back and be carted around.

Located in Guanaba, just 15 minutes from Helensvale Shopping Centre, the property is 50 acres of beautiful bushland and offers trail rides along the river and an Olympic-sized dressage area for those who know what they're doing.

LOCATION: 212 Stewart Road, Guanaba