It’s no secret that I love a good picnic in a beautiful location. Luckily Queensland has the perfect picnic weather and the Gold Coast is jam packed with gorgeous beach and mountain areas.
Some of the top places to picnic can be found in the Gold Coast Hinterland which provides the perfect escape from everyday life with fresh mountain air, an abundance of wildlife, waterfalls, crystal clear creeks and lush scenery. There is no better backdrop for the anticipated opening of the picnic basket.
Picnic Rock - Lamington National Park
Number one on my picnic spot list is Picnic Rock in the Green Mountains at Lamington National Park. Not only is this picnic spot preciously located in the midst of world heritage listed rainforest, but it has spectacular views of rushing water and is an absolute feast for the eyes.
Picnic Rock is special and you are unlikely to find the masses here, as it requires you to undertake a short journey to get there. Prepare by packing drinks and lunch in a backpack for a lovely walk.
It is approximately a 3.5km scenic trail through spectacular rainforest to arrive at one of the most stunning picnic destinations anywhere. Be aware that your only available seating is Picnic Rock itself.
To get there: Drive to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in the Green Mountains at Lamington National Park, an absolutely gorgeous and memorable drive in itself. Then take the Border Track (opposite the Retreat) about 1.7km until you see the turn off to Elabana Falls and Picnic Rock. Take the turn off and keep walking until you arrive at Picnic Rock.
Currumbin Rock Pools
Fortunately, the Rock Pools picnic area at Currumbin Valley requires a relaxing and extremely scenic drive to get there and has covered picnic tables, toilets, and a lovely outlook over the rock pools. Drive up a few kilometres further and there is a great short walk along the gushing creek you can take after a leisurely lunch - perfect.
Besides the surrounding beauty of this area, one of the best benefits is being able to cool off after lunch in the rock pools.
Burleigh Headland is beautiful. Park your car at the headland car park and find a spot on the green slope overlooking the jewelled sea and you will have found something special. It is a naturally popular spot and can get busy, but there is a nice positive connection amongst people in this place who are all looking out to sea admiring the view and happy to be there.
Picnic tables are dotted along the lower slope with toilets and surfers often line the waves. One of the best benefits of this area, is being able to take a stroll around the headlands track which offers breathtaking views across the ocean and to Currumbin.
Binna Burra Picnic Area
Binna Burra Picnic Area in Binna Burra, Lamington National Park, is set amongst fantastic mountain scenery, including facilities, picnic tables and barbeques.
There are a few different sections to picnic: one is the main picnic area right next to the Lamington Teahouse. The other is a sloping hill of soft green grass right in front of Binna Burra Mountain Lodge. This is an ideal section to get out that picnic blanket. It can be reached by walking down the road (a few minutes) from the Teahouse Parking area and is literally just a grassy area situated on the left. There is also a hidden picnic table right up near the Binna Burra Mountain Lodge which until now, I had kept to myself.
Gwongorella Picnic Area - Springbrook
I couldn’t possibly complete a post on top spots to picnic on the Gold Coast without mentioning Gwongorella Picnic Area located in Springbrook National Park right next to the Purling Brook Falls circuit track. I have loved this picnic area passionately for more than half my life - I just wish camping was still allowed there.
I will admit however, I have been cheating on Gwongorella Picnic Area by visiting the nearby Dancing Waters Cafe lately, but I will always adore this picnic spot and look forward to many more picnics there in the future.
The Knoll Section Picnic Area, Mount Tamborine
Not only is this a wonderful picnic area laden with loos, picnic tables, magnificent views, a rotunda and lots of wildlife, but is is also the start of the 2.6km Sandy Creek Circuit track. Don't miss the option to take a short detour to gushing Cameron Falls.
Access to The Knoll Section picnic area can be achieved by taking Main Street to Knoll Road, Mt Tamborine. Once on Knoll Road, you will need to take a turnoff that veers up and to the left to get to the picnic parking area.
Harley Park and the Ian Dipple Lagoon
Perfectly located on the crystal clear broadwater in Labrador, with a natural swimming lagoon to freshen up in, Harley Park is a popular and scenic location with lots of picnic tables, a huge covered area, playground, showers, toilets, walking track along the wate, lots of pelicans and a couple of BBQ's.
If you are feeling extra lazy, the famous Charis fish'n'chip shop is sitting right there to help feed you.
Fortunately for visitors and folks living on the Gold Coast, there are countless great picnic places all over the coast and hidden away in the gold coast hinterland. Some of the very best picnic places like Picnic Rock require a few kilometres of walking to get there, but nothing beats a scenic walk and a great picnic spot for one of the best days out a person can have!