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A fabulous day trip from the Gold Coast is the Numinbah Valley drive. Around 40 kilometres from the Gold Coast in the glorious Gold Coast Hinterland is this scenically abundant valley. Numinbah Valley is trapped between the Springbrook Plateau to the east and the Lamington Plateau to the west and is broadly underdeveloped apart from a small township.
Numinbah Valley covers 116 km² and mainly consists of cleared verdant green grazing land, rocky outcrops, waterfalls, rainforest walks and stunning hinterland scenery. But its major attraction is the Springbrook National Park and the Natural Bridge, where tourists flock every weekend to take in this natural wonder.
Visit Natural Bridge by day to see a unique waterfall or after dark to discover the park’s amazing glow-worms. You can also picnic on the shaded banks of the Nerang River at Forest Park picnic area and have a refreshing swim in the rock pools.
Apart from taking in the natural wonder of the Natural Bridge there is trail horse riding available with Numinbah Trails or the Numinbah Environmental Education Centre that is a facility for educating school children about the natural environment.
The valley is part of the upper catchment area for the Nerang River that flows into the Hinze Dam in the lowest elevated and most northern part of the valley.
Hinze Dam is a rock and earth-fill embankment dam with an un-gated spillway across the Nerang River and is the Gold Coast’s main water supply. It covers a surface area of 1,500 hectares forming the Advancetown Lake.
It is well worth a visit to explore the new facilities at the dam that includes a state-of-the-art Interpretive Centre, cafe, lakeside parks, walking, bike and horse trails and barbecue areas for public use.
Advancetown Lake has two boat ramps, one on the western and another on the eastern side. The lake is stocked with Mary River cod, silver perch, golden perch, southern saratoga and bass and can be fished with a permit.
The Nerang-Murwillumbah road runs along the valley floor adjacent to the tree lined banks of the Nerang River and its tributary creeks. Once you cross the border into New South Wales, that is marked by a cattle grate and a sign, you will be blown away by the panoramic views to the south of the Tweed Valley and Mt Warning.
Continuing down the narrow twisting road you come to the charming village of Chillingham on the Rous River.
In Chillingham you can stop by the old Chillingham Store or take a stroll through the Bushtucker Rainforest behind the unique fruit and veggie shed, that also stocks a range of bushtucker and traditional beauty products, along with local fruit and veggies, and home-made bushfood jams and condiments.
Driving in an easterly direction through vast cane plantations is the picturesque village of Tumbulgum located on the Tweed River that has views over cane farms and to the foothills of the caldera (Mt Warning).
It is extremely popular with locals who come for the riverside picnic facilities, boat hire, water skiing, public wharf and boat ramp. A stroll along the heritage shop fronts lining the river is very pleasant, or partake in the enormously popular lunches and evening meals at the Tumbulgum Tavern.
From Tumbulgum it is only a short drive back to Tweed Heads and the Queensland border. This would have to be one of the most enjoyable day trips that I have undertaken from the Gold Coast. The scenery is breathtaking and the diversity of the landscape unfolding before my eyes is remarkable in every way. Make sure you put this one on your ‘must see’ list when visiting the Gold Coast/Tweed area.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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