Gone pic­nickin’- BEST SPOTS ON THE GC

WHETHER YOU’RE AF­TER A HARD­CORE HIKE, A STROLL WITH YOUR SOULMATE OR HAVE A FAM­ILY IN TOW, PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER ON ONE OF TH­ESE LOCAL WALKS – YOUR MIND, BODY AND SOUL WILL THANK YOU FOR IT.

Scout Magazine - - Eat... -

AHH, THE PIC­NIC… IS THERE A BET­TER WAY TO COM­BINE GREAT FOOD WITH THE GREAT OUT­DOORS, AND EN­JOY SOME QUAL­ITY TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAM­ILY WHILE YOU’RE AT IT? PACK A BAS­KET, A BLAN­KET AND MAYBE EVEN A FOOTY, AND PUT ONE OF TH­ESE SPOTS INTO GOOGLE MAPS – WE’RE GO­ING PICNICKING! JABIRU IS­LAND PARK, PAR­ADISE POINT

Lit­tle-known Jabiru Is­land Park is a picnicking fam­ily’s par­adise. The wa­ter­front park in­cludes a kids’ play­ground, shel­tered pic­nic ta­bles, bar­be­cues, mod­ern toi­lets and a swim­ming en­clo­sure. Plus, the nearby Phil Hill En­vi­ron­men­tal Park has a great na­ture board­walk for spot­ting local wildlife.

BROADWATER PARKLANDS, SOUTH­PORT

De­spite its lo­ca­tion in the heart of South­port, the wa­ter­front Broadwater Parklands feel a world away from the hus­tle and bus­tle. With a world-class chil­dren’s play­ground (bouncy pil­low in­cluded!), pic­nic ta­bles and bar­be­cues, rock pools and shady trees, the Parklands of­fer great views down the coast and across the Co­ral Sea to Main Beach and Sea World.

MACINTOSH IS­LAND PARK, SURFERS PAR­ADISE

Macintosh Is­land Park is a sanc­tu­ary in the cen­tre of Surfers, char­ac­terised by lush green trees, man­i­cured lawns and a few in­ter­est­ing res­i­dents. Be­tween their free-roam­ing pea­cock pop­u­la­tion and the local Big­foot (who can be found sleep­ing in his cave), it’s hard to be­lieve that Macintosh Park is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the high-rises of Surfers Par­adise. Plus, it’s got a play­ground, pic­nic ta­bles and shel­ters, toi­lets and plenty of other fa­cil­i­ties that make it the per­fect spot to lay your pic­nic blan­ket in Surfers.

GOLD COAST RE­GIONAL BOTANIC GAR­DENS, BENOWA

For the per­fect bal­ance of sun and shade, flora and fauna, the Gold Coast’s own Botanic Gar­dens are the place to be. For­merly known as Rosser Park, the Gar­dens of­fer 31 hectares of pic­nic par­adise, with board­walks, play­grounds, a dog off-leash area and a num­ber of gar­dens (in­clud­ing one full of but­ter­flies!).

CASCADE GAR­DENS, BROAD­BEACH

It’s been la­belled one of the best bar­be­cue spots on the Gold Coast, but Cascade Gar­dens is a fan­tas­tic spot for a pic­nic, too. Its river­side lo­ca­tion makes it a per­fect place to lie back and re­lax, with an enor­mous play­ground for the kids to run ram­pant in. Af­ter lunch, take a stroll along the Kokoda Me­mo­rial Walk, which takes pedes­tri­ans through trop­i­cal jun­gles and be­yond the Gar­dens to­wards the Gold Coast Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

KEN MANSBRIDGE PARK, MER­MAID BEACH

Named in hon­our of local life­guard Ken Mansbridge, Ken Mansbridge Park on Mer­maid Beach is the ul­ti­mate sea­side pic­nic spot. It’s quiet and pic­turesque, shaded by the tall pine trees that are more typ­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with Burleigh Heads to the south. A small ex­er­cise park, play­ground and beach vol­ley­ball yball court pro­vide af­ter­noon entertainment, but don’t feel pres­sured red to fill the time with ac­tiv­i­ties as this park is per­fect for surf and d peo­ple watch­ing – what­ever takes your fancy.

MICK SCHAMBURG PARK, MI­AMI

Mick Schamburg Park is a wildly popular wed­ding des­ti­na­tion n and tak­ing one look at the view, it’s not hard to see why. The grassy hill­top – with its dis­tinc­tive cir­cu­lar look­out spot – makes kes a great place for a sunny pic­nic, fol­lowed up by a hike along one ne of the nearby walk­ing tracks.

JOHN LAWS PARK, BURLEIGH HEADS

Oth­er­wise known as ‘Burleigh Hill’, John Laws Park is the ul­ti­mate GC sun­downer spot. Find a patch of grass, or a pic­nic table if you’re lucky, and set up to watch the sun set over our beloved Gold Coast – from your Burleigh Hill van­tage point, you can see all the way up to Surfers Par­adise. You don’t even have to pack a pic­nic, be­cause nearby Justin Lane does bike-de­liv­ered pizza right to John Laws Park.

DEODAR PARK, BURLEIGH WA­TERS

John Laws Park cer­tainly of­fers a world-class view, but if you want to stay away from the crowds try head­ing in­land to Deodar Park and the Burleigh Knoll Con­ser­va­tion Park. You’ll come across some pris­tine pic­nic spots. It’s still near the wa­ter and a favourite for dog own­ers and na­ture lovers alike (kan­ga­roos are com­monly spot­ted here), while the kids will en­joy the nearby play­ground and large grassy ar­eas to run around on.

TARRABORA RE­SERVE, PALM BEACH

There’s se­ri­ously no bet­ter place for a beach pic­nic than Tarrabora Re­serve. This nat­u­ral park­land sits right on the wa­ter­front of Cur­rumbin Creek, and is a refuge to a va­ri­ety of na­tive wildlife, par­tic­u­larly birds and rep­tiles. En­joy your pic­nic be­tween ocean swims or try your hand at some fish­ing – you might even catch your lunch! Plus, the neigh­bour­ing Palm Beach Parklands have an awe­some pi­rate ship play­ground to keep the kids en­ter­tained for hours.

FOR THE CHAL­LENGE

Spring­brook Na­tional Park is known for its cas­cad­ing wa­ter­falls, rock pools and glow worm caves, but the twin peaks of Mount Cou­gal pro­vide a great chal­lenge for com­mit­ted hik­ers. While it def­i­nitely isn’t for the faint of heart, the views and caves that you’re treated to along the way cer­tainly make the trek up Mount Cou­gal well worth your while. Stretch­ing 10km, the walk takes you through fields, up rock faces, across the rain­for­est floor and up to the peaks of the moun­tain it­self where you can en­joy sprawl­ing views of the coast­line, Mount Warn­ing and Tweed Val­ley.

For those with a fear of heights, Mount Cou­gal of­fers an­other great walk a bit closer to sea level – the Cou­gal Cas­cades. The walk is a 1.6km round trip, par­tially on well-main­tained bi­tu­men, and you’ll pass the rem­nants of a 1940s sawmill that was once used to pro­duce tim­ber. Ex­plore the area, keep­ing an eye out for the land mul­let – the world’s largest skink, which calls the God­wana Rain­for­est WorldHer­itage Area, that Spring­brook is part of, ‘home’ – and then treat your trot­ters to a dip in the rock pools.

FOR THE COU­PLES

Whether it’s catch­ing a wave or catch­ing up with friends, Burleigh Heads is kind of a one-stop shop for ev­ery­thing you could ever need – in­clud­ing a great bush­walk. The rugged head­land and rocky fore­shore of the Burleigh Heads Na­tional Park make it a stun­ning spot for hik­ing and the var­i­ous swim­ming spots – the slice of par­adise that is Echo Beach, for ex­am­ple – and rain­for­est canopies make it a ‘walk in the park’ all year round. From the man­groves down by the sea to the Pan­danus groves that line the walk­ways, there’s no bet­ter place to get to know your spe­cial some­one. And, depend­ing on the time of year, you can make your way down to the wa­ter or stop at one of the look­outs along the way to see mi­grat­ing hump­back whales or dol­phins at play. Then, when you’re done, a ro­man­tic pic­nic on Burleigh Hill is the per­fect re­ward for your ef­forts.

FOR THE FAM

The es­tu­ary of Cur­rumbin Creek is one of the best places to watch the sea and bird life in their nat­u­ral habi­tat, and the board­walk of the Beree-badalla Re­serve of­fers the ul­ti­mate van­tage point. Set back from the coast­line on the West­ern side of the Gold Coast high­way, the Beree-badalla Re­serve board­walk is less than a kilo­me­tre in length – but those hop­ing for a longer route can con­tinue through Tarrabora Re­serve and back again for a 2.4km round trip – mak­ing it ideal for fam­i­lies. It’s also a great spot for fish­ing and swim­ming and is dot­ted with pic­nic ta­bles for those hop­ing to make a day of it. With the pi­rate ship play­ground at the Palm Beach Parklands and Dune Café close by, there are plenty of spots to stop and re­fuel be­fore con­tin­u­ing to­ward the mouth of Cur­rumbin Creek. Plus, the BereeBadalla Re­serve board­walk is dog-friendly, mean­ing your pup can join in on the hike – so long as they’re on a leash.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.