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Gold Coast Hinterland Traverse walk
A 4 day guided pack-free walk.
This 4-day pack free walk traverses the spectacular Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland, a unique World Heritage Area comprising of Australia’s largest remnant of ancient subtropical Gondwana Rainforests. On this walk, you will explore misty forests of 2000-year-old Antarctic beech trees, rugged mountain scenery, lush palm-filled gullies and cascading crystal clear streams. A bird lover’s paradise, this area is home to more than 230 species including the rare Albert’s lyrebird and regent bowerbird as well as Australia’s largest collection of subtropical birds. This unique and special region is not to be missed.
- Inclusions & Itinerary
- Departure Dates
A Pack-Free walk
Walk with as little as your water and camera
Our speciality is providing pack free walks, our guests can walk with as little as their water and camera. This allows our guests to enjoy the scenery without the burden of carrying a heavy pack each day.
Binna Burra Sky Lodge & O'Reillys Rainforest Retreat
2 night and 1 night stay
For two nights you will be accommodated at the wonderful Binna Burra Sky Lodge set amongst the lush rainforest and with captivating views across the Coomera and Numinbah Valleys. Our guests stay in the Lodge’s 2 bedroom Canopy Suites with an en-suite with every bedroom. Your final night is at the iconic O’Reilly’s Retreat. With stunning views over the western McPherson Ranges, O’Reilly’s is a bird lover’s paradise where you can connect with nature, and interact with Regent and Satin bowerbirds often visible from the main dining room. Our guests stay in the lovely Mountain View chosen for their close proximity to the main lodge building featuring restaurant, bar and interpretive centre. Your room features a queen and single bed, en-suite bathrooms and private balcony.
Celebratory Winery Lunch
The extra "Wow" Factor
On the final day enjoy a celebratory lunch at a local vineyard where you will enjoy a superb lunch and wine tasting, a fantastic way to finish our journey.
Fabulous wine and dining
Featuring fabulous local produce
During your stay at Binna Burra Sky Lodge and O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, you’ll enjoy meals prepared by chefs and served in stunning rainforest settings, surrounded by an outdoor sanctuary. During breakfast, enjoy the flourish of colour as regent and satin bowerbirds and cromson rosellas frolic outside whilst you dine and at night you may be lucky enough to spot a brushtail possum.
To suit a range of fitness level
As we have two guides on this walk we are able to offer both easier and more challenging walking options for our guests catering for a range of abilities and fitness levels.
Chief Experience Officer
We are very proud of our guides, we call them our CEOs – Chief Experience Officers and it’s their job to ensure your tour exceeds your expectations. Each has an amazing balance of a caring attitude and amazing story-telling ability will make your tour a relaxing, fun and informative experience.
Maximum of 12 guests
We keep our walking groups small and personalised with a maximum of 12 walkers. This allows our group to get to know each other forming new friendships and with minimal impact on the environment.
When you travel on one of our walking tours, you won’t be asked to put your hand in your pocket for extras along the way. All meals and wine during our dinner are included in your walking tour with nothing more to pay.
NO Credit Cards Fees!
To find out more click on any of the below links:
Why should you choose us.
Are you interested in this tour?
This is an all-inclusive tour with no hidden extras:
- 4 day Pack-Free Walk
- 2 nights accommodation at Binna Burra Sky Lodges 2 bedroom Canopy Suites.
- 1 night in Mountain View Rooms at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
- Celebratory Lunch and Wine tasting in a local winery
- 3 x dinners featuring local produce
- 3 x breakfasts
- 3 x packed lunches to enjoy whilst walking
- Fresh fruit and trail mix to enjoy during your walk
- Professionally guided – Our CEO’s – Chief Experience Officer are locals who are passionate, well trained and enthusiastic with the ability to bring to life a depth of information
- Return transfers from the Gold Coast
- National Parks Fees
- Regional boutique wine and non-alcoholic drinks served with dinner. Please note: we advise drinking in moderation as walking can be strenuous. Wine is served to enjoy with your dinner only if you would like to enjoy alcohol after dinner you will need to purchase your own.
SUGGESTED PRE NIGHT ACCOMMODATION: Meriton Suites Broadbeach on the Gold Coast
MEETING TIME: 7:30am
TRAILS NOTES: 12km. 4 hours walking. Moderate grade.
TERRAIN: Another good, dirt walking track with few obstacles but some short rocky sections. Unfenced lookouts. The track is lightly undulating .
WALK ITINERARY: Meet your guides in the hotel foyer at the Meriton Suites Broadbeach on the Gold Coast at 7.30am or drive to Canungra to meet us. Today we will head to Binna Burra in Lamington National Park to start our walking adventure. We believe our walk today is one of the best in this area and the most botanically diverse with beautiful wildflowers all year round. We’ll start Daves Creek Circuit by branching off the Border track where we’ll wind through an amazing variety of forests types from lush rainforest to towering eucalypts, and sparse mallee woodland to colourful montane heath. Enjoy magnificent views of Springbrook, Mount Hobwee and Numinbah Valley. Stop in the cool shade for lunch at Picnic Creek or beside a trickling waterfall. Have your camera ready because the falls have spectacular displays of delicate wind spray. Keep an eye out for Surprise Rock—a volcanic dyke made of hardy trachyte, which is able to withstand erosion. This park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, famed for its ongoing geological processes, evolutionary history, and diversity (especially of rare, threatened and endemic species). Tonight we stay at the charming mountain retreat of Binna Burra. Guests will stay in the luxurious Sky Lodges with stunning views. Enjoy a hearty dinner in the Clifftop Dining Room accompanied with wine.
As we have two guides easier options walks are available or 5-6kms. (Note: two guides on each tour are subject to 8 or more passengers).
TRAILS NOTES: 17.4km. 7 hours walking. Moderate grade.
TERRAIN: Walking experience recommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep.
WALK ITINERARY: Enjoy a hearty breakfast this morning before we head out to enjoy the Coomera Circuit. The track passes through subtropical and warm temperate rainforest communities, and giant brush box Lophostemon confertus forest. It is very well marked and the only technical sections are the river crossings, but there are well-placed stones at each. Walk up to the spectacular cantilevered Coomera Falls lookout (5.5km from the trailhead) and witness the power of the Coomera River as it cascades over the magnificent Coomera and Yarrabilgong falls into the 160m deep gorge. From the lookout, continue to ascend along the edge of Coomera Gorge, following the Coomera River past a series of other lovely cascades and waterfalls like Ungurungbano Falls and Bahnamboola Falls…just to name a few! See if you can spot bright blue and white Lamington spiny crayfish along the way. Cross the river several times before rejoining the Border Track and returning to the Binna Burra trailhead. This park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, famed for its ongoing geological processes, evolutionary history, and diversity (especially of rare, threatened and endemic species). Enjoy another luxurious night at Binna Burra Lodge with a delicious dinner in the Clifftop Dining Room accompanied with wine.
TRAIL NOTES: 21.4kms. 6.5 hours walking with breaks. (Easier Option available of 10.9kms. 4 hours available). Medium grade.
TERRAIN: Lightly undulating terrain, but some short steep pinches. The track is a well-trodden path through the rainforest with few obstacles but there are occasional rocks, exposed tree roots and mud as well as multiple creek crossings where the rocks can be slippery but, nothing too challenging.
WALK ITINERARY: After a hearty breakfast in the Cliff Top Dining Room, we head out on our adventure. Today’s one-way walk on the famous Border Track is absolutely gorgeous, though the track is a lengthy 21.4kms the effort is definitely worth it! This beautiful and captivating walk weaves its way through deep and lush rainforest with amazing views overlooking Lamington National Park and the Gold Coast. You will be taken aback by the beauty of the foliage, the calling of the wild birds and the sheer tranquillity of the rainforest. Cross small streams and discover misty forests of 2000-year-old Antarctic beech trees. The views are out of this world, especially in the latter part of the walk where you are looking over the Tweed Valley and Mt Warning. The track follows sections of Roberts and Rowland’s original survey route and is now a part of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk (a 3-day hike along the Border Ranges)! We walk directly from the trail into our accommodation at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. This superb mountain lodge is a place to connect with nature. Enjoy dinner in the main dining room feature a wonderful a la carte dining, accompanied with regional wines. As we have two guides easier options walks are available or 10.9kms or 4.4kms. (Note two guides on each 3-day tour is subject to 8 or more passengers).
TRAIL NOTES: 7.5kms. 3.5 hours walking one way with breaks
TERRAIN: Gentle downhill to Moran Falls, which makes for a gentle uphill on the way back. Good, well trodden dirt track with few obstacles. The track to Python Rock is an easy gradient.
WALK ITINERARY: Enjoy an early buffet breakfast in the Retreat’s main dining room. Today we walk to Moran Falls and Python Rock Lookout. Walk through forests of lichen dappled coachwood and through fern-filled gullies. We eventually reach a magic spot for spectacular views over Moran Falls, where we stop to take a photo of this stunning waterfalls set amongst a backdrop of lush greenery. This idyllic location was the home of the bark hut, the first home of the O’Reilley brothers. We head to Python Rock through the amazing rainforest, a great track for bird watching with superb panoramic views. Apart from the lush rainforest, another feature of this walk is a large number of leaf-tailed geckos you’re likely to encounter along the track. This small gecko is endemic to the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. After our walk, we visit a local vineyard for a celebratory lunch and wine tasting a remarkable way to finish our adventure. Afterwards, we head back to Broadbeach, dropping off those who drove to their cars in Canungra. You will arrive at Broadbeach at at approximately 4.30pm. The end of a great journey.
We run regular weekly departures during the months of late May to August. We will also consider opening up a new departure date if we have enough demand. Email us at [email protected]
PRIVATE GROUPS: Date of your choice is available for groups of 10 -12 people. Subject to availability. Please contact us for more details on (02) 9975 4553 or email: [email protected]
Winter Escapes Spot Special savings of up to $800 per couple or $400 per person are available on specific departures when you pay in full at time of booking. ________________________________
PRIVATE GROUPS Private groups of 10 - 12 people can choose the date of their choice. Subject to availability.
FlexiWalk Option – Cancel for any Reason
Click here for full conditions on our FlexiWalk Option
PAST PASSENGER DISCOUNT: Those who have travelled with Life’s An Adventure previously, receive a past passenger discount of $100. This discount will automatically be deducted from future bookings when you book online using the same email address used for past bookings.
EARLYBIRD & SPOT SPECIAL CANCELLATIONS: Refunds or cancellations are not permitted for Earlybird Deals or Spot Specials, however, transfers to another date are permitted 8 weeks or more prior to departure. We advise taking out travel insurance, in case unexpected circumstances prior to the trip, prevent you from joining this tour. Early bird or Spot Special discounts cannot be used in conjunction with another offer. To receive these special discounts, full payment must be made at the time of initial booking. Flexiwalk Add-On option not available on these tickets.
- Travel Insurance
We strongly advise our clients travelling within Australia to take out Travel Insurance. We have partnered with Cover-More to provide travel insurance to our guests. To get a quote or purchase travel insurance directly with them CLICK HERE .
- Prices are per person in Australian dollars and include GST.
- A deposit of $300 per person is required to secure your booking. (unless taking advantage of Earlybird or Spot Specials in which full payment is required at time of booking).
- Note: If you are booking within 90 days of your departure date – we will require full payment at the time of booking
- Prices are based on twin share of rooms. If you are travelling solo you may be required to share with someone of the same gender. If this is not suitable you can request to pay a single supplement, however, limited single rooms are available per trip so are on a request basis.
- No Credit Cards fees.
- Payments must be made online via our NAB (National Australia Bank) secure payment page via credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or over the phone.
- We advise taking our Travel Insurance to cover items such as cancellation of tour due to minimum numbers not met, or adverse weather conditions, injury, evacuation, delayed flights, illness, etc.
Before you book please read our Booking Terms and Conditions. Click here .
Images from the Tour
Gold Coast Hinterland Walk Queensland
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- Booking Terms & Conditions
- Address: HEAD OFFICE: Shop 7, 1306 Pittwater Road Narrabeen NSW 2101. WALKING THE THREE CAPES : Guests can meet this tour at our Life’s An Adventure Premises: 29/6955 Arthur Highway, Port Arthur.
- Phone: (02) 9975 4553 After Hours: 0457 002 482
- Email: [email protected]
- Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Saturday - Sunday: Closed
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THE 5 BEST Gold Coast Walking Tours
Walking tours in gold coast.
- Sightseeing Tours
- Private Tours
- Wine Tours & Tastings
- Walking Tours
- Free cancellation
- Up to 1 hour
- 1 to 4 hours
- 4 hours to 1 day
- The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.
1. Morning Kayaking and Snorkeling Tour
2. Skip the Line:Wax Museum Ticket-World in Wax & Guided Tour of Chamber of Horrors
3. Southport Cemetery Paranormal Activity Tour QUEENSLAND
4. Discover Broadbeach
5. Discover Surfers Paradise
6. 2-Hour Farmers Market Tour with Kayak
7. The Best of Gold Coast Walking Tour
8. Guided Tour "Love Stories of Gold Coast"
9. Private Surfers Paradise Paranormal Activity Walking Tour
Keep the fun going with other experiences in the area.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Admission with Brisbane River Cruise
North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) Day Trip from Brisbane
XXXX Brewery Tour
Bloody Brisbane CBD Crime Tour - Crime Tours Australia | Jack Sim
Toowong Cemetery Ghost Tour - The Original
Brisbane Dark Stories True Crime Tour
South Brisbane Cemetery Ghost Tour
Sirromet Winery Tuscany Tour and Taste-Includes Tour, Tasting and 2 Course Lunch
Camel Farm Tour and Taste
E Bike Hire - Northern Rivers Rail Trail - Self Guided Tour
Haunted Brisbane CBD Ghost Tour
Cape Byron Aboriginal Tour
3-Hour Wine Tasting and Lunch Guided Tour at Cellar Door
Brisbane Local Icons Tour
Sirromet Winery Tour and Wine Tasting
Goodna Cemetery Haunted History Tour
Northern Rivers Rail Trail Picnic and Bike Hire Half Day
Escape to Coochiemudlo Island: A Self-Guided Audio Tour
Moonlight State Fortitude Valley Crime Tour Crime Tours Australia
Ipswich Cemetery Ghost Tour
Self Guide E Bike Tour - Husk Distillery, Rainforest & Rail Trail
What travellers are saying.
- Morning Kayaking and Snorkeling Tour
- Skip the Line:Wax Museum Ticket-World in Wax & Guided Tour of Chamber of Horrors
- Private Surfers Paradise Paranormal Activity Walking Tour
- Discover Broadbeach
- Discover Surfers Paradise
- Gold Coast Rainforest Tours & Hikes
- Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours
- Surfers Paradise Tours
Gold Coast: Walking Tours Information
Chicago Gold Coast Tour
After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and following Potter Palmer’s 1885 castle-esque mansion, the wealthy of Chicago began moving north of the Loop to develop Lake Shore Drive into what would became one of the city's wealthiest neighborhoods. Referred to as the Gold Coast, this fabled neighborhood lines Lake Michigan and contains vintage architecture, modern high rises, and rare insight into the early residents who made Chicago an incredible city.
Join Free Tours by Foot as we explore the residential side of the city on this name-your-own-price tour of Chicago’s Gold Coast. Take in sights such as the historic Drake Hotel, the original Playboy Mansion, an early example of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie School architecture, as well as the oldest private residences on Lake Shore Drive.
As we take in these one-of-a-kind homes and mansions, you'll learn about the men and women who called the Gold Coast home while shaping the Chicago we know and love today.
Some sights and topics we'll cover on the Gold Coast tour:
- The Drake Hotel
- The Fortnightly of Chicago
- Original Playboy Mansion
- Charnley-Persky House
- Madlener House
- Patterson-McCormick Mansion
- Palmer Mansion
Continue your day with our Lincoln Park Blues tour in the afternoon following this tour.
Where: Meet your guide outside the Drake Hotel at 140 E. Walton Place (map). Look for your guide with the Free Tours by Foot logo!
Duration: Tour lasts approx. 2 hours. Total walking is just over one mile (1.6km).
Save more money and combine our tours with a tourist pass and/or a hop-on, hop-off bus ticket.
And much, much more
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Gold Coast Tour
Chicago's Gold Coast is one of the city's most iconic neighborhoods. With the shores of Lake Michigan on the east, this is one of the most expensive zip codes in all of Illinois. Nestled among these quiet, tree-lined streets you'll find elegant multi-million dollar brownstones, numerous historic mansions and some of the wealthiest families in Chicago. Welcome to Chicago's Gold Coast.
But this area wasn't always so wealthy. Once upon a time, this was marshland used as burial grounds. The area began to change in 1882 after Potter Palmer, one of Chicago’s business legends, built a castle-like mansion on Lake Shore Drive. Thereafter, Chicago’s wealthy citizens transformed this area into the city’s most exclusive residential enclave.
By the 1980’s, the Gold Coast and neighboring Streeterville comprised the second most-affluent neighborhood in the USA behind Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The Gold Coast district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Please join us to explore this historic neighborhood.
Meeting Point: We will meet in front of the Drake Hotel outside near the Lavazza coffee shop. The Drake Hotel is located 140 E. Walton Place , just east of Michigan Avenue. This tour will end at the Chicago History Museum
Duration: The tour will last about 2 hours from start to finish.
Cost: Free! Our guides work for tips and gratuities. Read about Tipping your Guide .
What you will see:
- The Drake Hotel
- The Fortnightly House
- Lake Shore Drive Mansions
- The Playboy Mansion
- The hotel where the Beatles, Bette Davis, & Sammy Davis Jr. stayed
- Franky Lloyd Wright-designed home
- The former home of Abraham Lincoln's youngest son
- The house with 19 chimneys
Stories you will be told:
- Palmer Potter helps transform the area
- The street named after a fur tycoon
- From Hugh Hefner to art students to condominiums - all under one roof
- The 4-story mansion (that was given as a wedding gift)
- Meet the man who constructed the first building after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871
- Servants in the Gold Coast
- The architect responsible for East Lake Shore Drive
More Free Chicago Walking Tours
We know you will love the Chicago Crime & Gangster tour, so why not plan ahead and book another tour? If your group is larger than 6 people contact us regarding a Private Chicago Walking Tour .
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Get Outside With 7 Of The Gold Coast’s Prettiest Walks
By Sarah Loughlin 4th Aug 2020
- X Post (Twitter)
Whether walking on a Saturday morning is your weekly fitness ritual or your hangover cure, it’s time to get out and about on the Gold Coast. To help you in your quest, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite pretty walks from leisurely strolls to sweaty hikes. And since it's 2020 and last-minute restrictions can come into play at any time, make sure any National Park trails (and any other scenic trails) you're hitting up are actually open before you lace up.
That said, here are 7 of the prettiest walks on the Gold Coast.
Kirra to D’bar
Great for people watching, this walk has pretty ocean views, pretty greenery, and even prettier surfers to ogle. Start the walk at Kirra Beach with a tasty ice cream from My Gelato and follow the coast south along the walking path watching the waves roll in (and the topless boys on skateboards). As you pass Coolangatta’s main drag and reach the end of Greenmount Beach, stroll up through the trees keeping an eye for resident brush turkeys, lizards, and Ibis. Back on beach level, follow the path round to Snapper Rocks, to Froggies Beach, and then up the stairs and hill to D’bar—a magic whale watching spot in winter and spring.
The perfect end to a long lunch on Mount Tamborine, the Curtis Falls walk starts from Eagle Heights Road and takes just under an hour. Walk through the towering palms and impressive strangler fig trees down to the base of Curtis Falls. From here, you’ll get a fabulous view of the water tumbling down the rock face, before heading back through the forest to the main shopping street for some homemade fudge.
A well-worn route for locals, this is one walk that will simply never get old. Burleigh Headland has a shady path with lots of greenery, a few steepish parts, and glimpses of the ocean, making this route perfect for a quick afternoon stroll after a day at the beach. Catch sunset from the northern viewing point, Tumgun Lookout or, if you happen to visit during August, look out for fireflies that appear just as it gets dark.
The Pinnacle Lookout
Border ranges national park.
Another spot that looks its best at sunrise, the 800-metre round trip to The Pinnacle Lookout takes about 45 minutes. Whether you get up early or don’t make it until the afternoon, the sprawling hinterland panoramas never fail to impress.
Purling Brook Falls Circuit
Springbrook national park.
Starting at the Gwongorella picnic area, this route is bursting with Springbrook’s heritage-listed rainforest flowers, shrubs and trees, all on display in an accessible four-kilometre circuit. This walk has a few (okay, a LOT of) steps down into the gorge, but it is totally worth it for the incredible view of Purling Brook Falls from the forest floor, and the lush tropical greenery fed by the waterfall. Just don’t forget you’ll be hiking back out!
Wake up before dawn and don your head torch as you hike and scramble in the dark. For your hard work, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular sunrise and views of the hinterland. For those Gold Coasters who are not morning people, the view will still be there at 11am after a big brekkie at Mavis’s Kitchen.
Kingscliff to Cabarita
Depending on whether you stroll or power walk, this one-way route along the coast will take about two hours and twenty minutes. Starting from the southern end of Kingscliff Beach, follow the riverside path and then along the coast. Shady and flat, this 12-kilometre route is great for running and cycling too. Although you can’t see the beach most of the way, you can hear the sound of the ocean, look out for wild birds, and occupy yourself with imaginary house shopping as you wander past the mansions of Casuarina. Pack some BBQ food and set up at Norries Head for lunch before getting the #603 bus back to Kingscliff which takes 15 minutes and goes once an hour.
In a mood for walking? Lace up and hit the best bush walks around the Gold Coast .
Image credit: Brooke Darling for The Urban List
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Best Walking tours in Gold Coast
Local recommendations from our my guide gold coast team, our top experiences and tours in gold coast:.
- Gold Coast: Sightseeing Cruise with Buffet Lunch
Lamington National Park, O'Reilly's and Vineyard Tour
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: Entry & TreeTops Challenge
Buffet Dinner Sightseeing Cruise
- 2-Hour Group Surf Lesson at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast
Gold Coast: Evening Rainforest and Glow Worm Experience
Take a nighttime adventure with this rainforest and glow worm tour from the Gold Coast. Witness glow worms in their natural habitat and encounter the captivating rainforest at night.
Gold Coast: Natural Bridge & Springbrook Waterfalls Tour
Enjoy the beautiful Natural Bridge at Springbrook on a guided tour. Discover beautiful waterfalls and rainforests and keep a look out for native wildlife.
Gold Coast: Natural Bridge Glow Worm Night Tour
Travel to the Gold Coast hinterland on a guided night tour of the Natural Bridge glow worm cave. See one of Australia's largest glow worm colonies and stargaze into the night sky.
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Recommended Experiences in Gold Coast
From Brisbane or Gold Coast: Moreton Island Full-Day Trip
Spend a day in paradise on Moreton Island. Experience 4WD driving on the beach, slide down sand dunes on a toboggan, paddle a transparent kayak, and snorkel around Tangalooma Shipwrecks
Coolangatta: Surf Lesson on the Gold Coast
Learn to surf so you can enjoy the beautiful waters of Coolangatta. Experienced instructors will introduce you to surfing and in no time you will be surfing the gentle waves fit for beginners.
Gold Coast Theme Parks: Shared Hotel Transfers
Take the worry out of your transportation needs to Gold Coast theme parks such as Sea World, Wet'n'Wild, and Movie World, and pre-book a reliable round-trip shared transfer service from your hotel.
Enjoy the views of glittering Surfers Paradise skyline by night while enjoying a gourmet dining experience prepared by top local chefs and accompanied by laid-back entertainment.
Visit one of the world’s largest subtropical forests, and stop by a vineyard on this guided tour from Gold Coast. Go on a treetop canopy walk at Lamington National Park and see O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.
Surfers Paradise: Guided Gold Coast Amphibious Bus Tour
Enjoy a fun sightseeing experience in Surfers Paradise. Board an amphibious bus to discover the area from both land and water on a guided tour.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Ticket
Explore Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary with a full-day ticket. Enjoy entry to the park, daily interactive keeper presentations and animal shows, and join the popular wild lorikeet feeding!
Gold Coast: Wave Break Island Kayaking & Snorkeling tour
Discover Wave Break Island on a guided kayak tour where you may spot dolphins and stingrays while paddling. Bush-walk on the island, snorkel among the subtropical fishes, and savor a delicious snack.
Gold Coast Airport Arrival Shared Transfer
This shuttle will get you where you need to go! The most reliable, fastest, most efficient service on the Gold Coast. Avoid the queues, easy booking and jump straight on!
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Gold Coast Walking Tours
Walking tours & tickets, small group mt tamborine & lamington national park tour.
Exploring the very best the Gold Coast hinterland has to offer, this is our most popular tour. Including ancient Gondwana rainforests, panoramic views,
Australia Zoo and The Sunshine Coast Ginger Factory Tour
Visit the Sunshine Coast’s world famous Australia Zoo, home of the Irwin family and legendary Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. Enjoy a half-day experience at
Springbrook FULL Day Tour
Spectacular World Heritage listed Springbrook Mountain, 5 cascading waterfalls, one of the world’s oldest living forests nestled over 1000m above the
Explore other Tours & Activities in Gold Coast
Sit back and relax as you tour along the water.
A new place - so much to see and so little time. Bus tours let you cover more ground than two feet allow, and keep you in the know as you cruise around town.
Skip the crowds and join a private tour for an in-depth experience.
Switch out your walking shoes for a Segway.
Get immersed in a place with multi-day tours.
Hop-On Hop-Off Tours
Get the best of both worlds with hop-on hop-off tours: all the insider information and all the flexibility.
Join a factory tour for the inside scoop on how it works.
Take a ride through the sky with an exhilarating helicopter tour.
Getting to Gold Coast
Getting from the airport to Surfers Paradise can be slow, and unless you have a transfer organised, taxis will be expensive. Consider the 700 bus, which runs at frequent intervals all the way up to Broadbeach, where you can transfer to the tram.
Flights to Gold Coast
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Explore other things to do in gold coast, night activities.
With sundown comes a whole new side to an area. Find the best places and activities to check out at night.
Make the great outdoors even greater with these activities. Get in touch with nature and add some adrenaline wherever you are.
Fun & Games
There's always room for fun and games on any vacation. To get the endorphins going, find the good times near you.
Get your fill of culture, arts or history with a fantastic museum primed to impress.
Animals, Nature & Parks
For the world at its most spectacular, Mother Nature does it best. Head outdoors to find a whole new appreciation for nature and animals on your travels.
The world is better on the water. Let your travels continue beyond the shoreline with the fantastic boat tours on offer.
Do more than dip your toes in, with great opportunities to take to the water for some fun.
Start your vacation off on the right foot with an easy airport transfer to take you right to the action.
Water & Amusement Parks
Pick up the pace on vacation with a visit to water and amusement parks. Trust those in the business of good times to serve up some fun.
Make special memories with special people while enjoying the romantic side to travel.
Bring home more than photos with a successful shopping venture.
Sights & Landmarks
Tick off some bucket-list-worthy sights and landmarks near you and fill your photo album with great snaps.
Spas & Wellness
A vacation within a vacation - indulge in some respite wherever you are.
It's always nice to wander around and get lost in a place - until you're actually lost. Tours take the mystery out of travel and bring you right to the action.
Food & Drink
Sightseeing alone won't satisfy your cultural palate. Great food and drink will make a good trip even better.
Classes & Workshops
Return home with more than just memories - add some knowledgeable tips and tricks gained from classes and workshops.
Concerts & Shows
Make your trip extra special with a concert or show. When it comes to entertainment, they should always have a place on the itinerary.
Day trips keep it simple and exciting while traveling. See all the best parts of a place by joining in on some great bite-sized excursions.
Vacationing is a great way to bring the family closer together. Make the most of your time with activities that everyone will enjoy.
- Things to Do
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- Organized Tours
- Planning a Trip
- Walking Tour 1
- Walking Tour 2
- Walking Tour 3
- Walking Tour 4
- Walking Tour 5
- Architecture Tour 1
- Architecture Tour 2
- For Art Lovers
- For Science Explorers
- Active Pursuits
- Spectator Sports
- Suggested Itineraries
Walking Tour 2: The Gold Coast
This scenic and exclusive neighborhood of leafy streets and historic mansions fronts Lake Michigan and is home to some of Chicago’s most famous and moneyed families. It dates back to the 1880s, when retailing wizard Potter Palmer built a lakeshore castle in the midst of what was then wild marshland (his spectacular home, at what is now 1450 N. Lake Shore Dr., was eventually torn down and a high-rise complex built in its place). After buying up the neighboring land, Palmer watched the city’s most prominent social families follow his lead, turning his marshland into real estate gold.
START: Oak St. Beach, Lake Shore Dr. just south of Oak St. Bus: 151.
1. Residence of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago: This 2 1/2-story Queen Anne–style mansion dates back to 1880 and stands on the grounds of a former cemetery. One of the oldest and most notable residences on the Gold Coast, it’s also one of the best preserved. Note the elaborate chimneys—there are 19 of them. The red-brick structure is the current home of Cardinal Blase Cupich. 1555 N. State Pkwy. (at North Ave.) .
2. Madlener House: Designed as a private residence by Richard E. Schmidt in 1902, this National Historic Landmark foreshadowed the Art Deco style that would not emerge in Chicago for another 20 years. The brick-and-limestone structure’s clean lines and its doorways ornamented with delicate bronze grillwork offer hints of both the Prairie and Chicago schools of design. It’s currently home to the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, which has installed a collection of fragments from famous Chicago buildings in the courtyard. It’s a must for architecture buffs and historic home fans. Time: 30 min. 4 W. Burton Place. tel. 312/787-4071. www.grahamfoundation.org . Gallery/bookshop open Wed–Sat 11am–6pm.
3. Patterson-McCormick Mansion: Designed by New York architect Stanford White, this palazzo-style mansion was commissioned in 1893 by Joseph Medill, owner of the Chicago Tribune, as a wedding present for his daughter. The Georgian structure is faced with Roman bricks of burnt yellow and terra-cotta trim, and marked the beginning of an architectural movement toward classical exteriors. The home was purchased in 1914 by Cyrus McCormick, Jr., son of the inventor of the reaper and the first president of International Harvester. McCormick had it enlarged to its current size in 1927. The building now houses condominiums. 20 E. Burton Place.
4. 1525 N. Astor St.: This attractive town house (on a block full of multimillon-dollar homes) is the former home of Robert Todd Lincoln (1843–1926), the son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. Lincoln operated a private law practice in Chicago before moving on to serve as secretary of war to Presidents Garfield and Arthur. Upon the death of George Pullman, one of his clients, Lincoln became president of the Palace Car Company in 1897.
5. 1451 N. Astor St.: Designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw, who built several of the mansions on ritzy Astor Street, this mansion showcases the unique “Jacobethan” style (a mixture of 16th- and 17th-c. features of Elizabethan and Jacobean architecture). It was originally built for brewer Peter Fortune in 1912.
6. 1449 N. Astor St.: The origins of this grandiose château remain a mystery, though it was definitely built around 1890. The exterior features, including an intimidating stone porch, decorative friezes, and a large front bay, make for worthwhile viewing.
7. Charnley-Persky House: This 1892 National Historic Landmark was built by the firm of Adler and Sullivan, back when a 19-year-old draftsman named Frank Lloyd Wright was laboring there in obscurity. Wright’s role in designing the building (he called it “the first modern house in America”) is evident in its progressive shape, especially when compared to its fanciful neighbors, homes that drew on styles based in antiquity. Even today, this home is an excellent illustration of the timelessness of Wright’s ideas. Charles Persky donated the building to the Society of Architectural Historians in 1995, and the society runs public tours on Wednesdays (45 min.) and Saturdays (60 min.). Call for information. Time: 1 hr. 1365 N. Astor St. tel. 312/573-1365. www.sah.org . Apr–Oct, tours are free Wed at noon; Sat tours at 10am and noon include other historic neighborhood residences and cost $10 adults, $8 seniors, and $5 kids 5–13.
8. Astor Court: If this building evokes images of England when you look at it, that’s because of its Georgian formality, typical of the architecture you’d find in London. It was designed in 1914 by Howard Van Doren Shaw. Look up at the ornament over the central drive, which leads to a formal inner court surrounded by residential units: The ornament is the source of the structure’s nickname, “The Court of the Golden Hands.” 1355 N. Astor St.
9. Playboy Mansion: Built in 1899, this very traditional-looking mansion was home to Playboy’s Hugh Hefner during his Chicago heyday in the 1960s. The building has been converted into very expensive private condos, so you’ll need your imagination to envision Hugh romping here with his bunnies and hosting legendary parties. (Playboy Enterprises no longer has a presence in Chicago; it’s now in Los Angeles.) 1340 N. State Pkwy.
10. 1310 N. Astor St.: John Wellborn Root (1850–91), one of the founders of the Chicago School of Architecture and a former director of the American Institute of Architects, is best known for his work on skyscrapers with Daniel Burnham (their collaborations include the Monadnock and Rookery buildings). But this lovely brick town house, built by Root in 1887, must have struck a chord with the architect—he moved in and lived here with his family (including his son, John Root, Jr., a renowned architect in his own right) until he died of pneumonia at the young age of 41.
11. Three Arts Club: This four-story Chicago landmark, which is now a Restoration Hardware retail store and cafe, was built in 1914 by architect John Holabird to house a club dedicated to providing women with a suitable environment for the study of painting, music, and drama. Many of the club’s founders were prominent women of the time, including social reformer Jane Addams and socialite Edith Rockefeller McCormick. The club’s residential units were arranged around a central courtyard, in the style of a Tuscan villa (a lot of the exterior ornamentation is also Byzantine in nature). The ornamental mosaics over the terra-cotta entrance salute the three branches of the arts that the club is named for. 1300 N. Dearborn St.
Note : This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
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Gold Coast: Astor Street
Discover the architectural treasures of the Astor Street Historic District, one of Chicago's most affluent neighborhoods. The tour covers residential architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and looks at the preservation movement of the 1970s that saved the homes from demolition.
Learn about the celebrated people who have lived on the Gold Coast and the remarkable events that have occurred there. We’ll discuss how the land once owned by the Catholic Church gained the Astor name and how the Gold Coast became a haven for the city’s wealthiest residents while walking past more than 40 elegant homes in the Romanesque, Queen Anne, Tudor, Art Deco and Modern styles.
- Many tours sell out. To guarantee your space advance reservations are strongly recommended.
- Your safety is our priority. The itinerary of this tour may be altered in accordance with health and safety policies and considerations.
- Tour meets in the park at the Dr. Greene Vardiman Black statue across from the Cardinal’s Mansion.
- Ticket price includes entrance to the Chicago Architecture Center within 7 days of your tour. View the CAC's hours .
Photos From This Tour
Upcoming Gold Coast: Astor Street Tours
NOTE: There are currently no departures available for booking. Please check back soon!
Highlights of this Tour
1365 n. astor st..
Bold in its simplicity, the Charnley-Persky House stands out from its neighbors in Chicago’s Gold Coast…
the arrangement of forms of a building
Frank Lloyd Wright
With a prolific career of more than 70 years, Frank Lloyd Wright’s work spans the late 19th and mid-20th…
Gold Coast: Dearborn Street
See beautifully preserved examples of domestic architecture of the early 1900s in this delightful walk…
Pub Tour: Near North
Explore the variety of living spaces in the Near North neighborhood, part of River North. High rise…
River North: Transformation of a Neighborhood
See historic gems in this former center of manufacturing and explore its boom-and-bust transformation…