There are loads of hidden gems in the Gold Coast Hinterland just waiting to be discovered . The hinterland area of the Gold Coast is probably one of our favourite spots to explore. If we have a day free as there is always something to see and do. The small town of Canungra is definitely on that list.
Nestled in the foothills of the Lamington National Park on the edge of the Scenic Rim, Canungra is an enjoyable 40 to 50 minute drive from the Gold Coast. Even though we have been out there numerous times, one thing we had never done was to camp at the very popular (and cheap) Sharp Park River Bend Camp Ground. At just $8.00 per night for adults and $6.00 for children, this camp ground is never empty and can be filled to over flowing during weekends and holidays.
This past week we were lucky enough to have some time off together so we threw some food in the fridge, kissed the kids goodbye and headed off for a whole night of camping by ourselves!
Sharp Park River Bend is located about 3klm from Canungra on the Beechmont Road and is managed by the Scenic Rim Council. It is divided in two by the Coomera River which runs through it. Both areas have toilets, but no showers. We set up in a lovely spot facing the creek. The on-site managers will deliver a box of firewood to your camp site for $12.00. Even though it was late October, there was still a chill in the air so we definitely needed the fire.
It didn’t take us long to set the trailer up even though there was only the two of us and it wasn’t long before Brenden had his ‘drone’ out to get some shots of our set up and I was kicking back with a wine in hand.
Canungra itself is always busy on weekends, but equally charming on weekdays. I found a few changes had occurred since I had paid a visit last. Of course the very popular Outpost Cafe is still there and is the perfect spot for lunch. Voted Best Pies on The Coast a couple of years ago they are baked fresh on the premises everyday. There are plenty of other goodies on the menu too and they make a great coffee.
If you go for a wander down the street, you will find a few shops to browse in, including an Antique shop, the local hardware store, which sells much more than hardware these days, a great looking shoe shop (I didn’t go in) as well as some other gift stores and a couple of other coffee shops.
If you have not explored the area before it is well worth wandering up the street to the local Tourist Information Centre. They have loads of information on the entire Hinterland area as well as crafts and souvenirs.
A fascinating part of Canugra’s history is the old tramway tunnel. Built by the Lahey brothers in the early 1900’s to transport timber from their timber mill. It was used until 1930 when the mill was closed. The tracks were torn up in 1935 and the tunnel was used as a munitions dump during World War II. All that remains now is the tunnel. You used to be able to walk all the way through it but it has now been gated off. I presume this is for safety reasons and to stop vandal attacks.
Canungra is the gateway to the Lamington National Park. Other accommodation options are available at O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat or Binna Burra Lodge. The drive to both these spots is spectacular and they are well worth visiting.
You are also able to camp at the Canungra Showgrounds. Friends who recently stayed there tell me that dogs are welcome. This is always a bonus for anyone who travels with their ‘fur family’.