TOP 5 | REBECCA PALMA’S WALKS IN NORTHERN NSW AND THE GOLD COAST

REBECCA PALMA IS HANDS DOWN ONE OF THE FITTEST CHICKS I KNOW – SHE’LL RUN 15KM’S FOR FUN. WHEN SHE’S NOT HANGING BY THE OCEAN ON THE LOOK OUT FOR DOLPHINS OR SIPPING COCKTAILS BY THE COAST, YOU’LL ALWAYS FIND HER CLIMBING MOUNTAINS, WALKING THROUGH FORESTS OR DISCOVERING WATERFALLS. SHE’LL BE UP AT 2AM TO CLIMB MOUNT WARNING IN TIME TO CATCH THE FIRST LIGHT [THIS IS THE FIRST POINT TO SEE THE SUN IN AUSTRALIA EACH DAY] AND SHE’LL HANG AROUND BURLEIGH, WHALE WATCHING UNTIL SUNSET.  IF YOU’RE EVER VISITING THE AREA, HER INSTAGRAM IS THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE BEST BREAKI HAUNTS, COCKTAILS AND WORKOUT SPOTS. HERE ARE HER TOP 5 WALKS IN NORTHERN NSW AND ON THE GOLD COAST …

 

BURLEIGH HEADLAND NATIONAL PARK

 

Ok, so this at the top of my list for a few reasons. The Burleigh Heads walk is the least challenging of my Top 5, and is a favourite amongst locals. You can walk the track at any time of the day, and it’s so caj there isn’t a need to deck yourself out in your active wear. The track is split into an Upper (2.3km return) and Lower (1.2km return) section… Each time spitting you out briefly onto the white sand and crystal clear waters of Tallebudgera Creek [my favourite place on the Coast] for a mid-walk dip! The walk is both Coastal and Rainforest-y and I could go on for days about the various lookouts from where I’ve seen dolphins and whales out in the distance, or the track illuminated at sunset by fireflies.

 

Burleigh Heads National Park,

Gold Coast, QLD, AUSTRALIA

 

CURRUMBIN ROCK POOLS & COUGAL CASCADES -SPRINGBROOK NATIONAL PARK

 

Best done on a scorching hot day, this one is a bit of a mixed-bag in terms of experiences. The drive alone is often worth the trip into the hinterland with long winding roads and never-ending greenery. I usually force a stop on the side of the road to pet any of the horses I see along the way! As you’re driving you will see Currumbin Creek on your left… Hint: Keep driving, the best is yet to come. Soon enough you’ll reach the Mt. Cougal section of Springbrook where a cheeky 800m walk leads to a cascading waterfall, and a little further past that [if you go bush] is a deep rock pool reminiscent of idyllic childhood days.

 

Springbrook National Park,

Gold Coast, QLD, AUSTRALIA

 

TWIN FALLS CIRCUIT – SPRINGBROOK NATIONAL PARK

 

This track is only 4km but it is diverse in what it offers. You start at the top of the hinterland with incredible views of the forest below – and work your way in an anticlockwise fashion through the trees, between large rocks, through caves, under waterfalls and over bridges, up some stairs, and to the top of a waterfall. Take your time to explore this circuit, as there are a few different tracks, each with their own perks.

 

Springbrook National Park,

Gold Coast, QLD, AUSTRALIA

 

CAPE BYRON WALKING TRACK

 

The Lighthouse trail is one of my favourites on this list because I think the best way to make the most out of Byron’s untouched coastline is to explore it by foot. Even better, is that the 3.7km track can be accessed from various points so you can chop and change your walk if you want to make it easier, and still be able to make the most out of it [swim at Wategos, anyone?]. In season, it’s not uncommon to spot whales making their way along the coast, and without fail you’ll see a few dolphins, turtles and even stingrays along the way… You can ask me for a refund if you don’t. Oh, and obviously make sure you at least make it to the Lighthouse – the most Easterly point in mainland Australia and perhaps Byron’s most popular landmark!

 

Lighthouse rd, 

Byron Bay, NSW, AUSTRALIA

 

MOUNT WARNING SUMMIT TRAIL

 

Mt. Warning is magical. If you’re a sucker for sunrises, this one is for you! From the top of Mt. Warning you are able to watch the sunrise over misty mountaintops and the big blue Pacific before anyone else in Australia. However getting to the top is not a feat for the faint hearted – I recommend Googling what you need to wear/ bring with you for the 8.8km return trek. For my trip we left home at 2:30am in the middle of Winter [I know it sounds crazy but it’s the best time of the day/ year to do it], we arrived at the mountain by about 3:30am, and used torchlight to navigate our way through the pitch-black mountain track, reaching the summit after about an hour’s hike.

 

Wollumbin National Park, NSW, AUSTRALIA