Limited transport to Hinterland

24 Mar

By Alexandra Bernard, Bond University Journalism Student

Tourists without vehicles are left frustrated when they try to visit the Gold Coast Hinterland.

No public transport options exist to reach some of the most well-known areas of the Hinterland, including Springbrook National Park.

The only option is to take a tour with prices averaging $90+ per person for day tours.

Some non-locals said this was too much, especially if they wanted to visit more than once.

Bond University student Emily Young, originally from Melbourne, said she would love to visit Springbrook but has been unable to.

“It’s supposed to be so beautiful there, but without a car it’s really hard,” she said.

Ms Young suggested a public bus route to Springbrook.

“I expect there not be trains or anything because that would ruin the environment, but a bus could work,” she said.

“I feel limited by the lack of transport and I wouldn’t pay that much [$90] for a day trip.”

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said such a route could benefit visitors, but might not be viable.

“The challenge with public transport is always ‘is there sufficient demand for a service?’ to be maintained,” he said.

“Realistically, it would require quite a lot of paying passengers to make the service viable.”

While Ms Young, as well as older tourists, could rent a car, those under a certain age visiting from overseas don’t have the option.

Many car rental companies won’t allow people under the age of 21 to rent a car, regardless of their licence status and those under 25 often must pay a surcharge.

Alma Tidblom, from Sweden, faced this issue on a trip to Australia at age 20.

“The rental companies wouldn’t let us rent a car, but we were lucky to have friends in Australia who lent us theirs,” she said.

Several Bond study abroad students also faced the challenge of being car-less and relied on Australian friends to take them places without access to public transport.

American Emily Dumont travelled to Springbrook after having found a friend to give her a lift.

“I don’t think I’d pay $90, just because I could find a ride with a friend,” she said.

American Lauren Westerhouse, also went to Springbrook with friends and said she thought $90 would be too much to pay for a day trip.

However, another study abroad American Lauren Hesketh, said she was happy to pay for a tour to the Hinterland.

“We went to Purling Brook Falls, Natural Bridge and Twin Falls with tour guides and transport included,” she said.

“I paid $90 for that, which I thought was reasonable.”

Queensland Government media spokesperson Andrea Dobbyn said Springbrook National Park has around 600,000 visitors every year.

***

The National Parks in the Gold Coast Hinterland area include Springbrook, Mount Tambourine, Mount Barney and Lamington National Park.

Springbrook National Park lies 24km west of Mudgeeraba and the National Parks website said its features are the most photographed in the Hinterland.

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