It’s rare to be bored on the Gold Coast but occasionally we all get the urge to venture a little further afield. Within a few hours’ drive we’re spoilt for choice for things to see and do – from the Hinterland, to the Tweed and Northern Rivers, the Scenic Rim and more – there are endless beaches, cute little villages, bushwalks, great food and attractions. With a three-day weekend stretching out ahead, why not plan a day trip and go exploring?
With the keys to a 2017 Ford Mustang GT Fastback in hand, that’s exactly what I did last weekend. Being the last hurrah for holiday-makers before the start of school, Gold Coast beaches were packed so my daughter and I decided to go searching for somewhere a little quieter to kick back and relax for the day.
I had been hoping for a convertible, however as soon as we hit the road I was grateful for the solid roof and ventilated leather seats. We were headed to Mooball for lunch, it’s a very small village not far from the Gold Coast but rumour has it the Moo Moo Roadhouse makes a mean burger.
If you take the M1 it’s less than an hour south of Surfers Paradise but the drive out through Murwillumbah and down is far more fun. Keep any eye out for motorcycles though; it’s a popular run for groups of riders on the weekend.
The Mustang was equipped with satellite navigation as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, we didn’t need anything else – just directions so we didn’t take a wrong turn and our road trip playlist pumping once we were out of range for Gold 92.5.
Our burgers were delicious – nothing fancy, just good ol’ fashioned homemade patties, plenty of salad and well-seasoned chips. The venue itself is decked out in cow print, as are many of the light posts around town, and there’s a vintage car and motorbike museum that’s worth a quick walk through. Essentially it’s a one-street town with a pub and a café but it’s a relaxing spot to stop for a break amongst the rolling hills and farmland.
The search for a deserted beach must go on though, so we decided to head towards Brunswick Heads. On the way we noticed the sign for Macadamia Castle and popped in to buy some local products and check out the café and animal farm. It’s not far off the highway and you can’t miss its massive castle façade and knight in armour standing guard at the driveway.
Driving through Brunswick Heads we felt like rock stars! There were kids, parents and holidaymakers everywhere and the Mustang turned heads the whole way through town. Being red with black racing stripes and packing a 5.0-litre V8 engine, it was hard to miss. Brunswick Heads was incredibly busy so after cruising through and having a bit of a look around, we decided to head further south and try Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head.
This long stretch of coastline can be hazardous so make sure you only swim between the flags. It’s exposed and known for rips, gutters and there have been a number of shark attacks and sightings in the region. However its dog and 4WD friendly and is a beautiful spot to just sit in the sand, soak up some sun and watch the waves. Surf schools operate in the area too, so there were plenty of wipeouts to keep us entertained.
At the end of the day, sandy and slightly sun-kissed, we decided to stick to the highway. To make it a little more exciting I selected Sport+ mode in the Mustang and we roared back up the road towards home.
You may spot a few Mustangs on the road this weekend around Coolangatta with Ford’s ‘Ultimate Mustang Road Trip’ underway. A number of lucky punters managed to secure a two-hour test drive over the Australia Day weekend. Read more here. They booked out fast though so my advice for next time is, get in quick!
*Thanks to Ford Australia for the loan of the Mustang.