Ewan McDonald explores ancient lands and new taste sensations beyond the Gold Coast.

The satnav insists it's an hour down the M1 from Surfers Paradise to the turnoff, but it's wrong. It'll take something closer to 180 million years, for I'm driving into the heart of Gondwanaland.

World Heritage-listed, the mountains behind the Gold Coast are still cloaked in rainforests akin to those that covered the ancient supercontinent. They're home to more frog, snake, bird and marsupial species than anywhere else in Australia. Many plants and animals are found nowhere else; most are rare and threatened.

And that's only the

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