Springbrook National Park is located in the very southeast corner of Queensland. It’s just inland from the Gold Coast and Surfer’s Paradise. We drove our rental car up the windy, narrow, scary roads from the highway toward the National Park. While Surfer’s may be a paradise for those who love high-rise condominiums and crowded beaches, this park is a true paradise. It appears consistently at the top of “Best Day Trips from Brisbane” lists. The park’s several mountain peaks are remnants of an ancient volcano. The vegetation varies from lush rainforest to more open eucalypt forests. There are also several impressive waterfalls, including one waterfall that falls into a cave and has created its own (aptly named) Natural Bridge. This cave is also the home to glow worms! The glow worms can only be seen at night, with an official guide; we’ve add this to our must-do list before leaving Queensland. The park has so much to see and is so big that it would be best to take multiple trips there.
Purling Brook Falls
We started the day at Purling Brook falls, the first waterfall and lookout that can be reached from the northern entrance to the park. Spring is a dry time of year for Queensland, so the water was falling at more of a moderate pace; if you visit in between August and November, don’t expect a thundering waterfall. But, the view was still amazing.
From there, we went on to the Canyon Lookout. Wow – the view was absolutely stunning! You can see several waterfalls from the lookout platform and also look all the way down the valley to the coastline and Surfer’s Paradise. It’s an excellent view, and it is also the starting point for two beautiful hikes in the area. I walked down the twin falls path, which winds down the mountain through boulders and crevasses into the valley below. Tropical plants and ferns line the way, and waterfalls fall from overhead and cross underneath the path. The walk was quite steep in places, and some ramps with handrails had been installed to make it a bit easier. I wanted to stay all day down in the rainforest, but had to climb back up eventually. Next time, we’ll make a full day trip to Springbrook so that we can really take our time and enjoy the trails.
The final stop on our list at the park was the Best of All lookout, which has a view to the south, into New South Wales. Unfortunately we were running low on time and needed to get back to Brisbane to drop of the rental car. Since the first couple of view points were pretty spectacular, a place with the name “Best of All Lookout” has my expectations pretty high. We’ll let you know when we go to it!
If you want to do a long hike, the Warrie Circuit goes around most of the park and is 17 km long; that’s a maybe on our list next time. Apparently it involves physically demanding stretches of steep declines. You can begin it from Canyon Falls Lookout. If you want to see the glow worms at night, or just want a 1 km hike, then go for the natural bridge circuit. The waterfall there has created a cave and tunneled under the rock to create a natural bridge. For a medium-length walk, I found the Twin Falls Circuit to be excellent. It’s a 4 km return trip and leads through some beautiful boulders and waterfalls. If you don’t feel up to hiking, that’s not a problem. You can just drive to the different lookouts and stop at one of the few cafes in the park for a cuppa.