Springbrook National Park
Just a short 45 minute drive from the glitz and glam of the bustling city of Gold Coast you will find a lush tropical oasis with an ancient past. From Spectacular waterfalls, to ancient trees, to thick canopies of rainforest blanketing the sky above you. Here you will find impressive views as well as a location with deep historical and ecological significance. That coupled with its exceptional beauty makes this a prime destination for anyone.
The park is stretched out over four main sections. The Springbrook plateau is where you can find many lookouts with views that reach forever. Then you have Mount Cougal to the south east which features a view into the history of logging in the area. Next up is the Numinbah Valley where you can take in the commanding views of the cliffs that line either side of the deep valley. And last but not least is the most popular and most visited section, the Natural Bridge, where you can witness a unique waterfall by day and a colony of glowing worms by night.
Besides its main attraction, the Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park is most well-known for its ancient history. Here you will find roots that date more than 100 million years ago. Parts of this land are so old they not only remember a time when Australia was connected to Antarctica but can actually tell you the tale through its still living Antarctic Beech trees that are found only here and deep beneath the frozen ice caps of Antarctica. This is a rare remnant of the Gondwana forest that covered Australia long ago. In fact this area is often referred to as Noah’s Ark due to the fact that it is a safe haven for countless plants and animals that are not found anywhere else in the world.
This little Noah’s Ark of the rainforest will lead you to encounter more species of frogs, snakes, birds, and marsupials than anywhere else in Australia. The start of this show of rarities is undeniably the Albert’s Lyrebird, which is a small pheasant sized songbird that can be seen on the forest floor. It is estimated that only 3,500 of these little birds still remain on earth and they all reside in this lush rainforest. Here you can also spot the cute and furry little marsupials called Pademelons which are small wallaby-like creatures that live in the rainforest. Consider yourself lucky if you spot one speeding through the thick forest canopy and even luckier if you manage to capture the moment on camera because these guys are fast. Needless to say this park is also a botanists paradise with over 1,700 species of plants ranging from beautiful flowers to ancient trees.
One of the best ways to admire the unique flora and fauna of the area is by going on one of the many walks in the park. Here you can find walking tracks ranging from 300 meters in length to the massive 54 kilometer Gold Coast Great Walk. So whether you have one hour or three days to spare you will find a walk to satisfy your nature cravings. Some of our favorite walks include the 4 kilometer 2 hour return walk to the Twin Falls. Once at the bottom you will bear witness to a majestic misty waterfall that you can enjoy while swimming in a rock pool below. Next we recommend you head over to the Purling Brook Falls which is going to make every photographer and Instagram photo seeker go crazy as they capture the perfect moment on the suspension bridge that hangs over the creek and rainforest canopy below.
Lastly we recommend the Natural Bridge walk which takes only one hours and is suitable for everyone, including tired feet and people who may have forgotten their trainers or hiking shoes. On this trail you will get to see the main attraction and most visited spot in the Springbrook National Park. During the day you will get to see a glistening waterfall flow through a cave that creates a unique play on light and movement. By nighttime this place also comes alive with light but in a different way. Here a colony of glow worms illuminate the cave with their bright blue brilliance.
So if your curiosity ever inspires you to visit that lush ancient rainforest that makes up the western skyline of the city of Gold Coast you will not be disappointed. You can breathe in the cool damp forest air as you witness a piece of ancient history in modern day.