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If you’re visiting The Gold Coast but are tired of the beaches and theme parks, then you will enjoy tackling some of the many Springbrook National Park walks in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Although the Gold Coast in Australia is known for its golden beaches, Springbrook proves that there is still plenty of GREEN behind the Gold Coast too.
The Springbrook Nationnal Park makes up a quarter of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest, which stretches inland from the Gold Coast down towards the New South Wales border.
This ancient rainforest is abundant with waterfalls, lush foliage, spectacular views, and activities from the serene to the more adventurous.
When it comes to planning things to do in the Springbrook National Park, there is nothing better than tackling one of the many walking trails. Get lost in the rainforest, keep a lookout for wildlife, and end up at some awesome waterfalls.
There really is no better way to see this park than on foot.
So if you want to take on one of the Springbrook National Park walks but don’t know which one is right for you, read on to find out.
- Where is Springbrook National Park?
- The Best Springbrook National Park Walks
- Where To Stay Near Springbrook National Park
- Before You Go
- More Gold Coast Inspiration:
Where is Springbrook National Park?
The 6,197-hectare park is situated on the McPherson Range, near Springbrook, is about a 45 minute drive from the Gold Coast. and approximately 90 minutes from Brisbane or Byron Bay.
The Best Springbrook National Park Walks
Springbrook National Park offers a wide range of walking opportunities from 300m to 54km in length, and we really needed more than a day to do all of them.
This is what we got up to during our short stay at Springbrook National Park.
1. Twin Falls Circuit
- Distance: 4km return.
- Time: Allow about 2hrs walking time.
It was raining lightly so I did the 4-kilometre twin falls circuit by myself and left Caz and the kids back at the Mouse House.
You can start this walk from either the Tallanbana Picnic Area or Canyon Lookout, and follow the track in an anti-clockwise direction through rocky gorges, behind waterfalls and past ancient palms.
It’s well signposted as you wind your way down through the forest and rock clefts. If you have young kids with you, keep an eye on them, otherwise, it’s a relatively easy gradient underfoot.
If you have it in your mind the Gold Coast region is all about beaches, here’s more proof it’s not!
Despite the damp conditions, I made it to the bottom of Twin Falls in good time. And what’s better than seeing one waterfall? Two waterfalls at once!
I decided during my walk that we must come back to Springbrook when the weather is more favourable and do this walk as a family, and chase the other Springbrook waterfalls.
We’re lucky it’s just a short drive from our home on the beaches of the Gold Coast. But if you’re coming from Brisbane it’s only an hour away and you could be here in no time too!
2. Canyon Lookout
- Distance: 30 meters
- Time: 10 minutes
An easy 30 meter amble out of your car and you can have spectacular views from the Canyon lookout over the sheer walls of The Canyon.
Although it’s only a hop, skip and jump from the car park, this is considered one of the top walks in Springbrook National Park.
From here you can extend your walk (and you should) to do a short 10-minute section of the Twin Falls walk and see the falls plunging over the side from above.
3. Natural Bridge Circuit
- Distance: 1km
- Time: Allow about 30 minutes of walking time
The natural bridge section is one of the biggest attractions in Springbrook National Park and is very easily accessible.
The natural bridge gets its name because it is a natural rock formation that creates a bridge-like shape across the front of a cave, infront of a waterfall.
To get there, you must pass through lush subtropical rainforest, which is rich in wildlife. Because of the areas sensitive eco-system and rare glow worms, the site has restricted access and it’s no longer possible to swim there.
If you have time to spare, be sure to head over to Cave Creek nearby, which is also naturally very beautiful.
4. Warrie Circuit
- Distance: 14km
- Time: Allow about 5-6hrs walking time.
This is a grade 3 hike, and so it’s a moderate to challenging route with some rocky parts that may be impassable after a heavy rain storm, so be sure to plan ahead if you want to do this hike.
It’s also important to note that some sections of the route may be overgrown and are not well maintained, and may have fallen trees and rockfalls.
But this is all part of the fun!
The best part of Springbrook National Park is its ruggedness and mossy green rainforest, which is best seen on this trail.
The trail begins at the Canyon lookout or from Tallanbana and it’s the longest and most fascinating walk in the park, as it takes you along the Springbrook plateau before heading to the base of The Canyon.
You’ll pass the Goomoolahra Falls, Rainbow Falls and through the dense rainforest. It also crosses several creeks before climbing back up the gorge.
If you only have time for one Springbrook National Park walk, let it be this.
5. Buliya-Buliya Jagun
- Distance: 100 meters
- Time: 10 minutes
Buliya-Buliya Jagun is the aboriginal word for “land of many little birds boardwalks” so keep an eye and ear out for the many birds.
The 100m boardwalk takes you to a lookout from Gaurieimabah, which means “place of stories” in English.
Here you’ll find incredible views of the Gold Coast City skyline and Coral Sea on the horizon.
6. Goomoolahra Falls Lookout Track
- Distance: 250 meters
- Time: 5 minutes
This is another small walk in Springbrook National Park that passes through the Goomoolahra area.
It’s a short loop of the stunning Goomoolahra Falls, which stands at 60 meters high.
On a clear day, you can see as far as the ocean, including Stradbroke, Moreton islands and Moreton Bay in the distance.
Another track that takes you to the Goomoolahra Falls is the Boojerahla Lookout Track, which is again only 200 meters and takes around 5-10 minutes. Both tracks lead to the same place, so you could easily walk them both.
7. Purling Brook Falls Circuit
- Distance: 4km
- Time: Allow about 2hrs walking time
The Purling Brook Falls circuit is a difficult, grade 3 walk that passes through open eucalypt forest, where it’s possible to find fire-adapted species such as lepidozamias, hakeas and wildflowers grow.
The trail then heads towards the Purling Brook Falls by descending some stairs into the gorge.
The trail then crosses a suspension bridge before steadily climbing up through the forest back to the picnic area.
During the wet season, this path is often closed due to unsafe water levels.
Visitors should note that it’s easier to walk clockwise on this path. You can extend this track to include the Warringa Pool track, which takes you downstream from the base of the falls. If you want to do both tracks, it will add 2km or another 40 minutes to your journey.
8. Warringa Pool Track
- Distance: 6km
- Time: Allow about 3hrs
The Warringa Pool track is the only walk in Springbrook National Park that doesn’t have a viewing platform. Not that it matters, because the highlight of this walk is the walk itself.
The Warringa Pool track is a small section of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk, so although it can be arduous at times it’s well-maintained and clearly marked.
It’s recommended not to walk this path unless you intend to do the Great Walk and have a copy of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk topographic map.
To get to this trail, you’ll want to first start at the Purling Brook Falls circuit and turn in near the base of the falls.
The path then continues for 1km to end at Warringa Pool.
This walk is another popular walk through dense rainforests and past small creeks.
You’ll pass by the quaint Little Nerang Creek where the rocks may become a little slippery. For this reason, the path is often closed after heavy rainfall, so check the weather before visiting.
Alternatively, you can access this trail from the Gwongorella picnic area or the settlement camping area.
9. Cougal Cascades Track
- Distance: 1.6km
- Time: Allow about 1hrs walking time
The cascades track, also known as bitumen path, is a gradual uphill climb through subtropical rainforest that sits on the edge of Currumbin Creek in Currumbin Valley/Mount Cougal section.
The path isn’t very steep, and is suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.
At the end of the trail, you’ll come to a viewing platform that look over the stunning cascading waterfalls.
If you want to, you can visit a historic sawmill nearby, which is now abandoned but there is some information about them on interpretive signs.
Be careful if you paddle in the creek, as there are often logs and rocks submerged in the water that you cannot see.
10. Best of All Lookout Track
- Distance: 600 meters
- Time: 30 minutes
Saving the best for last, possibly, is the aptly named “Best of All” lookout track. This grade 2 trail passes through an ancient Antarctic beech forest, which has incredible views over Mount Warning, which is the lava plug of the extinct Tweed shield volcano, Mt Warning and Brunswick Heads.
This section of Antarctic beech forest is one of the few remaining ancient forests of the Gondwana rainforests region.
This type of forest usually grows where climates are cooler, but since temperatures have warmed up, their numbers have decreased and many of the native animals that used to live here have disappeared.
Where To Stay Near Springbrook National Park
When choosing a place to stay in Springbrook, you have limited options.
If you feel like camping, you’ll find places to pitch at tent at the settlement campground. The campsite has all the facilities you would need, such as clean toilets and showers.
If you want to have a little more homely comforts, consider The Mouse House Rainforest Retreat. It’s possibly the most enchanting place we’ve stayed and truly makes you feel like you’re in another world.
A series of 12 A-frame cedar wood chalets named after the seven dwarfs are nestled throughout the World Heritage Listed rainforest.
Our chalet was named Doc, and could comfortably sleep up to 8 people so if you’ve got some friends or family members, bring them along too and share the cost.
As we walked through the misty rainforest to uncover Doc hidden behind the twisted vines, Caz and the kids felt like they were Snow White discovering the Seven Dwarfs Cabin.
There was a picturesque little stream running past our deck that added to the serenity, and I can’t wait to go back in sunny weather so we can BBQ on the covered patio overlooking the beautiful rainforest.
Once we got settled, we headed for a soak in the on-site hot tub and after two days of hiking in Binna Burra National Park this sure came in handy, as did our in-room spa bath later on – It’s not often I get to soak in a hot tub, in a rainforest, and read a book with a glass of vino!
After dinner, the kids fell asleep cuddled up to their doc toy and I stoked the fire with a few logs, Caz topped up our glasses with a bottle of red and pressed play on a Nicholas Sparks movie that proved to be another tear-jerker.
Mouses House Rainforest Retreat is only 30 mins from the coast, or an hour from Brisbane, and is right near the Twin Falls Circuit and conveniently placed to explore the best of Springbrook National Park.
Before You Go
So there you have it, those are 10 of the best Springbrook National Park walks and as you can see, each of them have something special and unique to offer.
Before you go, make sure to check the weather forcast as sometimes trails are closed after heavy rainfall.
You should also plan which walks you want to do before visiting. The park is 6,197-hectares, so it will not be possible to do all the walks in one day.
Plan your trip beforehand so you know whether to enter from Springbrook Road, Currumbin Creek Road or Nerang-Murwillumbah Road.
More Gold Coast Inspiration:
Are you in need of more inspiration for the Gold Coast? Check out the following guides to help you plan your trip to the Gold Coast:
- Best of Burleigh Heads
- Free (and cheap) things to do on the Gold Coast
- Walks on the Gold Coast
- Best BBQ spots on the Gold Coast
- Best playgrounds on the Gold Coast
- 48 Hour Gold Coast Itinerary
- Binna Burra Rainforest Lodge
- O’Reillys Rainforest Rretreat, Lamington National Park
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Have you visited Springbrook National Park? What else should we see and do on our next visit? Let us know in the comments!