Monday, May 7, 2012

Gold Coast - Springbrook - Purling Brook Falls

If you really want to get rid of the concrete scenery, only half and hour west of Mudgeeraba in the center of the Gold Coast is the heritage listed Springbrook national park where you can enjoy the magnificent walks that surround the Purlingbrook Falls; the waterfall is the centerpiece for most visitors.  You can walk a few hundred meters to a viewing platform but by far the best views are had as you go along the walking track.

First view of the Purling Brook Falls waterfall along the walking track

The walks track along the valleys of the park and so are best done in comfortable walking shoes such as sandshoes.  The most popular walk is about 4km and is best taken in a clockwise direction.  You can walk right behind the waterfall.  If there has been a lot of rain, there may have been some rockslides that have closed sections of the walk but this is well signed at the top of the walk.  The beauty of this region is there are so many other choices; Natural Arch, Hinze Dam, Beechmont, Canungra, Best of all Lookout ...
Along the way. Water going over a waterfall.

Along the way. Vertical.

Monarch of the forest. Grand nature in Springbrook national park

To access this getaway, head to Mudgeeraba on the western fringe of the Gold Coast.  From here there are clear signs to Springbrook.  It is a scenic half an hour drive away; bitumen all the way.  There are all manner of cafes, museums and craft places along the route.  A large sign says you have reached Springbrook.  Once you reach the observatory, look to turn left.  There is ample parking, an area for the kids to run around a bit, barbecue and toilet facilities, and a cafe at the entrance. 

When you get out of the car you will notice the air is cooler than on the coast.  It feels fresh.  When you see the sign, go to the left path and follow the circuit.  Pace yourself.  It snakes along the valley, gradually working down and round to the base of the falls.  Sights and sounds along the way can disappear if you concentrate too much on the path, so make sure you stop to soak it all in.  It is awesome.  You can see the massive volcanic origins of this area all along the walk.  You wander amongst a staggering variety of vegetation and views; ancient plants, ancient geology.  When you reach the valley floor, you can extend the walk an extra 2km by taking the branch that leads out to the Waringa Pool and back.  Most just keep walking to the waterfall. 

Along the way.  Waterfalls, cliffs, rainforest

When the going is a bit steep, there are concrete steps, so footing is good all along the way.  There was no point where we felt we would slip over.  We saw kids in thongs doing the walk; even a fellow with bare feet.  Wouldn't recommend that footwear but there you go. 

A python enjoying a snooze in the sun

First glimpse of Purling Brook Falls

Nature's perfection

You can hear the falls long before you get there.  Then there it is; tumbling over 100m from a spot in the sky.  Down past trees, ferns and sheer volcanic cliffs; stunning.  Massively worth the walk.  More exciting is the walk behind the falls if the track is open; it usually is.  Rainbows appear and disappear at various points as you move around the base of the falls.

How's this for a magic scene?

Water falls from sky high cliffs at Purling Brook Falls

Enjoy being there.  Then head back up to the top.  We are not that fit and didn't have any trouble walking up to the top.  The track has been carefully planned so as many as possible can enjoy the experience.  There is a platform to take in the view from the top.  And ... you don't feel guilty indulging a bit at the cafe after burning up all that energy.  A wonderful, relaxing walk and beautiful destination. 

The hard bit about writing this story was choosing the photos to leave out.

The track behind the waterfall. Spectacular.

No comments:

Post a Comment