Springbrook National Park is part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. Brimming with flora and fauna, this pristine rainforest reserve is located a mere 100km from Brisbane and makes for a perfect day trip. So load the car up, put on your favourite tunes and get ready for a great day out!
To get there, jump straight onto the Gateway or Pacific Motorway, heading towards the Gold Coast. Both motorways tend to be heavily congested on sunny weekends with everyone leaving the city, but traffic flows more easily after the Surfers Paradise exit. There are 2 entrances into the park. We took the scenic route, leaving the motorway at Mudgeeraba (Exit 79 from the Brisbane) and following the signs to Springbrook and then onto the Natural Bridge section of the park. The more direct route involves exiting the motorway at Nerang (exit 69 from Brisbane) and follow the signs to Springbrook. The mountain roads are steep, narrow and winding with many single lane passes so please drive carefully.
The Natural Bridge section is a photographer’s paradise so naturally, we started our day here. From the car park, the sealed walking track takes you through subtropical rainforest and across Cave Creek before the water plunges into the cave below the Natural Bridge (a natural rock formation). The interior of the cave is also home to a colony of miniature bats and glow worms (best appreciated at night). The whole circuit is 1km return but there’s so many things to see that it can easily take up to an hour to complete.
From the Natural Bridge, drive back to the Gold Coast – Springbrook Road and turn right onto Springbrook Road which is dotted with waterfalls and lookouts. The first of these is Purling Brook falls, which is readily accessed from the carpark (~600m return).
Continue along Springbrook Road to the aptly named “Best of All” Lookout. The winding track feels a lot further than the signposted 600m return but takes you through Antarctic Beech forest before culminating in some jaw-dropping views of the Gold Coast Hinterland. On a clear day, you can see all the way from Mount Warning to Byron Bay.
All this walking is bound to leave you famished, so now would be a great time to stop for lunch before heading back home. There are many designated BBQ and picnic areas dotted around the park where you can spread your rug and tuck into a picnic if you’ve been organised. Alternatively, you can drive back to Robina Town Centre where a ridiculously wide range of food outlets and restaurants await you. We filled up at Dumpling Republic, which specialises in hand-crafted dumplings that are bursting with flavour (www.dumplingrepublic.com.au). The soup-filled pork Xiao Long Bao really hit the spot after a long day of adventure!
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