If you’re looking for something to do on the Gold Coast, look no further. Springbrook National Park is full of waterfalls, hikes, crystal clear pools and good vibes. It’s just over an hours drive from Brisbane and super easy to access. There are a few different sections and entrances to the park, but whichever way you go you’re not going to be disappointed. There are endless lookouts and trails to explore, each with their own unique features. Click here for a map of the park!
We’ve been to Springbrook countless times and it hasn’t gotten old just yet. But the secret is definitely to get off the trail and do some self-guided exploring! Nothing is worse than hiking over an hour to your favourite rock pool to find a group of other people there. Instant buzzkill. Our solution? Get off the path and start walking downstream along the waters edge. It’s safer than bush bashing because you’re pretty much guaranteed to not get lost and all of that water has to go somewhere, right? We’ve been lucky enough to find isolated rock pools three times as big as the ones labelled and mapped out to the general public just by walking an extra few kilometres.
But if you’d rather stick to a safely mapped out trail, here are a few of our favourite spots in the park.
1. Purlingbrook Falls
An easy two kilometre hike downhill to the base of the waterfall. There’s a narrow concrete path built into the face of the rock that allows you to walk behind the actual water before it lands in the pool at the bottom.
The best part is scrambling beyond the trail, over some big boulders and all the way to the bottom pool of the waterfall. You can feel the mist soaking into your pores, and there can’t be a better feeling than taking your shoes off and soaking your feet in the pool. The water flowing over Purlingbrook Falls is pure as it’s catchment is protected in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.
This trail used to be a circuit but once you get to the base of the waterfall, the rest of the trail is blocked off due to landslides from recent bad weather. Yep – this means you have to go back the way you came and it’s allllllll uphill. Such a good workout, but not for the faint-hearted!
2. The Natural Bridge
It’s a cave that has a hole in the roof, in which a waterfall flows through. Need I say more? An amazing phenomenon that you must see. And to top it off, the cave is filled with glow worms, which you can see by joining a guided tour for a small fee.
3. Warringa Pool
A large, turquoise, pristine swimming hole surrounded by old eucalypt forest and wildflowers. The journey to this pool can be included in the Purlingbrook Falls trip because it’s accessed by the same track, and is only about two kilometres further downstream. Although secluded and beautiful, most of the times I have been here there have been other people – sometimes just a couple, but on weekends or school holidays there can be larger groups which kind of kills the vibe. This is what prompted John and I to continue exploring the area which I definitely recommend.
4. ‘Best of all Lookout’
I don’t actually have any photos from our experience here because in the moment that I approached the lookout I was engulfed in a cloud, and in complete and utter shock. It took me a very long three or four seconds to realise why I couldn’t see anything but eternal white-ness and by that stage the cloud had kind of passed and the real view came into sight. It was incredible! I definitely recommend hiking to this lookout. It’s a very short walk, about 600m. If you want to see a short video of the lookout that I found on youtube, click here.
There are many other things to do in the park, which you can read about on this government website. Enjoy!