There are walks suitable for everyone. You can meander among subtropical and temperate rainforest, open eucalypt forest and mountain heath. And sightings of native flora and fauna are guaranteed.
Goomoolahra Falls and Picnic Area
This is really a stroll rather than a walk. At the end of Springbrook Rd is Goomoolahra Falls. It is just 100m (on asphalt) to see the falls and a magnificent lookout across the canyon to the buildings of Surfers Paradise and beyond to the sparkling blue sea.
Class 1, 200m return, 10 minutes
Photo: Derek Byme
Best of All Lookout
Along this track (asphalt) you will pass the moss laden relics of the last ice age and the 2,000 year old Antarctic Beech trees. Very ‘Lord of the Rings’. An amazing 30 minute walk and not to be missed when visiting Springbrook Mountain.
to the Lookout Photo: Adam Maund
Photo: Adam Maund
This track is located at the top end of Repeater Station Road. The path gradually winds down to the lookout – a comfortable gentle slope. It leads to the edge of the escarpment with spectacular views across the Tweed Valley to Mt Warning and Brun swick Heads. At this elevation (about 1,000 m) the forest is a temperate rainforest.
Class 2, 600m, 30 minutes return
Twin Falls Circuit – the best short walk in south Queensland
You can start this walk from either Canyon Lookout or Tallanbana Picnic Ground. You’ll pass through rock clefts, behind 2 waterfalls and walk among ancient palms and tree ferns. Stop for a swim in one of the rock pools.
Just take your time and enjoy sitting on the boulders taking in the cool forest air.
Follow the track in an anti clockwise direction to take advantage of the interpretive signs that guide you through 5 different forest types.
Class 3 , 4km return, allow 1.5 – 2.0 hours
the circuit Photo: Adam Maund
Purling Brook Falls Circuit
Beyond the suspension bridge you’ll walk through open eucalypt forest before descending into the gorge to view the falls from below. A steady climb through forest ends in the picnic area. If you want a swim in the Warringa Pool then add 2 km.
Class 3, 4 km return, allow 2 – 3 hours
Start your walk at Canyon Lookout. This is the longest and most interesting walk on Springbrook Mountain. It follows the base of the cliffs to Goomoolahra Falls before descending into the mossy green depths of the rainforest. You’ll cross several creeks and gullies.
The Aboriginal word ‘Warrie’ means ‘rushing water’ – you’ll understand why it’s called Warrie Circuit as you walk along the many creeks and pools on the canyon floor. Take your time to really appreciate the inspiring beauty of the canyon and it’s cliffs of cascading waterfalls.
the rainforest canopy Photo: Adam Maund
The track reaches the ‘Meeting of the Waters’ where all watercourses draining the canyon meet. You’ll then walk up the western side of the gorge. Take a back pack with food and drink, first aid kit, camera, binoculars and be prepared for a fantastic day.
Class 4, 17km return, allow 5-6 hours
encountered on the trails at night, after
heavy rain Photo: Adam Maund
Great Walks – Warringa Pool Section
This section (approximately 9km) of the Great Walk will take you from Woonoongoora Walkers Camp to the Settlement Camp ground.
Starting from Woonoongoora Walkers Camp
From your campsite at Woonoongoora continue uphill for 1.9km to Apple Tree Park located on the Springbrook plateau. The first 1.5km of track, which climbs up the rhyolite cliff line, is steep and arduous with over 900 steps to negotiate before reaching the plateau.
The track climbs through a grove of cycads that cling to the steep slopes of the ridge. These are an ancient plant form with fossil records indicating they existed almost 300 million years ago. Despite the very high rainfall, the summit of the plateau supports only tall eucalypt forest primarily because of the poorer rhyolite soils.
From Apple Tree Park cross Springbrook Rd where Great Walks markers indicate and drop down into the catchment of the Little Nerang Dam. This section of the track can be wet and slippery. Care should be taken when crossing Little Nerang Creek.
The track then follows the west branch of Little Nerang Creek, up the side of a narrow gorge with pools and cascades cut into older rocks from beneath the volcano. These are ancient, hard mets sediments more than 300 million years old. After a kilometre the track emerges at a basalt slab above Warringa Pool – a cool and relaxing spot where you can take a swim.
From Apple Tree Park to Woonoongoora Walkers Camp
Another walk is down from Apple Tree Park to Woonoongoora Walkers Camp and back, as long as you don’t mind all the steps.
You’ll need to allow about an hour to walk around Natural Bridge. It’s an easy walk and you won’t need walking shoes. Walking through this part of the rainforest, you’ll come across large Strangler Fig trees. If you have never seen these giants of the forest, then you will be impressed.
Further on, there is a glimpse of the Natural Bridge through the trees. The walk takes you through a beautiful section covered in moss and ferns before reaching the creek at the bottom of the ‘bridge’. You’ll hear many birds. Look up into the trees to see what you can spot – around Natural Bridge there are paradise riflebirds, green catbirds, Wompoo fruit doves and many more.
Next stop is Natural Bridge. View the ‘bridge’ from the top and then take the steps down to enter a large cave to experience the waterfall close up.
In this cave, there are millions of glow worms, you can’t see them during the day, only at night. The glow worms are brilliant blue-green lights that are seen on the ceiling, rocky overhangs and earth banks along the circuit. These lights are emitted by tiny creatures. They are not actually worms but the larval stage of a small fly found only in Australia and New Zealand. These tiny creatures rely on rainforests of Gondwanan origin for their survival.
The ‘light’ you see, is produced within the glow-worm’s body. The best time to see glow worms is December to March. It is only during this larval stage that the species feeds—a period of about nine months. Adults emerge to live only three to four days, long enough to mate and lay eggs.
Nocturnal tours can be taken. (Remember a torch for the walk, but turn it off once in the cave). On summer nights, there is luminous fungi and fireflies as well. Truly magical.
You’ll also see the giant Hoop Pines from the Jurassic Age – about 180 million years ago. They call these trees ‘living dinosaurs’ —they are among the most primitive of conifers.
Tips for Walking on Springbrook Mountain
Walking Track Classifications
Class 1 – Suitable for disabled with assistance
Class 2 – Easy level track, suitable for all fitness levels
Class 3 – Reasonable level of fitness and ankle supporting footwear recommended.
Class 4 – Moderate fitness with previous experience recommended. Ankle supporting footwear strongly recommended.
In winter, it will get dark on these walks by about 4:00pm. Make sure that you have plenty of time to finish your walk before it gets dark. At night, the forest is black and it can get very cold out in the open.
For longer walks, take a backpack with water, food, first aid kit, camera, torch and binoculars.