Waterfalls cascading over the spectacular cliffs at Springbrook National Park offer scenic views of mountains and the coastline of Queensland, Australia. With so many walking tracks leading through the rainforest to the base of numerous Waterfalls and picnic facilities in several locations, visiting this park is as if you were taking a mini-vacation to the tropical isles.
Springbrook National Park comprises reserves on and around Springbrook Plateau, Mt. Cougal to the east and Natural Bridge, Numinbah Valley, to the west. The national park preserves rainforests and eucalypt forests in cliff-lined headwaters of rivers and creeks flowing to the Gold Coast. These places provide people with an opportunity to enjoy picnicking, camping, nature study, and wide range of walks in a beautiful, natural environment. There are also several lookouts, which give magnificent panoramic views from the top of the Springbrook plateau, which are ideal for photographers. Most lookouts can be reached either by vehicle or by a short walk to the vantage point.
Springbrook Plateau is a remnant of the northern side of a once huge volcano that was centred on Mt. Warning. The last eruption occurred more than 22 million years ago. The southern cliffs of Springbrook and Lamington continue in a great circle into New South Wales marking the rim of that ancient volcanic crater. Over time, abundant rainfall has given rise to numerous creeks which carved waterfalls, deep gorges and rugged cliff lines in the volcanic rocks. On the highest parts of Springbrook, stands of ancient, gnarled Antarctic beach trees survive. These trees may be more than 2000 years old and indicate the climate here was once much cooler.
There are several walking tracks through the regions of the park all ranging from a gradual and easy grade through a more advanced grade for the skilled hiker and mountain climber. Mt Cougal’s East and West Peak boast the hardest track at 10 kms for a complete circuit through untracked territory taking about 5 and a-half hours to complete. There are less extensive walks on the Plateau and through Natural Bridge, which offer several sitting areas and information guides along the way.
The rock archway of Natural Bridge spans the mountain-fed waters of Cave Creek. Behind the bridge the creek forms a waterfall, which plunges into a gaping hole, disappearing into the depths of a cavern. From the pool below the bridge emerges a sparkling stream, which flows into the Nerang River and down the Numinbah Valley. Surrounding the creek is dense subtropical rainforest. Natural bridge is also known for its colony of thousands of glow-worms found in the cavern’s roof. The glow-worms, larvae of the fungus fly, produce a light to attract insects into their sticky spun webs.
For more information see www.epa.qld.gov.au, www.dunder.com.au, and greatsoutheast.com.au.