Inland from the Gold Coast in Queensland, you will find one of the most magical national parks in the state, Springbrook National Park. Springbrook National Park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. It’s home to magnificent waterfalls, lush rainforest, epic viewpoints, and some iconic Australian wildlife.
Springbrook National Park is an incredible place to visit and should be part of any trip to the Gold Coast. It turns out that the Gold Coast is not just about the beaches and the theme parks!
Here are the 10 best things to do in the Springbrook National Park:
1- Admire the views at the Wunburra Lookout
Before you start exploring the park, stop off at Wunburra Lookout. Wunburra lookout is the first lookout and is at the entrance to the park. Check out the amazing view towards the Gold Coast and while there, head to the visitor centre, right across the road to pick up maps and brochures of the area so you can plan your trip (if you haven’t already).
2- Go Chasing waterfalls
If you like chasing waterfalls look no further. Springbrook National Park will be your heaven on earth! With waterfalls galore, you will be in awe of this national park and never want to leave.
There are many waterfalls, but our absolute favourite one is Purling Brook Falls. Purling Brook is WOW! With a 109-metre plunge, the Purling Brook Falls are the most impressive waterfalls in the park. Luckily, it’s just a short 300 metre walk to the lookout. However, we’d really recommend the hike down to see them closer and to really absorb just how amazing and tall they are. You might even see a rainbow at the bottom of the falls.
Twin Falls are also very popular and awesome too.
3- Go on a hike
Although you don’t always have to hike far to see the waterfalls, we recommend doing at least one hike while in the Springbrook National Park. Hiking through rainforest and seeing the giant Antarctic Beech trees and so many different flora and fauna is one of the highlights of the park. Here are our favourite hikes in the park so far.
The Twin Falls Circuit
This spectacular walk takes you down into the depths of the rainforest, through rock clefts and behind two waterfalls. Expect to get wet! It’s a pretty easy 4-kilometre loop.
The Purling Brook Falls Circuit
This is the best hike to do to really appreciate the grandiosity of the Purling Brook Falls. You first head down the valley to the base of the waterfalls. Then head back up, across a suspension bridge and up to the top of the falls. It’s also a 4-kilometre loop.
The Warrie Circuit
This hike is Springbrook National Park’s longest hike (14 kilometres loop). It passes through the beautiful valley, through more rainforest scenery and it goes past many more waterfalls. This hike is for more experienced hikers only. Don’t attempt this without proper footwear.
4- Visit the Natural Bridge
One of the most magical places in Springbrook National Park is the Natural Bridge which is in the western part of Springbrook National Park.
The Natural Bridge is a stunning waterfall that flows through a natural hole in the rock formation, down into the cave below. It’s only a short kilometre round trip to see it and which can be enjoyed by the whole family (walk in a clockwise direction).
Inside the cave, keep an eye out for thousands of micro bats flying around. If you visit by night, the cave is lit up with thousands of protected glow worms. The glow worms are the reason you should not swim in the rockpools of the Natural Bridge. So, respect this and please don’t swim.
5- Have a picnic in the rainforest
There are a few cafes inside the Springbrook National Park. However, we think it’s best to bring a picnic to enjoy in some incredible surroundings. Some of the best picnic areas in the Springbrook National Park are Apple Tree Park, Purling Brook Falls and Picnic area, Tallanbana Picnic area and our personal favourite, the Goomoolahra Picnic Area.
6- Check out the Canyon Lookout
Canyon lookout is on the road and has views of the canyon all the way to the Gold Coast and beyond. You can see the high rises of the Gold Coast skyline 20 kilometres ahead of you.
7- Don’t forget the Best of all Lookout
The name says it all, the Best of all Lookout cannot be missed! This lookout is only a short 700 metre walk and it ventures through ancient Antarctic Beech forest until you get to the viewpoint. From there, you will see as far as northern New South Wales with Mount Warning dominating in the distance. The best of all lookouts indeed!
8- Check out the glow worms
As I said earlier, if you visit the Natural Bridge at night, you will experience an incredible natural phenomenon, the Glow worms. Glow worms are dazzling bioluminescent creatures and are only found in certain parts of Australia and New Zealand. They are the larvae of a small fly and look like a maggot. They are however so tiny (just a few millimetres long) that they are so hard to see unless it’s dark, as they thrive and glow in the dark. Damp caves and rocky overhangs in the rainforest are their favourite spot which is why the Natural Bridge is one of the best places to see them on the Gold Coast.
9- Kayak on Hinze Dam
Hinze Dam was built in 1976 and is the main drinking water supply for the Gold Coast region. Located less than 30 minutes’ drive from Springbrook National Park, Hinze Dam offers majestic landscapes and a huge variety of flora and fauna. Take your kayak for a paddle through the calm waters, surrounded by some gorgeous mountain and reflection views.
10- Make your way to Tamborine Mountain
Do you have more time in the area? Why not make your way up to yet another amazing place, Tamborine Mountain? Tamborine Mountain is only a short hour drive away and offers some more great hikes through rainforest, waterfalls, galleries, wineries, breweries and more. Read more about Tamborine Mountain here.
Where to stay in the Springbrook National Park?
Springbrook Mountain Chalets
Springbrook Mountain Chalets are surrounded by tall trees and a variety of wildlife. Each chalet and cottage feature a fully equipped kitchen, a lounge area with a sofa, a patio and a hot tub or spa bath. Some accommodation also features a fireplace. Click here to get their latest prices.
The Sanctuary at Springbrook
The Sanctuary at Springbrook has a balcony and garden views, complimentary WIFI and private parking available on site. There is a garden with a barbecue, and it is close to some hikes. A continental breakfast is included. Click here to get their latest prices.
Springbrook Lyrebird Retreat
Boasting a double spa bath, a fireplace and BBQ facilities, Springbrook Lyrebird Retreat offers secluded cottages surrounded by rainforests. Guests can enjoy the magnificent views from their private patio. Lyrebird Retreat Springbrook is 10 minutes’ drive from Springbrook Village and Springbrook National Park. Click here to get their latest prices.
If none of those are suitable, you can use HotelsCombined to search across all the major accommodation websites using the search box below:
As there is no public transport in the area, you will need a car to get to Springbrook National Park. It’s about 30 kilometres from the Gold Coast and about 100 kilometres from Brisbane. If you don’t have a car, there are many tour companies running tours to Springbrook from either the Gold Coast or Brisbane.
If like us, you are lucky to enough to live not far from Springbrook, once you’ve discovered it, you will keep going back!