Escape the summer heat and enjoy cool rainforest, eucalypt forest,
sparkling mountain streams, plunging waterfalls, deep, palm-filled
valleys, spectacular views and remnants of early foresting history, all
accessible by graded walking track await you at Springbrook National
Park in the Gold Coast hinterland. Covering land on and around
Springbrook Plateau, the 2720ha park protects rainforests, eucalypt
forests and the headwaters of rivers flowing to the Gold Coast.
Springbrook lies on the Scenic Rim, a chain of mountains stretching
across the Queensland-New South Wales border. Walking tracks ranging
from easy to challenging take you to lookouts, waterfalls and ancient
forests. Some are wheelchair accessible, as are some picnic areas.
Visit for a few hours, or stay for days — you won’t be
Together with nearby and New South Wales parks, Springbrook is the
heart of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia) World
Heritage Area. Tamborine National Park is also close.
Getting there and getting around
The park is about 100km south of Brisbane.
Springbrook Plateau section
From the Pacific Motorway, Springbrook Plateau is 29km from
Mudgeeraba or 42km from Nerang. Exit the Pacific Motorway at Mudgeeraba
(exit 79 from the north, exit 80 from the south) and follow the Gold
Coast-Springbrook Road. Alternatively, e xit the Pacific Motorway at
Nerang (exit 69) and follow the Nerang-Murwillumbah Road for 42km then
take the Springbrook turn-off at Pine Creek Road. Both bitumen roads
are steep and narrow.
Dominating the Gold Coast’s western skyline, Springbrook’s
cool forests and mountain streams offer visitors views of impressive
landscapes, and walks among subtropical and temperate rainforest, open
eucalypt forest and montane heath. Spectacular waterfalls, cascades and
tumbling creeks are dominant features in this World Heritage-listed
Springbrook National Park covers 3425ha and is in three sections
— Springbrook Plateau, Mount Cougal to the east and Natural
Bridge to the west. The Plateau has many lookouts with fabulous views
while Mount Cougal offers an insight into the area’s logging
history. Visit Natural Bridge by day to see a unique waterfall or after
dark to discover the park’s amazing glow-worms.
Located on the banks of the Nerang River and shaded by a forest
setting, the Numinbah Forest Reserve’s day-use area is a perfect
spot for a barbecue or picnic.
The Settlement campground is on Springbrook Plateau. Travelling up
from the Gold Coast, turn left off Springbrook Road at the Springbrook
Public Hall into Carrick’s Road and follow the signs. The
campground is on the right. Camping is no longer permitted at
Gwongorella, near Purling Brook Falls. Space for tents, camper trailers
and campervans is available. The campground facilities include toilets,
drinking water and a cooking shelter with free electric barbecues.
Please note that showers are not provided.
Springbrook National Park’s walking tracks have been
classified so you are better able to select a walk that matches your
bushwalking experience and fitness. This classification system is based
on the Australian Standards. Take time to read these classification
details before walking out on the park.
Numinbah Forest Reserve is a day-use area only. There are no marked walking tracks.
Allow 15–20 minutes to walk one kilometre. This time is
calculated for people of average fitness and bushwalking experience and
who are wearing correct footwear. If walking with young children or are
an inexperienced bushwalker, allow more time to include rests and to
return to your starting point.
(1) Wunburra Lookout — 30m return (5 minutes)
Located just off the Gold Coast - Springbrook Road, Wunburra Lookout
has views of Purling Brook Gorge, Mount Cougal and the Little Nerang
Dam. The carpark is small and can be crowded on weekends or public
holidays. Take care with children, as the busy road is close by. Views
from this lookout highlight the geological processes of erosion.
(2) Canyon Lookout — 30m return (5 minutes)
Step out of your vehicle and you’re there! Take in the superb
views of Twin and Rainbow Falls, the sheer walls of the Canyon and the
ocean beyond. The spectacular views from Canyon Lookout are a result of
millions of years of erosion, landslides and weathering. These
geological processes will continue to shape the landscape before you.
This location is the starting point for the Twin Falls and Warrie
(3) Best of All Lookout — 700m return (Allow about 30 minutes walking time)
Walk through ancient Antarctic beech forest; a remnant link to a past
cooler climate, to a view of northern New South Wales dominated by
Mount Warning — the lava plug centre of the erosion caldera of
the extinct Tweed Shield volcano.
The small pocket of Antarctic beech forest Nothofagus moorei is one of
our remaining links with the ancient forests of Gondwana. Nothofagus
forests were once widespread across the continent and provided a
habitat for many animals that have long since disappeared from our
(4) Purling Brook Falls Circuit — 4km return (Allow about 2–3 hours walking time)
Note: It is easier to walk the track in a clockwise direction. If
including the Warringa Pool track, which leads downstream from the base
of the falls, it is a further 2km, so allow another 40 minutes.
Walkers pass through open eucalypt forest of New England ash Eucalyptus
campanulata, where fire-adapted species such as lepidozamias, hakeas
and various wildflowers grow, before descending into the gorge to view
the falls from below. A steady climb through forest brings the walker
back to the picnic area.
Water flowing over Purling Brook Falls is high quality because its
catchment is protected within this World Heritage area. Walking in this
area is a privilege. Be responsible for keeping the catchment clean
— practise minimal impact bushwalking.
(5) Twin Falls Circuit — 4km return (Allow about 1.5–2 hours walking time)
Commence this walk from Tallanbana Picnic Area or Canyon Lookout.
Follow the track in an anti-clockwise direction to take advantage of
the interpretive signs, which guide the walker through different forest
types. Pass behind two waterfalls, through rock clefts and among palms
View Larger Map
Picnic and day-use area
There are several popular picnic areas here. No rubbish bins are
provided in Springbrook National Park or Numinbah Forest Reserve
— please take your rubbish home with you.
Subtropical rainforest, ancient Antarctic beech trees, hoop pines,
eucalypt forest and montane heath habitats shelter an incredible
variety of wildlife. More than 100 bird species live in the park and
forest reserve. The elusive Albert’s lyrebird, more often heard
than seen, is part of an ancient, unique bird group that probably
evolved when flowering plants began to dominate the landscape. In the
winter months its vibrant composite call can be heard from the depths
of the valleys. Springbrook provides an important refuge for this
species of “true songbird”.
The most frequently seen reptiles are prehistoric-looking lace
monitors, glossy black skinks known as land mullets, and sleepy carpet
The abundance of water in the park has resulted in a diverse selection
of water-dwelling animals. Frogs are the most vocal, blue spiny crays
the most colourful and eels the most surprising. Orange-eyed treefrogs
and large, beige-coloured great barred-frogs are often seen on the
tracks at night. You might even catch a glimpse of a platypus while
visiting Numinbah Forest Reserve.
Other rare and threatened animals such as the Richmond birdwing
butterfly rely on Springbrook and Numinbah’s forests for their
survival. Ten percent of the plants are only found locally.
Climate and weather
At 900m above sea level, Springbrook Plateau can be quite cool even
in summer — the plateau is consistently five degrees cooler than
the adjacent lowland. The area averages more than 3000mm of rain a
year, most of which falls between December and March. It is advisable
to carry a raincoat and warm clothing at all times of the year.
Winters are usually cold with frosty nights, temperatures dropping to a
minimum of –4 degrees Celsius. Summers are warm to hot,
especially on the exposed ridges, reaching up to 36 degrees Celsius.
Natural Bridge and Mount Cougal are not so wet or cold. Natural
Bridge’s annual rainfall of 2500m falls during the hot, humid
summer (maximum 38 degrees Celsius), while the winters are often clear
and crisp (minimum 4 degrees Celsius). During summer’s, long, hot
days Mount Cougal usually experiences afternoon thunderstorms (maximum
37 degrees Celsius). Winter mornings at the head of the valley can be
brisk with occasional frosts (minimum 2 degrees Celsius).
Numinbah Forest Reserve is warmer than Natural Bridge; summers are hot
and humid (maximum 40 degrees Celsius) and winters clear and crisp
(minimum 4 degrees Celsius).
Springbrook National Park
87 Carrick’s Road, Springbrook QLD 4213
ph (07) 5533 5147
fax (07) 5533 5991