During my first weekend on the Gold Coast, I stayed with my friend and her family. Knowing a local means having access to all the good spots I may not have considered. As you probably know, I love hiking and anything to do with nature. After a nice chill Saturday, we woke up at 6am the next morning to leave for Springbrook National Park.
Springbrook National Park is a protected park located in the Gold Coast Hinterland, on the border of Queensland and New South Wales and spans 61km². It is park of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, which are reconised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The park itself is split up into four sections. Springbrooke Plateau, Mt Cougal, Niminbah and Natural Bridge. Stunning views and spectacular waterfalls are only some of what Springbrook National Park has to offer.
As we started the day so early, it was relatively quite when we arrived. The drive down from the Gold Coast was stunning, even if I was nodding off now and again (thanks for driving Hannah). The main attraction at the Natural Bridge section of the park seems to be the glow worm cave. However, we were there at the break of dawn so the glow worms were not so glowy. There was an option for a shorter walk from the road where we parked, or a 16km hike. I mean, good for the people that chose the 16km trail, I apsire to be you one day. However, there was no doubt we were heading for the shorter track.
It was a beautiful, chill walk the the shaded rainforest, as the sun was still on the rise. As we were in the cover of the tall trees, you could see the warm glow of the sun on the tree tops. It was a fairly steep and windy track down with lotsof cool rock formations and cave in our path. It still strikes me how grand everything is in Australia compared to Scotland. The nature back home is beautiful, but everything here is just so much bigger! It makes me feel so insignificant in the best possible way.
We reached the Natural Bridge, and the un-glowy glow worm cave. And it was stunning. The cave has a waterfall cut through the middle of it. The water was beautiful shades of greens and blues. All we could do was to stand and admire it.
Heading back up the trail, we met much more morning hikers. By this time it was about 8am, the forest was getting brighter and the sun was heating us up. We hopped back in the car and headed of to look for the Twin Falls. Again there was a few options for which trail to take. There was the super long one, which was a hard no. The fairly long one and a baby one. We decided to do the fairly long one (sorry this is vague, I was still a bit of a walking zombie at this point) However, either due to lack of signposting, or lack of direction, we ended up on the baby trail. I think it was about 750m to Twin Falls, and then 750m back.
While it would have been nice to have a longer trail to explore more of the Springbrook National Park, it was still a beautiful walk. Now it hadn’t occured to me at the time, but I had never seen a real life, pouring off a cliff, crashing into the water below kind of waterfall before. And now here I am, standing in from of two! (Kind of, the river didn’t seem strong enough). The trail looped round under the waterfall, which was amazing. You could see the sun hitting just the top of the water. I got to see my first waterfall, and stand under one! What a day.
With both Natural Bridge and Twin Falls checked off the list, and all before 11am might I add, we decided to head back home. With the sun now fully awake, it was like a while different drive. The Gold Coast Hinterland, though I’ve only seen a smidgen of it, truly is beautiful.
I’m glad I got to visit Springbrook National Park with someone who lives here, as I doubt I would have been confident enough to go hiking in the Queensland Rainforest myself. It was stunningly beautiful, and if I try not to worry about all the poisonous little friends roaming around, I would definitely love to do more hiking while I’m still here. Next time, I’ll just need to remember to have my coffee BEFORE the hike, not after!
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