The peaks of Springbrook National Park rise to around 3,000 feet, dominating the skyline west of the Gold Coast. The World-Heritage-listed park has four regions: scenic Springbrook plateau, Mt. Cougal, Natural Bridge, and Numinbah. Waterfalls and cascades, Jurassic-Age hoop pines, ancient rain forest, and native wildlife are highlights. Thanks to steep, winding roads and longish distances between sections, it takes at least a full day to explore this large park. It's about 30 km (19 miles) from the tiny hamlet of Springbrook to Natural Bridge—a waterfall that cascades through a cavern roof into an icy pool (reach it via a half-mile circuit track, an hour's round-trip). This cavern is home to Australia's largest glowworm colony, which at night illuminates the rock walls to stunning effect. Several waterfalls, including the area's largest, Purling Brook Falls, can be reached via a steepish 4-km (2½-mile) path (allow 15 minutes for each half-mile). The 54-km Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk extends from the Settlement campground to Green Mountains campsite in Tamborine National Park. For those short on time or energy, the lookout near the parking lot has beautiful waterfall views. Camping is permitted only in designated private campgrounds.
Springbrook, Queensland, 4213, Australia