Chasing waterfalls in Springbrook National Park, Queensland

All I wanted to do was swim under a waterfall; to feel the water run over my head and shoulders and, in my mind at least, look like this:

Yes, that is Angelina Jolie looking smoking hot under a waterfall.
Yes, that is Angelina Jolie looking smoking hot under a waterfall.

But despite spending a recent Saturday chasing waterfalls through Springbrook National Park on the Gold Coast, my mate Aaron and I were left high and dry.

The closest we came to getting wet was a quick dance in a sun-shower after we’d stopped to take some photos.

There had been a bit of rain in the days prior to our adventure so we thought Springbrook National Park would be the best place to cross ‘swim in a waterfall’ off my bucket list, especially given that it’s known for its spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforest, ancient trees and impressive views.

Located about 100km south of Brisbane, Springbrook is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area which was originally listed in 1986 to cover rainforests in New South Wales but was later extended to include rainforests on the Queensland side of the border. These rainforests contain more frog, snake, bird and marsupial species than anywhere else in Australia and are also home to many rare and threatened plants and animals.

Our first stop was the Purling Brook Falls which, given the recent rainfall, was pretty spectacular.

Purlingbrook Falls

Dubbed a Horsetail waterfall, the water at Purling Brook Falls maintains good contact with bedrock most of the time.

We wrestled our way through a bus-load of tourists to snap a couple of pics and then went off in search of a rockpool to swim in, or at least a closer view of the falls.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t too be, with the top access to the Falls blocked off with a locked gate.

Next stop was the Best of All Lookout which doesn’t have a waterfall but given its name, it seemed like somewhere that we couldn’t skip.

The 300m walk from the car park to the lookout takes you through a green mossy wonderland and past some magnificent relics of the last ice age, Antartic Beech trees and while a moderate fitness level with ankle supporting footwear is recommended, we did it in thongs so you don’t need to be a hiker by any means.

As we made our way through the rainforest towards the ancient beech trees, the temperature noticeably cooled and fellow adventurers warned us that we should have worn jumpers or spray jackets.

On a clear day, the Best of All Lookout dishes up a breathtaking sweeping panorama of Queensland and New South Wales, taking in Coolangatta, Kingscliff, Byron Bay, the Nightcap Range, Mt Warning and Murwillumbah, but all we saw was the inside of a cloud!

An awesome view hides behind those clouds.
An awesome view hides behind those clouds.
Springbrook National Park
Chasing waterfalls but finding clouds … Aaron and I.

That’s not to say we weren’t impressed given the only other time I recall actually being inside a cloud is when I’ve been in a plane. But this time I could feel the coolness on my skin (and my hair start to delightfully frizz).

After imagining how good the view would be, we set off to Twin Falls to splash around in a creek which ran into a waterfall, admire the view that was not hidden by cloud and, in my car, get attacked by a leech (which caused flashbacks to Year 7 camp when I was attacked by leeches, refused to pee/drink for two days until we got back to the campsite with proper toilets and ended up so covered in mud that I requiring a fully clothed bath in a creek).

Twin Falls.
Twin Falls.

Springbrook National Park

Springbrook National Park

After an ice-cream stop, we made our way back down the mountain to stop off at Natural Bridge—another spot where I thought you could go swimming.

Natural Bridge is a pretty amazing little spot, tucked away in the valley beneath Springbrook, which has been created over millions of years by water running through the roof of a basalt cave.

Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park.
Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park.
Photo by Aaron (Instagram.com/Aza000)
Photo by Aaron (Instagram.com/Aza000)

Natural Bridge is a pretty amazing little spot, tucked away in the valley beneath Springbrook, which has been created over millions of years by water running through the roof of a basalt cave.

Not only does it look pretty, it’s also home to a colony of glow-worms (I wish I was a glow-worm, a glow-worm’s never glum, cause how can you be gloomy, when the sun shine’s out your bum!) which can be seen after sunset.

Naturally, in keeping with the theme of the day, we weren’t there after sunset so we missed the worms.

Finally, we gave up our quest for a swim in a waterfall and headed back to the city, stopping on the way for a guaranteed win … for Yatala pies and frozen Cokes.

And the quest to swim in a waterfall continues.

Pastry perfection.
Pastry perfection.

13 Comments

  1. Miranda G.

    Wow your pictures are breathtaking! Too bad you didn’t find a waterfall, but your trip seems amazing, nonetheless. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, and now I want to even more! Oh wait, except for the leeches. Yuck.

    Like

    1. Blonde Ambition

      Definitely come and visit sometime Miranda. It’s a beautiful country and so many different landscapes to see. It was a great day… At least I ticked off ‘visit a rainforest’. And yes, leeches are gross. Thanks for visiting.

      Like

  2. Carrie Ann Tripp

    What beautiful pictures!!! I spent a bit of time trying to determine if the bright red and blue in a couple of them were birds or flowers. Still undetermined from my end! Absolutely would love to see in person!!!!
    #BigTopBlogParty

    Like

  3. Mary B

    So Beautiful! I love waterfalls. I’m lucky to live in area that has a few of them.

    Thank you for linking up at Party Under The Big Top. Hope to see you again next week! #BigTopBlogParty

    Like

  4. Lysa

    Oh wow! What breathe taking pictures! I’m so jealous as I live in a dusty, ugly, brown desert! lol

    Thank you so much for stopping by the Party Under the Big Top and sharing this post

    Wishing you a fabulous week!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Welcome to My Circus
    #BigTopBlogParty

    Like

  5. Danielle

    Hi Brooke,
    If you are still chasing waterfalls, maybe check out Killen Falls about 20mins past Byron Bay. Not as high up as the hinterland so less cloud. It is beautiful there! You can also go to Harvest Cafe Newrybar on your way back, amazing food.

    Like

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