Visiting the Goldcoast Hinterland

Having friends stay for a few days is an ideal opportunity to show them the “green behind the gold” as the marketing people call the mountains inland from the Goldcoast.

It is only a 20 minute drive along the motorway to the turn-off. Then it is a steady climb 1000 metres to Springbrook Mountain plateau.

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It is misty and a slight drizzle shrouds the view, but if you squint you can just make out the hi-rises of Surfers Paradise. This is a land far removed from the glitz and glamour of the Goldcoast. Now we are entering a land of ancient forests and waterfalls cascading over steep precipices. Springbrook is part of the Gondwana Rainforest and is a World Heritage Area.

Purling Brook falls

Purling Brook falls

Can you see the falls? Look very carefully at that black stain and you will see a tiny trickle of water coming over the top of the cliff. It has been a very dry spring.

The last time I visited this area was in March 2013 just after the big Queensland floods.

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What a difference…

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Just at the entrance to the Purlingbrook falls walkway, appropriately called Dancing Waters Café. So after walking to the falls and back we went in for lunch.

Famous for Good Quality Home Cooking


“The café has gained the reputation of providing the best coffee on the Mountain. Only good quality coffee beans are used to grind freshly as required.  After 5 years of using Gian Carlo coffee Anastasia now uses BUN coffee from Byron Bay.Famous for good quality home cooking, the café provides delicious cakes such  carrot cake, indulgent chocolate cake, vegan apple and berry crumble , gluten free upside down cake, varieties of which include peach and ginger, pear, apricot and cinnamon , served with cream or Ice cream.  Scones with Jam and Cream .   Tofu Burgers, Felafel 2 ways as a wrap or salad .  Specials change weekly.”

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It lived up to it’s expectations and 2 extra locals came and joined us…
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So much to see, the road is only 11 kilometres to the end. But the local Springbrook community hall is just down the road from the café, and it is a work of art. So out came the cameras and I thought of Dawn at “Lingering Look at Windows” she encourages us to show any windows we find and share them with her window searching community. So these are for you Dawn…
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Which is a window and which is a painting???

Which is a window and which is a painting???

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Next stop is into the Old School Road.

From inside the school room

From inside the school room


The school opened in 1911, but now it is a mini museum about the flora and fauna in the area. The tree stump is a reminder of the huge trees that once grew here. The land was cleared for farming and not many trees were left. (More windows Dawn)

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The Best of All Lookout is at the end of the road and it is a 30 minute walk along a track lined with moss laden relics of the last ice age.

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The temperature has dropped considerably in this part of the forest. The wind is swirling through the branches and the moss is dripping with moisture. It is very “Lord of the Rings” atmosphere and I look around for Hobbits. THEN rounding a corner we come face to face with these gnarly old giants.

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These magnificent specimens are approximately 2000 years old. I stand and gaze in awe at them.

There are many longer walks in the area, but now it is time for us to head home.

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As we head down the mountain there are glimpses of the dairy farming land on the lower slopes. Going a different way home we pass through the Numinbah Valley and stop in our tracks at the community hall when we see this…

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“Come in” she calls. They are having a Halloween Party and cent auction. But they are just setting up the hall and it is not due to start for another couple of hours. So we decide to keep moving on. But then we see this round the back of the hall.

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2 Beautiful Percheron horses pulling a cart and giving a ride around the paddock for a gold coin donation. It is all in aid of raising money for the local school.

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The horses seem to be saying “come on, have a ride” So we did. I love how small communities get together and make their own entertainment. Approximately 300 people live here.

We’ll have to hurry now as it is almost dusk and there is one more place I want to take our friends to.

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It dusk by the time we walk around the Numinbah Valley track, gazing up at the tall fig trees and following the stream as it trickles along over the rocks. Till suddenly it disappears underground.

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Walking carefully around the track and down some steps the river can now be seen as it joins an underground river. It is only a trickle today, but it is an amazing site in full flood.

As darkness falls we decide to put the GPS on. My eye site is not good in the dark and the roads around here have been changed to accommodate a new stretch of motorway and I didn’t know were the new road started. BIG mistake as we realize the rental car’s GPS is out of date and it takes us on a merry ride up hill and down dale into areas unknown. It didn’t know the new motorway existed…

It did look a very scenic drive, what we could see in the head lights (memo to myself, must come here again in the daytime)

Just arrived in Burleigh Heads in time to catch the fish and chip shop before it closed…

Categories: Australia, Goldcoast, photos, Queensland, Springbrook National Park, waterfalls | Tags: , , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Visiting the Goldcoast Hinterland

  1. Pingback: Travel Theme : Environment | Memories are made of this

  2. Pauline this post just took my breath away.. SO soooooo loved those trees.. and that Artwork.. amazing.. Waterfalls and Caverns… just wonderful scenes.. Thank you so much for your wonderful narration through out my walk.. Loved my guided tour.. 🙂


    • Pleased to have you along with us Sue. Those trees are an overwhelming presence. Thank goodness for National Parks and world heritage areas to protect them


  3. Wonderful windows, and each time I read my name I smiled 🙂
    This is another great post by you but what I want to know is how do you always seem to find those delightful coffee houses?


  4. Exquisite Pauline! Escpecially the birds and the murals! ❤


  5. Joan and Terry Watson

    OMG to think we live so close to all of this, which is your favourite fish and chip shop in Burleigh??


    • The Fishmonger, always good and always busy, ring your order in or you will have a wait. On Saturday we were at the beach with family and decided to get FnC it would be an hours wait, so we went to Govindas.


  6. These are fantastic photos, Pauline. I love the draft horses – my grandfather used to have those at his farm in Gosford 😀


  7. A lovely visit, Pauline. Your friends must have been enthralled by all the beauty you were able to show them. The Lorikeets were my favourite birds when we were there. The beech trees are absolutely stunning, and they have so many faces in their trunks. I was fascinated to sit here picking them all out. 🙂 Great photos again.


  8. Really enjoyed the photos and loved the skyline with the misty view and Surfers Paradise looks really cool – – also – it must have been a bit scary with an outdated GPS like that – I have heard that this happened to someone in the desert of Nevada and they almost died – lol – but glad it was more scenic – oh and the forest photos – with the light and differing greens – so nice! ❤ ❤


    • It was a great day out with friends. So enjoyable when you haven’t see them for so long and they like the same sort of things we do. I’ve heard horror stories about GPS systems but non as deadly as yours…


  9. What beautiful Percherons. It does my heart good to see draft horses out and about. The Antarctic Beeches are something out of my childhood nightmares, they look like they could reach out and snatch you.


    • The lady driver of the horses bred them and had 30. She used them on the farm and also did endurance riding with them. Those trees sure looked scary…


  10. Beautiful mural.


  11. Definitely an area to explore and I love your waterfall photo (the one with actual water in it). I know well the mischief an outdated GPS can cause – mine needs updating and gets herself in a right frenzy when motorways replace her old routes 😉


  12. poppytump

    Now that’s brightened my gloomy weather day here Pauline ..I felt all wrapped up in that forest of giants .. It’s something I recall vividly the lushness and immense size of the trees in Queensland . Love the mural around the windows someone/ or persons had a lot of fun !
    Ah GPS … I had a very interesting time escaping from rising bollards surrounding a market square in France recently .. a classic case of GPS troubles 😀
    Those fish and chips at the end of your trip must have been very welcome 🙂


  13. What a fascinating place – thanks for the tour, Pauline, I really enjoyed it 🙂


  14. What amazing scenery and that artwork is incredible.


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