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.
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.
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.
What a difference…
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.
“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.”It lived up to it’s expectations and 2 extra locals came and joined us…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…
Next stop is into the Old School Road.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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…
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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…