Posts Tagged With: Springbrook NP

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

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“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

Some sun, some showers, misty mountains and majestic trees…

My daughter arrived from New Zealand and amazingly it stopped raining, so we decided it would be the perfect time to drive up to the hinterland, (the green behind the gold). After weeks of rain the waterfalls will be in full flow. As we left home the sun tentatively peeped out from behind it’s mask of clouds. So with thermos filled and camera primed we headed for the hills. It is only a 30 minute drive up a steep and winding road to reach the mysterious, green-shrouded world of the rainforest that is Springbrook National Park. The sun flits in and out of the clouds as we drive along. Stopping at the lookouts we gaze across the treetops to the distant, tiny, misty shapes of the Goldcoast nestled along the ocean.

Looking across the Lamington Range.

Looking across the Lamington Range.

This is the water catchment area for the Hinze Dam that supplies the Goldcoast and surrounding areas with water for domestic use.

Can you see the Goldcoast shrouded in mist?

Can you see the Goldcoast shrouded in mist?

As a heavy shower sweeps through we stop at the general store and café in the small Springbrook settlement. Six English tourists are just finishing their lunch and the café owner tells us it has rained for 38 days and this is the most customers she has had call in for lunch since the rain started.

We ate the last 3 pies she had in the pie warmer…

Many of the tracks are closed, but the lookouts are open. The rain has stopped again and the sun struggles out as we stop at the Purling Brook falls lookout.

Purling Brook falls

Purling Brook falls

Normally you can walk down to the base of these falls, approximately a 4 kilometre circuit, but if you look carefully you will see the track at the base of the waterfall has been washed away. We will have to come back again when the track is repaired. It is still a spectacular view as it thundered over the escarpment. springbrook This is the next stop. A light drizzle is falling and the trees are dripping with moisture, but we came prepared with our umbrellas. It is a magical walk through the rainforest. The undergrowth is thick with ferns and vines hang from the branches. The green is so vivid and the leaves shine.

Strings of palm seeds

Strings of palm seeds

The track to the Best of all lookout

The track to the Best of all lookout

Track to "best of all look-out"

Track to “best of all look-out”

The rain is now beating down and a cold wind whistles through the trees, the temperature drops and I feel I am a thousand miles away from the tropical glitz and glamour of the Goldcoast. Then I turn a corner and I stop dead in my tracks and gaze in awe at these ancient giants of the forest. I have never seen such majestic trees. They just ooze character and command your respect and attention. Covered in moss and lichen they have stood here for hundreds of years. This is one of the few places on earth that they still survive.

Antarctic Beech

Antarctic Beech

Knobbly moss covered trunk of Antarctic Beech

Knobbly moss covered trunk of Antarctic Beech

Roots of the Antarctic Beech

Roots of the Antarctic Beech

springbrook One more lookout but it is now raining steadily. We drive to the Canyon Lookout. Time to break out the thermos for a cuppa and biscuit. Give the rain time to pass. Suddenly there is a slight break in the rain, so it is over to the lookout, a quick photo and then back into the car and head for home.

Twin Falls

Twin Falls

Again the track to the base of the falls has been washed away. The walk down is quite spectacular as at one point you pass behind the twin falls. Definitely “I will be back” (now where have I heard that before?) As we drive down from the mountain the rain once more clears and we decide on one more interesting stop…

(to be continued)…..

Categories: photos | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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