Waterfall walk.

It was an overcast Sunday but with the sun peeking through and trying to take over, I decided it was time for a Sunday drive, the long way round, to the other side of the road closure that defeated us previously on our quest for waterfall viewing.

The road is narrow and twists and turns as it winds its way 1000 metres up the mountain from the ocean and into the rainforest.springbrook-11_3801x4190The first stop is an interesting looking art and craft gallery. I can never resist these places. Craft Corner Gallery was brimming with quality art and all the work of local artists. We enjoyed chatting and discussing the beautiful porcelain painting and other art works with Linda Bandini, the owner.

springbrook-1_2994x2576When we finally reached the waterfall area it is difficult finding parking. (I made a mental note always come to these tourist attractions during the week!!!)

We finally parked then couldn’t resist going in here to have a cup of coffee before the crowds descended for lunch.springbrook-2_3415x2348Caffeine fortified we slowly wander along the track to the Purling Brook falls.

springbrook-5_3000x4000This is a forest wilderness formed by the eruption of a volcano 23 million years ago. Now it is a World Heritage Area. We marvel at the enormous roots of this dead giant and search for the mushroom/fungi and ferns struggling up through the undergrowth. The sun filters through and briefly touches the trees, highlighting the tall, straight trunks reaching for the light.

It is only a short walk to the lookout and the view across an impressive landscape of  subtropical and temperate rainforest to the Purling Brook Falls.springbrook-8_3000x4000After all the recent rain it is in full flow. springbrook-9_4000x3000But we are not the only ones here. Can you see the tiny figures to the left at another lookout spot. We are going to walk round to that area next.springbrook-24_2798x1966We are not going to attempt the 17 kilometre circuit, but will just go a short way along to another lookout. Walking along beside the stream as it flows over boulders and winds through the undergrowth.

springbrook-28_4000x3000Until ,suddenly, it cascades over the edge of the plateau and plunges 100 metres into the valley.springbrook-29_4000x3000The “Best of all Lookout” is not to be missed and the sun is very intermittent, we would like to get a good view before the light goes. It is a short drive and another hassle to find parking. It is approx. 400 metres in distance to walk, but you are going to walk back millions of years into the time when Australia was part of Gondwana and dinosaurs roamed the land.springbrook-19_4000x3000Walking into the dense rainforest, thick vegetation crowds every side, vines and lianas swing from the canopy and Spanish moss droops and drips from every tree.springbrook-20_4000x3000

There is a chill in the air and the  temperature appears to drop a few degrees. There is an intermittent call of a bird and the wind rustles through the foliage. Then, rounding a corner, you definitely get that “Lord of the Rings” feeling as you come face to face with this…springbrook-14_4000x3000The magnificent moss laden relics of the last ice-age. The Antarctic Beech. springbrook-12_3000x4000They dominate the area and tower into the canopy, impossible, in a photo, to capture the splendour and powerful presence of these ancient giants. They are reputed to be 2000 to 3000 years old.springbrook-13_2637x2281As people round the corner and come into their presence they fall silent and gaze in awe at these giants. But only a short distance and there is the “Best of all Lookout” 1000 metres above the valley the view is stunning, even on this slightly overcast day.springbrook-15_4000x3000springbrook-16_4000x3000Way off, shrouded in mist, can you just see the outline of the hi-rises of the Gold Coast.

springbrook-23_4000x3000Back to another track and another waterfall.springbrook-31_3000x4000This is another part of the 17 kilometre Warrie (Aboriginal for rushing waters) circuit walk. It is more challenging than the previous tracks, steps to negotiate and a bit slippery underfoot, But still lots to see. White, glowing fungus colonise a leaning tree trunk and looking closer the underside is a soft apricot colour. Moss drips with delicate drops of water and a glimpse of an occasional Banksia glows through the greenery.

springbrook-32_4000x3000springbrook-30_3000x4000An energetic couple power past. Obviously serious walkers. “Are you in training” I call. They stop and give me a big grin. “Yes, we are going to walk the Inca Trail soon” they call back…springbrook-27_3000x4000We only walk as far as the lookout over the canyon and see the waterfall tumbling down into the depths of the valley, before turning back.springbrook-22_3000x4000It is 4-30pm and starting to get misty, the cloud is settling in, but one more waterfall.  This is really a stroll rather than a walk. At the end of Springbrook Rd is Goomoolahra Falls. It is just 100m (on asphalt) to see the falls.springbrook-3_3888x5184On a clear day the view would be fantastic, but not much view today, the clouds have descended. Time to head home. But wait, look what I spotted near the almost deserted car park.springbrook-35_3670x2704It is open and they serve coffee. We wander in. It is deserted.springbrook-36_4000x3000I wander around Calling “Anyone here”. No reply. We look around.

It looks very inviting. I ring a small bell I find on the counter. We are just turning to go when a small Asian man comes through the door from the garden, full of apologies and a big smile. “Yes I give you special tea”. He goes off to wash his garden grubby hands, he has been planting a tree he tells us. We sit and wait and gaze through the window.springbrook-38_4000x3000That garden does look very inviting. Then our friendly host arrives with the tea and gives us a small tea ceremony.springbrook-39_3601x2881What a lovely way to end the day. I would love to look round the garden, but it is getting late and I certainly do not want to drive back down the road in  the twilight. So we promise that we will be back for a lunch and to explore his gardens after the “Games” have finished. On the way down there is one more stop at Hardy’s lookout for a last look over the valley as the sun lights up the farm land in the valley below.springbrook-41_3534x2594As we turn to get into the car, look what appears from out of no where.

As he disappears back into the bush we continue down the steep and windy road with a smile on our faces.

Time to go over to Restless Jo’s part of the world and join with her band of energetic world wide walkers. Come with me and armchair travel around the world

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39 comments

  1. There are faces in those gnarled tree trunks, aren’t there, Pauline? I am always amazed at the diversity of Australian scenery. What a stunning place you took me to today! I was enchanted from the second I spied Dancing Waters Cafe. Thank you so much 🙂 🙂

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  2. You always amaze me how you can record so much so well and keep up a dialogue with all your cyber space friends. I hit the link to Jo as you advise and time just raced by, oh! well it is raining outside so it was a good way to pass the time.🙂

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  3. While cruising around Jo’s links I knew when I saw the map to Campbell Rhododendron Gardens you would want to go there and I want to be with you on that trip. When I saw the bird photoes I thaught of the Bell Birds at Springbrook we did not see any but I did hear them.
    I can recite the poem Bell Birds but I will have to Google to find our who wrote it. 🤓am I loosing my marbles?

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  4. It was Henry Kendel and I actually only know the first two verses. Well it is understandable I learned the poem 79 years ago. Jo thought she was disclosing her age when she mentioned the late great father of R an R Chuck Berry. 😂

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  5. So glad you decided to take the long way round and visit this area PP. What an incredible place! The views, those trees, the waterfalls. I’m a little wary of slippery places now, so easy to fall and break something, but I’d love to have a wander. One thing I am curious about: the café sign says Coffee / Light Meals / Opals. Opals? As in stones? Surely you are a long way from opal country. Or perhaps it has another meaning.
    And, yes, I am in agreement with you – always best to visit these tourist places midweek 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jack carries a walking stick with him now. We have to be so careful about falling as we don’t bounce now-a-days. Yes the opals were stones they had a few for sale I didn’t ask them where they got them from (unusual for nosy me not to ask!!!)

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      • You may have heard that some of the biggest giant sequoias (which are bigger than the coastal redwoods) were cut down for sport. Even after loggers realized that the biggest ones were no good for lumber, the continued to seek out the biggest to cut them down for bragging rights. Every time a bigger one was found, it was cut down. Every logger wanted to be the logger who cut down the biggest one. The trees hit the ground with such force that the lumber within fractured, so was useless for lumber. It was cut and split into fence railings and grape stakes! To this day, no one knows if any of the trees that are now absent were bigger than the trees that are now considered to be the biggest.

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  6. oh I am so glad I followed Jo’s link this morning. What a fabulous walk, and I always think the best time to see a rain forest is in the rain, so loving your low clouds and rain drops. And as for that waterfall – wow!

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