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.The 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.
When 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.Caffeine fortified we slowly wander along the track to the Purling Brook falls.
This 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.After all the recent rain it is in full flow. But 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.We 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.
Until ,suddenly, it cascades over the edge of the plateau and plunges 100 metres into the valley.The “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.Walking 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.
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…The magnificent moss laden relics of the last ice-age. The Antarctic Beech. They 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.As 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.Way off, shrouded in mist, can you just see the outline of the hi-rises of the Gold Coast.
Back to another track and another waterfall.This 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.
An 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…We 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.It 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.On 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.It is open and they serve coffee. We wander in. It is deserted.I 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.That garden does look very inviting. Then our friendly host arrives with the tea and gives us a small tea ceremony.What 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.As 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