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Published October 5th 2021
It's not just the destination, but the journey
Take a hike through the rainforest, clamber across rocky creeks and reward yourself with a dip under a cool waterfall. Accessing Gorge Falls (Upper Tallebudgera) is a physically demanding, yet achievable family adventure.
Gorge Falls is a 4km return walk along the Cream Track, beginning at the end of Tallebudgera Creek Road. The trail begins with a stroll through bushland, with glimpses of a gently flowing creek to the right. The track itself is well maintained with clear signage for users. There are a few detours from the trail leading to private properties, however, these too are signed accordingly.
Casual stroll along the trail
Hikers will enjoy three shallow creek crossings along the trail. During our recent family visit, the first creek crossing elicited shrieks of joy (and a little concern) from the children. We allowed the children to complete the task in their own time, encouraging exploration of the creek. With some assistance, they eagerly began rock-hopping across the creek. Completing this task provided the children with a sense of achievement and they excitedly continued along the trail.
As you approach the fourth creek crossing, take the smaller path to the left that follows the creek upstream. This pathway is quite narrow and requires users to navigate fallen logs, raised tree roots and uneven ground. We stopped several times for the children to point out and admire interesting finds; soft mosses, gnarled buttresses, decomposing logs etc.
At the fork in the creek, users must cross over the water and continue along the creek bed. This involves extended periods of rock hopping and occasionally, scrambling over larger boulders. Younger children or less experienced hikers may find this particular section overwhelming or difficult. It was moderately busy during our recent visit and I observed a varying array of children's reactions. Most were laughing and bouncing across the rocks, however, some children were approaching the task with great trepidation. Our 9-year-old son hurriedly demonstrated his ability, whereas our two daughters, aged 6 and 3 years, required significant assistance. It wasn't until the return leg of the journey that they became confident with their abilities.
The sight of Gorge Falls was breathtaking. From the ground level, you can see water flowing from a cave and down an impressively large cliff face. The swimming hole below was enveloped by rock walls with multiple ledges, ideal for hikers to sit and rest their weary legs. The depth of the water varied, providing opportunities for children to splash in the shallows and for capable swimmers to jump into the deeper water from the rocky ledges. We also witnessed several people scaling the cliff face and leaping from the mouth of the waterfall. This practice is not recommended.
After a rather short swim (the water was very cold) we began the journey back to the start. Of course, Miss 3 years insisted on being carried partway. We returned to our car with weary legs but very happy hearts.
Please note that Gorge Falls can also be accessed by hiking the Cream Track from the end of Springbrook Road. Please check for updates regarding any track closures or changes when planning your hike.