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Mount Cougal, Springbrook National Park

Home > Brisbane > Day Trips | Escape the City | Fun Things To Do | National Parks | Nature | Outdoor | Photography | Walks
Published June 7th 2012
For a lazy drive, take the Currumbin Exit (Exit 93) from the Gold Coast Highway and follow Currumbin Creek Road, along a tree lined road that winds through acreage properties of the picturesque Currumbin Valley to the Mt Cougal Section of the Springbrook National Park. There are a number of well-maintained picnic areas along the road including, a very popular swimming spot.

Cougal Cascades
Cascading down the creek

From the car park, there is a wheelchair accessible pathway which runs through the rainforest, and there are also several viewing platforms which showcase the cascades, however access to the creek itself is relatively easy, and the small effort required to get there is well rewarded.

There are plenty of things for adults and children alike to see and do, from marvelling at the multi coloured fungi, and the many species of plants, ferns and staghorns, to spotting some of the elusive wildlife such as the Australian Whipbird and Albert Lyrebird.

Cougal Cascades
Further up the creek

About a kilometre from the car park is the remains of an old sawmill - long since disused and now a gently decaying reminder of the unsuccessful attempts to commercially farm this area before its natural beauty and worth were fully appreciated.

The stream cascades through many natural waterholes. The crystal clear waters provide a perfect spot for the young (and young at heart) to swim and laze the day away. Although cooling on a hot day, certainly not a recommended winter pastime, and as always, the wet rocks can be slippery and treacherous, so care should be exercised at all times.

Reflections in the creek

The walkway contains a number of information board including details about the areas original owners and the efforts of early farmers to scrounge a living out of the steep walled valley. About a kilometre from the car park, the remains of an old sawmill, long since disused and gently decaying, sit as a stark reminder of the unsuccessful attempts to commercially farm this area before its natural beauty and worth were fully appreciated.

Past the sawmill is the starting point for the trek to the twin peaks of Mt Cougal . This walk is unsigned and should only be undertaken by seasoned (and more importantly, physically fit) bushwalkers after appropriate safety measures have been considered.

It also provides another easy access point to the creek and to another world, more remote and therefore not as popular as the areas closer to the car park. Sitting with feet in the creek, and listening only to the sounds of the stream cascading down hill and the local birdlife, it is hard to imagine that the hustle and bustle of Surfers Paradise is less than 20 kilometres away as the crow flies.

Further information is available from the department of Environment & Resource Management:
Springbrook Map
DERM website

There are clean toilet and picnic facilities, and remember, as with all National Parks, leave only footprints...

And finish off the day by taking some roads less travelled – about 6 kms from the park (on the way back to the coast), turn right into Tomewin Mountain Road which will take you across the Qld/NSW border into the scenic Northern Rivers district and through historical country towns and villages such as Tomewin, Dungay and Tumbulgum before making your way back to Tweed Heads and the Coast. Allow a good half day extra to do the Loop through NSW.
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Why? Get away from it all...
When: Anytime
Where: Cougal Cascades
Cost: Free
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