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Natural Bridge Rainforest Circuit

Home > Queensland > Escape the City | Parks
by Sian Wattam (subscribe)
Sian is a freelance writer living on the Gold Coast.
Published June 7th 2012
Forget the theme parks and the beaches, one of the Gold Coast's most spectacular sights is nestled in a peaceful hinterland valley only 45 minutes from the hubbub of Surfers Paradise.

The Springbrook National Park near the Queensland/New South Wales border is the site of one of the most rewarding walking tracks in the hinterland.

Natural Bridge section is a well-maintained, category 2 circuit track suitable for most fitness levels. Allow about an hour to walk the loop, but add on at least another hour to marvel at nature's creation.

Natural Bridge is a basalt rock arch, the remnant of the original path of Cave Creek.

The arch, the cave below, and the hole in the roof of the cave are the result of thousands of years of erosion. Combined with the cascading waterfall through the cave roof these rock formations make for an impressive scene.
Cave creek falls through the roof into the cave below

Rich and diverse arrays of flora and fauna inhabit the area. Strangler figs, bird's nest ferns, walking stick palms, and hoop pines are just a few of the sub-tropical rainforest plants thriving in the park.

By day the bush is alive with birdlife. Log runners hop around in the undergrowth, scratching at leaves in search of insects. Eastern yellow robins flit between the trees, and brush turkeys push leaves into massive piles to create a nest. The canopy hums with bird song including the elusive Albert's lyrebird and eastern whipbird, which are often heard, seldom seen.

At night sugar gliders, brushtail and ringtail possums, bent wing bats, and bush rats come out to feed. The cave interior as well as rocky overhangs and steep banks along the circuit take on an enchanted ambience as thousands of tiny glow-worms light up to snare a nightly meal. Keep an ear open for the boobook owl and green tree and fletchers frogs. A night-time trek to the bridge is highly recommended, although follow the guidelines to avoid disturbing these sensitive creatures.

If glow-worms and caves are not enough of a drawcard for you, consider this: Springbrook National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, a 366507 ha World Heritage property chosen for its exceptional bio-diversity. The various types of rainforest contained within the site are considered to be some of the best in the world, now that's impressive.
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Why? Where else can you see glow-worms, a cave, and a waterfall?
When: Anytime
Where: Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park
Cost: Free
Unfortunately the cave is now closed off due to damage done by people starting fires in the cave and killing the glow worms. It is still a pretty walk but these photo's are very old unless the cave has been opened up again?
By sabin7 - reader
Wednesday, 20th of July @ 01:11 am
That's such a shame. The photos were taken less than a year ago and I have walked the track a few times since. When did the damage occur?
By Anonymous
Wednesday, 20th of July @ 04:14 am
how could they, low life unhappy mungrels,hope they were caught
Diane Reynolds Nundah
By diane - reader
Sunday, 31st of July @ 11:54 pm
I've just been to check out the walk again and it is the same as it was when I wrote the story. The far interior sections of the cave are not accessible but there is still a large area inside the cave that is open to the public. The river is restricted to protect the fragile environment but this doesn't hinder the view or detract from the experience at all. If anything it adds to the beauty because it means there are not hoards of swimmers in the beautiful pool, spoiling your lovely photographs.
Sian Wattam
By Sian Wattam - senior reviewer
Sunday, 7th of August @ 06:51 am
This review takes me back to my childhood summer holidays - they always included a couple of trips to the Natural Arch. We loved diving into the freezing swimming hole, and I'm sad to hear I won't be able to take my kids swimming in it due to its current closure. We will still visit though - sooner rather than later after drinking in your beautiful images.
By Heather Miller - senior reviewer
Tuesday, 16th of August @ 05:20 am
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