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Picnic & Petrol Springbrook Day Out

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by Susan Jackson (subscribe)
Gold Coast Explorer since Jan 2010. Always on the lookout for fun, family things to enjoy with my four kids.
Published October 10th 2011
Purlingbrook Falls curtain of water
Purlingbrook Falls

If you're looking for something to do with the kids on the weekend or during school holidays, try this "Picnic & Petrol" day out. Your destination is Springbrook Mountain and it's classed as "Picnic & Petrol" because that's all it costs you. So, if you have a big family or low budget or both, then read on.
Springbrook National Park
Great walks, scenery and picnic spots

Springbrook Mountain is dotted with panoramic look out points, waterfalls, picnic sites and great walks. The drive from Mudgeeraba climbs up the mountain, twisting its way through the forest, over curved wooden bridges, even splitting into single lane through rock at its narrowest point. Less than a half hour drive brings you to the starting point for several trails, including the Purlingbrook Falls walk. It's well signed, (After the single lane section, Springbrook Road takes you past Springbrook State School on your left, then turn left into Forestry Road for Purlingbrook Falls car park).
Purlingbrook Falls
Trails are clearly signed

Purlingbrook Falls Circuit is a 4km return track, starting and finishing at the car park/ picnic area. Enjoy the view at the top, looking out over the waterfall. The signed walking trail drops down several hundred steps into the gorge at the base of the falls. The trees are truly beautiful, surrounding you with their green collage, opening out at the base of the waterfalls to reward you with a great view and the opportunity to walk behind the waterfall. The path takes you behind the spray. Look up past the falling curtain of water and stop for a while to take in the scene before you.
Behind Purlingbrook Falls
Kids love being behind the spray

If your kids are good walkers, follow the sign for the Warringa Pool. It adds on another 2km to your hike but the pool at the end is worth the walk. It's the ideal place to get your shoes off and refresh your feet or take your bathers and enjoy a swim.
Warringa Pool
Fabulous spot, worth the extra 2kms

Bring water and a snack for your stop. The climb back to the top from the base of Purlingbrook Falls is not as steep as your walk down and it returns you to where you started. There are picnic tables in the shade and toilets. A picnic at the end of your hike is a welcome one so pack a cooler to leave in the car. Kids will also enjoy a stop at the fudge shop on the corner on the way back down the mountain. Choose from a delicious array of fudges mint swirl, cookies and cream, macadamia nut and rocky road are just a taste of the flavours to entice you.

Springbrook Mountain is a back to nature, family day out. If you enjoy camping, there is a campsite up on the mountain (a family of 6 costs $21.30 per night). The Settlement campground has toilets, a barbecue hut/ cooking area and 11 sites, nicely planted so you don't look in on others but lacking in shade so you'll need an awning. Booking is quick and easy online. Visit here and click the "book online" link under Bookings. Print the receipt so you can fill the details on the camping tag to display on your tent on arrival.

If you do stay over and your kids like to scooter/ skateboard, there is a skateboard park at the community hall, a short walk from the campground. There's a basketball hoop there too. On our recent trip, bandicoots appeared near our tents at nightfall, black cockatoos performed a morning and afternoon fly past and a raucous troupe of kookaburras laughed at us from the old gum trees. You really do feel out in the bush despite being on the Gold Coast.

Springbrook is a quiet rural community surrounded by rainforest. There are a number of options for viewpoints and walks when planning your visit.
Springbrook National Park
Stunning view

The Queensland Government site offers comprehensive information for Springbrook and is well worth reading.

Your day can be extended with the after dark experiences of a Glow Worm Tour with Springbrook Glow Worms and Research Centre (Ad $10 or $30 family) - look out for the luminous mushrooms, or go stargazing by telescope at the Springbrook Research Observatory (Ad $15, kids $8) if it's a clear night.
Springbrook Observatory
Viewing the night sky through the telescope at Springbrook Observatory is fun for kids and adults

Purlingbrook Falls Circuit: Allow 2 - 3 hours for this walk. Young children will need to be supervised, as the drop down the cliffs, if you were to stray off the path, would be extremely dangerous.
It will be several degrees cooler up the mountain than at the coast - very welcome in summer but pack something warm.

From the Pacific Motorway take the Mudgeeraba exit for State Route 99/ Mudgeeraba/Springbrook Road. The drive to Springbrook Mountain is well signed.
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Why? Its minimal cost, family fun with a back to nature feel, in a peaceful environment.
When: Anytime
Where: Springbrook Mountain
Cost: Picnic & Petrol. Can spend on: Glow Worm Tour, Springbrook Observatory Tour and Camping Fees but only through choice. Entry to the park is free.
Wow! Looks fantastic! What a lovely article and very informative.... I like the petrol and picnic theme, perfect ideas when we're all counting pennies. What more can we educate our kids with than the great outdoors, nature at it's best and getting lots if fresh air and fun.
Thanks Susan, love your article. Jane x
By Anonymous
Thursday, 13th of October @ 09:12 am
I've picked this article up after looking for things to do when we visit friends. Simple ideas with low cost, brilliant!
By Anonymous
Thursday, 13th of October @ 09:39 am
Thank you. Enjoy your time up Springbrook Mountain. It will not disappoint you.
By Susan Jackson - senior reviewer
Saturday, 15th of October @ 12:49 pm
Stunning views. Will put on our list of must things to do when we are up there again.
By Happy Mom - senior reviewer
Wednesday, 23rd of October @ 10:16 am
It's great, we love it and always manage a walk in the holidays, despite living close by for 4 years now.
By Susan Jackson - senior reviewer
Wednesday, 23rd of October @ 10:37 am
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