I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published June 11th 2018
Explore rainforest walking tracks
I hadn't been to Mt Tamborine for a very long time. That time, I had only visited the shops and hadn't done any of the walks, so I was interested to go on some walks there recently with my bushwalking club.
Eleven of us piled into three cars and headed off to Mt Tamborine from our meeting place at Fairfield. The plan was to do three short walks in different national parks with a total area of about 9.7 kilometres. Tamborine National Park on Tamborine Mountain is in the Gold Coast Hinterland, about 45 minutes from the Gold Coast, and an hour from Brisbane.
Our first stop was a visit to Curtis Falls and the Lower Creek Circuit at the Joalah National Park. It was a beautiful walk through a subtropical rainforest to a lookout over the falls and a walk along the creek. There was one creek crossing on rocks where we had to be careful, but otherwise, the walk was fairly easy. One of the newer members on the walk had had a bad fall and cut her head on a recent walk at Mt Cootha, so she was very cautious crossing the creek. She had lost some of her confidence. It was cool in the rainforest. Joalah is an Aboriginal word meaning 'haunt of the Lyrebird'. I was looking out for the Albert's Lyrebird that live in this area, but didn't hear or see any on this walk.
Cedar Creek Falls Lookout circuit is approximately 500m return and is an easy grade walk. We walked down to the Rock Pools, which was 900m return. The Curtis Falls track is a moderate grade with steep stairs down to the waterfall. There are signs to say swimming is prohibited at the falls.
We continued on from the falls and followed the Lower Creek circuit, which is approximately 2 km return, from the start of the Curtis Falls track. We started our walk from the entrance off Dapsang Drive, off Eagle Heights road in Eagle Heights. There is also another entrance from Eagle Heights Road, just before Curtis Falls Lolly Shop and Tamborine Mountain Teapots at the Curtis Falls 'T' intersection.
After this walk, we drove to Jenyns Circuit to the Palm Grove National Park where we walked for 4.5 kilometres on the Palm Grove Rainforest Circuit. On this walk, I was excited to see two pademelons. They took off into the rainforest when they saw us coming. I also saw a brush turkey scratching around in the leaf litter. We saw beautiful Piccabeen palm groves and rainforest with emergent strangler figs and the distinctively buttressed yellow Carabeen trees (Slonea woollsii) along this track.
After the walk, we had morning tea on the picnic tables. The Jenyns circuit at Palm Grove is a moderate grade walk. Parking is available at the end of Palm Grove Avenue off Eagle Heights Road, or in the cul-de-sac on Curtis Road in North Tamborine. There are views to the Gold Coast from this picnic area.
After morning tea, we drove to the Knoll national park and walked to the lookout over Cameron Falls. The Sandy Creek circuit at the Knoll is 2.6 km return and is an easy grade walk. There are gas barbecues and picnic benches here. It is on Knoll Road at the end of Main Street in North Tamborine.
Each walk was different with sections of subtropical rainforest, Piccabeen palms, strangler figs, majestic buttress trees, waterfalls, creeks, views and open forest. There were some Gympie stinging trees near the track and walking stick palms. We heard lots of interesting birdcalls. The walking stick palms are interesting. The straight palms were used to make walking sticks for returned soldiers after the Second World War.
Some of the new members on the walk didn't know about the dangerous Gympie stinger plant, so Marion, our leader, pointed it out and warned people not to brush against the leaves or stem of this tree. It can give a very painful sting, even if the leaf is dead on the ground. I did meet a walker recently who brushed her leg against one on a track at Binna Burra and suffered a lot of pain.
Most of the tracks were easy and suitable for people of all fitness levels and families. They are great walks for children to learn about the natural environment. Marion used to take school groups on some of these walks.
After lunch, we went for coffee at a local café before heading home. There are other tracks at Mt Tamborine that we didn't walk this day. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Mt Tamborine, but I must go back to check out the shops, art galleries and museum another time, and do the other walks I didn't do. The highlight for me was seeing the two pademelons.