The Weekend Series: where to go chasing waterfalls near the Gold Coast
When summer hits, we all generally flock to the coast. Don’t get us wrong, we love the ocean big time! Though, if you head inland for a little adventure, you’ll find that there is even more water-bound magic to be found. If you’re keen to make the most of the warmer months, here are some of the best swimming holes and waterfalls within road-trip distance.
Cougal Cascades: Mount Cougal forms part of the Springbrook National Park, and it’s closer than you think. Just drive straight to the end of Currumbin Valley, keep going past Camp Eden through to the car park. The track starts from there – take a leisurely stroll through the rainforest and you’ll soon come across the Cougal Cascades and rock pools. The track follows the creek – keep walking to the end and you’ll find the remains of the 1940s sawmill.
Curtis Falls: Located along Curtis Road on Mount Tamborine, the Curtis Falls are part of the Tamborine National Park. Take a walk through the lush rainforest before reaching the amazing natural running waterfall. Get your iPhone ready – helllloooo Instagram.
Gorge Falls: This not-so-secret spot it nestled at the very end of Tallebudgera Valley. You’ll reach a dead end by car, but get out and start strolling along the track, which will take you across a couple of creek crossings. Prepare to walk for about 20 minutes (the last bit is walking up-stream), which just enough time to take in the amazing surroundings before you reach Gorge Falls.
Minyon Falls: Situated in the Northern Rivers section of New South Wales, Minyon Falls is one of the best spots to visit thanks to it’s breathtaking coastal views, lush rainforests and the beautiful cascade of the falls. The area features shady picnic spots, bush walks and wheelchair-accessible lookout areas, making it well worth the drive. If you make the trek all the way down to the bottom, you’ll find a crystal clear swimming hole waiting for you.
Morans Falls: Located near the Green Mountains of Lamington National Park is Morans Falls. After following the walking track (a 4.4-km return walk), wanderers descend roughly 150 m through sub-tropical rainforests to find the base of the plunge waterfall. You can trek a bit further to reach the top of the falls, where you can enjoy a majestic view of the sprawling landscape.
Kondalilla Falls: Not far from the Sunshine Coast lies Kondalilla Falls, a popular retreat that sits where Skene Creek plummets into the rainforest valley. This spot is popular among families and groups, with plenty of parking and room for all. In addition to the falls, the Kondalilla National Park features a 58-km walking track, shorter tracks, overnight campsites and picnic areas.
Booloumba Falls and Gorge: Located in the Somerset Area in Conondale National Park, Booloumba Falls and Gorge boasts lush rainforest scenery and cascading waterfalls and rock pools. Swim at the base of the falls before exploring the amazing rock formations of The Breadknife. The falls are reached by a track which is a 4-km return trip.