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Springbrook National Park
Over 180 million years ago, the supercontinent Gondwana connected Australia to Antarctica. Remnants of the ancient Gondwana Rainforest still exist today. Listed by Unesco as world heritage rainforest, the Springbrook National Park (https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/springbrook) is home to ancient species of Beech trees once originating from Antarctica, some over 3000 years old. In fact there is vegetation in the national park that dates back over 100million years! Experience the earth’s evolutionary history and explore bio diverse forest eco systems as you explore Springbrook National Park (link to tour page). Some highlights of the area include:
On the western side of Springbrook National Park you will find the Natural Bridge section of the park. It is an easy walk along the pathway through the ancient Gondwana rainforest , before you reach the picturesque formation. You can’t help but feel a spiritual connection to the ancient forest as it opens up to reveal sparkling fresh waters cascading through the roof of the basalt cave. With the sunlight shining through the window, the image of this gorgeous rock arch has been captured by the hundreds who visit it each year.
Whilst you are here take a moment to observe the flora and fauna around you as you stand ancient living history of the Jurassic Age. The Hoop Pines in the forest are living descendendants of trees that covered the land over 180 million years ago. Wildlife lovers can keep an eye out for the opportunity to spot paradise Riflebirds, eastern yellow Robin, Wompoo fruit-doves and also rare and threatened amphibian species like the cascade tree frog and tusked frog. The parks resident invertebrates such as the Richmond birdwing butterfly and glow-worms which originated from Gondwana have changed little over 400 million years.
Best of All Lookout
Situated on the edge of an escarpment providing sweeping views of Mt Warning (the lava plug of the now extinct Tweed shield volcano), and extending as far south as Northern NSW it was a no-brainer when naming this lookout. The best Of All Lookout is accessed via a short walk through ancient Antarctic beech forest full of old knarled trees, lichen covered rocks and ancient plants. It feels like you are walking through the set of a JRR Tolkein film. Tread lightly and you may catch a glimpse of the Pademelon as it bounds through the bushes.
3000 year old Antarctic Beech Trees
The World heritage listed Gondwana rainforest area and its iconic trees provide a delicate and essential habitat for more than 270 threatened and endangered species. One of the forests most magical inhabitants are the Antarctic Beech trees, Nothofagus moorei. Standing like a tribe of elders emerging from the forest floor, these 3000 year old trees with their knarled root bases and towering canopy are one of the last remaining links to the ancient forests of Gondwana.
Many years ago, Nothofagus forests were found in abundance across the continent. Their disappearance has meant a loss in habitat for many animals and this last remaining section provides the principal habitat for many threatened species including the Albert’s lyrebird and other bird species whose evolution dates back to the cretaceous period. Previously listed as extinct, there have been recent sightings of the Hastings River mouse and the parma wallaby, further demonstrating the importance of this unique environment.
Purling Brook Falls
One of the tallest waterfalls in Springbrook National Park and arguably one of the most breathtaking is Purling Brook Falls. Witness natures magic as fresh mountain water cascades over the rockface in a single stream to the natural swimming pool 100m below. tHe crystal clear swimming hole at the base of the waterfall is popular with hikers looking for a refreshing cool off whilst hiking the 4km circuit.
Purling brook falls lookout, at the top of the waterfall provides a sensational view of the waters falling over the edge, and into the crystal clear rock pool below. The surrounding eucalypt forest features native vegetation including ancient cycads, colourful hakea shrubs and delicate wildflowers.
Stay Safe in the National Park:
Whilst you are undertaking walking trails and enjoying the waterfalls of Springbrook National Park remember to do so safely:
- Stay together and keep to the walking tracks.
- Always keep your children with sight.
- Take care near cliff edges. Keep your distance and stay behind any barriers, especially when taking photos.
- Wear a hat, sunscreen, comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes with good grip.
- Walk with a local guide or experienced bushwalker. This is a good way to gain experience.
- Rubbish bins are not provided. Please bring rubbish bags, and take all recyclables and rubbish with you when you leave.