Australia Rainforest… Luscious Greenery, Epic Views, and Majestic Waterfalls

Ever get tired of the beach while you’re in Australia? Want to experience the rainforest?  When you have had enough laying out on the beach and want to get away from it all, there are many great national parks in the beautiful rainforest off the coast of Australia.   Surround yourselves in nature with luscious greenery, epic views, and majestic waterfalls and get some exercise while you’re at it.  These are our top 3 day trips to national parks between Sydney and Brisbane.

Wollumbin National Park aka Mount Warning

Location: Approximately halfway between Byron bay and the Gold Coast and 45 minutes inland.

Trekking difficulty: Medium mostly shaded incline to difficult rock scramble to get to the top viewing point.  There are metal chains on the side of the rocks which make it easy to climb up the mountain and was part of the fun!

Duration: 2 to 3 hours to the top so if you want to be there for sunrise check out the sunrise time and plan accordingly.  4 to 5 hours and 5.5 miles (8.8 km) including return for entire hike.

Highlights: Formed from a volcanic plug of the Tweed Volcano (now gone) Mt Warning boasts an epic 360 view of Australia in all directions at the summit.  Great views of the Gold Coast and surrounding area.  Beautiful terrain, wildlife, luscious green rainforest.  Rock scramble was really fun!  Climbing on those indoor rock walls scares me, but these rocks are bigger and you have more room for your feet and the chains make it really easy to keep your balance.

When to go:  Morning to beat the heat, many people love to get up to the top for the beautiful sunrise.

What to bring:  Bring flashlight if you are going to climb before sunrise.  Sturdy footwear, sunscreen, bug spray, and lots of water (2 liters per person), although its shaded it does get humid on the hike. Watch out for wildlife I almost stepped on a carpet snake, which was engulfing its prey on the trail!

Springbrook National Park

Location: About an hour southwest of Gold Coast.  You will have to drive separately (approximately 30 minutes) to go to both the Natural Bridge and Purling Brook Falls.

Trekking difficulty: Easy (Natural Bridge) to medium (Purling Brook Falls), a good amount of shade throughout the trek.

Duration: Natural Bridge- 1 hour; Purling Brook Falls 2-3 hours, 2.5 miles (4 km), an extra 1 to 1.5 hours and 1.2 miles (2 km) if you want to swim in Warringa Pool.

Highlights:  Stand on an ancient volcano in a beautiful rainforest wonderland with a massive natural bridge, glow worms (night time only), majestic waterfalls, and swimming holes.  While at Purling Brook Falls you well walk beyond the suspension bridge through open luscious rainforest and an epic view before descending into the gorge to view the falls from below.

When to go:  Morning to midmorning, after dark to see the glow warms at the natural bridge.  After you view the ‘bridge’ from the top go down the steps to the large cave.  If you go at night you will see the millions of glow worms of brilliant blue-green lights on the ceiling and overhangs. The best time to see glow worms is December to March.

What to bring:  Sturdy shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, swimsuit and lots of water (1-2 liters per person depending on hike choices), although its shaded it does get humid on the hike.

Nightcap National Park

Location: An hour and a half northwest of Byron Bay.

Trekking difficulty: Easy (Protesters Falls) to medium (Minyan Falls), a good amount of shade throughout the trek.

Duration: Protesters Falls- 1 to 1.5 hours 0.9 miles (1.4 km); Minyon Falls 3-4 hours, 8 miles roundtrip (13 km) there is a viewing platform at the top where you can see the falls at the top of the parking lot if you don’t have time for the hike.

Highlights: A nature-lover’s paradise, trek through the luscious rainforest to epic views of the majestic waterfalls.

When to go:  Morning to midmorning, watch out for flash flooding closure if it’s after a large storm.

What to bring:  Sturdy shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, and lots of water (1-2 liters per person depending on hike choices), although its shaded it does get humid on the hike.  Although you’re not supposed to for ecological reasons, people do swim in base of Protesters Falls, note that there are a lot of leeches in the water and the people we saw getting out pulled a few off their bodies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Australia Rainforest… Luscious Greenery, Epic Views, and Majestic Waterfalls

Ever get tired of the beach while you’re in Australia? Want to experience the rainforest?  When you have had enough laying out on the beach and want to get away from it all, there are many great national parks in the beautiful rainforest off the coast of Australia.   Surround yourselves in nature with luscious greenery, epic views, and majestic waterfalls and get some exercise while you’re at it.  These are our top 3 day trips to national parks between Sydney and Brisbane.

Wollumbin National Park aka Mount Warning

Location: Approximately halfway between Byron bay and the Gold Coast and 45 minutes inland.

Trekking difficulty: Medium mostly shaded incline to difficult rock scramble to get to the top viewing point.  There are metal chains on the side of the rocks which make it easy to climb up the mountain and was part of the fun!

Duration: 2 to 3 hours to the top so if you want to be there for sunrise check out the sunrise time and plan accordingly.  4 to 5 hours and 5.5 miles (8.8 km) including return for entire hike.

Highlights: Formed from a volcanic plug of the Tweed Volcano (now gone) Mt Warning boasts an epic 360 view of Australia in all directions at the summit.  Great views of the Gold Coast and surrounding area.  Beautiful terrain, wildlife, luscious green rainforest.  Rock scramble was really fun!  Climbing on those indoor rock walls scares me, but these rocks are bigger and you have more room for your feet and the chains make it really easy to keep your balance.

When to go:  Morning to beat the heat, many people love to get up to the top for the beautiful sunrise.

What to bring:  Bring flashlight if you are going to climb before sunrise.  Sturdy footwear, sunscreen, bug spray, and lots of water (2 liters per person), although its shaded it does get humid on the hike. Watch out for wildlife I almost stepped on a carpet snake, which was engulfing its prey on the trail!

Springbrook National Park

Location: About an hour southwest of Gold Coast.  You will have to drive separately (approximately 30 minutes) to go to both the Natural Bridge and Purling Brook Falls.

Trekking difficulty: Easy (Natural Bridge) to medium (Purling Brook Falls), a good amount of shade throughout the trek.

Duration: Natural Bridge- 1 hour; Purling Brook Falls 2-3 hours, 2.5 miles (4 km), an extra 1 to 1.5 hours and 1.2 miles (2 km) if you want to swim in Warringa Pool.

Highlights:  Stand on an ancient volcano in a beautiful rainforest wonderland with a massive natural bridge, glow worms (night time only), majestic waterfalls, and swimming holes.  While at Purling Brook Falls you well walk beyond the suspension bridge through open luscious rainforest and an epic view before descending into the gorge to view the falls from below.

When to go:  Morning to midmorning, after dark to see the glow warms at the natural bridge.  After you view the ‘bridge’ from the top go down the steps to the large cave.  If you go at night you will see the millions of glow worms of brilliant blue-green lights on the ceiling and overhangs. The best time to see glow worms is December to March.

What to bring:  Sturdy shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, swimsuit and lots of water (1-2 liters per person depending on hike choices), although its shaded it does get humid on the hike.

Nightcap National Park

Location: An hour and a half northwest of Byron Bay.

Trekking difficulty: Easy (Protesters Falls) to medium (Minyan Falls), a good amount of shade throughout the trek.

Duration: Protesters Falls- 1 to 1.5 hours 0.9 miles (1.4 km); Minyon Falls 3-4 hours, 8 miles roundtrip (13 km) there is a viewing platform at the top where you can see the falls at the top of the parking lot if you don’t have time for the hike.

Highlights: A nature-lover’s paradise, trek through the luscious rainforest to epic views of the majestic waterfalls.

When to go:  Morning to midmorning, watch out for flash flooding closure if it’s after a large storm.

What to bring:  Sturdy shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, and lots of water (1-2 liters per person depending on hike choices), although its shaded it does get humid on the hike.  Although you’re not supposed to for ecological reasons, people do swim in base of Protesters Falls, note that there are a lot of leeches in the water and the people we saw getting out pulled a few off their bodies.

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