Where Next Australia: Busy Brissie Day Trips Part 2

Relaxing with a view of the Gold Coast from Eagle Heights.

Relaxing with a view of the Gold Coast from Eagle Heights.

Between the twin city sprawls of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, there is rainforested range called Mt Tambourine, dotted with little cafes, hiking trails and spots to stop and just admire the view.

Curtis Falls is a lovely, easy walk through rainforest, only 1.5 kms return, through lush rainforest, and, fed by a permanent spring, should be flowing any time you visit. The Discover Tamborine website has a lot of useful information on how to access the hike.

The pretty Curtis Falls.

The pretty Curtis Falls.

Along the walking trail to Curtis Falls.

Along the walking trail to Curtis Falls.

Another popular and pretty place to visit is O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, however, it is not for the faint driver. The road consists of 30 kms of hairpin turns, turn-turn, one lane roads, and fellow drivers living out their rally fantasies. The last 7 kms, is terrifying, but visually very interesting, as the dry forest turned into a wet rainforest full of black booyong trees with their buttress roots. The road is very dim however, even at 2pm, and cars squeeze in and around trees growing on the road.

The Black Booyongs make for interesting viewing, and difficult driving.

The Black Booyongs make for interesting viewing, and difficult driving.

O’Reilly’s is a snazzy resort in Lamington National Park, with free activities and a tree top walk. Visitors can also feed voracious red king parrots for $4 a tray (or simply watch the fun for free). The Tree Top walk is a lot of fun with bouncing bridges and a tall, crow’s nest style perch for the forest pirates in all of us.

A young boy enjoys feeding some hungry mouths.

A young boy enjoys feeding some hungry mouths.

Fun for all - ascending to the tree tops.

Fun for all – ascending to the tree tops.

Geographically close, but an 1.5 hour drive down the mountain, is Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park.  Aptly named Cave Creek carved a hole through the roof of a cave, and formed a waterfall through the rock. At night there are tours to see the glowworms living here, though visitors with a torch can do this for free. Once a swimming hole, these days you must leave your towel and togs at home, to protect this fragile habitat.

Natural Bridge from the outside.

Natural Bridge from the outside.

Careful not to slip as you go into the cave.

Careful not to slip as you go into the cave.

In recent years the information available on the internet through sites like Discover Tamborine has made it easier for non-locals to enjoy these spots. I’d love to hear more places to visit around the Brisbane/Gold Coast region, so please leave a comment if you know of a great place to see or somewhere that you’d like to see next.

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