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10 Absolutely Stunning Waterfalls To Catch In The Gold Coast Hinterland Now That La Niña Is Upon Us

Jordan Clayden-Lewis Jordan Clayden-Lewis

10 Absolutely Stunning Waterfalls To Catch In The Gold Coast Hinterland Now That La Niña Is Upon Us

Luckily for us, the Gold Coast Hinterland has some of the best waterfalls in Queensland. And now that the rainy weather pattern, La Niña has set in for the summer, the falls are filling up, ready to explore. Waterfalls are best visited after a big bout of rain, so this summer might just be a prime time to catch the hinterland falls in all their glory. Here’s a list of the best waterfalls to catch in the region — some that you can swim in, and some best seen from afar.

1. Natural Bridge

Location: Springbrook National Park

The 1km Natural Bridge Circuit may be a short, easy and accessible rainforest walk, but it definitely doesn’t lack in big beautiful views. Being one of the more popular spots in Springbrook, this waterfall is viewed from inside a cave, boasting sparkling blue water on a sunny day. You can also visit at night when the inside of the cave is illuminated with glow worms.

2. Morans Falls

Location: Lamington National Park

Huddled within the World Heritage Gondwana rainforest, the Morans Falls track is home to a variety of scenic lookouts. Morans Clearing Lookout is the main attraction, especially at sunset, where you can sit and enjoy the sound of the cascading falls, with spectacular views over Main Range. Viewing the falls from Morans Falls Lookout is also dramatic after heavy rain, which is why it is highly regarded as one of the best waterfalls in the hinterland.

3. Twin Falls

Location: Springbrook National Park

Stretching from Springbrook Plateau down onto the rainforest floor in the canyon below, the 4km Twin Falls Circuit offers stunning natural scenery, with two waterfalls to catch. Although this might be a strenuous walk (especially walking back up), you’ll be crossing streams, passing by dramatic rock clefts, and taking in the amazing views along the way.

4. Curtis Falls

Location: Tamborine National Park

Not only is Mount Tamborine abundant in wineries and handmade local treats. It’s also home to some amazing bushwalks, one of them being the totally picturesque Curtis Falls. Although this waterfall flows all year round, it’s a must-see after heavy rainfall. The walk to Curtis Falls is only a 1.5km return track, or you can choose to extend your adventure and visit the beautiful rock pools along the Joalah Lower Creek Circuit, which is perfect for a refreshing dip and for spotting platypus, turtles, eels, and fish. Why not pair your adventure with a visit to Witches Falls Winery?

5. Purling Brook Falls

Location: Springbrook National Park

After a stunning walk through Gondwana and Eucalypt forests, you’ll find the sheer beauty that is Purling Brook Falls, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Gold Coast hinterland. This 4km circuit is truly worth it, leading you down into the gorge and bringing you to two lookouts with epic vistas of the falls. Be sure to bring some lunch with you and have a picnic with the water crashing behind you.

6. Elabana & Box Log Falls

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Location: Lamington National Park

If you’re looking for a lengthy bushwalk tucked away in lush rainforest, then the Box Forest Circuit is your winner. This 10.9km walk takes around 4 hours to complete and will take you to both Elabana Falls and Box Log Falls, both perfect for photos after rain when the forest turns extra green and the freshwater is flowing. You may also see some of the local wildlife along your journey. A moderate level of fitness is required for this one, as well as previous bushwalking experience.

7. Cougal Cascades

Location: Springbrook National Park

We know summer on the Gold Coast can get uncomfortable because of the humidity. So swap the saltwater from the beach with a revitalising freshwater dip in the Cougal Cascades. This oasis can be reached after a short walk next to Currumbin Creek, and is perfect for cooling off on a hot day. You can even walk a further 20 minutes upstream to find more swimming holes.

8. Coomera & Yarrabilgong Falls

Location: Lamington National Park

Quite a long day walk but rewarding nonetheless, the 17.4km Coomera Circuit is one for avid hikers who like their bushwalks from dawn until dusk. You’ll be walking through dense forests, creek crossings, gorges, and of course waterfalls. Put your head under nature’s shower and cool off in the refreshing falls. The Coomera Circuits is nestled in the Birra Burra section of Lamington and is best walked anti-clockwise.

9. Cedar Creek Falls

Location: Tamborine Mountain

As one of the hinterland’s most popular summer swimming spots, Cedar Creek Falls has it all—multiple waterfalls, cascades, and lush swimming holes. This waterfall can be accessed along a 1.4km walking trail. You’ll catch timeless views of the falls from above at the first lookout on the trail, all the while surrounded by towering eucalypts and tropical tree ferns and palms. Even at the peak of summer, the water can be quite chilly, but it’ll be a refreshing dip either way. Since most of the creek is shaded, why not take a picnic lunch with you at one of the most stunning waterfalls in the Gold Coast hinterland.

10. Mirror Falls

Location: Lamington National Park

Some of the most magnificent waterfalls in Lamington National Park can be found along the Albert River Circuit. This lengthy but lush 21.8km trek can either be smashed out in a long day walk or camping overnight at Echo Point campsite. The spectacular Mirror Falls lives around halfway along the trail and is perfect for both photo opportunities and as a picnic spot. Be sure to visit Echo point lookout for some truly epic views.

Hot tips:

  • While most of the trails listed in this article are signed, it’s always a good idea to download GPS trail navigations apps like AllTrails just so you don’t get lost, especially on the more remote trails
  • When it comes to crossing creeks, if the water is high after prolonged rainfall and looks too rough to cross, it’s usually a sign that you shouldn’t risk it.
  • Wear shoes with good grip (proper hiking shoes/boots), especially if you’re walking along rocks.

 

Other than that, enjoy the positive that La Niña has delivered us this summer with some of the best waterfalls in the Gold Coast hinterland!

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