An age since going on a girls’ weekend away, what better way to spend some time together than at Springbrook in the peaceful Gold Coast Hinterland, near Brisbane?
Fancy going on a girls’ weekend away? Sure, why not…
A surprise invitation with the promise (who needs promises?) of indulging in good food, wine, and glorious walks, the anticipation grows as the working week comes to a close and the fun weekend away begins.
Where is Springbrook?
Nestled in South East Queensland’s sub-tropical corner and in spitting distance from the New South Wales border, Springbrook is a major drawcard for tourists.
Springbrook National Park offers substantial preserved natural heritage dense rainforest, breathtaking lookouts, ancient Antarctic Beech trees, and on a clear day gorgeous coastal views.
Get in touch with nature while experiencing serenity across the park’s 2,720 hectares of which much is walkable. Including deep gorges, crystal-clear cascading waterfalls, and picturesque backdrops, the national park is alluring.
What to do?
Enjoy many glorious and gentle leisurely walks of only a couple of hundred metres. Or, if you feel invigorated while getting back to nature, try one of the more vigorous and longer treks from 2 to 14 kilometres – your choice. Walks are graded and you can check this link for grades and detailed information.
But what do girls do best on a girly weekend away?
Go for long walks of course and discuss life, the universe and everything (a great book by Douglas Adams, by the way). And, Springbrook National Park offers perfect extensive or short walks for you to explore and absorb.
Springbrook National Park
Following a couple of weeks of almost daily torrential rain – slight exaggeration but not far off – everywhere is either flooding or sodden. The weekend getaway isn’t much different with its wet and overcast grey days. It is winter, but winter in Queensland is typically dry.
Still, a weekend away it is and making the most of it is all that matters, so trekking we will go…
Purling Brook Falls circuit
Today isn’t great as the persistent drizzling rain and the cold aren’t helping but walk we shall and after last night’s food and wine, the girls need to earn the next coffee and cake break.
From the car park, this 4-kilometre round trip on foot is at an elevation of 598 metres, so not enough to get altitude sickness. As a Grade 3 walk, the brochure advises that some walking experience is recommended and ”tracks may have short steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps”.
Map: Queensland Parks And Wildlife Service
Up for a challenge, we start on the walk. Judging by the carpark, this is a popular region and it doesn’t seem as though the rain and cold have dampened anyone’s spirits as the walking path is quite busy.
Signposts help to guide walkers on this picturesque circuit full of dense glossy vegetation and fluorescent green mossy rocks in this Eucalypt forest.
Panoramas of the Purling Brook Falls follow the walk providing a stunning backdrop against the rugged cliff face.
Arriving at the lookout, disappointed, clouds shroud the ominous sky and nothing but a whiteout can be seen.
The brochure tells us that the best time to visit is on clear days for the best views, which is not today.
The slippery walk back to the carpark for a spot of lunch provides pleasant forest snippets even though continual drips from the tree canopy swat us in the face and eyes. Nothing like clean fresh air to awaken the senses.
A little side-trip at the end of the day to the interesting tourist centre is worth the visit.
The tiny Springbrook State High School has long been moved from the national park and remains as a relic of the past.
Where to indulge?
As the girls came prepared with an abundance of delicious food and beverages – much too much for a weekend away – enjoy only a couple of food stops in the national park.
Dancing Waters Cafe
At the end of the Purling Brook Falls circuit, stop at the quaint Dancing Waters Cafe for a bite to eat after your hard-earned trek. The chilly weather outside brings walkers into the cafe and the open fire in winter would be great but sadly, it isn’t lit today. Although the deck in warmer weather amongst the colourful birds and beautiful park is fabulous.
Local staff are hospitable and welcoming. The hot drinks and homemade delicious cakes are delectable. Morning teas and light lunches are also offered as is cottage accommodation.
The Fudge Shop
For some scrumptious and pure indulgence, you can’t go past the Fudge Shop along 3 Lyrebirdridge Road while in Springbrook, as the velvety homemade fudge in an abundance of flavours is simply divine. And, of course, we selected many varieties to take back to the cottage for a sumptuous afternoon tea – very lucky to have this fudge shop only a short walk from the cottage.
Where to stay
Springbrook is graced with tranquil escapes ranging from upper-market Eco resorts to farm cottages on expansive farms with roaming chickens, cows, a horse, and goats as an added curio. The fresh Free-range eggs are wonderful for breakfast. The latter describes the Echo Valley Farm Cottage and the natural wildlife and birds also make this peaceful farm super relaxing.
Echo Valley Farm Cottage
The historic Echo Farm Valley Farm stay is delightful.
Offering a cosy fireplace (wood, kindling, and matches provided) in the large lounge room equipped with games, music, and TV, a fully self-contained kitchen, a separate spacious dining room, and 3 bedrooms, makes this accommodation perfect for sharing with friends. Set on 250 lovely acres within Queensland’s Gold Coast Hinterland including forest areas, mixed grazing, and orchards, this unique working farm is enclosed by the World Heritage-listed Springbrook National Park.
The farm also boasts a Certified Organic Kiwi Fruit orchard and a jar of Kiwi and ginger jam is kindly provided in the cottage for your enjoyment.
From Brisbane, follow the M1 highway south for the easy hour and a half drive until you bump into the Springbrook National Park.
Next to the gorgeous Lamington National Park, Springbrook is a delight for a little scenic driving.
As the Springbrook National Park does not offer public transport, your own transport is essential.
Arriving in the evening after heavy rain and still drizzling, the ground is soaked at the cottage so an evening walk is out of the question. Instead, it’s not long before we settle in snugly with a roaring fire going and break out the wine for some girls’ catch-up – not a bad way to start the weekend away.