Springbrook and Tamborine Rainforest Tour
Having a free Sunday in Brisbane, and having spent the day before on the Gold Coast, I’d booked a day trip to the rainforests through Queensland Day Tours. The day started at the meeting spot outside of the Roma Street Bus Station (stop 125, on Roma Street on the bus station side of the street). Our bus for the day was a 12 seater. Lucky for me, I snagged the passenger seat so had prime views throughout the day. One of the benefits I’m starting to realise of travelling solo! We had quite a mixed group – two American couples, a couple from Nepal who live in Sydney, two Japanese ladies, a young lady from Vietnam, and two ladies from Portugal.
Leaving the city, heading south on the freeway, we passed through a lovely regional Queensland town called Nerang, which used to be a very important outpost 100 or so years ago. Continuing south, we drove along a semi-windy road along side the massive Advancetown Lake and Dam.
Springbrook National Park
After about an hour in the car, our first stop was Springbrook National Park and the Natural Bridge. After a few minutes for a toilet stop (outhouse-style toilets that were in desperate need of a clean. There’s thing I saw I can’t unsee!), we started on the trail down to the Natural (Bridge) Arch. The walk was fairly easy, on paving, though I would say not in good enough condition for a pram or a wheelchair. The waterfall, which you can see from the top if you continue up the path, flows into a cave. This was definitely the highlight of the walk and the photos don’t quite do it justice. The cave also has glow worms, some of which have been transported to the artificial glow worm caves we’d see at our next stop. After some time gazing at the waterfall, it was back along the path and onto the bus. The path was about 1 km and the visit last about an hour.
For details on the walking trail click here.
Numinbah Valley drive
Leaving Springbrook National Park, we started north through Numinbah Valley drive. The drive was really nice, passing through small villages, beautiful properties, lots of horses and cattle (no kangaroos) and lots and lots of pretty. With a short stop at the Rotary Lookout and a gorgeous view over the valley, our next stop was the Glow Worm Caves.
Glow Worm Caves
When it came to the Glow Worm Caves, I wasn’t sure what to expect, so it definitely lived up to its expectations! The Glow Worm Cave is an artificial cave that was built with the help of a scientist who has an odd obsession with glow worms. After a short introduction outside and some lizard sporting (they guard the cave entrance), we had a video introduction, the lights were turned off and then we entered the cave. Entering the cave, it looked like thousands of tiny stars on the ceiling. It was pretty cool and more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I’d love to see the cave with some light. since you need to feel along the rails of the walkway, knowing you’re surrounded by bugs! No pictures are allowed while in the cave.
Cedar Creek Winery
After the cave, we had lunch at the adjacent winery. Our lunch options were fish and chips, burger and chips, a chicken in filo pastry, a grilled veggie stack or a ceasar salad. There was only the main course, with drinks for purchase and we had 30 minutes from the time the food was served before we were back on the bus. The setting was ok but not what I would call fine dining, though the outdoor seating looked like a relaxing place to have lunch. A few people ordered wine and my cappuccino was surprisingly good. The consensus of the group was that the food was ok.
Tamborine National Park
Back in the bus and onto Mount Tamborine for more waterfall action. On the way, we drove along “Main Street” which is you guessed it, the town’s main street and has the non-touristy shops, like the doctors’ offices. It was a super cute street and worth the 2 minute detour. Then onto Curtis Falls for our second walk of the day. This forest was very different to the first once since it was full of eucalyptus (gum) trees and ferns. While SpringBrook was great, I much preferred Curtis Falls. The downside of this walk was the abundance of mud since the path wasn’t paved. It made for a more adventurous walk!
For details on the walking trail click here.
A little bit muddy, the next stop was an hour long stop at Gallery Walk, a street named for the galleries and artists that used to be on the street. Now it’s lined with a number of shops, cafes, fudge shops (I counted 3), a German Cockoo Clock store and a number of home wares, candles and knick knacks shops. Driving down the street I was excited for an hour of browsing, but after popping into a couple stops and having a way too creamy ice cream at Lick, I decided to skip more shops and have a beer at the Monkey Tree Bar and Restaurant, which had some music playing so was a nice break. It was only after I sat down that I found out that there’s a brewery at the other end of the street. Next time!
Well it was time for the 50 minute journey back to Brisbane, which I slept through, waking up as we were entering the CBD. Perfect timing!
Have you visited Springbrook, Tamborine or any of the other national parks in Queensland? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you 🙂