As at 2 May 2020, the Queensland government has relaxed its Covid-19 restrictions by opening selected national parks. One of the most spectacular waterfalls in a national park is Natural Bridge, Springbrook. The park’s Natural Bridge section features a picturesque rock formation, formed by the force of the waterfall over the basalt cave. Discover the 5 reasons why Natural Bridge, Springbrook is one of the best natural wonder you can visit at the Hinterland on the Gold Coast, and don’t miss out on #4.
Natural Bridge is only a short 45 minutes drive from Surfers Paradise. Located 31km away from Surfers Paradise, it is well within the 50km radius allowed for a recreational drive.
Follow the easy one kilometre circuit (walk in a clockwise direction) and descend through ancient Gondwana rainforest to the Natural Bridge rock arch. Hoop pines emerging from surrounding forest are living relics of the Jurassic Age, 180 million years ago. Allow 15 to 20 minutes to walk 1 kilometre. This time is calculated for people of average fitness and bushwalking experience and who are wearing ankle supporting footwear.
If you are walking with young children or are an inexperienced bushwalker, allow more time to include rests and to return to your starting point. Bring the children along and the walk is easy to navigate, with plenty of signs and amazing sights to behold.
Expect spectacular waterfalls, cascades and tumbling creeks at Natural Bridge, Springbrook. The natural rock bridge, plunging waterfall and arched cave are surrounded by subtropical rainforest in the beautiful Numinbah Valley. Nestled under the western ramparts of Springbrook plateau, the lush subtropical rainforest does not immediately disclose the cave and rock bridge for which the area has become famous. This is the best spot to discover breathtaking sight that you would never see at other national parks.
Natural Bridge section is known for the small, brilliant blue-green lights seen at night decorating the ceiling, rocky overhangs and steep earth banks along the one kilometre circuit. These lights are emitted by tiny creatures that are not actually worms, but the larval stage of a small fly Arachnocampa lava.
The colony of thousands of glow-worms found in the cave’s roof at Natural Bridge can only be seen after sunset. The ‘light’ you see is produced within the glow-worm’s body. It is the reaction of four chemicals that produces the cold light or bioluminescence—meaning ‘living light’. Glow-worms generate this bioluminescence to lure their prey. By producing long, sticky threads that work like a spider web, glow-worms entangle small invertebrates such as midges, mosquitoes and mayflies that are drawn to the blue-green bioluminescence.
The best bioluminescence displays are usually during the warmer, wetter months of the year (December to March).
A sheltered picnic table and toilets are provided at Natural Bridge. Bring your own picnic basket and fruits, and enjoy a picnic with the family in the beautiful cooling wonder of Springbrook National Park while listening for the many little birds in the park.
Part of Cave Creek within the Natural Bridge section of the national park is now a restricted access area—swimming is prohibited; penalties apply. Access is restricted to protect the glow-worms and the creek’s sensitive ecosystem as well as to maximise visitor safety.
Exit the Pacific Motorway at Nerang (exit 69) and follow the Nerang–Murwillumbah Road for 38km, and turn left into the park entrance. An alternative scenic route is 42km via the Springbrook plateau from Mudgeeraba. From the Pacific Motorway take exit 80 from the south or exit 79 from the north and follow the Gold Coast–Springbrook Road to the plateau then turn right onto Pine Creek Road. Follow Pine Creek Road to the end and then turn left onto the Nerang–Murwillumbah Road. Natural Bridge can also be reached from Murwillumbah by following the Numinbah Road for 28km. The scenic access roads are winding and should be travelled with care.
When you’ve experienced the marvels of Natural Bridge, why not check out the five best picnic spots on the Gold Coast.