There is good reason why the Gold Coast City Council uses pictures of Purling Brook Falls along the M1 to advertise Springbrook National Park. Purling Brook Falls is breathtaking. Tranquil in times of dry, and thunderous after heavy rain – Purling Brook Falls is worth visiting in all seasons.
Location: Forestry Road, Springbrook, Qld 4213
Walking Distance: 5km Purling Brook Falls Circuit + 2km return for Warringa Pools
Elevation: Approx 210m
Time: 2 hours
Costs/Permit: No cost, no permit required
Opening Times: Only closed occasionally for maintenance
Facilities: Toilets, picnic tables, information maps, parking, nearby cafe
What to take: Water, Camera, insect repellent, salt for leeches, water resistant warm clothing, swimmers
Purling Brook Falls is accessed from the Gwongorella picnic area. The Gwongorella picnic area has been designed well to cater to the many visitors it receives. Multiple picnic facilities, pram and wheelchair access, toilets, and numerous parking spaces makes a day at Purling Brook Falls very easy.
While the track can be traversed in either direction, going clockwise allows you to descend the majority of the stairs and ascend via a gentler incline. In times of unsafe conditions, gates at either side of the falls will be locked, preventing access. Check the Qld Government Parks and Forests website for any closurers.
Travelling clockwise, the path will soon take you over the top of Tanninaba Falls. The elevated boardwalk will help keep your feet dry, while providing a platform for taking some lovely photos.
With around 200m of descent there are many stairs. I counted 275 going down (I could be out by a few).
Once completing the descent, you pass the base of Tanninaba Falls. Coming after a week of heavy rain it was easy to mistake this waterfall for the main event.
When you get to the base of Purling Brook Falls, there is no mistaking it for anything but the main event. Purling Brook Falls is awesome! Many signs request visitors not to swim at the base of these falls, instead to travel 1km further downstream to Warringa Pools. Unfortunately, these signs were ignored by many. Despite not swimming here, I did end up drenched from the sheer force of the overspray. The suspension bridge provides a great vantage point to photograph the whole falls.
On the western side of the base of the falls is the track to Warringa Pools. Even if you don’t want to swim, this track is worth doing if only to extend your time in this stunning environment. The approach to Warringa Pools is so beautiful.
After a dry spell, Warringa Pools would be tranquil and relaxing. After heavy rain it felt too vigorous to be safe to swim. There is plenty of space to do some rock hopping and splash in the puddles.
Around every corner you encounter another picturesque scene. Hopefully, like me, you will find yourself smiling just for the sheer joy of being here.
The Warringa Pools track, being less traversed, is narrower than the Purling Brook Falls Circuit. Both, however, are well signed. The leaf strewn paths can be slippery.
Every aspect of the bushwalk is a joy. Parts of the track felt like something out of The Hobbit.
Back at the top, the eastern lookout of the falls has views below of the suspension bridge and the beginning of the Warringa Pools track.
The Purling Brook Falls Circuit and Warringa Pools track was an experience in joy. Hopefully many people will be inspired by the stunning photos while driving along the M1 and experience the joy of Purling Brook Falls for themselves.