A new bridge to cross..
It was time to hike the trail down to Purling Brook Falls, a new suspension bridge had been built after a rockfall had closed off the original track for some years. The original route hugged the cliff face, it was a real thrill to walk behind the falls, you could look up and the distance the water had to fall gave the impression it was falling in slow motion.
There was always a good chance you would get a drenching especially if the breeze was strong; the wind would unpredictably change the course of the water’s fall. It was beautiful, the palms and elephant ears moving in the updraft of spray and air.
This photo is the old track that went behind the falls
The track to the falls – which direction?
I took the advice on the signage and started walking the loop in a clockwise direction; there are over 450 steps down to the base of the falls.
It’s hard to believe there are so many, they are strategically spread out. Better to be walking down the steps than up!
Although it’s classified as a moderation walk I found it very pleasant the biggest danger with any bush-walking is slipping not only on damp leaves, but especially on small twigs that can act like rollers under foot. So make sure you have the appropriate shoes on, and use a hiking pole. Here in Australian we don’t use hiking poles enough, once you get comfortable with them they make such a difference to the walking experience.
Towering Cliff Face
Just before arriving at the base of Purling Brook Falls, a large black majestic towering cliff face suddenly appears with a mountain pool at its base, a path meanders around the huge boulders at is bottom, and soon you will hear the sound of the falls through the trees.
It’s always a delight to see your first glimpse of these falls just beyond the trees and feel and see the moist mist greeting you on arrival.
There to my right was the signage denying access to the old track, the huge boulder that had blocked the path was clearly visible last year, but now the rains of the previous summer had accelerated the growth of ferns, vines and undergrowth, the rainforest had reclaimed what was hers. It was shrouded in vines and barely visible.
You can only imagine what it would have been like for the early explorers or in this case probably ‘timber getters’ coming upon this sight after hacking their way through the dense rainforest, it’s the stuff movies are made of.
It’s go that Jurassic Park feel…
All the elements are here, the waterfall, the mountain pool, palms clinging to the edges of the cliff’s vertical face, their deep green fronds in stark contrast to the pink and gold backdrop, gently swaying in the upward draft of moist laden air.
I now looked at the new route, stone like steps lead you right down to the bottom where the rock pool is located you now have a front on view of the falls, just perfect for photos and video.
I had never been down this low before, although I had noticed over the years quite a few adventurous people would manoeuvre over the large boulders to get a better view and perhaps a dip in the cool pristine water.
To the left was the new suspension bridge, which extended the viewing experience, now seeing the water rushing underneath the bridge on its way to the ocean.
The alternate route was pleasing and I’m sure that most that stand on the suspension bridge to take one last look and photo will never know that you could once walk around the falls years ago.
I count myself lucky that I have some video and photos of what it was like on the other side. A new pathway etched out of the hillside is clearly visible leading back up, the rich coloured earth uncovered.
Time will soften the track and it will too melt into the background like the boulder that was reclaimed by the rainforest.
The walking loop around Purling Brook Falls will take you around 2 hours depending on how long you linger, take the clockwise direction unless walking up over 450 steps is your thing, distance is around 4km.
I finished the morning off with lunch at the Dancing Waters Cafe; unfortunately the timing wasn’t the best, a group of twenty plus people had arrived before, so there was a wait.
Nonetheless the meal was worth the wait and a great finish to a walk on a cool winter day.
How do you get to Purling Brook Falls?
It you type this phrase ‘how do you get to Purling Brook Falls’ into Google it should give you the best route from where you are located, otherwise head along the M1 Pacific Motor Way to Mudgeeraba, access is easy to Springbrook World Heritage National Park from here, only around 25 minutes off the M1 Motorway exit 80 (scenic route 99) Follow the signage to Springbrook and then turn left at Purling Brook Falls signage.
See you on my next walk…