Dominating the Gold Coast's western skyline, Springbrook's cool forests and mountain streams offer views of impressive landscapes, and walks among subtropical and temperate rainforest, open eucalypt forest and montane heath.
Spectacular waterfalls, cascades and tumbling creeks are dominant features in this Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.
Springbrook National Park covers 6,558ha and is in four main sections—Springbrook plateau, Mount Cougal to the south east and Natural Bridge and Numinbah to the west. The plateau has many lookouts with fabulous views while Mount Cougal offers an insight into the area's logging history.
Visit Natural Bridge by day to see a unique waterfall or after dark to discover the park's amazing glow-worms. While travelling through Numinbah Valley, take in the commanding views of the impressive cliffs that line either side of the valley, this landscape was formed by the Tweed volcano some 23 million years ago.
- Read more about the nature, culture and history of Springbrook National Park.
The natural beauty of Springbrook National Park attracts thousands of people to the area and high visitor numbers create many pressures. Litter, erosion caused by shortcutting tracks, damage to vegetation and disturbance to wildlife all threaten nature's delicate balance.
You can help protect the park by observing these guidelines:
- Leave all plants and animals undisturbed.
- Do not feed or leave scraps for wildlife. Feeding native animals can cause them to become reliant on the food source, suffer from disease or over-populate to an extent that they dominate an area and aggressively exclude other wildlife. Animals that are fed can become aggressive to humans. On the spot fines apply.
- Scatter washing water well away from waterways. Bring non-greasy foods so dishes can be cleaned without detergent. Never use soaps or detergents in creeks as they pollute the waterways and promote unnatural algal growth. On the spot fines apply.
- Use toilets if available. Away from toilets, ensure all faecal matter and toilet paper is properly buried (15cm deep) well away from tracks, campsites, watercourses and drainage channels (100m). Carry out disposable nappies and sanitary and hygiene products.
- Take your rubbish home. Minimal impact bushwalkers take great care to avoid leaving any rubbish. Remember—pack it in, pack it out. Waste transfer stations are located on Carricks Road, Springbrook and 300m north of the Numinbah Valley township.
- Keep to the walking tracks where provided, don't shortcut, and take care near cliff edges.
Planning a night visit to Natural Bridge? Be aware of the basic cave rules.
Stop the spread of pathogens (disease producing organisms such as phytophthora, myrtle rust and amphibian chytrid fungus ). Soil and detritus can contain pathogens such as fungal spores that are harmful to the forest and frogs.
- Keep to walking tracks at all times.
- Start and finish you bushwalk with clean footwear and camping gear by removing soil from footwear, camping spade or trowel and tent pegs. During your walk keep all gear as clean and free from soil as possible.
- Please clean and disinfect your footwear and camping equipment using a disinfectant either at home or before visiting the park. Use pathogen control stations located at track entrances.
- Watch the Stop the spread of weeds and pathogens web clip for more information.
Be frog friendly
Springbrook’s waterways provide important habitats for a number of endangered or vulnerable species, particularly frogs. Please help protect these sensitive habitats by following the guidelines below.
- Please do not disturb, handle or remove frogs, their eggs or tadpoles.
- Do not use or discard, soap, detergent, shampoo, sunscreen, insect repellent or any other potential pollutant in creeks or along the banks. This includes washing dishes in waterways.
- Keep to walking tracks and cross directly where the track crosses the creek.
- Please do not disturb or remove rocks or trample vegetation in or directly adjacent to creeks.
Glow-worms are sensitive to changes to their environment, so please follow some basic cave rules:
- Bring sufficient torches—allow at least one torch between two people.
- Do not shine lights directly on the glow-worms at any time. This can cause the glow-worms to stop glowing and interrupts their feeding.
- Do not use flash photography—it disturbs the glow-worms. Allow for longer exposure on your camera/device to capture images of the glow-worms at night.
- Please keep noise to a minimum.
- Smoking is not permitted in the cave—smoke can kill glow-worms.
- Apply any insect repellent before entering the park—repellent can kill glow-worms.
- Keep group sizes to a minimum—no more than 12 people per group is recommended.
Following these basic cave rules ensures maximum enjoyment for you and other park visitors. It also minimises visitor impacts on the glow-worm colony, ensuring the population will be here for future generations to enjoy.
See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages Springbrook National Park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to preserve and present their remarkable natural and cultural values in perpetuity.
Springbrook National Park's outstanding geological history, evolutionary significance and role in nature conservation are recognised through its inclusion in the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. Management is in accordance with internationally recognised obligations under the World Heritage Convention.
For more information about the management of Springbrook National Park, please refer to the Springbrook National Park and Springbrook Conservation Park Management Statement . Future planning for Springbrook National Park will be developed under the Values Based Management Framework.
For information about fire management for Springbrook National Park and Springbrook Conservation Park, please refer to the Springbrook Public Conservation Estate Fire Strategy and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service's 2015 addendum to the strategy. The addendum supersedes parts of the 'Springbrook Public Conservation Estate Fire Strategy 2009' that relate solely to QPWS managed estate.
Read more about management of protected areas.
For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.
The natural, cultural and historical significance of Springbrook
From March 2008, the creek and creek bank at Natural Bridge section of Springbrook National Park will be a restricted access area. We appreciate your co-operation in protecting this special area and being responsible for your safety.
A mobile app for Springbrook National Parks and David Fleay Wildlife Park to enhance your on-park experience by providing comprehensive park and wildlife information, interactive maps and guided tours featuring augmented reality animals.
Frequently asked questions about Springbrook
- Partial track closure - Natural Bridge circuit (upper section only). 6 December 2023
- Access restrictions to Cougal Cascades 30 November to 22 December 2023