Purling Brook Falls is one of Queensland's taller waterfalls as it dives some 100m off an escarpment into the well-forested base.
I think it's the cliff-diving aspect of the falls combined with its height that can make this waterfall really stand out.
Our experience with this waterfall consisted of doing half of a 4km circuit track. After taking a look at the views of the falls from the upper viewing platforms near both sides of its top, we then descended to the bottom while passing before another waterfall called Tanninaba Falls. Tanninaba Falls was unusual in that most of its flow hid behind cracks in the cliff as it fell to its base so it could be heard but not really seen from the track.
Once we got down to the base of the descent, the track eventually switched back towards Purling Brook Falls where we not only were able to appreciate its full height from below, but we were also able to go behind the waterfall as well.
The trail continued beyond the back of the falls, but floods that took place during the Australian Summer caused a landslide that essentially closed off the continuation of this trail. That was why we weren't able to do this as a circuit hike.
Like many of Australia's waterfalls, we noticed hints of basalt columns suggesting the volcanic origins of the area. Given the waterfall's somewhat light flow compared to some other photos I had seen in the literature (especially considering this area had a flood just a few months ago), I reckon this waterfall wouldn't last completely through the Dry Season (and maybe not even another month after our May 2008 visit). (see the falls in full flow here)
Finally, since the falls lies within the Gold Coast Hinterland (a reasonable driving distance from the populated areas), it seemed to get many visitors. We definitely shared this attraction with quite a few people.
Directions: From the Gold Coast, get onto the Pacific Motorway (M1) and head towards the 99 (I think the exit was Railway St or The Links Way; I can't remember). The 99 is the Gold Coast-Springbrook Rd, and follow this for about 22km to the car park for Purling Brook Falls on the left.
The way we went was actually from the Natural Bridge (also part of Springbrook National Park). From there, we headed north on the Nerah-Murwillumbah Rd for 15km. Then, we turned right onto Pine Creek Rd and took it for about 1.4km before making another right onto Springbrook Rd. We then followed Springbrook Rd south for I think 4 or 5km turning left onto Forestry Rd (there are signs here at this point). We basically followed the signs to the proper car park.
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