Springbook National Park and the Natural Arch

Another lovely day in the Queensland hinterland. We like the mountains and rainforests equally as much as the coast. Its just primeval up there!
So, today we ventured south east to Springbook National Park. It’s another one, like Tamborine, where the areas are separated and spread out but linked together by road. We had a slight challenge getting there as the first route we took in, was closed. We had to backtrack, go round the Advancetown reservoir and approach another way. No matter. It was a lovely drive through eucalyptus forest and rolling hills. Once around the lake, the road started to rise and became steep and narrower.
The weather at this point was patchy sun but quite a lot of cloud. We decided to go into the main area of the park to go to the Best of All Lookouts first as we thought the sun might lessen as the day went on. In fact, this was the opposite of what actually happened, but, hey, who knew? When we got to the car park for the short hike to the lookout, it was bright sun. The walk through the rainforest was as magical as ever. Massive trees, wild fig climbers winding their way up the trunks… the sound of birds…. Parasitic plants growing everywhere, ferns and tree ferns….. Mist in the air as the heat evaporated the moisture. It was a lovely walk.
Unfortunately, when we emerged to the lookout, we were well above the clouds and all we could see was white. I’ve seen enough pictures of this spot to know that it is a totally spectacular view on a better day. Ah well…. We may get a chance to revisit another time… we enjoyed the walk anyway.
Called in to a coffee house in the park and had some lovely coffees. Just loving Australian coffee…. Resisted the cake! YAY!
Out of that bit of the park and further south to the Natural Bridge or Natural Arch. This was a longer walk in to the forest, past the usual stunning woodland scenery, with a tinkling brook running below us. After a while we came to a river crossing which gave us a lovely view of the river cascading over rocks and tree trunks. Just a bit further on was the Natural Arch. An amazing sight, quite stunning and totally special. There was hardly any people there which was also amazing especially on a Saturday. There are various views of the arch from outside and then you enter the cavern and see the waterfall pouring through the roof of the cave and out under the arch to form the river again. Just stunning. Inside the cave there are bats which are protected, so no swimming. There are also glow worms which are only visible at night. It must be magical then. I would love to see it at night. It would be like a fairy grotto. One of the loveliest natural settings I can think of.
From Natural Bridge, we headed south to Murwillumbah to get fuel. This little car has been really economical. We’ve got about 550km out of the tank and filled up today for $45. Not bad. Murwillumbah was such a lovely country town. A real 1930s high street. Straight out of the movies. Lots of old houses with massive porches and tin roofs. Horses in the paddock. Looked like a great place to live.
Had a picnic lunch somewhere in the countryside around there. We had bought a cheap chiller bag and packed up some nice Kaiser rolls and coke zeros. It hit the spot.
Headed back into our last Springbook area, Mount Cougal area. A nice drive in, through horse farms and alongside a river that widened into a fabulous swimming hole at one point, named Currumbin Rock Pool. There were a lot of families enjoying themselves there, jumping off the rocks and enjoying the water and the surrounding picnic ground. It looked lovely. I so wished I’d put my swimwear on, so we could have gone in. The sun was fully out by now and it was hot! A scene straight out of Tom Sawyer!
We continued on down the road and at the end we reached the national park and a lovely walk alongside the river through the forest with again lots of swimming pools and points along the way. At the end of the trail was an old sawmill which had finished operation in the 1950s. Lots of young people enjoying the rockpools along the way and the cascades. A lovely walk.
Got home by about 430, really happy after our day in the forest. Cooked a roast chicken and made a mango salsa salad. Ate on our balcony.
Caught up with Masterchef tonight.