Search This Blog

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Springbrook National Park, QLD. Revisit in April 2015: Day 4.

Day 4 was an easy day with a cooked breakfast and time to relax watching the campsite birds before starting a leisurely pack up.

Morning view from our tent, The Settlement Campground.
We had another early morning visit from the local Buff-banded Rail. 

Buff-banded Rail
Variegated Fairy-wrens are a common sight. This one was so small that the Cobblers Pegs (our American friends call them Hitchhikers) look quite large.

Variegated Fairy-wren 
The numbered campsites at The Settlement campground each have an individual car park and a grassed tent area separated by bollards. Sites 1 - 4 are designated for camper trailers and have fewer bollards.The local bird life seems to enjoy observing the campers from the vantage point of the bollards.

Eastern Yellow Robin
Pied Currawong
After packing up we called in at the old Information Centre where there is a short boardwalk through the forest and beautiful views of the Gold Coast. I believe that the new Information Centre is opposite Wunburra Lookout.

Tree stump at the old Information Centre
We drove past Advancetown Lake, which is commonly referred to as Hinze Dam, and stopped at the Western Boat Ramp for a look around. There is a large parking area, picnic tables and toilets. No camping, pets or swimming is allowed. It was quiet when we were there during the week. It looks like a great place to put the kayaks in.

We thoroughly enjoyed our third visit to Springbrook National Park and no doubt we will be back again.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Springbrook National Park, QLD: Revisit in April 2015 Day 3.

After waking up bright and early we drove approximately 4 km to the Tallanbana Picnic Area carpark to start the Twin Falls Circuit, a 4 km, Class 3 walk. We just love this scenic trail as it winds in and out of narrow openings and past beautiful waterfalls. In addition, there is always the tantalizing hope that we might spot Blue Spiny Crayfish.

There is a choice of walking below Twin Falls on a concrete causeway or behind the waterfalls. Of cause we choose to do both and walked behind the falls first.

Then we walked across the causeway to get a full view of the Twin Falls.

The trail continues through lush forest, crows nest ferns and interesting cliff overhangs.

We arrived at Blackfellow Falls which were flowing well and billowing spay.

From here the circuit starts to ascend and we rested awhile at the top in the hope of seeing Lamington Blue Spiny Crayfish. Once again, our patience was rewarded.

 From here the walk opens up to beautiful views of the Gold Coast and hinterland.

On the last section of the trail we kept our eyes open for sunbathing Land Mullets Egernia major. They look like giant skinks and are always fascinating to see. This one was camera shy and wouldn't show its face.

Before long we were back in the Tallanbana Picnic Area for a well deserved rest and picnic before driving 5 km to The Best of All Lookout car park. The walk to the lookout is only 1.2 km return and has two main attractions: the ancient Antarctic beech trees and the amazing lookout that looks out over the eroded volcanic landscape of northern New South Wales.

Antarctic Beech
Mount Cougal
Mount Warning shrouded in cloud.
Last time we drove up this road it was early in the morning and we encountered large numbers of pademelons and wallabies. This time we found ourselves behind a milk tanker. At the bottom the driver pulled over to let us pass and we were on our way back to camp after another beautiful day in Springbrook National Park.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Springbrook National Park: revisit in April 2015, Day 2.

One of our greatest pleasures is waking up in a tent as the sun is just beginning to rise. This was our morning view at The Settlement campground, Springbrook National Park. This Buff-banded Rail seemed to like the early mornings to inspect our campsite.

Sunrise from our tent.
Buff-banded Rail
We headed off early to walk the Purling Brook Circuit, a 4 km, Class 3 walk. 

Purling Brook Falls
It isn't long before the decent to the falls starts. We saw several Wonder Brown butterflies perching on the cliff faces. 

Wonder Brown Heteronnympha mirifica, female
At the bottom we passed Tanninaba Falls and got a quick view of Purling Brook Falls before turning away on a detour to Warringa Pool (2 km return). 

Tanninaba Falls
Purling Brook Falls
The walk to Warringa Pool is a beautiful rainforest walk. We saw two pairs of Logrunners scratching around in the undergrowth.

Mind your step, buttress over the trail to Warringa Pool.
Staghorn Ferns Platycerium superbum, native epiphytes
Logrunner, male
A Pale-yellow Robin welcomed us to the pools and was still there when we returned. We were blown away by the colour of its feet and the length of its toes.

Pale-yellow Robin
Warringa Pool is popular with swimmers in the warmer months of the year. This area of the track is part of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk which continues on to Apple Tree Park and beyond after crossing the stream.

Warringa Pool
Cross here to continue on the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk
After having a look around we retraced our steps to Purling Brook Falls.

Purling Brook Falls
We didn't realise until we had returned to the falls that it is no longer possible to walk right under the falls. Of course that was our favourite part of the walk on our previous visits. However, this area was prone to landslips which closed the trail going forward, forcing walkers to retrace their steps and climb back up the hard way. The newly opened trail now leads directly to the suspension bridge and gradually climbs out of the gorge. The suspension bridge is of very solid construction and was quite a challenge to build in such formidable terrain; necessitating the use of helicopters to help with some of the heavy lifting. The bridge is named after the late John Stacey, a local QPWS ranger known for his building projects and work in the area's parks. 

Looking back after crossing the John Stacey Suspension Bridge
On the walk out we came across this beautiful Spotted Pardalote which seemed to be just as interested in us as we were in him.

Spotted Pardalote, male
This Meadow Argus was in a lot better shape than the one we saw yesterday.

Meadow Argus Junonia villida
We soon arrived back at the campsite after an enjoyable morning. 

In the afternoon we took a wander around the campground and discovered that there were quite a few birds about.

Golden Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, White-browed Scrubwren and Brown Thornbill.
Eastern Yellow Robin
Every time we have stayed at The Settlement campground there have been lots of Variegated Fairy-wrens flitting around the campsite.

Variegated Fairy-wren, non-breeding male.
We went for a walk along the roadside to the Springbrook Community Hall. On the way we saw lots of Eastern Whipbirds, a pair of Pale-headed Rosellas and Sulphur Crested Cockatoos. There are also lots of Red-browed Finches in the other direction where Carricks Creek and Carricks Road intersect. We heard many frogs there as well.

Springbrook Community Hall.
War Memorial next to the hall.
Vintage milk urns on Springbrook Road.
We enjoyed another clear night sky full of stars and a native animal, which looked like a small type of bandicoot, pottered around our campsite under the cover of darkness.