Purling Brook Falls is one of the best waterfalls and walks in Springbrook National Park. There’s wildlife, the 108m tall single drop falls are stunning, and you get to hike deep into the beautiful rainforest. You can also take a short detour to peaceful Warringa Pool for a refreshing swim.
Disclosure: Please Note That Some Links In This Post May Be Affiliate Links, And At No Additional Cost To You, We Earn A Small Commission If You Make A Purchase. Commissions Go Toward Maintaining The Curious Campers Website.
- Getting to Purling Brook Falls
- Purling Brook Falls FAQ’s
- Purling Book Falls Walking Guide
- Springbrook National Park Walks
Getting to Purling Brook Falls
Purling Brook Falls are 50 minutes from the Gold Coast and 80 minutes from Brisbane in Springbrook National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland. They make up part of the world heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.
Purling Brook Falls are in the Springbrook Plateau section of the park which is also home to the popular Twin Falls, the longer but impressive Warrie Circuit walk and Canyon Lookout.
Purling Brook Falls FAQ’s
Purling Book Falls Walking Guide
Start at the Gwongorella Picnic Ground
The trail head for the Purling Brook Falls walk is at the Gwongorella Picnic Ground. It is a lovely area with open space, picnic tables, BBQs and toilets and plenty of parking. From here the walk is well signed so it is an easy start through the eucalypt forest. If there is a lot of water around, you might be able to already hear the falls.
There are a few things to look for at the start of the walk. You’ll see a sign for spotted quolls which got us excited about a possible sighting. There is also a giant fallen tree where you can get a close look at their amazing size. A bit further along is a board that explains the meaning of the aboriginal names used in the park. We stopped for a look and discovered Gwongorella means dancing water.
From the picnic area, the path runs along the side of the gully through eucalypt forest. You don’t have to wait long to get your first look at Purling Brook Falls. At the first clearing you get a view of the top of falls spilling straight down into the valley below. There are a few breaks in the vegetation that give you some great views of the valley.
Keep an eye out for wildlife in this top section. We spotted some red neck pademelons, but the highlight was seeing a thing called a land mullet. These jet black skinks are as think as your arm and when you haven’t seen one before, at first glance, you might think it is a snake. They are the biggest skink and are quite a sight.
Further along you get to the top of Tanninaba Falls. Fallen trees and a modest amount of water meant it wasn’t the most spectacular sight for us. What was good though was the cocky guarding this part of the walk. It put on quite the show as we walked past. We could hear it still squawking at other walkers following behind us.
Walking in the Rainforest
It is not long before a series of steps and switchbacks take you down into the rainforest. Over a short distance the landscape changes from bushland to a lush jungle of cycads, vines and trees with enormous buttress roots. We started our walk early and the only thing louder than the ever present roar of the falls was the magnificent call of the eastern whip bird.
We got to the base of Tanninaba Falls and it was much more impressive than the top. A little wooden bridge takes you over the water and there was enough water coming down to make a nice spray. There is some great rainforest scenery beyond the bridge. We found ourselves ducking under low hanging vines, stepping over giant tree roots and walking between giant boulders. All the time, the roar from Purling Brook falls gets louder and louder.
We found ourselves feeling completely immersed in the rainforest. You feel like you’ve been transported to another world. Just when you think it can’t get any better you round a corner, and the base of Purling Brook Falls comes into sight. It is a real wow moment!
Read More : Relax at the Gold Coast Botanic Gardens
Purling Brook Falls
It is not like Purling Brook Falls is amongst Australia’s tallest waterfalls, it’s not even in the top 20. But at 109 metres high, standing at the base of theses single drop falls is still an amazing sight and sound. The falls create their own mini weather system – it is quite breezy at the base and fine spray fills the air.
There are lots of vantage points to get a great picture – and there are plenty to be had. It is not only the falling water that makes it look good. The orange and black cliff face at the top of the falls contrasts with the shiny black rocks at the bottom and the glistening vines and trees near the base. Really, the time the walk takes you will also depend on how long you sit around and watch the falls. It would be easy to spend an hour watching the water tumble down.
Frome the base of the Purling Brook Falls you can either make your way back to the top of the valley or go on to Warringa Pool. It adds an extra 2 km to the walk, but it is worth doing. You can’t swim at Purling Brook, but you can at Warringa Pool.
Go for a swim at Warringa Pool
The track to Warringa Pool is less travelled than the main path around Purling Brook Falls. Even though it was quite busy the day we visited, very few people were on the Warringa Pool track. It is certainly worth doing. The path is flat and there is more amazing rain forest to take in. Some of the tallest trees we saw on the walk were along this section of the track.
The first water you reach is the stream from Tanninaba Falls. There is a cute little wood bridge across the water surrounded on both sides by large areas of rock. It is a pretty spot to stop and watch the water rush by – but there’s more.
Ten minutes further on you get to Warringa Pool made up of a small fall and some rock pools. Whether you get in the water or not it is a beautiful spot to sit and relax and take in the rainforest. We were joined here by a curious bush turkey who came over to say hello before flying off across Little Nerang Creek.
Walking Back Up
You might think when you get back to the base of Purling Brook Falls that you have seen all there is to see, but there are more great views to come. See the falls from new angles as you make your way across the river on the John Stacey suspension bridge. You are a little bit further back from the falls and the view from the bridge lets you take in a bit more of the greenery and cliff face around the water.
As you climb back up the gully it’s a little sad hearing the roar of the water fade. As a consolation, there are still more nice views of the falls for a good part of the walk up. The last part of the walk is the toughest part of the hike. The deep steps, tree trunks angled across the path and low hanging vines make it feel like a bit of an obstacle course. It’s all good fun though.
Read More: Find the Best Waterfalls in Queensland
Views from the East Lookout
A reward for getting back to the top, is one of the best views of the walk. The Purling Brook Falls East Lookout gives you a great view from the top of falls to the pool below. If you are unable to do the full Purling Brook Falls circuit, the lookout is only 300 metres from the picnic ground and gives you a great view at the falls.
If you are looking for accommodation in Springbrook National Park, Purling Brook Falls is near the Settlement Campground. It is the only camping area in the park and is suitable for tents and camper trailers. It has toilets, BBQ and picnic facilities. Bookings are Essential.
Springbrook National Park Walks
Purling Brook Falls is only one of the many waterfall walks you can do at Springbrook National Park. Make sure you check out our guide to Springbrook’s waterfalls and walks. The Warrie Circuit is great for the number of falls it has. Twin Falls is a fun spot for a swim and Natural Bridge has the amazing Waterfall Cave. But if it’s grandeur you’re after, it is hard to beat Purling Brook Falls.
Read More : Our Full Guide to Springbrook Waterfalls & Walks
Springbrook National Park Walking Map
Day Trips to Springbrook National Park
- Springbrook Waterfalls Tour from Gold Coast – Visit Natural Bridge, Purling Brook Falls, Rainbow Falls & Twin Falls
- Springbrook, Natural Arch & Numinbah Valley – Start the day with a Hot Air Balloon ride & Champagne Breakfast followed by a guided rainforest & waterfall guided walk.
- Natural Bridge & Mt Tamborine Adventure Tour – Visit Natural Bridge, Glow Worm Caves, Gallery Walk & Skywalk
- Natural Bridge & Springbrook Waterfalls Tour – Visit Natural Bridge, Purling Brook Falls, Rainbow Falls & Twin Falls
If you enjoyed this story you might also like:
Like it? Pin it for Later…
500 THINGS TO DO
Join our mailing list and receive our Free Top 500 things to do in Australia. If you love the Australian Outdoors download this list and keep it handy when you are planning a weekend away or a road trip around Australia.