The Gold Coast, renowned for its golden beaches and vibrant city life, is a secret paradise that is waiting to be explored beyond its bustling streets. Nestled amidst the lush hinterland of Queensland, a world of pristine natural beauty unfolds, where emerald rainforests give way to captivating cascades of crystal-clear water. If you’re seeking a refreshing escape from the sun-soaked beaches and a chance to immerse yourself in the tranquillity of nature, the Gold Coast’s waterfalls offer the perfect retreat. In this guide, we unveil the hidden treasures of the Gold Coast’s waterfalls, providing you with all the essential information to embark on an unforgettable journey into the heart of Queensland’s natural wonderland. From the enchanting Natural Bridge to the captivating Curtis Falls, let’s embark on a journey to discover the Gold Coast’s best waterfalls.
Discover Gold Coast’s Most Spectacular Waterfalls
The Gold Coast, with its pristine beaches and lush hinterland, is not only famous for its stunning coastline but also boasts some hidden natural gems. Explore the top waterfalls on the Gold Coast to witness the breathtaking beauty of cascading waters amidst lush rainforests, offering a refreshing and enchanting escape from the bustling city life. Here are the must-visit waterfalls that promise an unforgettable adventure in this picturesque Australian paradise.
1. Natural Bridge At Springbrook National Park
Located within Springbrook National Park on the Gold Coast, the Natural Bridge Waterfall is a captivating attraction that stands out from the ordinary. The unique rock formation resembles a heavenly cave that was created by the waterfall cascading over the basalt cave. Sunlight filtering through the rainforest canopy creates a mesmerising spectacle as it dances on the creek that flows through the cave. This phenomenon, especially during twilight, draws photographers, nature enthusiasts, and romantics alike. What makes Natural Bridge even more special is that the cave is home to glow worms. These tiny creatures create a magical light in the dark cave, like stars in the night sky, making a nighttime visit truly amazing.
Exploring Natural Bridge is a delightful journey through the lush rainforest on a well-marked walking track, making it accessible to visitors of various fitness levels. During the daytime, you can see amazing birds like Paradise Riflebirds, Green Catbirds, and colourful Wompoo Fruit Doves. You might even spot rare and endangered animals like the cascade Tree Frog, Tusked Frog, Sooty Owl, and Koala. At night, you can take a guided tour to see the special glowworms and tiny microbats that live here, and they’re protected to keep them safe.
|Address||Bakers Rd, Natural Bridge QLD 4211, Australia|
|Distance from CBD||47.4 km|
|How To Reach|| By Car: From the Gold Coast CBD, it will take you 1 hour to reach Springbrook National Park via Nerang Murwillumbah Rd/State Route 97. |
By Bus: You can take Bus Line 747 to reach Springbrook National Park.
|Swimming Permit||Swimming is not allowed.|
|Facilities||Toilet facility and picnic area.|
|Nearby Attractions||Best of All Lookout, Northern Rivers Rail Trail - The Tweed section (24 km), Canyon Lookout.|
Google Review- “Absolutely gorgeous place! Not that long of a walk but plenty to see. You get to see the view of the waterfall from both top and bottom. And even go inside the cave. At night time there are glow worms and bats. Didn’t get a chance to see them but is on the list next time we visit. Has plenty of parking spots and there’s even toilets before you start your walk. Signage said that there are often snakes and bush turkeys. we enjoyed the experience, however heaps of tourists that spent a lot of time in the road taking photos so you will have to be patient or go super early when there’s fewer people.” – Britt L
2. Purling Brook Falls In Springbrook National Park
Purling Brook Falls, nestled in Springbrook National Park on the Gold Coast, is a true natural wonder. For the finest view of the waterfall, follow the Purling Brook Falls circuit, a 4km trail with 265 steps spread along the path. Its beauty and power make it a top attraction for nature enthusiasts and hikers. A well-maintained trail guides visitors through ancient rainforests and across suspension bridges, offering various vantage points to admire the falls from different angles. The best time to visit is during the spring and early summer when wildflowers bloom, but the falls captivate year-round. Remember to follow park rules and stay on designated paths to protect this stunning site for generations to come.
If you’re searching for the best waterfall on the Gold Coast, you’ll love Purling Brook Falls. Along the trail to this amazing waterfall, you’ll not only see the beautiful falls but also encounter many different animals and special rainforest plants. There are colourful birds and unique plants to enjoy. Purling Brook Falls isn’t just a waterfall, it’s like a relaxing getaway in Springbrook National Park, where nature is at its best. Each time you visit, you’ll feel even more connected to the wonderful natural beauty of the Gold Coast.
|Name||Purling Brook Falls|
|Address||Forestry Rd, Springbrook QLD 4213, Australia|
|Distance from CBD||44.8 km|
|How To Reach|| By Car: You can get to Springbrook National Park via Nerang Murwillumbah Rd/State Route 97 in 51 minutes from the Gold Coast CBD. |
By Bus: To get to Springbrook National Park, take bus line 747.
|Swimming Permit||Swimming is not allowed.|
|Facilities||Toilets and a picnic area.|
|Nearby Attractions||Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Sea World, Springbrook Research Observatory.|
Google Review- “The most magnetic waterfall I have seen so far. There are trees on the path which I would estimate to be 40+ meters tall and hundreds of years old. Two main tracks, a 2 hour and a 6 hour loop. Very well maintained, signed and almost fully paved by rocks. There are toilets at the trail heads and some picnic seats and spots. Plenty of parking if you’re early.” – Mehrad A
3. Twin Falls At Springbrook National Park
Twin Falls in Springbrook National Park is also one of the stunning waterfalls on the Gold Coast, Australia. It’s unique because it looks like two waterfalls right next to each other, and it’s all tucked away in a dense forest. The walk to get to Twin Falls is quite enjoyable, with different paths for folks who want a relaxed stroll and those who are up for a bit more adventure. As you walk, you’ll be in the middle of a rainforest, which means you might spot some colourful birds and adorable wallabies along the way.
One cool thing about Twin Falls is that you can swim in the clear pools at the bottom of the falls. It’s super refreshing, especially on hot days. Remember to be safe while swimming, and follow any rules the park has. If you’re looking for a beautiful spot to explore nature and maybe take a dip, Twin Falls is a fantastic choice. Just bring some water, wear comfy clothes and good shoes, and don’t forget your camera for some amazing photos of this natural wonder.
|Address||Springbrook QLD 4213, Australia|
|Distance from CBD||48.3 km|
|How To Reach|| By Car: Your destination is approx. 53-minute drive from the Gold Coast CBD via Nerang Murwillumbah Rd/State Route 97. |
By Bus: You can also reach Springbrook National Park by taking bus line 747.
|Swimming Permit||Under Twin Falls, swimming is permitted in the rock pool.|
|Facilities||Toilets and a picnic area.|
|Nearby Attractions||Apple Tree Park, Goomoolahra Falls, Warrie Circuit|
Google Review- “We did the Twin Falls Circuit 4km hike and it was absolutely beautiful. We completed the hike after a period of rain on the Gold Coast, so the waterfalls were just pouring. It can get cold even in summer given the altitude so bring a light jumper, the 4 km hike is easy and my husband did it with our 4 month old on him. The hike brings you to some beautiful sights, outlooks and waterfalls. You’re not just hiking to come across one view, it is enjoyable the scenic the whole way. You are able to also swim at the bottom of the Twin Falls for those more adventurous.” – Amica Cresp
4. Curtis Falls In Tamborine National Park
The next waterfall we have on our list is Curtis Falls. It is situated in Tamborine National Park within the Gold Coast Hinterland and is a lovely waterfall spot. It’s easily accessible with a short walk through lush rainforest, providing a serene escape. Although the waterfall isn’t massive, the surrounding nature is stunning, making it perfect for relaxation and photography. You might even encounter koalas and colourful birds along the way. Viewing platforms offer excellent waterfall views, creating an ideal spot for some peaceful moments.
While visiting Curtis Falls, remember to check the weather and stay on designated paths to protect the environment. Also, take the time to explore the nearby charming village of Tamborine Mountain, where you can enjoy art, shopping, and dining. Overall, Curtis Falls is a perfect gem on the Gold Coast for people who are seeking a wonderful waterfall and nature escape.
|Address||14-18 Dapsang Dr, Eagle Heights QLD 4272, Australia|
|Distance from CBD||42.2 km|
|How To Reach|| By Car: From the Gold Coast CBD, it will take you approx. 46 minutes to reach Curtis Falls, Tamborine National Park via State Route 95. |
By Bus: You can catch bus line 740 and then take a taxi to reach your destination.
|Swimming Permit||Swimming is not permitted in the fall, however, it is permitted in the rockpools farther along the Joalah Lower Creek Circuit.|
|Facilities||Toilet facility and picnic area|
|Nearby Attractions||Gallery Walk, Glow Worm Caves, Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens.|
Google Review- “Absolutely gorgeous waterfall. Maybe one of the prettiest waterfall surroundings I’ve seen. The track itself is fairly easy, we did it in under 10 minutes. There are stairs and natural track, for the elderly or unagile it may be difficult. Easy for young fit people. Toilets located at parking lot. I think there was a cafe there also.” – Lena P
5. Morans Falls In Lamington National Park
One of the most beautiful waterfalls on the Gold Coast is Moran’s Falls, which is located in Lamington National Park. It provides a tranquil escape into Queensland’s hinterland and is encircled by the magnificent rainforests of the Lamington Plateau. The falls themselves are a spectacular cascade, and the surrounding subtropical vegetation provides a calm setting ideal for introspection and relaxation. Through the park, there are clearly marked walking trails that offer stunning views of the rainforest and chances to see unusual wildlife. Viewing platforms provide excellent viewpoints for taking pictures and fully absorbing the area’s natural richness.
For a safe and enjoyable visit, it’s essential to follow park guidelines, stay on designated paths, and bring essentials like water, comfortable shoes, and sunscreen. Morning or late afternoon visits are recommended for a quieter experience, and binoculars can enhance wildlife spotting. Moran’s Falls is not just a waterfall; it’s a gateway to the pristine beauty of Queensland’s hinterland, offering a memorable and tranquil retreat in the heart of nature.
|Address||3582 Lamington National Park Rd, O'Reilly QLD 4275, Australia|
|Distance from CBD||67.4 km|
|How To Reach|| By Car: By taking Lamington National Park Rd. from the Gold Coast CBD, you can get to Morans Falls in 1 hour and 27 minutes. |
By Bus: To reach Morans Falls catch bus line 747, then take a taxi to reach your destination.
|Swimming Permit||Swimming is not allowed in Lamington National Park.|
|Facilities||Toilet facility, parking, and picnic area|
|Nearby Attractions||Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Mountview Alpaca Farm, Tree Top Walkway.|
Google Review- “Great short journey to the falls, well sign posted and an easy to follow trail. Would recommend boots for rainy days! Two view points both equally tanquil, would recommend both but the “lookout” makes it much easier to view the actual falls” – Bethan Hannah
6. Elabana Falls At Lamington National Park
Elabana Falls in Lamington National Park stands as one of the Gold Coast’s most captivating waterfalls, situated within the lush rainforests of the Lamington Plateau. For those wanting a peaceful and immersive experience with nature, it is a must-visit location because of its quiet atmosphere and breathtaking natural beauty. The falls create a serene refuge that welcomes people to unwind and connect with nature as they tumble softly down a rocky face surrounded by lush subtropical rainforests. The park’s hiking routes offer the opportunity to see beautiful panoramas and unusual fauna, making it the best place to capture photos of nature.
For a safe and enjoyable visit, it’s important to adhere to park guidelines, stay on designated paths, and bring essentials like water, comfortable footwear, and sunscreen. To avoid crowds and capture the falls in the best light, early morning or late afternoon visits are recommended. Elabana Falls is more than just a waterfall; it’s an invitation to explore the untouched beauty of Queensland’s hinterland and create lasting memories in one of Australia’s most pristine natural environments.
|Address||Main Border Track, O'Reilly QLD 4275, Australia|
|Distance from CBD||69 km|
|How To Reach|| By Car: You can take Lamington National Park Rd to reach Elabana Falls from Gold Coast CBD, you will reach your destination in approx. 1 hour 35 min. |
|Swimming Permit||Swimming is not allowed.|
|Facilities||Toilet amenities, car parking, picnic area.|
|Nearby Attractions||Gold Coast Great Walk - Binna Burra Trailhead, Best of All Lookout, Morans Falls.|
Google Review- “Worth the hike ! 2 hours round trip, but expect to stick around at the falls, because they are magnificent. Take your time, look for the ancient arctic beech trees, dingo footprints, bower birds parrots and lyre birds. Take a stop at picnic falls, a very nice 3/4 mark on the trail to the falls. It’s mostly down hill so expect an up hill return” – Ben whyte
7. Cougal Cascades In Currumbin Valley
The calm and gorgeous Cougal Cascades waterfall is located in Currumbin Valley, Gold Coast, and is hidden away in a thick rainforest environment. It provides an exciting getaway into the arms of nature and is conveniently located near the city. The mild falls cascade through rocky terrain and are surrounded by lush rainforest vegetation, creating a quiet paradise ideal for relaxation. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along clearly indicated trails, see local fauna and flora, and even cool down in the crystal-clear rock pools at the base of the falls. It’s the perfect location for a family outing or a tranquil day in the great outdoors, with nearby picnic amenities.
For a safe and enjoyable visit, it’s important to be cautious while swimming, especially if water conditions have changed. Cougal Cascades is less crowded during the weekdays or early mornings, offering a more serene experience. Remember to bring essentials like water, snacks, sunscreen, and your camera to capture the natural beauty of this hidden gem. Whether you seek a refreshing swim or a tranquil escape into Queensland’s pristine rainforests, Cougal Cascades is a delightful destination that leaves a lasting impression of the Gold Coast’s natural charm.
|Address||Currumbin Valley QLD 4223, Australia|
|Distance from CBD||37 km|
|How To Reach||By Car: It will take you approx. 44 min to reach Cougal Cascades, via State Route 3 and Currumbin Rd. from Gold Coast CBD.|
|Swimming Permit||Swimming is allowed.|
|Facilities||Toilet facilities, car parking, picnic tables|
|Nearby Attractions||Springbrook National Park, Tropical Fruit World, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre.|
Google Review- “Very serene and peaceful on a weekday it’s quiet. No dogs as it’s a national park. Public toilets, parking is very minimal. Picnic tables at start of walk, easy for kids to walk the paved trail. Chairs along the way to take in the scenery or stop for a break. Listening to the serenity of the waterfalls below is divine.” – Elle Rose
The above-mentioned waterfalls are like hidden gems waiting for you to discover them on the Gold Coast. Curtis Falls, with its peaceful rainforest surroundings, Twin Falls, showing off its two-tiered beauty, and Elabana Falls, gleaming with its pristine charm, are just some of the amazing places to explore. You can go hiking in ancient rainforests, take a cool swim in clear pools, or simply relax to the soothing sound of flowing water. These waterfalls showcase the natural beauty of the Gold Coast and offer an opportunity to connect with the pristine Australian wilderness.