The Natural Arch is a stand alone attraction and very popular. It's about a 45 minute drive from Surfers along a scenic drive that makes the trip doubly worthwhile.
Fondest memory: The short walk down to the waterfall is very scenic as far as rain forest is concerned. Some large strangler figs (pics 3&4) and a few other giants can be viewed on the main walkway.
Rather sadly, these days there's no jumping in the pool. Along with many other adventure activities it's banned due to OH&S regulations. Musn't get hurt enjoying ourselves.
It's a great place for families because the walk is easy on a made trail and you get to go inside a cave where there purportedly are glow worms but you'll be lucky to see any.
There's no entry fee and the drive to get there is very scenic so it makes for a good half day out.
The hinterland of the Gold Coast has some magnificent rainforest, much of it locked up in the Lamington National Park fortunately.
However, there's an icon that preceded the national parks and it's arguably Australia's best known guest house.
Much of the area surrounding is what is known as dry rainforest because scree slopes mean that vegetation is relatively sparse in the undergrowth.
Fondest memory: It takes a good hour to reach O'Reilly's and that's mainly because of the last 35 kms after you turn off at Canungra.
Sure, it's quite good for the first few k's but, after that when it starts climbing be prepared to average around 40kph.
It's twisty, it's narrow, it's scenic and it's unforgettable. At the end is the guest house, villas, a wellness centre and a NPWS office with walking maps and information.
From here there are walks aplenty, around a dozen in fact, ranging from short to multiple overnight.
I went down the Brush Box Trail to Elebana Falls (pics 1 and 5), probably the most photographed of all the falls in Lamington and second only to the Natural Arch which lies closer to the coast on a different road.
Staying on the Gold coast, but want to have a day or two in the countryside?
Have a hire car?
Well, I have listed a couple of excellent day trips, and the website that will give you all the driving instructions and more.....
One of the drives is to beautiful Tamborine Mountain, Murwillumbah, Natural Arch & Springbrook, a really lovely day's outing.
Check out my pages on Tamborine Mountain.for more details
The other day tour is to Lamington National Park & O'Reillys, via Canungra, another excellent day, up in the rainforest, with the wild parrots feeding out of your hands.
Check out my tips on Lamington National Park.for more details.
Both of these day trips are excellent, MUST DO if you have a car.
Visit O'Reilly's at Lamington National Park.
This rainforest is about 2 hours drive south from Brisbane.
Here you can take the world famous tree top walk, wander through the botanical gardens, feed beautiful, wild crimson rosellas, admire the breathtaking views or venture along one of the many walking tracks available.
International Infoline Ph: +61 7 5544 0644
International Fax: +61 7 5544 0638
Fondest memory: The O'Reilly's have been welcoming people to their mountain for over 80 years. In all, they have introduced three generations of Australians to the rainforest, waterfalls and wildlife of the a famous Lamington National Park - now nominated for World Heritage Listing.
The bird life is very friendly here. Just standing in the right spot with a few seeds in your hands is all it takes for them to know you are there to see them up close. Please take your camera... you wont be disappointed!
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