Located just 35 minutes scenic drive from Murwillumbah
you'll find the rock archway known as Natural Bridge. Behind the Bridge the mountain-fed
waters of Cave Creek form a waterfall which plunges through the roof of a cave into a
sparkling pool below, which then flows into the Nerang River and down the
Numinbah Valley. At night the forest and caves are alight with the largest
glow-worm colony in Australia ~ a must-see for visitors and locals alike.
the creek is dense sub-tropical rainforest. To the east, towering cliff faces form the edge of Springbrook Plateau. Visitors come to see the rock formation, stroll along the rainforest paths, picnic in the surrounds or swim in the chilling waters of the cavern's recesses.
How to Get There
Natural bridge is located on the Numinbah Valley road between Nerang and Murwillumbah, about
3 km north of the border gate. If
travelling from Brisbane down the Pacific Highway, you can turn off at
Nerang (43 km to the park) or at Mudgeeraba (42 km to the park via
If travelling from Murwillumbah then take the Nerang Road through Crystal
Creek. The scenic access
roads are winding and should be travelled with care, however the views are
stunning and well worth the effort.
Mini-bus tours run to the park from the Gold Coast and
accommodation whilst in the area we recommend Multi
Tourism Award winning Hillcrest Mountain View Retreat.
12 minutes from Murwillumbah and 23 minutes drive from Natural Bridge,
Hillcrest offers a choice of bed and breakfast in a
private guest wing of the main house or separate Self Contained Cottage in its own
secluded garden. Pictured right is the view from the gazebo by the
solar heated pool at Hillcrest.
A peaceful and romantic spot, Hillcrest is the perfect place to extend your stay and take time to really explore the
area. For more information please click HERE.
Personalised one-on-one art classes by renowned local
artist Barbara Suttie by advance arrangement at Hillcrest Retreat
Please Click HERE for More Information
Once home to the
Kalibah Aboriginal people, the Natural Bridge area remained untouched by
European settlement until it was discovered by timber-getters, probably in
trees felled in the area included a giant red cedar taken in 1893 from
near Natural Bridge. A huge section of this was displayed at the Paris World Fair.
end of the 1920s, large areas of Numinbah Valley had been cleared and
dairy farms were expanding.
Natural Bridge was declared a Recreation and Scenic Reserve. Upgraded to a National Park in 1959, it now forms part of
Springbrook National Park.
How the Natural Bridge Formed
huge volcano centred over the present Mt Warning was erupting about 23
million years ago, pouring out layer upon layer of hard volcanic rocks. The Numinbah Valley resulted from the erosion of a
north-flowing stream on the northern flank of the volcano.
Natural Bridge was formed at the junction of one basalt layer and a softer
volcanic layer beneath called agglomerate.
The lower, softer layer was undercut at the base of a waterfall,
forming a deep cavern. At the
same time, the circular motion of boulders in the stream above had formed
a deep pool. The drilling
action deepened the pool until it broke through the cavern roof, allowing
the stream to plunge through the hole and out through the cave below.
Profusion of Plants
deep deposits of rich volcanic soil grows the dense lowland subtropical
rainforest of Natural Bridge. This
is only a small remnant of rainforest once widespread in the Numinbah
forest canopy is a mosaic of many tree species.
Fruit from some including figs, lillipillies and blackbeans were
used by the Aborigines for food. The
large, poisonous seeds of the blackbean were specially treated before
being roasted and eaten.
the canopy, the rainforest shelters a diversity of ferns, vines and
epiphytes such as orchids and staghorns.
early morning and dusk the rainforest is busy with wildlife.
Small wallabies called pademelons are often seen feeding at the
rainforest edge. Birds such
as eastern yellow robins and eastern whipbirds can be seen darting through
the lower levels of the rainforest. Often
heard, but not easily seen, are green cat-birds, common koels and wompoo
fruit doves which feed in the lofty heights of the dark green canopy.
the day brush turkeys and goannas are commonly seen near the picnic areas.
The brush turkey, a large black bird with a bright red head and
yellow collar, builds a mound of rotting vegetation to incubate its eggs.
park comes alive with a variety of fruit-eating birds during spring and
summer. Flocks of scaly
breasted and rainbow lorikeets noisily descend upon the brightly flowering
night closes in, mountain brushtail possums, sugar gliders and bandicoots
begin to quietly feed and forage. The
solitary call of the boobook owl echoes through the forest.
Bridge is well known for the colony of thousands of glow worms found in
the cavern's roof. These glow
worms, larvae of the fungus fly, produce a light to attract insects into
their sticky spun webs. The colony at Natural Bridge is generally
considered the largest of its kind in Australia.
Smoke from cigarettes or fires can kill glow worms -
please do not expose them to it.
Things To Do
the 1km circuit track, which branches to the left and leads past a lookout
and across the creek below the bridge.
A short side track leads into the cave.
An easy climb up the hill brings you to the Natural Bridge. If you prefer a shorter walk take the tracks' right branch
down a gentle grade to the bridge. Please
note there is no longer access over the Natural Bridge. It can still be viewed from the tracks on either side.
at night with a small, quiet group. With
torches you may see possums, spiders and frogs. Experience the
"miniature galaxy" created by thousands of glow worms in the
from above and below the natural wonder of the unique rock bridge.
the forest at dawn to see and hear the birds at their best.
water and electric pay barbecues are provided.
As the park can be very crowded, it is best to be self-sufficient
with your own gas bbq and portable table.
walking tracks allow easy walking for all.
display stand at the beginning of the walking track has maps and
information about the park and its wildlife.
annual rainfall of 1500mm falls during the hot, humid summer.
Winter days are often clear and crisp, but it may be cool at any
time of the year.
is not permitted in the park, but accommodation is available through the
hinterland and down into New South Wales at Crystal Creek. Couples
wishing for peace, privacy, spectacular views, solar heated salt-water
swimming pool and jolly good food should try the award winning
Hillcrest B&B and Self Contained Cottage.
Caring for the Park
No pets please - people with pets will be
asked to leave.
Place all rubbish in bins.
Don't shortcut, stay on the tracks to
No fires permitted, electric pay
barbecues are provided.
Leave all wildlife and plants alone.
Jumping into the waterhole is dangerous
and has resulted in permanent disabilities.
Don't feed the animals, human food
disrupts their natural balance and causes long-term sickness.
Be considerate of other park visitors (no
loud music and please keep your children under control).
Natural Bridge National Park
Via Nerang QLD 4211
Lamington National Park
spectacular natural treasure covers 20,500 hectares in the McPherson Range
along the QLD/NSW border. More than 150kms of well-graded walking
tracks reveal many wonders - jagged mountain peaks, steep gorges, lush
valleys, delicate rainforest gardens of ferns and orchids, hundreds of
waterfalls, spectacular views and bird life. Two centres have been
developed for recreation and access to the park - Binna Burra and Green
Mountains. The southern end of the park is undeveloped and suitable
only for keen, well equipped and experienced walkers.
enter the Binna Burra recreation area, visit the information centre for
maps and brochures on self guiding nature walks. Both short and day
walks are available. The 1km rainforest circuit or 2km Bellbird
Lookout walks are ideal for people with limited time. A senses trail
for visually impaired visitors offers a unique and fascinating experience.
Border Track is the backbone of the track system, and full day walks
include the Dave's Creek circuit and the Coomera River circuit.
Campsites are not provided by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, but
the privately run resort operates a kiosk and a camping ground.
Backpack camping for the more adventurous is allowed by permit, except
during Christmas holidays. Telephone the ranger on (07) 55 33 3584.
is also the best way to explore Green Mountains, and a track guide is
available from the Ranger Station at the picnic grounds. Two
delightful short walks are Python Rock (suitable for wheelchairs and
strollers) and Moran's falls. The Border Track, linking Green
Mountain to Binna Burra, provides access to longer walks such as Blue Pool
(10km return), Box Forest (11km circuit), and the Albert River circuit
(21km return). Green Mountain is renowned for its bird life,
including King Parrots, Crimson Rosellas and the Regent and Satin Bower