The best time to hike the Warrie Circuit trail? After heavy, heavy rain, when the waterfalls are in full force. This is a weekend trip you won’t regret.
- 9 waterfalls, maybe more if there’s been recent rain
- Offers gorgeous views over the national park and the Gold Coast
- Quiet and diverse trail
Every wilderness explorer knows that feeling. When you set out on a trail and you’re the only one there. Your senses are heightened as you walk along the trail in the early morning light, taking in the sights, smells and sounds. The weight of the working week lifts off your shoulders as you enjoy the serenity of nature.
What struck me the most as I set out on the Warrie Circuit trail was the chorus of the waterfalls around me. There’s at least 9 waterfalls on or nearby this trail — more if you count the cascades of water spilling down the plateau walls where normally there aren’t any waterfalls.
I decided to do this trail after a week of heavy rain, knowing the waterfalls would be at their peak. And they were even better than I expected.
At 6.45am, there was not a soul around me save for the pademelons hopping around in the scrub. Just the way I like it.
The trail starts on the popular Twin Falls circuit from the Tallanbanna Picnic Area. You can choose to complete the circuit in either direction but I chose to start by going clockwise, skirting to Twin Falls first as I knew it would be teeming with daytrippers later on.
You’ll find Twin Falls just after you pass through two striking rock clefts. You’ll likely hear the falls before you see them as they tumble impressively into the waterhole below, lapping onto the walkway and spraying clouds of mist.
Continuing along the Twin Falls Circuit trail, you’ll reach the watery curtain of Blackfellow Falls. You’ll get wet walking behind this one after lots of rain. From Blackfellow Falls, you can continue on to do the 4km Twin Falls Circuit or chuck a sharp right turn and head down onto the 17km Warrie Circuit.
The Warrie Circuit winds down into the valley and something tells me not many people do the trail. There’s a few tree trunks to jump over and lots of overhanging shrubs to duck. And I didn’t see 1 other person on this trail.
First up you’ll pass Poondahra and Poonyahra Falls – one after the after. These waterfalls flow on from Blackfellow Falls – the trio of falls plummeting a total of 180 metres down to the valley. Then be prepared to get your feet wet if it’s rained recently to get across fast running creek crossings. I opted to take off my shoes and socks as the water went up mid-thigh and I didn’t like the idea of walking the rest of the circuit in soggy shoes and socks.
Watch out for stubborn carpet pythons around the creek crossings (I nearly walked on a couple, good camouflage guys!) — you may find a few on the trail.
After a creek dip, back up the ridge you go. On the home stretch, you’ll reach Goomoolahra Falls. You’ll see glimpses of it through the trees before you reach it. These falls tumble over the concrete pathway and it’s a really magical spot to spend a while sitting on the trail steps.
The last couple of kilometres of the trail is gorgeous as you get views out to the adjacent ridge line and across the densely treed mountains out to the skyscrapers of the Gold Coast and past that, the Pacific Ocean.
Last but not least was Rainbow Falls — and one of my favourites. It’s another waterfall you can walk behind. When I visited, these falls were absolutely cranking, the water crashing loudly down onto the rocks below.
The trail leads you back to where you started at the rock clefts and then it’s about a kilometre back to the car park.
** Be careful with fast-running water and make sure you do your research before you head out. If unsure, do not cross, turn back.
- Insect repellent
- Waterproof hiking shoes
- Long pants
- Rain jacket
- Waterproof backpack cover/dry bag
- Water & snacks
How To Get There
Springbrook National Park is an easy 90 minute drive from Brisbane via Nerang.
Take Exit 69 off the Pacific Motorway and follow the signs to Springbrook along the Nerang–Murwillumbah Road. Take the Springbrook turn-off at Pine Creek Road and park at Tallanbanna Picnic Area.
Duration / Distance Covered
The hike will take about 4-5 hours and is about 19 kilometres.
Check out more of Lisa’s adventures in Queensland