Explore our magnificent natural heritage between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay
If exploring the beauty of our Retreat whets your appetite for experiencing the rainforest, you'll love the hundreds of tracks that are scattered throughout the wealth of National Parks in and around the Tweed Valley and its hinterland which surrounds Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat. Five world heritage-listed National Parks straddling the border of NSW and Queensland, which are amongst:
These areas comprise the World Heritage-Listed Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves Australia. All are within a short drive of Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat, which adjoins Numinbah Nature Reserve on three sides. The Reserve has a common border with Lamington National Park, which in turn adjoins Springbrook National Park.
The Tweed Valley is an idyllic place to visit. Picturesque drives lead to serene walks and breathtaking views, a visit to the area must include at least one of these magnificent national parks which are treasured internationally.
Up to 20 million years ago, ancient volcanic activity created the second largest shield volcano in the world, stretching from Mount Tamborine in the north down to Byron Bay in the south. Since then the elements have eroded rock from around the plug (central core) of the volcano, leaving what the volcanologists call a caldera (large depression or ring of eroded material) surrounded by the rim of more resilient material. At the centre of the caldera, Mt Warning now stands proudly overlooking its surrounding rim, which is approximately 40 kilometres in diameter. The rim now hosts four World Heritage Listed National Parks: Border Ranges, Nightcap, Lamington, and Springbrook, whose escarpment juts bolt-upright from Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat.
Springbrook National Park
Located on the Gold Coast hinterland, Springbrook NP occupies over 2,950 hectares (7,300 acres) of protected rainforest, open forest and montane heath. The Park is most famous for its beautiful waterfalls. Over thousands of years, water and volcanic activity have carved a spectacular landscape of cliffs, gorges and waterfalls around the Springbrook Plateau just north of Crystal Creek. Picturesque creeks, tumbling waterfalls and panoramic views make Springbrook one of the state's most popular parks. Springbrook NP is truly a great place for a romantic picnic.
- Natural Bridge, also called Natural Arch, as its names suggest, is a naturally formed stone bridge with a beautiful waterfall cascading through its centre. Another magnificent rock formation is the home of a colony of glow worms, via a short walk through subtropical rainforest.
- The twin peaks of Mount Cougal overlook the scenic Currumbin Valley. This small section of the Park protects a subtropical rainforest remnant, scenic cascades and the headwaters of Currumbin and Tallebudgera Creeks.
- Purling Brook Falls are well worth the trip to Springbrook, particularly in the wet season. The water plunges more than 100 metres into a gorge filled with palms, ferntrees and lilies. Lookouts are located on either side, and walking tracks pass under the falls and down to the Waringa rock pool.
Lamington National Park
One of Queensland's best-loved parks, Lamington NP is the core of the World Heritage site, Gondwana Rainforests of Australia (formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves) along the Queensland/New South Wales border. The park's beautiful rainforests include the largest remnant of subtropical rainforest in the world and one of the most extensive Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforests in Australia.
Rugged mountain scenery, tumbling waterfalls, rainforest, wildflower heaths, tall open forests, picturesque creeks, varied wildlife and some of the best bushwalking in Queensland are protected in Lamington National Park, which lies on the Lamington Plateau on the Gold Coast hinterland.
Wollumbin (Mount Warning) National Park
Wollumbin National Park includes the former Mount Warning National Park – the two were combined in August 2009. Mount Warning is the remnant central plug of an ancient volcano, which appears as a group of impressive rocky spurs jutting from the wilderness areas below to provide uninterrupted vistas of expansive, lush rainforest. Wollumbin is a sacred place of great significance to the people of the Bundjalung Nation, a traditional place of cultural law, initiation and spiritual education. Under Bundjalung law, only specifically chosen people are allowed to climb Wollumbin. Out of respect for their law and culture, the Bundjalung ask that you consider choosing not to climb.
The park is 12km south-west of Murwillumbah off Kyogle Road.
Border Ranges National Park
Border Ranges National Park lies within the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area on the rim of a vast, ancient volcano. Pinnacle Lookout offers views of Mount Warning, the escarpment and all the way to the coast. The park is a haven to native fauna such as Alberts lyrebird and the pouched frog. It is co-managed under an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with the Githabul people.
Mebbin National Park
Mebbin NP on the Tweed Coast hinterland shares its western boundary with Border Ranges National Park and forms part of the rim of the Mt Warning volcano. Covering 3758 hectares, it's a relatively new park, dedicated in 1999 as part of the North-East Regional Forest Agreement. It was actually a state forest for 82 years and the site of heavy logging for the last thirty. A small section, containing the Mebbin Lagoon, is World Heritage listed. Much of the park is dry eucalypt forest, with some subtropical rainforest, including a stand of ancient figs and a small section of old-growth forest. Many of the diversity of animals are rare and endangered species, making this a valuable preservation area.
Facilities include a barbecue area, camping ground, picnic area, car parking, public toilets, a rest area, walking trails and a lookout.
Nightcap National Park
The lush Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage-listed rainforest of Nightcap National Park in the Byron Bay hinterland was preserved by a determined group of conservationists in the 1980s. The Mount Nardi and Minyon Falls areas are easily reached by car and offer breathtaking views.
Mount Jerusalem National Park
Created in 1995, Mount Jerusalem covers over 5,000 hectares. However it is undeveloped, access being quite limited, with no visitor facilities or formal walking tracks, as the area is extremely rich in conservation values. This park contains areas of unique coral lichen and a number of nationally listed rare and endangered plants, as well as a rich diversity of tree dwelling animal and bird species.