A part of Springbrook National Park, Cougal Cascades is home to a stunning waterfall and an easy, but beautiful, rainforest walk, suitable for all ages and abilities.
Located about 20 kilometres inland from Currumbin Beach, the drive through the Currumbin Valley is a little bit windy in places but very scenic if you’re lucky enough to be in the passenger’s seat.
The 1.6 kilometre return walking track starts straight from the car park and is sealed the entire way. It’s slightly hilly in parts, but should be manageable for all fitness levels, as well as assisted wheelchair users and families with strollers.
Although relatively short in distance, the walk packs a punch in terms of beauty, winding through subtropical rainforest alongside the gently flowing Currumbin Creek. There’s also an array of bird and animal life living here, including kookaburras, whipbirds and the land mullet (which is really a lizard).
About 500 metres in you'll be greeted by the actual Cougal Cascades, plunging spectacularly down the cliff face into a large pool below. If you're relatively agile it is possible to climb down to the swimming hole for a dip in the clean, crisp water, however, it's just as nice observing it from afar via the wooden viewing platform.
Keep walking 300 more metres and you'll come across an interesting piece of history in the form of a disused 1940s-era sawmill. Partially restored, the remains tell the story of a time when forests were only valued for their timber. Fortunately, times have changed.
If you are wanting to explore the creek and its many rock pools, the turnaround point of the track is probably the easiest and safest point to do so. However, if you’re seeking an easily-accessible swimming hole for all ages, then it’s worth visiting the Currumbin Rock Pools, five minutes back down the road.
Cougal Cascades sits at the very end of Currumbin Creek Road in the Currumbin Valley. The sealed car park is also home to toilet facilities and a couple of picnic tables.
By Dominique Falk