A Gem by the Glitter City // The Cougals (QLD)

Highlights:

  • Caving.
  • Exquisite scenery.
  • Changing vegetation.

When the Gold Coast is mentioned most people think of the beaches, the surf and the glitz and glamour. But for a pair of siblings who are self-proclaimed micro-adventuring bush-lovers, the Gold Coast still comes through with the goods.

It is early November, hump day is here and the sun is out and blazin’. The Sunshine State, as it so often does, has turned it on again. Hilltop Hoods and Bliss N Eso set the tone for the day with some upbeat Aussie bangers for our trip out to Mt Cougal.

The trail that leads to the summit of the twin peaks of Mt Cougal began with us being hunched over and fully staunched by cane. The cane completely engulfed us and the local tick population was able to latch on for a feed. The next minute we felt like we were swimming in an ocean of lantana and for the final ascent we were injected into a dense, lush rainforest. Simply amazing.

But our amazement didn’t stop there – we found the cave that is situated close to the summit and promptly whacked on our headlamps and tried to spot what critters lived inside. Disappointingly we didn’t find any snakes inside (not this time) – but, there were a healthy dose of spiders!!!

Another 70m or so and we were staring down the barrel at ancient volcanic activity and millions of years of weathering. The summit, in all its glory stood overwatch for the Tallebudgera and Numinbah Valleys. This hike is definitely as rewarding as it is exciting and despite being mauled by ticks, being able to head down to Tallebudgera Creek for a dip afterwards was a perfect way to finish off the day.

Essential gear required

For Walks:

  • Tweezers (cannot stress this enough)
  • Head torches
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera.

How to get there

Springbrook National Park (Mount Cougal Section)

The Cougal Peaks – There is a private property gate along Garden of Eden Road (on the right). There is room to the side of the road for parking. Walk around the gate and head immediately left to follow a barbed-wire fence. This fence takes to right to where you need to go so keep it in sight until you reach the cave.

Activities

  • Caving
  • Bushwalking
  • Photography
  • Tick extraction practice

Skill Level

Moderate level. Three words: Follow the fence.

Distance covered / Elevation Gain

10km return and a comfy 516m