The Twin Falls Circuit in Springbrook National Park is a classic hike close to Brisbane. It’s chock full of waterfalls and meanders through tranquil rainforests and open eucalypt forest. But to get the full experience, Saphira learned that this hike is best saved for rainy weather.
Usually the sight of grey skies is reason enough to postpone a hike, but last year I forged ahead with a small crew and headed for the Twin Falls Circuit in Springbrook National Park. Boy were we in for a treat. As we discovered, this hike is at its finest in rainy conditions.
A Hike Best Done in the Rain
The Twin Falls Circuit (4km) is a popular and much loved short hike, about a 90 minute drive south of Brisbane. It’s easy on the elevation, and easy on the eyes, featuring no less than four waterfalls. Starting at Tallanbana picnic area, you descend slowly through open eucalypt forest. The rain makes this section so peaceful and beautiful; glossy ferns fringe the path and silver ribbons of rainwater trickle down the smooth bark of the eucalypts.
Walk Through a Chasm to a Magical World
Next, you’ll come to some spectacular towering boulders. These sheer boulders seemingly split open to invite you through to a secret wonderland. You can take refuge from the rain here for a while, or just watch the raindrops fall down the rock.
Parts of the rainforest you might otherwise walk by, like the thick moss covering the boulders, are given a new perspective with the rain. The water droplets jewel on the moss in the most beautiful way.
One of the highlights of this circuit comes soon after; you get to walk behind an enormous horseshoe shaped waterfall. It’s a dizzying view looking up at the water falling down, and obviously there’s quite a lot of it, if it’s raining.
Keep walking along the track, and look out for a tree on your left which appears to be growing impossibly from the rock. Its roots are stretched tight like rope across the rock, holding it up and eeking out water and nutrients where it can. If you listen quietly you might hear Jeff Goldblum whisper ‘Life finds a way’.
Foaming Trees and Other Odd Sights
Instead of rushing through the rain, walk slowly. If you do, you will inevitably notice the smaller, quieter bits of nature, and appreciate this hike on a whole new level. Inhale that rainy scent deeply, notice how green everything is, stare up at the tops of the majestic gum trees, and watch the trees literally froth in the rain.
The foam is a natural phenomenon which occurs when water reacts with chemicals found on the tree bark, such as saponins. The soapy resulting substance drips down into the soil and actually allows the water to penetrate the soil better, increasing the water yield for the tree – an absolutely spectacular evolutionary adaptation you can only see in the rain!
As you finish the walk, you’ll pass a great big red sign which translates the meanings of more than 20 Aboriginal words – see if you can find out what Tallanbana picnic area is named for. Enjoy the big fat Banksia flowers as you return back to your car, refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Snacks and plenty of water
- Grippy footwear
- WaterPROOF (not resistant) rain jacket
- A change of clothes for the drive home
- Optional: binoculars, camera, field guide
How To Get There
Put ‘Tallanbana Picnic Area’ into your GPS. You’ll be heading south from Brisbane for about 90 minutes (100km) via the M1.
- Forest bathing
Twin Falls Circuit (4km, 170m elevation, allow 2 hours)
This hike is suitable for beginner hikers, but you should have an average level of fitness for the stairs and slippery conditions.