Whether you’re an adventurer or a family with young kids (or both), you’ll love exploring Currumbin waterfalls. We spent time at Cougal Cascades and Currumbin Rock Pool and found very different ways of enjoying these Currumbin Valley waterfalls. Of course, we opted for a walk but you could also just chill in the rock pools.
If you’re planning to visit the Currumbin Valley and its waterfalls, our experience will help you prepare your day out and know what to expect.
Swimming in rock pools and Currumbin waterfalls
You should always be careful when you walk near a creek or swim in rock pools. Rocks are slippery, so it’s easy to fall. In and after a storm, water levels can rise quickly and bring dangerous debris. Always check the local weather forecast and warnings.
Jumping in rock pools is not recommended. Tragic accidents occurred at Currumbin Rock Pool. If you do decide to take the risk of jumping off the rocks, make sure you check what’s underwater and how deep the water is.
Also, the water in the rock pools is quite cold (I mean, cold from a Queensland’s point of view) so make sure you bring a towel and have adequate clothes to stay comfortable!
Responsible travel tip: Did you know your sunscreen can pollute the water and harm animals? The best way to protect your body from the sun is to cover it with long sleeves and pants. If you do have to use sunscreen, choose a mineral one (like zinc) to avoid harmful substances (see the full list here) and apply it at least 20 minutes before entering the water.
Facilities at these Currumbin waterfalls
You’ll find toilets at the Cougal Cascades car park, but nothing more. As it’s a national park, there’s no bin and you’ll have to take all your rubbish back with you (plus ideally those you find on the way).
There are more facilities at Currumbin Rock Pools. You’ll even find barbecues and gazebos with tables if you’re planning to have a picnic there. If you didn’t bring food, there’s a cafe just across the road. Unfortunately, as we visited late in the afternoon to avoid the crowd, the cafe was already closed (it closed at 3.30 pm).
Cougal Cascades in Springbrook National Park
An easy walk to view Currumbin waterfalls
The walk to view Cougal Cascades and the other small waterfalls from Currumbin Creek is very easy. A lovely 10-minute drive from Currumbin Rock Pools will take you to a car park in Springbrook National Park. Cougal Cascades are in a different section to other walks and waterfalls in Springbrook National Park. I do not recommend visiting them all on the same day.
From the car park, a bitumen path will take you to a lookout to see Cougal Cascades in less than five minutes. As you walk all the way to the sawmill, you’ll get sneak peeks at the smaller waterfalls in Currumbin Valley. Although it’s nice to be in nature, the rainforest isn’t as thick and lush compared to other places in Springbrook National Park. They cleared the land to attempt to grow bananas and logged timber for housing and banana crates. The sawmill stopped working in 1954, so the forest that has grown back is still very young.
It’s an easy walk for families. But if you feel more adventurous and don’t have young kids, you can also come back following the creek (or even further up if you have more time!). You’ll view the Currumbin waterfalls from a closer and different angle.
Going down Currumbin Creek
It was a lot more fun to go back to the car park via the creek rather than the bitumen road. It reminded us of Cedar Creek Waterfall in D’Aguilar National Park. We found an easy path to reach the creek from the sawmill and continued all the way back to the road at the bottom of the car part (where there’s the Springbrook National Park sign).
There wasn’t always an easy path along the creek so we had to cross the creek a few times. I made it more challenging as I could not remove my shoes (I had an injured foot and could not walk barefoot). So I tested my balance and hopped from one rock to another. Rocks can be very slippery when you walk near a creek so take extra caution not to fall and get hurt. If you can walk in the water, it will be easier and faster. However, it’s a short walk so you do want to take your time to enjoy it!
Swimming at Cougal Cascades
We met small groups of people chilling in each of the Currumbin waterfalls we saw on our way. If you don’t want to go down the creek, you can often spot a way to reach the creek from the bitumen path. Be careful where you step and don’t enter the revegetation zones.
Chilling at Currumbin Rock Pool
Currumbin Rock Pools are located just near the car park and could not be easier to access. There’s even a ramp for those with reduced mobility who want to avoid the stairs. The small rocky beach makes it easy to go into the water too.
But it’s one of the most famous rock pools near Brisbane, so it gets busy when it’s hot during the weekend. It’s better to go there in the morning to avoid the crowd, or late in the afternoon as families with young kids leave.
The large grassy, flat area next to the creek is perfect to chill. Currumbin Rock Pools is an ideal spot for families (and even dogs on a leash!) as the water is generally calm and there are lovely shallow areas. But if you want a bit more fun, you can also find small rapids closer to the rocks and a deeper pool.