Natural Bridge – Springbrook National Park

Though it would be difficult picking a favourite because Springbrook National Park is famous for it gorgeous waterfalls, Natural Bridge would definitely be one of the contenders.

Natural Bridge is a rock arch over Cave Creek. The feature that we see today was formed over millions of years by water cutting a cave beneath a waterfall. At the same time it dug a pothole at the top, eventually joining the pothole and the cave, allowing the creek to flow through the cave. The bridge is the arch left over across the front of the cave.

It is an easy circuit with a few steps along the way that lead you through lush rainforest to this spectacular waterfall and cave with its interesting inhabitants. Little Bent-wing Bats roost in the cave. They are small brown bats with tails as long as their bodies. These bats are agile fliers, feeding on small insects beneath the canopy of the forest at night.

They are however not the only inhabitants of this cave. It is also home to a colony of glow-worms. Don’t expect anything spectacular or even noticeable during the day as their lights can only be seen after sunset. They are truly remarkable creatures and as I have learned today glow-worms are the larvae of a large mosquito-like fly! Swimming is no longer permitted in the creek to protect the glow worm habitat.

Other fascinating creatures to be found in this park are eels. Maybe not impressive on sight, but wait till you hear their life story! When spawned in the Coral Sea, they are flat leave like juveniles that drift along the Australian coast as far as Tasmania. At river mouths they change into transparent, cylinder shaped elvers. Thousands of these elvers journey into freshwater rivers and creeks. Here they stay for anything from 8 to 30 years before returning to their northern breeding grounds.

Various pamphlets and information boards advice that one should be on the lookout for birds or at least listen to the calls of the paradise riflebirds, green catbirds and wompoo fruit-doves. Sadly we only heard a catbird as there were quite a few people enjoying this remarkable place with us.

Facilities include parking area, toilets and picnic tables.

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Natural Bridge – Gallery

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