National Parks open Gold Coast and Northern Rivers

After the damage done by ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie in late March, most national parks in the region have now reopened, although some walking tracks and access roads remain closed.

Main details are provided below, but visit the NSW and QLD government official national parks web pages for the most recent updates.

See also Big Volcano Visitor Guide | The National Parks of the Tweed Volcano Region for more parks in the region.

NSW:

Border Ranges National Park

Last reviewed: Thu 20 Apr 2017, 3.21pm.

Closed areas: Tweed Range Scenic Drive partially closed

Tweed Range Scenic Drive is now open from Sheepstation Creek to Pinnacle lookout. Brindle Creek Loop Road is open. Sheepstation Creek and Forest Tops campgrounds are now open. The Pinnacle walk and lookout is open.

Tweed Range Scenic Drive remains closed between Pinnacle lookout and the Barkersvale entrance. Access to Tweed Range Scenic Drive is only via Lynches Creek Road from Wiangaree.

Some walking tracks will remain closed. Affected areas are:

  • Booyong walking track
  • Brindle Creek walking track
  • Bar Mount walking tracks and lookouts
  • Blackbutts lookout

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Photo:  Interpretive signage at Nightcap National Park, Whian Whian State Conservation Area (SCA) Rummery Park camping area.

Gibraltar Range National Park

Last reviewed: Thu 11 May 2017, 9.15am.

Some areas of this park are closed due to programmed road works. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible. Closed areas are:

  • Mulligan’s Drive and campground
  • Anvil Rock walking track
  • Dandahra Crags walking track
  • Platypus picnic area

Mooball National Park

Last reviewed: Tue 11 Apr 2017, 11.08am.

This park is closed due to storm damage. Landslips, severe erosion and tree falls are blocking all access roads and trails.

Mount Clunie National Park

Last reviewed: Tue 31 May 2016, 10.12am.

Mt Clunie road is closed until further notice due to a collapsed bridge. There is a locked gate and access is restricted.

Mount Jerusalem National Park

Last reviewed: Tue 18 Apr 2017, 11.24am.

This park is closed due to storm damage and blockages related to trees and landslips. This closure remains in place unless otherwise extended or removed.

Nightcap National Park

Last reviewed: Mon 01 May 2017, 1.51pm.

Terania Creek picnic area, Protestors Falls and various walking tracks in Nightcap National Park and Whian Whian State Conservation Area are closed due to flood/storm damage.

This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible. Minyon Grass and Minyon Falls picnic areas remain open. Rummery Park campground is also open.

Toonumbar National Park

Last reviewed: Thu 23 Mar 2017, 10.56am.

Some areas of this park are closed due to weather conditions. The closed areas are:

  • Coxs Road
  • Toonumbar Forest Drive
  • Sherwood lookout
  • Murray Scrub lookout

Ironpot Creek campground and Murray Scrub walking track remain open.

Whian Whian State Conservation Area

Last reviewed: Mon 01 May 2017, 1.51pm.

Terania Creek picnic area, Protestors Falls and various walking tracks in Nightcap National Park and Whian Whian State Conservation Area are closed due to flood/storm damage.

This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible. Minyon Grass and Minyon Falls picnic areas remain open. Rummery Park campground is also open.

Wollumbin National Park (Mount Warning)

Last reviewed: Mon 01 May 2017, 8.23am.

Wollumbin National Park is closed due to storm damage. The Summit track and Lyrebird loop have both suffered damage, resulting in unsafe conditions for public access. Repair works are underway.

Closures may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines and current contact details.

QLD:

Park Alerts will be regularly updated regarding conditions on parks. The next updates will be provided by Friday 26 May 2017.

Please note that in affected parks, all camping permits for closed areas are suspended for the duration of the closure. To apply for a refund or gift card, please visit http://www.qld.gov.au/camping.

Commercial tour operators and other permit or agreement holders are not permitted to enter closed areas.

Burleigh Head National Park

Resurfacing of the Oceanview track commenced Wednesday 5 April 2017, with completion anticipated by the end of June (weather dependent).

Work on the track will be completed in two sections. The northern section of the track will be the first section to be reconstructed and the Oceanview track will be closed between the northern entry at Goodwin Terrace and Echo Beach on Tallebudgera Creek during this period.

Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk Springbrook section closed

Following damage from ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the Springbrook sections of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk remain closed.

This includes:

  • Numinbah Valley to Apple Tree Park;
  • Apple Tree Park to The Settlement; and
  • Woonoongoora Walkers’ Camp at Numinbah Valley.

The sections of the Great Walk in Lamington National Park, including the Green Mountains walkers’ camp, are open.

Observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and do not enter closed areas.

All camping permits for closed areas are suspended for the duration of the closure. To apply for a refund or gift card, please visit http://www.qld.gov.au/camping.

Commercial tour operators and other permit or agreement holders are not permitted to enter closed areas.

Lamington National Park

Following damage from ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, some walking tracks in Lamington National Park remain closed.

Tracks closed in Binna Burra section include:

  • Ships Stern circuit;
  • Illinbah circuit and the Illinbah bush camping area;
  • Gwongoorool track; and
  • Caves circuit. Note: A long term closure will apply to the Caves circuit due to a significant landslide.

Tracks closed in the Green Mountains section include:

  • Albert River circuit;
  • Toolona Creek circuit; and
  • West Canungra Creek circuit.

All other walking tracks and camping areas in Lamington National Park are open.

QPWS rangers are currently working on repairs to the other walking tracks and facilities.

Observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and do not enter closed areas.

Lamington National Park alerts

Most remote bush camping areas in Lamington National Park are now open with caution. Bushwalkers and campers should use extreme caution and stay alert for hazards.  Read more

Springbrook National Park

Springbrook Plateau section

Following damage from ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the eastern section of Purling Brook circuit, from the John Stacey suspension bridge up to and including the eastern lookout, the causeway at the top of the falls, and the track to Settlement day-use area remain closed.

Access to the main western lookout remains open.

Observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and do not enter closed areas.

Natural Bridge section

Work has started to upgrade the stairs in the glow-worm cave at Natural Bridge. It is anticipated that this work will be completed by Friday 2 June 2017, pending favourable weather conditions.

The upgrade involves the complete removal of the existing stairs and the installation of a new staircase.

As a result, the following areas are temporarily closed for the duration of the work:

  • Glow-worm cave
  • The upper section of the walking track from the fig tree to the cave entrance.

The lower walking track remains open and provides access to the external lookout ONLY. This lookout is situated outside the cave, but provides views into the cave. Return via the same route to get back to the car park.

Observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and do not enter closed areas.

For latest official details on all park alerts and closures see Gold Coast hinterland national parks alerts at https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/park-alerts and NSW NPWS Alerts at http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/alerts/alerts-list

National Parks closures Gold Coast and Northern Rivers

Mt Warning Road is now open, with access to accommodation and cafes/restaurants also open for business, but the Wollumbin / Mount Warning Summit walk in Wollumbin National Park is closed due to storm damage.

Popular camping areas in Border Ranges National Park and Nightcap National Park are open.  See summaries below.

For alternative camping options see Big Volcano Campgrounds and Big Volcano Caravan Parks and Holiday Parks

For latest official details see Gold Coast hinterland national parks alerts at https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/park-alerts and NSW NPWS Alerts at http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/alerts/alerts-list

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Gold Coast hinterland national parks alerts

Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk (view park page)

Lamington National Park closed due to ex-tropical cyclone Debbie

Lamington National Park (view park page)

Lamington National Park closed due to ex-tropical cyclone Debbie

Springbrook National Park (view park page)

Springbrook National Park closed due to ex-tropical cyclone Debbie

Cascades track in Mount Cougal section closed due to ex-tropical cyclone Debbie

As a result of damage from ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the above mentioned protected areas will remain closed until declared safe.

QPWS rangers are currently working on repairs. Observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and do not enter closed areas.

Commercial tour operators and other permit or agreement holders are not permitted to enter closed areas.

Tamborine National Park (view park page)

Caution required: creek crossing on Lower Creek circuit at Joalah

Corbould and Cedar Creek fire trails closed due to ex-tropical cyclone Debbie

Northern Rivers national parks alerts

Border Ranges National Park  Last reviewed: Thu 06 Apr 2017, 1.29pm.

Tweed Range Scenic Drive and Brindle Creek Loop Road are closed due to affects of Tropical Cyclone Debbie. Sheepstation Creek campground is open and can only be accessed via Lynches Creek Road from Wiangaree.  All walking tracks will remain closed until further assessment. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible.

Mooball National Park  Last reviewed: Fri 07 Apr 2017, 12.36pm.

This park is closed due to storm damage associated with ex tropical cyclone Debbie, unless the closure is otherwise extended or removed.

Mount Clunie National Park Last reviewed: Tue 31 May 2016, 10.12am.

Mt Clunie road is closed until further notice due to a collapsed bridge. There is a locked gate and access is restricted.

Mount Jerusalem National Park Last reviewed: Fri 07 Apr 2017, 12.00pm.

This park is closed due to storm damage and blockages related to trees and landslips. This closure remains in place unless otherwise extended or removed.

Nightcap National Park / Whian Whian State Conservation Area  Last reviewed: Fri 07 Apr 2017, 4.07pm.

Terania Creek picnic area, Protestors Falls and various walking tracks in Nightcap National Park and Whian Whian State Conservation Area are closed due to flooding. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible.

Minyon Grass and Minyon Falls picnic areas remain open. Rummery Park campground is also open.

Please drive safely and be aware of road conditions.

Toonumbar National Park  Last reviewed: Fri 07 Apr 2017, 12.36pm.

This park is closed due to storm damage associated with ex tropical cyclone Debbie, unless the closure is otherwise extended or removed.  For more information, please contact the NPWS Tweed-Kyogle area office on (02) 6632 0000 (Kyogle) or (02) 6670 8600 (Murwillumbah)

Wollumbin National Park Last reviewed: Fri 07 Apr 2017, 12.36pm.

This park is closed due to storm damage, unless the closure is otherwise extended or removed. … The Wollumbin / Mount Warning Summit walk is closed due to storm damage.

See Gold Coast hinterland national parks alerts at https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/park-alerts and NSW NPWS Alerts at http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/alerts/alerts-list for full details.

Alternative Attractions to National Parks

See also Big Volcano Regional Tourist and Visitor Guide or blog posts: Wollumbin National Park closed for other options, and also Mt Warning Climb Alternatives, two 2013 posts offering some other choices to a climb or rainforest walk.  (Some of these suggestions will be closed as above.)

Couples Only Accommodation in the Byron Bay – Gold Coast region

Listing local holiday accommodation where you can enjoy an intimate or private getaway without worrying about kids running about being, well, kids, it’s a great directory to visit if you’re looking for the perfect place to pop the question or a honeymoon spot, or even just wanting to find a relaxing break.

Our Couples Only Accommodation directory covers the Byron Bay, Tweed Heads, Kingscliff, Northern Rivers region of NSW, and Gold Coast hinterland, Tamborine Mountain area of QLD, Australia.

SatinashBdRm122L45 Photo: © Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat

Farmstays; the affordable alternative family holiday

Some of the best family holiday memories have come from those unexpected moments when you and the kids get back to nature.

Very popular for many years, Farmstays and farm stay accommodation give families an often affordable alternative to national parks camping or beach side holiday cabin accommodations.

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Photo © courtesy Hosanna Farm Stay

Working farms are usually on larger land holdings, where families can observe farm routines and join in farm activities, with the children able to get up close and personal with cute and sometimes not so cuddly farm animals.

Hobby farms on smaller acreage, will usually have animals more used to handling and petting, with kids having the opportunity to learn appropriate behaviour around animals.

Activities like horse riding, bush walking, canoeing, bicycling, archery and fishing are often available on-site or nearby.

The chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and experience the lifestyle of the “man and woman on the land”, where mum and dad can relax while the kids enjoy the wide open spaces, fresh, clean air, get filthy and run themselves ragged before a sound nights’ sleep, is an often overlooked family holiday option.

See Big Volcano Farmstays, farm stay accommodation and host farm holidays directory, covering the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Gold Coast Hinterland and Scenic Rim region of Queensland, Australia.

Family holiday apartments accommodation directory – Big Volcano Visitor Guide

Are you still looking for family holiday accommodation for your summer break?

Well then, here’s a comprehensive directory of holiday apartments, vacation rentals and high rise units in the region, ranging from Ballina, Byron Bay and Tweed Heads in New South Wales, up to Coolangatta and the southern Gold Coast in Queensland, with web site links and phone numbers for quick contacts.

pool02EEL30 Photo caption: Sunrise Cove Waterfront Holiday Apartments by David Palmer ©

There is also a smattering of Broadbeach and Surfers high rise apartments, with instant real-time booking links available.

The page is spilt into Holiday apartments which are usually in a resort complex, and no more than 3 stories walk-up.  These units will have separate bedrooms, lounge and dining room, fully fitted kitchen, bathroom/s and laundry. Bed linen and bath towels are usually included, or available for hire.

Hi Rise apartments are over 4 storeys with lift access, and usually have onsite resident managers.  AS well as fully self catering apartments, the on-site facilities will usually include at least a swimming pool, BBQ, gym or other recreation facilities, and a tour desk with booking services is usually available. 

Often located close to the local action, if you don’t feel like cooking, it’s then just a stroll to the nearest restaurant strip, with some also having an in-house or onsite restaurant, so you don’t even need to leave the complex if that’s your choice.

Been there, Seen that. Movies shot here

So the 2014 film award season is upon us, and Huff Post Travel just did a cutesy piece on location settings for some of this year’s Oscar contenders.

Which got me thinking about films shot in our neck of the woods.

Rural view

Ballina beach view


So here’s a quick roll call;

Everyone’s favourite ABBA revival movie: Muriel’s Wedding (1994), had Rainbow Bay, Point Danger and Tugun standing in for Porpoise Spit.

And in 2009, local director Belinda Chayko, filmed Lou (2010), which starred one of the latest of the Doctors Who, John Hurt, entirely on location in the Tweed.

Although, apart from the promotional poster, you’d really need to be a local to realise it, as the director and editor/s did a great job of carefully avoiding including the most distinctive feature of the valley in any shot.

But sharp eyed locals would recognise the Surfside Buslines beach bus route scene being Clothiers Creek Road, as it trundled past the Nunderi turnoff, as well upteen shots with the McPherson Ranges, Springbrook National Park and The Cougals outlined in the background, in other scenes.

Coolangatta Gold (1984), which actually spawned the contest named after it, rather than the other way round, was shot at, funnily enough, Coolangatta and other locations on the Gold Coast.   >> Coolangatta Gold 2013.

And as far a TV goes, well, that list is getting a good work out, with the Brit “reality” favourite; “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here“, being shot on a property located a short drive from Murwillumbah since 2002.

Forays into the local wilds usually include Crams Farm, which also featured recently, along with the usual selection of local villages like Tyalgum, with Rachel Griffiths, who starred in the recent “Camp” TV series (2013 NBC), before she got called up to play in the current Tom Hanks hit “Saving Mr Banks“.

Speaking of Muriel alumni, PJ Hogan’s “Mental” (2012), with Toni Collette and Liev Schreiber, had location shooting in and around Ballina, not to mention a climb of Mt Warning.  PJ must like his old stomping ground.

But then, what’s not to like?

Great scenery and locations, oodles of local talent to call on, close to two international airports: Brisbane and Gold Coast, and of course, being less than 90 minutes drive south of Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast, is a bit of help too.

And while local organisations and groups (below) are doing their best to raise the profile of the region, it also doesn’t hurt when celebrities like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie fly into Byron for the day (January 2014), and enjoy some quality fun time with the kids at local attractions like Byron Circus Arts, and a meal in town later, before decamping back to Brissie.

And let’s not forget Lady O herself, with a group from Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure, finding out about the pleasures of Byron Bay as part of their New South Wales itinerary.

Local Arts Organisations:

Byron Bay International Film Festival has morphed from an Australian to a truly international film festival.

Nothern Rivers ScreenWorks is the screen industry gateway for the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia, serving creative practitioners in the film, television, video, and digital media sectors.

Arts Northern Rivers is the peak body for the arts and cultural sector in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia.

Flickerfest International Short Film Festival is Australia’s only Academy Accredited Short Film Festival screening the best of new and cutting edge short films from Australia and the world.