This weekend we're on the Gold Coast visiting my father in law and on a stinking hot morning we got up early to drive him to work so we could take the car to Springbrook National Park and get some trail action in.
Having spent the last 4-5 weeks since Tarawera largely restocking my cookie jar, I'm starting to get back into the swing of things with my running. So I was super happy when the Mrs suggested we look up some local trails. Thinking it was all beaches on the GC had me resigned to road running (fuck running on the sand, I'm not that recovered yet!!) But I was very excited to find out there a whole heap of awesome trails within a half hour drive of where we'd be.
We decided on the Purling Brook circuit with extension out to Little Nerang Creek via Warringa Pool. Plotting it on Movescount said it would sound 8.5k with c600m gain. So a pretty decent little jaunt for us to do together.
We did the loop counterclockwise so first checked out the Purling Brook Falls lookout. Looking down we realised it was quite a way down to the bottom and not knowing the area I wasn't 100% sure but figured it would be highly likely we'd end up at the bottom...
...and sure enough we started a pretty steady decent on the trails that took us down to the swing bridge in the above photo.
The trails are nice single track and very runnable though a touch trickier than they look. Lots of leaves covered the trail and under them were tree roots and stones that were perfect ankle rolling material. We both let out a number of yelps as we tweaked our ankles but luckily we run trails enough to have pretty resilient ankles.
The trail out to Warringa Pool is much of the same, a beautiful single tracks that winds its way down to the water. We had considered stopping at Warringa Pool for a swim but decided against and continued in to Little Nerang Creek along the Great Hinterland Walk. At the creek we took a breather before starting the climb back out to the start.
We were treated to an encounter with a decent sized Goanna coming along the track sandwiched between us and another group of walkers. Luckily the walkers told us to stand still and let it pass as apparently they can chase you if you freak them out and we've ran enough for now hey!
Soon you climb out back to another couple of waterfall lookouts and back to the car park.
This is a great loop and I hope to return and start at Apple Tree Park next time which is about 12.5k but quite a bit more elevation.
For some great trail inspo for the Gold Coast check out http://www.juddadventures.com.au/trail-guides/#gold-coast