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Family Friendly Bushwalking to Cougal Cascades

Father and children paddle in water at Cougal Cascades
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By Jenna Marrone for Families Magazine – Gold Coast

So many of us just want to get our kids outdoors on the weekend, into nature and away from the endless technology that swamps their lives. When the wish list includes a place to go that is easy to get to, suitable for all levels of walkers and can include water play then look no further than the family friendly walk to Cougal Cascades located in Springbrook National Park at the end of Currumbin Creek Road.

This place is popular with locals due to the well maintained walking path, beautiful environment and surrounds and the gorgeous cascading water that runs alongside the path. To get there simply put ‘Cougal Cascade’ into your Google Map App and you will be taken right to the car park and rainforest entrance.

What You’ll Find on Your Family Friendly Bushwalk to Cougal Cascades

The well maintained bitumen path begins next to the car park and leads walkers into the quiet, humid rainforest that surrounds the Cougal Cascades. The gentle incline follows alongside the cascading water as it runs through rapids, rock pools and fern lined creek beds. Walkers can stop and view the cascades from a number of small platforms alongside the path and there are benches along the way for tired legs.

When the weather is warm, the Cougal Cascades are filled with teenagers, families and kids swimming in the cold water and laying in the sun on the warm, grey rocks. A fun pastime for walkers is watching the swimmers jump into the freezing water (and promptly get back out), their cries of joy and elation make most people want to run back to the car and grab their togs to join the fun.

At the end of this bushwalk you’ll discover the remnants of an old 1940’s saw mill. It’s small, but interesting and gives the sudden perspective of the open air, cleared area that surrounds the cascades.

Cougal Cascades little boy staring up at rainforest tree

A Family Friendly Walk to Cougal Cascades Keeps Everyone Entertained

The family friendly walk to Cougal Cascades provides families with an opportunity to experience the beauty of Mother Nature, get some fresh air and to swim in clear, cold mountain water.

  • The walking path is 1.6km return and mostly flat, we walked the path pulling along our beach cart and had no issues.
  • There are a number of places that you can swim, but the entrance to the water is steep in most places. There is an entrance to the creek down some foot-made tracks, they are steep and can be really slippery so go slowly if you are heading down with kids
  • At the end of the track there is an additional dirt path that leads from the end of the old Saw Mill down to a very calm and shallow section of the Cougal Cascades. It’s a little tricky to navigate down to the creek, but once you take your shoes off it’ll reduce the chance of slipping. Once down into the creek, kids can keep busy building dams and skimming stones and there is even a deeper section a bit further up that is perfect for kids to swim around in.

Incredible rainforest waterhole at Cougal Cascades

The Highlights That Make This Track Particularly Good For Families

The family friendliness of this bushwalk to the Cougal Cascades is based around the ease of the walking track, options for kids to play and swim in the water and the historical relevance of the old Saw Mill. Families with prams, or off spring with tiny legs can make their way slowly along this path and learn about the local fauna and flora along the way.

For those more adventurous families, sliding your way down the steep embankment down to the water is an option and this opens you up to being able to swim, jump off rocks and even take a picnic to stay for a few hours.

Family friendly walking track at Cougal Cascades

Hot Tips for Families Travelling to Cougal Cascades Bushwalk

  • There is parking at the end of Currumbin Creek Road especially for this bushwalk, the car park has signs everywhere to advise not to leave valuables in your car
  • The car park overflow can often see cars parked back down Currumbin Creek Road, be careful how close you park to the final creek crossing as following a lot of rain it can get high water
  • There are environmental toilets at the entrance to the walking track
  • To adventure down to the creek itself you should be surefooted and a confident swimmer, it is not the type of place you would want to have an accident
  • In summer the mozzies can be bad up on the path, so take steps to avoid being bitten
  • If you have older kids a fun thing to do it walk up to the top of the path and then walk back down the actual creek (as far as you can make it), this is quite an adventure and you will get wet and have to problem solve to navigate through the different creek sections

Cougal Cascades rock pool scene

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