Families will soon be able to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Springbrook National Park from the treetops, with a project to build a suspension bridge across the gorge below Purling Brook Falls.
National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said tenders would soon be called for the project, which would help deliver on the LNP Government’s promise to grow tourism as one of the four pillars of the economy and make Queensland Australia’s top nature-based tourism destination.
“The bridge will be an instant World Heritage tourism icon which would boost the local economy, as well as providing an outlet for Gold Coast families to get fit and healthy in the great outdoors,” Mr Dickson said.
“It will have a single span of about 25 metres, around seven metres above the creek and approximately 200 metres of new track will be established amongst sub-tropical rainforest and along the banks of the Little Nerang Creek.
“The bridge will allow visitors to complete a circuit to view the falls for the first time in more than two and a half years since a section was closed due to landslides and ongoing maintenance problems.
“We have a strong plan to grow tourism where Labor failed for so long and this bridge will create a brighter future for all families who visit.
“Purling Brook Circuit is one of our most popular national park tracks, so we had to find a solution to keep it open as we could not afford to keep rebuilding the track, which has cost $400,000 in repairs since 2008 plus about $60,000 on monitoring.
“A feasibility study and geological mapping have been undertaken to determine the location, and the bridge and track will be located downstream away from possible rockfalls and erosion.”
Member for Mudgeeraba Ros Bates said Springbrook was an important drawcard for tourists and locals.
“The suspension bridge will give double vistas – a complete view of the beautiful 100-metre drop Purling Brook waterfall – one of Queensland’s 10 highest waterfalls – and downstream to smaller falls and Little Nerang Creek,” Ms Bates said.
“From the lookouts at the top of the falls, the bridge will blend in with the landscape.”
“Reopening the Purling Brook Circuit and offering the bridge experience will help us promote the park as an iconic world heritage tourism destination.”
Daniel Gschwind, Chief Executive, Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC), welcomed the investment.
“The Gold Coast is a major attraction for visitors to Queensland and Springbrook National Park and surrounding parks are some of the most magical places in this region,” he said.
By creating diverse and innovative experiences we will attract visitors to venture into the hinterland – creating flow on economic benefits for this region.”
Tenders for the bridge construction will be called in August 2014.