Hiking Guide: Cougal Cascades

Updated: Jan 24, 2019

Most locals and visitors to the Gold Coast have heard of Currumbin Rock Pools – a bubbling creek cascades lightly into the natural swimming hole, which stays refreshingly cool even during the pressing summer heat – but is overrun by families and day-trippers most weekends.

Unlike its busy neighbour, Cougal Cascades lies just up the road but still remains a bit of a local’s secret. The small bubbling creek pools into cascades before tumbling down a two-tier waterfall and into the large swimming hole below. Dip your feet into the stream, submerge yourself completely in the natural pool or be like one of a daredevil locals and use the waterfall like a slide and slip from the top all the way to the middle pool.

As the pools are filled by rain and mountain streams, always remember to test water depths before diving or sliding in.

Before you go

Pack: If you have a GoPro, this is the perfect time to bring it along to get some sweet shots of yourself sliding down the waterfalls. It’s not necessary to pack any food unless you want to; you’re super close to plenty of shops for lunch – I highly recommend taking a detour to Freeman’s Family Farm if you’re visiting on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday; a stunning little family farm perched in the hills and sells fresh produce, smoothies, coffee and little baked goods.Wear: Swimmers

Getting to the starting point

Cougal Cascades is located in the Cougal National Park in the Currumbin Valley. As with most sights in the hinterland, the only way to get here is by car.

Google Maps will take you there if you type in ‘Cougal Cascades’.Take exit 95 off the Pacific Motorway, and after about a 1km turn left onto Currumbin Creek Road and follow the signs for State Route 98 Currumbin Valley.The winding tree-lined streets lead through the Valley, past the Currumbin Rock Pools and State School, and follow the road to the very end. Currumbin Creek Road finishes at the car park, right where the trail begins.

Getting onto the trail

The trail begins at the carpark– follow the paved path past the signs and map of the area. Oh and don’t forget to always lock your car.

The Hike

To use the term ‘Hike’ would be a stretch. The path from the car park is at a slight incline and paved.

Reaching the destination

There isn’t a proper path down to the rocks and waterfalls – you’ll see a slightly trodden track veering off the path after the wooden look-out, just carefully scale down and make your way across the rocks to find a nice flat spot to set yourself.


Follow the same path back down to the carpark.

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