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Our four are rock scramblers and waterfall lovers from way back. For recent teen birthday, we discovered a little oasis only minutes from the Gold Coast, onto a waterfall and one of our favourite pubs. 

I grew up at Tweed Heads. Never in my time growing up, or my regular trips back to see the folks, had we swum at Currumbin Rock Pools

It was a super hot day. And the water – refreshingly cold. There’s a lots of picnic tables around, grassy banks and toilets on the creekside above. We followed Currumbin Creek Road up and there was plenty of parking – but it was still packed on the weekend. There is a cafe across the road. 

Our youngest didn’t stray too much further from the jumping rock. We paddled to the little waterfalls, where there were lots of younger families and littlies playing. You could explore much further, the creek was delightful.

Next stop: Springbrook National Park – which I was familiar with, but not the Mount Cougal section. Stop at the Cougal Cascades car park and picnic area. Note: this is not a place for caravans or even larger motorhomes. The drive up is very windy and parking was tight, especially on the weekend. 

It is a 1.6 km return track to the Cascades. We were greeted with a fellow with a broken arm, being looked after. A good reminder for my mountain goat boys.

You can actually stop earlier, but there is no access track from the track, just a scramble down the rocks to the creek. I found a cool bubbling pool to sit in, whilst the kids and Heatley explored and dipped their heads under another small waterfall. 

Hunger took us back to the car, and over the border towards Murwillumbah. We realised as we approached Tumbulgum Pub, it was 1.30pm Queensland time – and we were hoping the kitchen was still open a hour later in NSW. 

This pub holds special significance for me. A place Dad used to stop off every week for years as he drove from Tweed Heads to Murwillumbah for my piano lessons. We’d stop for a ‘chip and a drink’. Samboys or Red Seal (remember them?) with red lemonade for us kids and a beer for Dad. We held his wake at the pub, with all his 16 grandchildren present. 

They closed off meals straight after our order. Whew! 

It is a beautiful old pub, worth sitting there and looking over to the glorious Tweed River. 

A great day out!