Cycle Queensland, Road Ride, Little Nerang Dam to Springbrook
This is a very challenging ride. It is relatively short distance of a little over 23km; they are however almost exclusively all uphill. The gradient is never particularly steep, it is just a long, steady ascent taking you right in to the heart of one of South East Queensland’s best kept secrets.
After the picturesque and unspoiled descent down from Little Nerang Dam, the road immediately begins to climb as soon as you turn left on to Gold CoastSpringbrook Road. As way of motivation, right in front of you is Polly’s Country Kitchen; just one of the great places to sit back and relax with a well earned cool drink after the hard ride up to the summit of this climb.
The road winds steadily upwards through ancient rainforest. While narrow along its length, traffic is very light, only ever really increasing on a weekend or public holiday when day-trippers come to look at the area. There is great cover overhead as you climb up towards the summit and lookouts at and around Springbrook; helping to keep you cool during the warmer months. Use caution when crossing the wooden bridges around some of the corners; these can be slippery following rain or just a cold night.
A little over 11 kilometres after leaving Little Nerang Dam, you will pass the turn off for Pine Creek Road on your right. You are almost half way up the climb now. The road splits in two for the next kilometre or so, taking you to ride along the cliff edge with stunning views in to Springbrook National Park on your left. There is a nice lookout where you can stop to admire the scene safely. Opposite here is Paddy Melons Alfresco Café; again, another tempting selection of drinks, snacks and treats for the return leg.
A few kilometres further up the mountain, the ride enters Springbrook village. This is popular with day trippers in both cars and buses. Thankfully they do not normally get there until mid to late morning so if you are up and out early, it is usually a picture of serene beauty and tranquility as you enter the mountain village.
Having passed through the village, the road does become steeper for a short period. If the gradient does get too much, be sure to stop at Hardy’s Lookout to admire where you have come from and to catch your breath. Along this stretch you will also find a few local fruit sellers and farm gates with road-side stalls and honesty boxes next to them.
Turning right on to Repeater Ridge Road, there is just 3.8km left to go to the finish. This is a very quiet road, used by just a few locals and tourists driving to Best of All Look-out; your final destination. Follow the road to the left after a further 0.7km, on to Repeater Station Road; from here it is one way to the top. It is a hard ride up here but the sense of accomplishment is wonderful and the views and rainforest make it an experience worth undertaking.
Exit the Pacific Highway at Junction 79 (southbound), following the signs for Springbrook. In approximately 17km, you will be at the foot of the climb up to the Little Nerang Dam and the start of the ride.
Food and Drink
After the ride, at the foot of Little Nerang Dam, try Polly’s Country Kitchen. Alternatively, try Paddy Melon’s Alfresco Café at the Wunburra Lookout. If you need a sugar boost, stop by Get Fudged on your right hand side as you enter the township of Springbrook on the way up.
This whole area is one great side trip. There are ancient rainforests walks, waterfalls and quaint mountain townships to explore. Spend a day enjoying this area once you are done on the bike.
23.226 km / 14.432 mi
1,214 m / 3,981 ft
394 m / 1,292 ft
1,008 m / 3,306 ft