Australias Green Cauldron

Australia's Green Cauldron
Sunrise at Burleigh Heads, QLD
Mt Warning, NSW
Stand-up Paddle Boarding

Australia's Green Cauldron

Walk around Mount Warning (Wollumbin) in Australia's Green Cauldron – the remnants of an ancient shield volcano that is now a living Gondwanan rainforest. This vast caldera stretches from Byron Bay to the Gold Coast and west towards the Great Dividing Range. Walk around the base of Mount Warning (Wollumbin) and through World Heritage-listed national parks such as Lamington, Border Ranges, Springbrook and Nightcap. Spot rare birds and animals in the sub-tropical rainforest and visit creative, new-age communities. Drive the Rainforest Way around this bio-diverse region and discover its sacred story with Aboriginal guides.

Five ways to find yourself in the Green Cauldron

Nightcap National Park, NSW
Nightcap National Park, NSW

1. Meander through mystical national parks

Walk the Lyrebird Track around the base of Mount Warning (Wollumbin) and listen for the call of the rare Albert's Lyrebird. Wind along the many tracks in the lush sub-tropical rainforest of Lamington National Park, then do the O'Reillys Tree Top Walk through the vine-lined canopy. Trek down valleys and up to spectacular lookouts in Springbrook National Park. Climb Pinnacle Lookout, on the rim of massive Wollumbin Crater, in Border Ranges National Park. Then picnic amongst the park's Antarctic beech forest. Scale the heights of Mt Maroon, Mt Barney, Mt Mitchell and Mt Cordeaux near Beaudesert. Hike past waterfalls and creeks in the scenic Nightcap Range in Nightcap National Park.

Byron Bay, NSW
Byron Bay, NSW

2. Slow down in hinterland towns

Dine in an art-deco café in Murwillumbah, where Mount Warning (Wollumbin) towers majestically in the background. Then drive the Mount Warning Circuit through the historic villages of Uki and Tyalgum or take the Tweed Range Drive to Kyogle and Lismore. Retreat to a health spa in the Ballina hinterland or learn to surf in Byron Bay. Cruise the Tweed River from Kingscliff or swim, surf and fish off the wide, white beaches. Get your aura read and taste biodynamic food in Rainbow Region towns such as Casino, Kyogle, Lismore and Nimbin.

Kookaburra
Kookaburra

3. Meet the native animals

Picnic with kangaroos, koalas, spotted-tail quolls and squirrel gliders in Mount Warning National Park. Listen out for the whip-crack call of the male whip bird and the copycat cry of the Albert's lyrebird. See the rare rufous scrub-bird, wompoo pigeon and marbled frogmouth. In Border Rangers National Park, which is home to Australia's highest concentration of marsupial species, you'll meet echidnas, bandicoots, platypus, pademelons, possums and flying-foxes. From Kingscliff and Byron Bay, you can spot dolphins frolicking in the water and humpback whales on their annual migration.

Mt Warning (Wollumbin), NSW
Mt Warning (Wollumbin), NSW

4. Embrace the Rainforest Way

Drive the Rainforest Way, a series of loops and trails linking a string of World Heritage-listed National Parks. Take in emerald farmlands and Gondwanan forest on the Tweed Range Scenic Drive along the upper rim of the ancient Mount Warning (Wollumbin) caldera. Cross the Great Dividing Range and stop atop the Richmond Range for sweeping views to the distant volcanic plugs. Explore Boonah or go rock-climbing in Mount French National Park on the Main Range drive. Visit Tamborine Mountain in the Gold Coast hinterland, or meander through Nimbin to tall Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park.

Fireside Corrooboree, Currumbin, QLD
Fireside Corrooboree, Currumbin, QLD

5. Connect to living Aboriginal culture

Visit the Aboriginal Cultural Centre at South Tweed Heads and organise a guided cultural tour through neighbouring Ukerebagh Nature Reserve. North on the Gold Coast, you can kayak to South Stradbroke and Wavebreak islands with Balunjali guides. Snorkel with stingrays, hunt for golden swamp wallabies and lunch on bush tucker. Also on the Gold Coast, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary hosts daily Aboriginal dance shows and nightly fireside corroborees. Join an evening cultural tour through nearby Springbrook National Park, visiting glow worm caves and listening to the Dreaming stories of star constellations.

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