Springbrook, the early days

18 Jan 2012 9:46 AMSusan Guthrie
Springbrook, the early days

Experience the history and natural beauty of Springbrook with Ian Black of Geo-Nature Walks and Tours on his wonderful Experience Springbrook guided walking tour. 

 

To whet your appetite, read on for a fascinating account of Springbrook and the early settlers.

 

With an altitude of 600 - 1000 metres, the Springbrook Plateau stands out significantly when viewed from any location on the Gold Coast. The first settlers moved to the plateau in 1906 even though the dirt track up to the plateau was still under construction at the time.

 

Originally named Springwood, the name was soon changed when the mail delivery was continually confused with the Springwood in the Blue Mountains. The settlers set about clearing the plateau of its massive rainforest trees and as photo one, taken from Hardy’s lookout, shows there were few left by 1940.

 

Times were hard for the early families, with an average of over three metres of rain a year and sometimes five.  Everything they owned went mouldy and rotted away from the constant dampness. Being at a high altitude so close to the coast meant the mountain was often covered by a cloudy mist and there was even snow recorded twice last Century.

 

 

By 1928, a new one-way road was built linking Neranwood to the plateau (photo two). Traffic flow was two hours down the range and two hours back up.  Furthermore, if you missed the timeslot you would have to wait in the park at the bottom of the range at Neranwood for the traffic direction to change again.

 

 

Photo three shows Mr & Mrs Trapp, owners of nearby Maroo, standing in front of the new sign. The road was rebuilt for two-way traffic in the 1960s when unique curved timber bridges were constructed over two gullies. You can still see one of the stone troughs used to water the horses when building the road at one of the switchbacks (photo four).

 

 

Read more by purchasing a copy of ‘Springbrook: A history of the plateau’ by Pamela Hall from many of the shops on the plateau.

 

(Black and white photos kindly supplied by the local studies library)

 

 

Interested in learning more?  Join one of Geo-Nature’s Experience Springbrook guided walks for a fascinating and informative introduction to this beautiful part of the Gold Coast.
 

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