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in In My Backyard, Travel Australia

In My Backyard: Killarney Glen

  • May 10, 2016
  • By 50 Shades
  • 20 Comments
Killarney Glen Heart-Shaped Rock Pool

Killarney Glen Heart-Shaped Rock Pool

What do you do when your two adult children are in the same place at the same time and are both free for a half day outing? A big rarity in our family! In what was a lightbulb moment I suggested we take a trip out to the newest Gold Coast natural attraction.

It is true that sometimes what is right in our backyard we are completely oblivious to. For example I never knew that this fabulous local natural attraction called Killarney Glen even existed until a few months ago.

Killarney Glen Rock Pools

Killarney Glen Rock Pools

So where is Killarney Glen? It is located in the Gold Coast Hinterland near Canungra around 34 Kms from where I live.

What is Killarney Glen? It’s a heart shaped rock pool that launched 1,000 Instagram posts.

Path down to Killarney Glen

Path down to Killarney Glen

Killarney Glen is located just off Beechmont Road, between Beechmont and Canungra. A street sign marks where the 2.5km walk to Killarney Glen starts and a narrow steep path winds its way down to the rock pools and waterfalls.

The Australian Defence Department owns and uses this property as a buffer zone for the Canungra Land Warfare Centre, and access to this waterfall may sometimes be closed due to the army training nearby. But on most weekends and school holidays it is open to the public.

Killarney Glen Rocky Stream

Killarney Glen Rocky Stream

So our little family of four, plus our son’s girlfriend, packed our small backpacks with the essentials – sunscreen, water bottles, bathers and towels, and we set off down the steep path towards the rock pools.

Towards the end of the path there is an old tin shed/shack which has a few tables and chairs which I guess are used as shelter and shade for visitors to the rock pools.

Killarney Glen Shack

Killarney Glen Shack

You reach the rock-bottomed creek and waterfall into the beautiful heart-shaped rock pool. You can jump off the rocks into this “love pool” or walk further downstream where there are more rock pools which are a little easier to access.

Killarney Glen

Killarney Glen

After you have enjoyed a refreshing swim in the rock pools and snapped your memento photo of the heart-shaped pool it is a strenuous steep climb up the path to the carpark and road.

Killarney Glen Rock Pool

Killarney Glen Rock Pool

It is worth driving into the Canungra township where there is a great pub for a cold drink and counter lunch. Many day trippers stop in Canungra en route to the Lamington National Park and the mountain resorts of Binna Burra and O’Reilly’s.

Canungra Pub

Canungra Pub

Another popular place to stop for a bite to eat is the Outpost Cafe which is famous for its homemade meat pies. On that particular Sunday there were hundreds of motorbikes lined up outside this cafe, so either the pies are really that tasty or this is a handy place to stop during their Sunday ride.

Little Church in Canungra

Little Church in Canungra

So that was Killarney Glen done and dusted! It was a great way to spend a half day with the family and some quality time together.

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By 50 Shades, May 10, 2016 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 20

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

20 Comments
  • budgettraveltalk
    May 10, 2016

    That water looks delicious and maybe a little cold. Looks like an interesting area with the old shack to explore.

    • Kathy
      May 10, 2016

      I must confess I didn’t test the temperature of the water. But it has been very summery here so I doubt whether it was too icy. It was a lovely place to explore. That heart-shaped rock pool is extraordinary! :)

      • budgettraveltalk
        May 11, 2016

        Agreed. I wonder if some romantic couples go there to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

  • Rae Hilhorst
    May 10, 2016

    What a fabulous day. All of my favourite things. Family, walking and a pup with food x

    • Kathy
      May 10, 2016

      It was a fabulous day Rae. I love being with my grown-up family doing something together. We should do it more often! :)

  • Rayners On The Road
    May 10, 2016

    Great spot! My kids loved jumping off those rocks!

    • Kathy
      May 10, 2016

      Killarney Glen was such a wonderful surprise. I really enjoy discovering our hinterland. :)

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    May 10, 2016

    What a beautiful rock pool. We went to Canungra for a look a few weeks ago and Scott had a pie at one of the cafes. It’s a pretty little town.

    • Kathy
      May 10, 2016

      The ultimate love pool! If that was the Outpost Cafe, then they are very famous for their pies. I can recommend the pub as well for lunch. :)

  • Jo
    May 11, 2016

    Killarney Glen looks just the spot for a varied, non confrontational neutral territory and fun family outing. Heart shaped? No wonder it’s been instagrammed to death but never mind how it’s seen personally is all that counts. Yes #takemethere please x The water looks lovely.

    • Kathy
      May 12, 2016

      It was a wonderful place to spend some quality time with the kids. Yes this heart-shaped pool went viral a while back and I never even knew it existed until someone showed me the photos. The water was very refreshing, however I was too chicken to go in! :)

  • Kooky Chic
    May 16, 2016

    What an absolutely perfect spot. Will definitely visit. Loved your photos.

    • Kathy
      May 16, 2016

      Thank you. Yes I would definitely put this pretty place on your must see list. :)

  • Fran @ TravelGenee
    May 17, 2016

    Visiting the town afterwards was a great idea. I loved these photos as much as the bush and water ones.

    • Kathy
      May 17, 2016

      Thanks Fran. Canungra is a lovely little village set in the Gold Coast Hinterland. I always enjoy stopping at towns like these as they have so much character.:)

  • Life Images by Jill
    June 4, 2016

    this looks like a lovely place to visit. And if it is hot you get to cool off with a swim. And then have a pub lunch after. Perfect.

    • Kathy
      June 5, 2016

      Killarney Glen was the perfect place for a cool change and refreshing swim in the rock pools. The Gold Coast Hinterland does offer some gorgeous scenic spots and nice little villages, such as Canungra. Ideal for a micro-holiday! :)

  • Janet Kan (nee Fitzgerald)
    June 20, 2016

    This was my dad’s (freehold) property before it was taken from him by compulsory acquisition by the Commonwealth Government at the Army’s request in 1970-71. I was with my dad when he passed away there on 17/08/97, aged 87. He died secure in the belief that people’s love of Killarney Glen would ultimately decide the fate of this precious natural resource. No creek in nearby Lamington National Park can boast 6 permanent waterfalls. Back Creek begins near Binna Burra and should be the jewel in the crown of the National Park. Please enjoy it, take care of it and leave it as you found it. JK

    • Kathy
      June 20, 2016

      Hi Janet, thank you so much for the history on Killarney Glen. I did know it was privately owned and then taken over by the Defence Force. Your father must have loved his piece of paradise and I imagine as children you visited often to enjoy the rock pools. It is a unique and beautiful place. I hope the hordes of tourists that visit on the weekends take care of the property and leave it in its pristine condition. :)

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