Did you know that glow worms are only found in Australia and New Zealand? If you are wondering where to find Glow Worms on the Gold Coast, then luckily for you there are two different places to spot them.
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The best time of year to see glow worms is during the warmer months when they rely on the wet, dense nature of caves and rainforests for survival.
Where To Find Glow Worms On The Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is home to Springbrook National Park (a Gondwana Rainforest), which features one of Australia’s best-known glow worm viewing sites. Further inland, at Tamborine Mountain, you can also find a purpose-built cave designed to replicate the ideal conditions of the Glow Worms.
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Glow Worms at Springbrook Natural Bridge Cave
Springbrook National Park features Australia’s best-known glow-worm viewing site and is visited by hundreds of people every night, hoping to catch a glimpse of these magical creatures. The best time to see Glow Worms at this location is in the Australian Summer from December to March.
The viewing platform to see the Glow Worms is via the Natural Bridge within Springbrook National Park. The Natural Bridge was given this name thanks to a waterfall that has eroded through harder surface deposits, forming a natural cavern-type appearance.
Springbrook National Park details
Over 100 species of birds live in the beautiful plants and trees of the heritage-listed Springbrook National Park. Wompoo Fruit doves and Paradise rifle birds are just a few species you will hear as they swoop and sing through this ancient rainforest. Expect to be overwhelmed by the sensory input of the sounds and the smells of this dense tropical rainforest, quite a magical experience.
An experience like this for kids is even more remarkable when one considers that Australia has lost three-quarters of the rainforests that once inhabited the nation.
As you visit this natural cave, it is essential to take only memories, leave only footprints and use this experience to educate our kids to about the natural world and this world heritage area.
A video of the Glow Worm tour
Taking photos without a flash makes for difficult glow worm images so we thought it best to show you what a glow worm tour might look like.
Guided tours of the Glow Worms at Natural Bridge Cave
While you can go alone, glow-worm nocturnal tour guides will maximise the experience. You can book a guided tour here with Southern Cross Tour Co. We like this tour because it includes pick up and drop off from major points around the Gold Coast and includes a warm drink and cake during your tour (which, trust us, you will want!)
How to make the most of visiting the Glow Worms
- Dress for bushwalking
- Take precautions for rain (it is a rainforest, which means the weather can change quickly and clouds can blow over quickly)
- Lock your car when you park and take all your valuables with you
- Let someone know where you are going
- Nocturnal tours are the best way to ensure seeing the glow worms and we 100% recommend doing this with a one of the gold coasts’ official guides
- Take drinking water
- Spray clothing and body with insect repellent before you embark on your walk but also take it with you in a backpack
- Check you and your kids for leeches upon return to your car
Logistics of Glow Worm Hunting
Along with a picnic, pack some torches for the family to take in one of the most unique natural experiences Australia has to offer and the opportunity to see glow worms in their natural habitat. Remember not to shine your light directly at the glow worms, as this will stop them from feeding! Not only will you see a beautiful waterfall inside the cave, but you may also be lucky to witness Australia’s largest concentration of glow worms!
The cost of visiting Glow Worms at Natural Bridge
Visiting the park to see the Gold Coast Glow Worms is free all day. There is a viewing platform and public toilets.
It does cost money to take a guided Gold Coast glow worm tour but it is well worth it for the knowledge and experience.
While you are at Springbrook National Park, there are plenty of other things to see, including stunning views and bushwalks featuring waterfalls. We have linked to some of these at the bottom of this article if you want to make a full day of your adventure.
Glow Worm Cave Tamborine Mountain
The Glow Worm Caves Tamborine Mountain are nestled behind a boutique winery in picturesque Tamborine Mountain in the Gold Coast Hinterland. These man-made caves have been created to simulate the natural environment of the Glow Worm as it would exist in the surrounding areas.
This controlled environment has been created as part of a plan to grow the colony to self-sufficiency. Slowly prey is produced in the small ponds around the cave, providing an ongoing food supply for the glow worms. Be prepared for wet caves, dripping water, silk threads of the glow worms; a little creepy in a beautiful way!
Mount Tamborine guided cave tour
The glow worms at Mount Tamborine are visited as part of onsite paid guided tour that operates during the daytime. A tour guide takes small groups inside to see the glow worms housed in two large chambers. They spend the tour explaining all the ins and outs of the glow worms’ existence, the best conditions for their survival and the life cycle of these natural wonders.
It is quite a dark experience for young children (mimicking night time), and the tour talk may be too lengthy for a toddler but was enjoyed by our primary school-aged kids. After walking through the first chamber into the second, you will be rewarded with the luminescent glow of the worms lighting up the cave walls. For more information on the guided glow worm tour and Mount Tamborine in general, check out our guide to things to do in Mount Tamborine.
If you are a visitor to Brisbane and would like a tour package from the Gold Coast, Pineapple Tours does a luxury day trip with pick up from your hotel. This includes a drive through Tamborine Mountain National Park and entry to Tamborine Mountain Glowworm Caves. You can find more about that here
Facts about Glow Worms
There is nothing quite like impressing your kids with random facts so here you go:
- The larvae form of the glow worm is called a fungus gnat
- Glow worms only eat at their larvae stage
- They produce long spider web like tendrils to catch their prey
- The perfect environment for glow worms is a dark, wet place with dense, moist air.
- Glow worms are actually insects.
- The Arachnocampa genus of glow worms, found in Australia and New Zealand, is unique to the Southern Hemisphere. These particular glow worms are not found anywhere else in the world. (We dare you to remember that)
References or for further information:
Why Do Glow Worms Glow?
The glow worms in South East Queensland have a scientific name called Arachnocampa flava.
How to get to the Gold Coast Glow Worms
Tamborine Mountain Glow Worms
Find the Tamborine Mountain Glow Works at Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard, 104 Hartley Rd, Tamborine Mountain QLD. Tamborine Mountain is about 45 minutes from Surfers Paradise, travelling inland past Nerang. Tamborine Mountain is well worth the day trip and we have an extensive list of things to do in Tamborine Mountain besides visiting the glow worms.
Glow Worms at Natural Bridge
The Natural Bridge is located in Springbrook National Park and is about the same distance from Surfers Paradise as the Tamborine Glow Worms- around 50 minutes. Head to the Nerang, Murwillimbah Road and then take the turn off for the Natural Bridge section.
Map of Glow Worms at the Gold Coast