Springbrook Cableway

  • Project typeTourism
Female bushwalkers in forest

A pre-feasibility assessment conducted in 2020 concluded that a cableway to Springbrook could offer significant economic benefits to the city.

The proposition of a cableway is complex and would need to satisfy rigorous State and Commonwealth environmental and cultural heritage protection requirements.

Council resolved to undertake Traditional Owner consultation.

The opportunity

The Springbrook plateau offers impressive views to the surrounding landscape. It has:

  • waterfalls and a selection of walks into the edge of the Springbrook National Park
  • significant evolutionary and geological history
  • a high nature conservation value
  • 2400 hectares included in the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.

A cableway to Springbrook may offer a unique experience of an area of significant evolutionary and geological history. It could showcase natural and cultural values in a fair and accessible way.

Assessment overview

The pre-feasibility assessment concluded that:

  • there is merit in a cableway to Springbrook, particularly as part of a broader strategy for the hinterland
  • there is a market opportunity for the project
  • subject to more detailed analysis, a cableway proposal could break even within 10 years
  • there are numerous challenges requiring further investigation and detailed assessment
  • there are good prospects that a well-conceived, responsive cableway proposal could be formulated.

The assessment did not investigate a particular proposal or route for a future cableway. This approach was adopted deliberately, given the limitations of a Pre-Feasibility Assessment. The approval pathway for a cableway would be subject to the definition of a route and proposal details.

While government could progress a level of project de-risking and business case work, ultimately the cableway would be designed, built and operated by a third party.

Project benefits

The assessment found that a cableway could attract approximately 580,062 passengers per annum and had the potential to provide:

  • 267 new jobs during the construction phase and 149 jobs through the operational phase through direct and flow-on impacts
  • $36.6 million value to the Gold Coast economy annually through operations
  • a total contribution to the Tourism Industry of $48.3 million per annum and 409 jobs
  • a tourism uplift with more than 243,000 additional visitor nights each year and $52 million in expenditure, assuming 5% of overnight visitors increase their stay by one night.

Next steps

An update report to Economy, Tourism and Events Committee on 21 February 2023 and full Council on 28 February 2023, resolved that the next step for a cableway to Springbrook is consultation with Traditional Owners. It further resolved that a community consultation strategy only be advanced if Traditional Owners’ support has been obtained. Traditional Owner consultation is underway and an update report will be provided to Council in early 2024.

Project documentation