There is something so magical about watching water cascading down. In tropical north Queensland, waterfalls are also a great way to cool down! We weren’t the luckiest with the waterfalls as it was dry season, however they were still breathtaking! Here are the top 13 waterfalls and swimming holes in north Queensland, Australia.
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13) Nandroya Falls
Nandroya falls is not the easiest to find as Google Maps will lead you to the middle of the road… The easiest way to find it is by searching for Henrietta Creek. You can park here and find the track to the waterfall. You can walk the track as a loop (6.6km) or opt for the shorter walk there and back (4.4km).
12) Wallicher Falls
Wallicher Falls is another hard to find waterfall. There aren’t any signs on the road, apart from a tiny one that is hidden in the trees. It is located north of the Palmerston Highway, midway between Henrietta Creek and Mamu Tropical skywalk. It’s a 1.4km return walk from the road. I loved the natural leaf framing at Wallicher Falls, great for photos!
11) Babinda Boulders
The perfect spot to break up your drive and chill out! Surrounded by lush rainforest and with crystal clear water, the Babinda Boulders is popular swimming hole south of Cairns. It is similar to Mossman Gorge but there is a larger area to swim in.
10) Cardwell spa pool
Cardwell Spa Pool is a naturally-fed, seasonal creek with gorgeous blue water! If you are driving north to Cairns, or South to Airlie Beach/Townsville, you will no doubt pass the Cardwell Spa Pool, so it’s a great spot to stop and cool off. Make sure you check the water level before going though, as in dry season it looks nothing like this!
You can contact the Cardwell Visitor & Heritage Centre on 07 4066 2412 to find out the current water level.
9) Fairy Falls
About a 30 minute drive from Cairns is the Crystal cascades. If you take the path to the left of the carpark you will find a beautiful hidden waterfall with a fallen tree and rope to jump off! Find out exactly how to find the Fairy Falls.
8) Mossman Gorge
If you are heading up to Cape Tribulation or Port Douglas I recommend stopping by Mossman Gorge. Here you can enjoy the wonders of the national park at your own pace, exploring a number of walking tracks including the popular Gorge Circuit. You can also enjoy a refreshing swim in the gorge which is framed by greenery and striking mountains in the distance.
You can access the gorge by a bus from the visitor centre, the $9 return ticket goes towards supporting the local Aboriginal community. At the visitors centre you will be able to see if the water at the gorge is okay to swim in. The current can be strong when the water level is high, so make sure you check!
7) Barron Falls
The Barron River runs through Barron Gorge National Park which features rugged mountain scenery, tropical rainforests, diverse wildlife and a fascinating history. During the wetter months, floodwaters regularly create a spectacular sight at Barron Falls. However it still looks amazing even during the dry season.
6) Zillie Falls
I only found out about this waterfall upon my stay at Milla Milla. It doesn’t appear on many (if any?) blogs and it’s not insta famous. However it is definitely worth a visit! Make sure you climb down to the bottom (past the viewpoint) for the perfect vantage point. We went around 4pm just as the light was at the perfect height at the top of the waterfall!
5) Ellinjaa Falls
Ellinjaa falls is a ledge waterfall surrounded by greenery. The water cascades over a series of lava columns, it looks like something from a fantasy movie! Keep your eyes peeled on the 200 metre walkway to the base of the falls, as this is where turtles and platypus are often spotted!
4) Milla Milla Falls
Milla Milla Falls are part of the Waterfall circuit (along with Zillie and Ellinjaa falls), Milla Milla is a beautiful tropical paradise and is the location of the Herbal Essence’s advert (you know, the one with the shower orgasm!). Milla Milla means ‘water water’ or ‘plenty of water’, as the area is the wettest in Australia and usually experiences over 4 months a year of rain. As we were there during dry season the waterfall doesn’t look as dramatic but I still had fun doing the hair flip!
The water is VERY refreshing, but this is good as it means that most people aren’t swimming! We went around 4:30pm midweek and had it to ourselves.
3) Tully Gorge
Infinity pool with a view, and it’s not even a long walk to get there! Head to Tully Gorge Lookout ( 24km south of Ravenshoe via Tully Falls Road) and go on the river walk (1.3km return). Walk to the end of the path and then take the steps on the left down to the river. You will then need to backtrack along the river (river to your left) to find a spot to cross over. Once you’ve crossed over you’ll be on a rock plateau overlooking Tully Gorge.
The infinity pool is located to the right if you are looking at the view. Beware that If you go in dry season you might not be able to swim as the water level will be low (and stagnant). However the view is still amazing!
2) Wallaman Falls
With a main drop of 268 metres Wallaman Falls is Australia’s tallest single-drop waterfall! There is a viewing platform to enjoy the waterfall from above, as well as a track leading down to the plunge pool. This track is quite steep with a number of loose rocks so please make sure you wear closed footwear. You will need around 1-2 hours to walk down and back up again (plus however long you want to stay at the bottom for). Make sure you bring food and drink with you as the waterfall is in the middle of a national park. The nearest town, Ingham, is about an hour’s drive away.
1) Windin Falls
My personal favourite waterfall for a number of reasons. The view is just EPIC, you really feel like your miles and miles away from civilisation yet it’s only actually an hour hike each way. The infinity pool is located at the top of Windin Falls in the Atherton Tablelands (Wooroonooran National Park) and looks out over a luscious green valley. It isn’t the easiest waterfall to find however my step by step guide will help!
Have you visited any amazing waterfalls of swimming holes in North Queensland? Let me know in the comments!
If you’re planning a roadtrip in north Queensland check out my two week itinerary!
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