20 Best Waterfalls in Queensland & Nearby Attractions

When you visit Queensland, waterfalls are one of the best things to see in the state. You can see both the widest and tallest waterfalls in Australia in Queensland and your waterfall watching takes you from the Gondwana forests of southeast Queensland to the rainforests in the tropical north.

Some of the best waterfalls in Queensland also have beautiful swimming holes, glow worm filled caves and hikes through lush rainforest paths. Many of the waterfalls are easy to access, for Barron Falls near Cairns you can even catch a train to see them.

As well as the best waterfalls in Queensland, we also include other attractions nearby so you can make a full day of your waterfall watching adventure.

Disclosure: Please Note That Some Links In This Post May Be Affiliate Links, And At No Additional Cost To You, We Earn A Small Commission If You Make A Purchase. Commissions Go Toward Maintaining The Curious Campers Website.

Purling brook falls

Purling Brook Falls

Contributed by Steve from Curious Campers

Purling Brook Falls is in the Springbrook Plateau section of Springbrook National Park which is about 60 minutes from the Gold Coast and 90 minutes from Brisbane. On your 2-3 hour walk to the falls, you’ll be trekking through some beautiful rainforest.

The walk to Purling Brook falls starts at the Gwongorella Picnic Grounds. From there it is a 4km – 6km circuit hike to the base of the falls and back up. The walk to the falls is lovely, you descend through the forest, past other small falls to the base – you can hear the roar of the water well before you arrive!

The view from the bottom of the 109m falls is spectacular. You can’t swim here, but if you do the extra 2km walk to Warringa Pool you can go for a refreshing dip. The extra walk is worth it.

On the walk back to top you cross a suspension bridge which lets you see the falls from a different angle. Views of the falls continue for the first part of your ascent which is a helpful distraction from the big steps you have to tackle on your way back up.

Day Trips to Purling Brook Falls

Read More :  Purling Brook Falls Walking Guide

Wallaman Falls

Wallaman Falls

Contributed by Bea from Our Wanders

At 268 meters, Wallaman Falls is the tallest single-drop waterfall in Australia. It’s located in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, about 2.5 hours drive from Townsville to the north-west, within Girringun National Park. It’s also part of the traditional lands of the Warrgamaygan Aboriginal people who consider it sacred.

The waterfall is pretty and powerful, but the giant rock walls of the gorge also look spectacular. Two amazing lookouts are just a few steps from the car park at the end of Wallaman Falls Lookout Road. Both the main lookout and the Herbert River Valley lookout provide stunning views of the large waterfall and the gorge.

To get to the base of the falls you need to take the Djyinda Trail. It starts about 300 meters from the lookout, and it’s a steep, 3.2 return trail through wild, lush green rainforest. You can enjoy the mist on your face – and probably a rainbow, too – at the waterfall lookout at the end.

The Wallaman Falls has water year-round, but it’s the most powerful in the wet season (between November and April). Rainy days make the trail quite muddy and slippery though. Read a detailed guide to the Wallaman Falls and things to do in the area.

Millaa Milla Waterfall Atherton Tablelands

Millaa Millaa Falls

Contributed by Lanie from Make More Adventures

Located in the Atherton Tablelands area, about an hour and a half south of Cairns is the Waterfall Circuit in Tropical North Queensland. Waterfall Circuit is a group of 3 waterfalls, including Millaa Millaa Falls, which is believed to be the most photographed waterfall in Australia.

It is easy to get to Millaa Millaa Falls as it is a quick walk from the car park.  There are toilets, change rooms, and picnic tables nearby, making Millaa Millaa Falls an easy and convenient place for swimming and picnic lunches.

Millaa Millaa Falls flows into a large pool that is perfect for swimming.  It is even possible to swim behind the falls.  There are rocks and shallow water to the right of the pool for those who want to play in the water but not get completely wet.

Surrounded by rainforest, Millaa Millaa Falls is a beautiful place to bring a picnic, swim, and enjoy the view.  Millaa Millaa Falls is close to Zillie Falls and Ellinjaa Falls for those who want to complete the waterfall circuit.

Day Trips to Millaa Millaa Falls

Read More :  Queensland’s Savannah Way Road Trip

Buderim Falls

Buderim Falls

Contributed by Janine from School Holiday Activities

Just a 1 hour drive north of Brisbane, you will find the beautiful Buderim Falls also known as Serenity Falls on the Sunshine Coast. Located in Buderim Forest Park, a 45 hectare rainforest housing native plants and wildlife and a babbling creek you will find the beautiful Buderim Falls.

You have two easy parking options either at Quorn Close car park that allows you to walk around 350 metres directly to the main waterfall or you can park off Harry’s Lane for a longer walk over a boardwalk and along a 1300m trail to the waterfall.

You can technically swim at the waterfall, and we have seen many people swim there on our visits. However, the advice is to not swim at the waterfall as the creek that feeds it is fed from the local waterway that travels through the urban environment and the local council cannot guarantee that the waterfall and pool below it will be free of debris.

With an easy walk, luscious scenery and an optional swim at the end, Buderim Falls is a must do for visitors and Sunshine Coast local alike!

Natural Bridge Springbrook

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge is another of Springbrook National Park’s beautiful waterfalls. Springbrook is 60 minutes from the Gold Coast in the rainforest hinterland. Natural Bridge isn’t the tallest or widest falls you’ll see in Queensland, but it is one of the most beautiful.

From the car park you follow an easy 1km loop trail that takes you through the forest to Cave Creek and to the falls. Natural Bridge Falls cascade through the hole in the roof of a cave. It is a great view from above, but it is even better at the base.

The path takes you down to where you can see the water drop from the roof into the pool in the cave. It is a great sight – but it gets even better at night. Natural Bridge is also one of the best places in Queensland to see glow worms. At night you can walk inside the cave and see the tiny bright dots of light on the cave wall.

There are great views of the falls from several vantage points around the track. For the best experience, arrive at first light and you will have the place to yourself. It can get busy here on weekends and school holidays.

Day Trips to Springbrook National Park

Read More :  Springbrook National Park Waterfalls

Josephine Falls

Josephine Falls

Contributed by Lotte of Phenomenal Globe 

One of the prettiest waterfalls in Queensland to add to your East Coast road trip itinerary is Josephine Falls, a scenic waterfall in Wooroonooran National Park. The clear waters are perfect for swimming and it’s easy to spend a day here to enjoy the beautiful scenery.  

To reach Josephine Falls, take the Bartle Frere road from Mirriwinni (just south of Babinda) and follow the signs. 

From the car park it’s a short and easy walk through the rainforest to the waterfall. The track is paved so it’s suitable for strollers as well, which makes this one of the best waterfalls to visit with (very) young children.  

Older kids will love the natural waterslide and climbing over the large granite boulders. Note that there are designated swimming areas and please obey the signs (they are there for a reason!).  

If you’re a hiker you may want to tackle the 10 km Bartle Frere hike (to Broken Nose) or opt for a short but sweet hike to the top waterfalls.   

Day Trips to Josephine Falls

Cascade Falls

Crystal Cascades

Contributed by Erin from Explore with Erin

I had no idea when I went to Cairns that the beautiful beaches and Great Barrier Reef would be matched by stunning waterfalls. And one of the best things about waterfalls is that they are free!

The closest waterfall to Cairns city centre is only 20 mins away. Crystal Cascades is a popular freshwater swimming hole surrounded by tropical rainforest, and a huge bonus is that it is crocodile-free.

It is an easy 20 minute easy walk on a smooth path from the car park to the falls. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of swimming holes to jump into. I don’t recommend wearing hiking boots but bring your togs for a quick dip.

Bonus: Want a more secluded waterfall then head to the back of the Crystal Cascades carpark, head down the small, unmarked trail and find yourself a secret waterfall. You’ll wander through some lush, thick rainforest vegetation before stumbling upon Fairy Falls, a spectacular little waterfall with a deep swimming hole.

Barron Falls

Barron Falls

Barron Falls are a big, tiered cascade set of falls between Cairns and Kuranda. One of the highlights of marking them off your list of Queensland waterfalls is getting there. They are one of the main attractions when you take the train from Cairns up into the mountains to Kuranda. There is a train station at the falls so you can hop out and get a good look at them.

You can also drive to the falls, look for the turn off on Barron falls Road to the lookout. Another great thing about Barron falls is the viewing area. Known as The Edge Lookout, the circular, glass-floored platform is a wonderful vantage point to take in the spectacle of the falls. Barron Falls are at their best after rain so if you can visit then you will see an amazing sight.

Barron Falls is one of the stops, whether by road or cable car or train, on your way to rainforest village of Kuranda. Kuranda is famous for its markets but the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld, koala sanctuary and rainforest experiences make it a great day trip from Cairns. Combine your trip on the Skyrail with a train ride back to Cairns for a great day out.

Day Trips to Barron Falls

Mena Creek Falls

Mena Creek Falls

Contributed by Paula from Australia Your Way

Mena Creek Falls is 110km south of Cairns is one of the most popular attractions in the region. Nestled among rolling hills and lush rainforest, this is an easy stop off if you are heading along the coast between Brisbane and Cairns.

This is a permanent waterfall that provides hydro electricity to the adjoining property, Paronella Park, an eco-certified and heritage-listed Spanish castle. To view the falls from the base, you need to pay the entry fee to Paronella Park. However, you can enjoy the top of the falls and the suspension bridge over the top for free. The free viewing platform offers a view of the castle and grounds, and the waterfall from above.

The road to the falls in sealed and there is plenty of parking. From here it’s only a 5-minute walk to the viewing point. They are also backlit at night, so if you are staying nearby, pop in for another visit; they look amazing.

Sadly, this is not a waterfall you can enjoy a swim in with signs warning of crocodile activity best not ignored. Head to nearby Liverpool Creek for a dip before or after your visit.

There is a pub just across the road that does great burgers and pies if you arrive hungry. There are also picnic tables in a lovely grassed area by the carpark area if you are self catering.

Mena Creek is also close to the Atherton Tablelands, which is a fabulous place to spend a few days with excellent hiking trails, good fishing and interesting caves to explore.

Day Trips to Paronella Park

  • The Paronella Experience – lookout for Cassowaries & afternoon tea on the beach of Etty Bay. Explore Paronella Park before taking in the impressive light show in the evening
Elinjaa Falls

Ellinja Falls

Contributed by Janine from Get Out With Kids

Ellinjaa Falls is one of a series of three waterfalls on what Queenslanders affectionately call the ‘Waterfall Circuit’. If you are visiting Cairns and are keen for a trip through the Atherton Tablelands, then add the circuit to your itinerary. The circuit is a 17 km drive but how long it takes will depend on how long you spend at each of the falls and if you swim!

The trip from Cairns to the Ellinjaa Falls is easy from the Bruce Highway and then along Riverstone Road and then Gillies Range Road. Your stop is Millaa Milla Falls, then continue on to Zillie Falls, and then lastly Ellinjaa Falls. 

Ellinjaa Falls run year round so it is always a great sight. There is a car park across the road and the waterfall is an easy 10 minute walk from where you park. On the short walk to the waterfall, you will experience north Queensland’s tropical rainforest and its peaceful, lush and serene beauty.

You can swim in the falls, so allow enough time to either swim or walk around the area and soak in the beauty!

Clamshell Falls
Clamshell Falls

Clamshell Falls

Clamshell Falls are about 35 minutes south of Cairns. Look for the turn off to Behana Gorge just south of Gordonvale. It is the same road that takes you past the spectacular Walsh’s Pyramid. There is an undulating 3.3km walk to Clamshell Falls but the reward at the end of the hike is a beautiful, tiered waterfall with several idyllic swimming spots.

The sealed path from the carpark is straight but you’ll be walking up and down several long hills, it is quite a rollercoaster! Following you on one side of the path is the cement pipe that carries water from the Behana Intake off to Cairns. On the other side is the Mulgrave River which you can see on and off on the walk to the Falls.

The view of the Clamshell Falls at the end of the walk is quite a sight. Best of all, with a bit of rock hopping, you can access several swimming spots at the bottom of each tier. It is an amazing landscape with the falls, pool and rainforest. There are no facilities at the falls and accessing the water takes some balance, but Clamshell Falls are a great sight if you don’t mind the walk.

Read More: Walking to Clamshell Falls

Twin Falls
Twin Falls

Twin Falls

Twin Falls are one of the most popular waterfalls in Springbrook National Park. Springbrook is 60 minutes from the Gold Coast and 90 minutes from Brisbane. You get to Twin Falls either on a 2.4km return walk, or you can do a 4km loop walk that takes you behind the pretty Blackfellow Falls too.

Parking for Twin Falls is either at the Tallanbana Picnic Area or the Canyon Lookout. The walk down to the falls is a lot of fun. A dirt path takes you down into the Springbrook National Park’s rainforests between a maze of giant boulders. As you near Twin Falls, the path divides and you can choose a route either behind the falls or along the front edge. You get a great view from both tracks.

Twin Falls is a popular swimming area. There is a big pool at the base of the falls, and it gets quite busy here on weekends and during the holidays. From Twin Falls you can either walk back up to the carpark the way you came, or continue to another waterfall, Blackfellow Falls. From there, a series of switchbacks take you back to the top of the canyon.

While you are in Springbrook National Park, make sure you also check out Purling Brook Falls, the falls on the Warrie Circuit and Natural Bridge.

Read More: Best Walks in Springbrook National Park

Millstream Falls
Millstream Falls

Big & Little Millstream Falls

If you like to tick off a landmark, you should make your way to Big Millstream Falls. These falls near Ravenshoe are said to be the widest single drop falls in Australia. Ravenshoe is 2 hours from Cairns and only 45 minutes from Atherton if you are spending some time in the Atherton Tablelands.

The sealed road to Big Millstream falls is just out of Ravenshoe. Look for the signed turnoff a couple of minutes out of town. From the car park you have an easy 5-10 minute walk to the lookout which gives you great views of the 340m wide falls that drop down over ancient columns of lava.

There are a second set of falls in Millstream National Park – Little Millstream Falls. You can catch a glimpse of them from the main falls, but despite them being so close, you need to drive to a separate carpark to access Little Millstream Falls. Head back to Ravenshoe and look for the signed turned off from Wooroora Road onto a dirt road to the carpark.

Although smaller, the three falls that make up Little Millstream Falls are still a great sight and you are able to walk down to the base for a swim which you can’t do at Big Millstream Falls.

Mungali Falls
Mungalli Falls

More Atherton Waterfalls

If you are staying in the Atherton Tablelands there are no shortage of water falls to check out. Besides the beautiful Millaa Millaa Falls, Josephine Falls and Ellinja you can do the full Atherton Waterfall Circuit.

  • Zillie Falls – near Millaa Millaa Falls, these 30m high falls are just a short walk from the carpark.
  • Dinner Falls – In Mt Hypipamee Crater National Park, there is an easy 1km loop walk to the falls on the Barron River.
  • Mungalli Falls – Walk through the Mungalli Wilderness Retreat (free entry) and along a dirt track to a series a falls.
  • Nandroya Falls – One for walkers, this 6.5km circuit walk from the Henrietta Creek Campground in Wooroonooran National Park takes you past the falls, creeks and lookouts.
  • Malanda Falls – There is a swimming spot, picnic area and rainforest walk at these easily accessed small but pretty falls just outside Malanda.
  • Tchupala and Wallicher Falls – Look for the turn off on the Palmerston Highway to these less visited but beautiful falls. Each prong of the split path leads to a different set of falls. To get to both of the 10-15 high falls it is about a 2km, 45 minute walk.

Atherton Waterfall Circuit Day Tours

If you enjoyed this story you might also like:

Brisbane Day Trips  |  Swim with Turtles  |  Visit Magnetic Island

Like it? Pin it for Later…

Waterfalls in Queensland
Waterfalls in Queensland
Waterfalls in Queensland
Waterfalls in Queensland
Things to do in Australia

Join our mailing list and receive our Free Top 500 things to do in Australia. If you love the Australian Outdoors download this list and keep it handy when you are planning a weekend away or a road trip around Australia.

Recent Posts

Leave a comment