Tropical North Queensland is a waterfall lover’s paradise. Mountains and a torrential rainy season are the perfect recipe for epic waterfalls, and there are waterfall hunting opportunities literally around every corner.
There’s one fall that blows them all out of the water:
The easy 5.5 km track reveals one of the most rewarding waterfall experiences I’ve ever had. For a truly incredible experience, make it a sunrise hike.
Here is our journey! Enjoy!
Part One: Finding a Place to Sleep
“We need to always figure out where we’re sleeping before sunset!” A simple rule we have a knack for breaking, and one we exclaimed as we found ourselves winding up a steep road covered with hopping toads in the the dark.
A slow hour later, we arrived at the Windin Falls trailhead. There was a Britz camper with 3 girls laughing and eating snacks. Thought 1: Great! Let’s just sleep here! Thought 2: Shit. I hope they aren’t doing the sunrise hike too.
Disclaimer: Free camping (sleeping in your car/van at anywhere other than designated spots) is illegal in Queensland and can earn you big fines. During our roadie, it didn’t seem like law enforcement was too concerned with free campers. Perhaps the lack of international tourism is to thank. We may or may not have run the gauntlet a few times…
We parked the van, hopped in the back, and set the alarm for 4:15am before calling it a night.
Part Two: The Journey There
I immediately popped up to the squawk of the alarm, excited for the adventure ahead. I choked down my refrigerated coffee that tasted like motor oil while Jeremy packed up the drone. We were making moves by 4:30am. No signs of life from the camper next door. Phew!
For a safe sunrise hike, you should always have a proper headlight, ankle protectors in the events of crossing paths with a snake, and a radio encase you get in trouble.
We had none of that.
Luckily, the path was surprisingly easy to navigate and Jeremy’s GoPro had a light bright enough to light the way.
There were toads hopping everywhere and an echidna scurrying around. There was a noise rustling in the dark. Would this be the Blair Witch Project Part IV? Grunting noises led us to conclude it was a wild pig. At least, I hope it was a wild pid.
By 6am, the sky started to light up with a blazing red color. We frantically picked up the pace and scrambled down a big hill to make it just in time to witness nature at it’s finest.
Part Three: Being There
We took a seat next to the natural infinity pool spewing water down as the sun peeked up in between the rolling mountains. I’m not a religious woman, but the pure perfection of the scene was hard to comprehend. The sun was perfectly nuzzled up in between the green hills. The rock pool was calm and serene, paying no attention to the roaring fall below. The morning air was invigoratingly crisp with the perfect kiss of warmth.
The magnitude and power of Windin Falls became realized as Jeremy got the drone into the air. The aerial view revealed just how tall the falls were. I felt oddly humbled as I stepped into the rock pool. Scooting a bit to the left would lead to my demise. But nature allowed me to be a part of the falls in the calm water just on the right.
We spent an hour soaking it all in.
Part Four: The Return Journey
It was pitch black getting there, meaning we had no idea what the path actually looked like. Would the path be dense and green? Dry and brown?
Surprisingly, it was the later.
The return journey wasn’t too enjoyable. The scenery was a bit boring and the travel high faded into sluggishness around the 45 minute mark. We made it back to the van before 9am totally exhausted but blissfully satisfied.
It was an experience for the books, and one that I won’t soon forget.