The Top 11 Waterfalls in Queensland, Part 1: #11-#6

Water is an essential element for life, but don’t be fooled by its necessity. Water can shape rock, flood towns, and take away life at the blink of an eye.

Waterfalls are a testament to the strength of this essential element and the power of nature.

Over the course of our two month Queensland road trip, we visited dozens of waterfalls. A “Top Waterfalls in Queensland” was brewing… but ranking them proved to be quite the challenge.

We made a list, ranked each from 1-10 based on the following criteria:

  1. Experience: How was the journey getting there?
  2. First Impression: What was the initial “wow” factor?
  3. Surrounding Setting: How aesthetically pleasing was the scenery?

We made out rankings, added up the points, and voila! A countdown was born!

Here are waterfalls 11-6 in the top 11 waterfalls in Queensland countdown.

11. Cedar Creek Falls

Cedar Creek Falls
Cedar Creek Falls

Cedar Creek Falls is a lush oasis located halfway between Airlee Beach (gateway the Whitsundays) and Prosupine (great pubic swimming pool). The area boasts a large swimming hole that sits at the base of a cute 20 m drop fall that makes an appearance during the rainy season.

Why We Like It: It wasn’t crowded, great swimming conditions, and climbing around on top of the falls was a blast!

Cedar Creek Falls
Cedar Creek Falls

Safety Tip: In the photo above, you can spot a blue rope swing on the left side of the photo. A man saw us peeking at it an came over for a chat. He proceeded to tell us how his friend, a local who had been using that rope swing for decades, died two weeks prior because he hit a submerged rock. All these swimming holes have warning signs of submerged rocks… they are there for a reason!

Experience: 7.5

First Impression: 5

Surrounding Setting:  8

Swimming: Yes!

Distance: 0 m

Difficulty: Easy Peasy… hardly any walk at all.

10. Fairy Falls

Fairy Falls
Fairy Falls

Fairy Falls is a hidden gem in Cairns that is right next to the mega-popular crystal cascades. There is no signage indicating Fairy Falls even exists, but a quick 15 minute walk is all it takes to get to the stunning little 5m drop fall. Because it’s not on the map, you’ll likely have the little jungle escape all to yourself.

How to get there: From the parking lot, if the entrance to the Crystal Cascade walking track is in the right corner, the entrance to the Fairy Falls track is in the left corner. You’ll see a “stinging nettle” warning signs. Continue along the path and stick to hugging the creek. At one point there will be a steep hill, but take the rock hopping option instead and you’ll be at Fairy Falls in no time.

Why We Like It: The setting is idyllic with jungle vines strewn every which way. Plus, we had it all to ourselves!

Experience: 8

First Impression: 6

Surrounding Setting: 7.5

Swimmable?: Yes!

Distance: 15ish minute walk

Difficulty: 5/10, some rock scrambling along the way

9. Emerald Creek Falls

Emerald Creek Falls
Emerald Creek Falls

Emerald Creek Falls is 72 km out of Cairns in the Atherton Tablelands region. A beautiful walk along granite boulders and crystal clear water leads to a 30 m fall flowing into a crisp and clear swimming hole.

Why We Like It: Rather than green jungle, the area around Emerald Creek Falls is dry and a bit brown. Yet, there is this flow of water weaving through stunning granite boulders. Tropical North Queensland is full of surprises!

NOTE: While you don’t necessarily need a 4wd to make it up the dirt road, the journey was quite difficult for a campervan. I was shocked we made it through the massive potholes in one piece.

 Experience: 7.5

First Impression: 6

Surrounding Setting: 7.5

Swimming?: Yes

Distance: 1.9km return

Difficulty: 3/10

8. Coomera Circuit

Coomera Falls
Coomera Falls

The Coomera Circuit is a 16.1km loop track through the Binna Burra side of Lamington National Park, which is 106km south of Brisbane. The track goes past 14 or so waterfalls, with the prime attraction being Coomera Falls, a 64m drop fall cascading down the mountain side. Apart from the falls, the surrounding flora has a rich, dark green color that is quite spectacular.

Why We Like It: The journey is a total waterfall extravaganza, and it’s a great track for immersing yourself in nature. Plus, it’s quite long, and you have that, “Man… I did something!” feeling afterwards.

Pro Tip: The track was super muddy…. Jeremy wore white sneakers, which weren’t white by the end.

Warning: The final 1/3 of the circuit is a bit monotonous, making it hard to ignore achey legs!

Experience: 7

First Impression: 7

Surrounding Setting: 8

Swimming?: No

Distance: 16.1km

Difficulty: easy track, but long.

7. Purling Brook Falls

Purling Brook Falls is a popular destination located in Springbrook National Park, just 105 km south of Brisbane. The loop track takes you pass the top of the falls as well as to the bottom, so you can really marvel at the impressive 100 m drop. We took on the 4km loop in the pouring rain, and we thoroughly enjoyed the journey!

Purling Brook Falls
Purling Brook Falls

Why We Like It: Purling Brook Falls has everything you’d want in a nature outing. A looped path that isn’t too long, but not too short, interesting plants to look at, and a breathtaking waterfall!

Experience: 7

First Impression: 6.5

Surrounding Setting:  8.5

Swimming?: No

Distance: 4km

Difficulty: Moderate, some slick rocks!

6. Nandroya Falls

Nandroya Falls
Nandroya Falls

The Nandoya Falls trail is a 6.6km path through lush, dense rainforest, and is right near the famous Millaa Millaa Circuit. The walk has some up and downs with a few river crossings, and you’re rewarded with great views of the 60 m drop fall roaring through a wall of rock.

Nandroya Falls
Nandroya Falls
Nandroya Falls

Why We Like It: The walk is truly stunning, with vibrant green flora. The fall is quite impressive as well. Seeing water spew out of rock face is pretty cool!

Experience:  6.5

First Impression: 7.5

Surrounding Setting: 8.5

Swimming: Yes!

Distance: 6.6km return

Difficulty: Easy, mostly flat path

Stay Tuned for the the Top 5!!!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. but wait, there’s more????
    so many beautiful falls!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s