When it comes to natural wonders and wide-open spaces, there’s plenty worth seeking out in Australia. With over 500 national parks, the problem isn’t finding them – it’s choosing just one or two to visit. Here’s where we think you should head once you’ve picked up your rental car at the nearest Enterprise Rent-A-Car branch.
What is it about waterfalls that we just can’t resist? Sure, the inviting pools of water at the bottom provide welcome relief from the heat of the tropics. Yet somehow if there’s a vertical waterway cascading into that pool, it looks so much more beautiful. Far North Queensland is paradise for those who love to chase waterfalls. Read on for ten of the best.
Located in the gorgeous Atherton Tablelands, Milla Millaa may look familiar due to several appearances in TV adverts and music videos. This is a popular spot, taking home the prize for the most photographed waterfall in the tablelands, and it’s easy to see why. Millaa Milla is a beautiful waterfall, dropping into an inviting pool surrounded by lush greenery.
If you’re up for a hike, then Spring Creek Falls, tucked away in the Mowbray Valley, is certainly worth it. The walk should take around an hour of rock hopping each way. If the tropical heat is too much to handle, you can cool off in rock pools along the walk. There’s a small amount of climbing at the end to reach the majestic waterfall at the top, where you can enjoy a much-deserved swim.
In the depths of the Kuranda range, Barron Falls rages dramatically down the mountains, providing magnificent views. Whilst you can’t swim here it’s still an impressive waterfall to look at, and one of the largest in the region. The lookout provides the best views; however it can also be seen from the Skyrail and Scenic Railway. Barron Falls is wonderful to see at any time; however it becomes even more remarkable after heavy downpour.
See the beautiful Josephine Falls from the lookout, or swim in one of the pools. This multi-tiered waterfall gliding over smooth granite boulders is a sight worth seeing, and with a natural waterslide it can provide hours of fun. Josephine is located one hour from Cairns in the Atherton Tablelands, surrounded by tropical rainforest, and is popular with locals and tourists alike.
The Crystal Cascades are located a 20-minute drive from Cairns CBD, however you’ll feel a million miles away from city life. Not included in any guided tours, the waterfall is only accessible by self-driving followed by a short walk. Once you’ve parked the car, enjoy the easy 1.7KM stroll along the paved walkway, with views of the creek and lush greenery. At the end, you will discover the lookout featuring delightful views of the falls, and can opt to go for a swim.
What sets Davies Creek Falls apart from the rest is the beautiful natural infinity pool, with glimmering blue water, surrounded by granite boulders, with unparalleled mountain views.. This wonder of nature is located in Mareeba, a one-hour drive away from Cairns. Once you reach the car park, it’s just a small climb over the rocks to reach the water.
Hartley Creek Falls is another waterfall that requires a bit of a trek – a 7.5KM return hike to be specific – however the reward is worth the walk. The falls tumble down the mountains surrounded by shady greenery, culminating in a crystal clear pool complete with a rope swing. The walk isn’t too difficult, however it is largely uphill.
If you’re keen for another natural infinity pool, look no further than Windin Falls, located in the Tablelands. Crystal clear water cascades down over rocks into several inviting pools, finishing in la piece de la resistance: a stunning natural infinity pool with jaw-dropping views of the mountains and down into the valley. From the car park, the walk is 4.5KM, taking approximately one hour each way.
If you’re taking the Telegraph Track to Cape York, don’t miss stopping off at Eliot Falls, where you can also camp. Eliot compromises two waterfalls, dropping into a refreshing swimming hole. Despite the remote location, the area can get crowded during the dry season. From the campsite, simply follow the shaded boardwalk along the creek bank to a sandstone platform where you can access the water.
Close to Eliot Falls is another exceptional, yet quieter, swimming area: Twin Falls. The two are linked by tracks and boardwalks, and both are worth a visit, whether you plan to swim or not. Twin Falls consists of a series of rock pools and cascades, providing several turquoise pools that invite you to jump in and cool down.