When most people think of visiting the water in Australia, they think of our kilometres of beautiful coastline. As lovely as our beaches are, it’s nice to get inland a bit for a look around too. Luckily our rivers, together with a mountainous landscape near the coasts, provide amazing waterfalls for visitors to enjoy, as well. Read on for five of the most beautiful waterfalls in Australia and where you can find them.
A Queensland cascade is the Goomoolahra Falls. One of several spectacular waterfalls in the Springbrook National Park, visitors can view the top of the falls from the visitor’s track in the park, as well as catch brilliant panoramas looking out to the coast on a clear day. These falls are sometimes called “Bilborough’s Falls.” Many visitors to Springbrook National Park choose to camp in the park, which is located about 95 kilometres south of Brisbane. Rather than risk coming to the park late in the day, it might be best to stay overnight in Brisbane where last minute accommodation can be easily found.
Springbrook National Park is also a favoured destination for seeing “glowworms” at the National Bridge section at night. Not really worms, these glow-in-the-dark fly larvae cling to the stone walls of caves in this area. This unique sight is much more beautiful than the term “fly larvae” makes it sound.
Jim Jim Falls
Jim Jim Falls is located in Kakadu National Park, and is only truly experienced in the wet season between November and April. That’s because in the dry season the falls’ source dries up, and visitors will wonder what the big deal is. But once the rains begin again, Jim Jim Falls thunders into its narrow gorge and drops a full 200 metres.
While the falls are visible in the rainy season, it’s harder to get access to them at that time because the wet weather affects the roads. Instead, visitors can see them by plane or helicopter, or when the seasons are transitioning, by quad bike access.
If you do drive in, it might be tempting to go for a swim at the base of the falls, but rangers warn that crocodiles may live in the pools underneath, so it’s best to save your dipping for another location.
If you’re ticking off “biggest” and “best” entries around Australia, don’t miss Wallaman Falls in Queensland’s Girringun National Park. These are located in the Wet Tropics of Queensland, an area on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Rather than one cascade, Wallaman is a series of drops on Stony Creek. The most picturesque part of the falls is the dramatic 268-metre drop over a sheer, jungle-covered cliff. This is the single tallest waterfall drop in Australia, and if the upper and lower parts of the cascades are added, the total height of Wallaman Falls adds up to 305 metres, making it Australia’s tallest overall waterfall, as well.
In New South Wales’ Nightcap National Park, Minyon Falls wows visitors coming from nearby Byron Bay. Unlike the more difficult to reach Jim Jim or Goomoolahra falls, this 100-metre cascade has a lookout that is wheelchair accessible via boardwalk from the visitors’ centre. From the top of Minyon Falls, visitors can glimpse the ocean on a clear day. While people who prefer to explore by themselves may be frustrated by the number of tourists at this site, going on a guided excursion here is a sure bet for sampling a little of Australia’s natural wonders, even for people who don’t consider themselves outdoorsy.
Queen Mary Falls
Near the border of New South Wales and Queensland, waterfall enthusiasts who are able to hike should look to visit the Main Range National Park. The Queen Mary Falls are on Spring Creek. Rivulets of water gouged out tracks in the basalt over time, creating the basic architecture of the falls. At only 40 metres, these are not the tallest or most thunderous waterfalls in Australia, but they are pretty and not too difficult to access. They are near the town of Killarney, which is a hub to visit five waterfalls in the area.
About the Author: Sienna Robinson loves mountain walks and searching out waterfalls. A botanist, she’s lucky enough to spend much of her working life either outdoors or planning to go outdoors. She blogs about her travels, discoveries and dogs.