Amongst the many coffee plantations and the various fruit orchards of the Atherton Tableland, are also home to some of Queensland’s best waterfalls. Here’s a look at 10 waterfalls we recently visited in Far North Queensland (FNQ).
Background; After Karumba up on the Gulf, we headed across the final stretch of the 3700km Savannah Way to the east coast above Cairns to spend a couple of days in the picturesque (& rather precipitous) Atherton Tablelands. We based ourselves in the township of Malanda, camping in a well-run council owned campground adjacent to the Malanda Falls and set about seeing most of the regions better known and accessible waterfalls.
In addition to the Atherton Tableland falls, we have also included two other waterfalls from as far north as Cooktown and south to Wallaman falls 51kms south-west of Ingham. We have listed these waterfalls (not in any particular order i might add) on this map to visualise where these falls roughly are, and for those who may wish to use this information for their own planning purposes.
10 x named Waterfall approximate locations in FNQ. Fall #s 3-7 are part of the Atherton waterfall circuit and Copyright Geoff Hunter
In terms of the photography technique(s) used; all 10 images are long exposures (anywhere from 0.3second to 4.0seconds) using a weighted tripod and Neutral Grad filters to “stop down”ambient light to achieve slow shutter speeds required to create the cotton-water effect of water falling. NO images have been processed in Photoshop …only rudimentary white balance, colour and contrast adjustments performed in Lightroom.
A warning sign you want to make sure you see before deciding to enter the water – this one from a 4WD crossing in the Daintree on route to Bloomfield Falls which also has crocs. Copyright Geoff Hunter
We hope you like at least one or two of them, and if you are or have been a fan of the TV show ‘Survivor’, you may even recognise one of the falls in our list? Better still, which is everyone’s favourite image – please let us know by placing a quick comment in the comment section below this post.
1. Bloomfield Falls (Wajul Wajul)
Wajul Wajul or Bloomfield Falls on the Bloomfield River – northern Daintree NP. A splendid very high volume waterfall which deserves a splendid pose …Celia. To access this waterfall, you either do so from driving the iconic 4WD Bloomfield Track as we did, or take the long way around up the Mulligan Hwy 250kms from Cairns to the Wajul turnoff 25kms south of Cooktown. We were lucky in this shoot as it had been raining but stopped for the 45 minutes we spent there. Copyright Geoff Hunter
2. Barron Falls
Lower Barron Falls in Kuranda. These falls are well known to really heave in heavy rains during the wet season from Dec-Mar. This shot is Late April and is taken above a railway line. Copyright Geoff Hunter
3. Millaa Millaa Falls
It doesn’t get much better than Millaa Millaa for such an idyllic and picturesque waterfall. Here are Aidan and Lochie admiring this beautiful fall in the heart of the Atherton Tableland. Some of you may recognise this waterfall from past XXXX beer TV commercial, or perhaps from the tribal council meetings in an old series of Survivor. Whatever the case, it is a stunningly beautiful waterfall flowing into a deep rich greenish pool surrounded in dense lush rainforest. Copyright Geoff Hunter
4. Dinner Falls
Another great cascading fall in the Atherton Tableland and not far from Herberton. The falls has three sections, this image is the mid-section with a lovely deep-looking swimming hole. There are plenty of photographic opportunities at these falls if you have the time and the weather is on your side. Copyright Geoff Hunter
5. Ellinjaa Falls
One of my favourite cascading falls on the whole tableland as it was great to shoot from within the stream with so many other opportunities from different angles if you had the time. It was a rainy day and unfortunately when we arrived, a procession of other people arrived just after us so we felt pushed for time to get a shot in without holding other people up. Copyright Geoff Hunter
6. Zillie Falls
A troublesome waterfall to shoot in wet weather and quickly. Zillie is on the Atherton Waterfall circuit and has two sections to shoot it from. 1. At the very top just below the bridge and 2. Near the bottom of the fall from descending a slippery log-hopping narrow muddy trail in the dense rainforest, as this shot was taken. It’s a small but strong waterfall. Copyright Geoff Hunter
7. Malanda Falls
These falls are beautiful. A great swimming hole the size of two olympic pools and the Malanda campground we stayed in was a mere 100M away to the left of shot. The roadway bridge above the falls is not parallel to the falls in case your eyes pick this up. Copyright Geoff Hunter
8. Josephine Falls
Another multi-tiered cascading waterfall which was difficult to properly shoot in inclement weather unless you have ample time. It had been raining heavy all day (yep, almost 3 Inches) and we decided late afternoon when the heavy rains eased somewhat to go and take a look. This shot was taken approx. 30 minutes before dusk. Note: these falls are seriously dangerous and swimming here would not be advised due to very strong swirling currents. The falls are accessed via the township of Babinda just north of Innisfail and a 750M uphill walk through a lush rainforest from a carpark. Copyright Geoff Hunter
9. Millstream Falls (Yindinji)
Millstream falls near the Atherton township of Ravenshoe is regarded as the widest single-drop waterfall in Australia (according to Wikipedia). The falls are within the Millstream National Park which are part of the UNESCO world heritage listed wet tropics region. This image taken just after midday in a rare day of sunshine we had in the area and the reason why the overall colours appear a little “washed out”. Copyright Geoff Hunter
10. Wallaman Falls
Wallaman falls is the largest single-drop “horse-tail” waterfall in Australia and is within the Garringun National Park. This is a stitched 2 frame image to capture top and bottom of this 305M or just on 1000ft in the old scale waterfall. Access to the falls is via the township of Ingham and the location of the falls is still regarded as part of the Atherton Tableland. Copyright Geoff Hunter