Summer Swimming

Summer has arrived and with it comes perfect weather for exploring the spectacular waterfalls that abound at the wetter, southern end of the Atherton Tablelands. These plunging cascades or breathtaking single drops to lush rainforest-fringed pools invite the traveller to pause for a refreshing dip in cool, clear water.

The iconic Millaa Millaa Falls are named after the pretty hamlet of Millaa Millaa, ‘the Village in the Mist’, which sits amid rural scenery of dairy pastures and majestic rainforest stretching away to the imposing presence of the 1622m Mt Bartle Frere, Queensland’s highest mountain.

The town’s 105-year history is steeped in the dairy and timber industries and an insight can be gained from its local museum, which is open most mornings. A covered picnic area next to the museum features a sculpture of Christie Palmerston who, together with Aboriginal guides, in 1882 surveyed the track from Innisfail (then called Geraldton) to Herberton. The Palmerston Highway, the southern access to the Tablelands, is named after him.

The Waterfall Circuit, a 17km loop that takes in Millaa Millaa, Zillie and Ellinjaa falls, is located on Theresa Creek Road, just outside of the tow. Millaa Millaa Falls are said to be the most photographed falls in Australia. It is a popular picnic spot with barbecue facilities, change rooms and toilets, and the opportunity to see Ulysses butterflies and the elusive platypus.

Zillie Falls are 7.5km from Millaa Millaa Falls. It has a viewing platform and barbecue and shelter. Three kilometres on is the Ellinjaa Falls, which cascades over a series of lava columns. The car park has barbecue and picnic tables and a walk along a zigzag track to the stream.

Continue on the Palmerston Highway for 13km from Millaa Millaa towards Innisfail, turning left at Junction Road. Follow the signs to Mungalli Falls, at 90m it is the highest waterfall on the Tablelands.

Other waterfalls in the Millaa area are Pepina and Souita falls, about 10km from the town along the scenic route, which is the old Palmerston Highway towards Ravenshoe.

Just outside Ravenshoe off the Kennedy Highway is the Millstream Falls, reputedly Australia’s widest single-drop waterfall. It sits amid dry, open woodland within Millstream Falls National Park. The area is rich in Aboriginal cultural and World War II history.

Other falls of note include Nandroya, Wallicher and Tchupala falls in the Palmerston section of Wooroonooran National Park, Dinner Falls near Mt Hypipamee Crater and Malanda Falls, which has picnic facilities, right beside the Malanda township.

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Posted by Bronwyn under Tablelands News | Posted on 11th Jan 2016

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