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Amazing Waterfalls You Can Visit Near Palm Cove

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Tropical North Queensland is known for its incredibly diverse landscapes and amazing natural attractions. Home to two Heritage listed natural wonders – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest, both of which attract millions of tourists every year, this part of the world offers visitors exhilarating sights to see at every turn.

Arguably one of the most awe-inspiring sights can be found nestled in the luscious green depths of the rainforest – waterfalls. Cascading powerful waters tumbling over vertical drops into natural plunge pools below put on a truly impressive symphony of nature.

In TNQ the landscape is literally peppered with a diverse array of waterfalls of all sizes. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find any other place in Australia, or the rest of the world, that offers quite as many opportunities to see these natural beauties up close.

If you’re planning to visit this part of the world, no trip is complete without seeing at least one of these picturesque wonders for yourself. And luckily, you don’t need to travel too far to do so.

We’ve put together a list of some of the best waterfalls you will find in TNQ, all within an hour of Palm Cove, one of the favourite destinations for visitors to TNQ.

5 of the Best Waterfalls Near Palm Cove

Have you dreamt of hearing the thunderous sounds of cascading water and feeling the mist of the tumbling waterfalls spray gently against your skin? Well, you can definitely make it a reality when you visit Palm Cove.

Keep reading to learn about the diverse array of waterfalls you can easily venture to from Palm Cove.

 

Barron Falls

We’ll start this list with one of the most famous falls and lookout points in all of Tropical North Queensland – Barron Falls. The Barron Falls can be found in the Barron Gorge National Park, which is about 30km south of Palm Cove, taking about 40 minutes to reach by car.

The impressive falls is one of the largest in the area, with water tumbling almost 250m from the top of the dramatic gorge to the waters below. While water flows year-round, it is at it’s most impressive during the wet season, where up to 265,000-megalitres of water flows through the falls each day.

Barron Falls can be viewed from a number of different vantage points, some of which include the Barron Falls look out, which can be accessed via a short hike on elevated boardwalks through the forest; from the Kuranda Scenic Railway train journey which winds its way from Cairns up to the Kuranda rainforest village; and from the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, which offers gondola rides and unbeatable vistas from above the rainforest canopy.

 

Davies Creek Falls

Heading further south, past Kuranda, you will find your way to Davies Creek National Park, which is home to Davies Creek Falls – a 75m fall that cascades over granite boulders.

Visitors to the area can enjoy long and short hikes through the rainforest, gorgeous views of the gentle flowing falls, and plenty of places to swim in the freshwaters.

One of the main attractions of Davies Creek Falls is the natural infinity pool that sits atop the falls. Enjoy stunning views of the diverse landscape from this unique vantage point as you cool off from the warm Queensland sun.

You will need to climb over a few rocks to reach the waters, however it won’t take too long to get to those freshwaters, and when you do, you certainly won’t be disappointed. Exploration of the creek will lead you to many other freshwater rockpools for you to take a dip in as well.

Davies Creek Falls is definitely a great place if you’re really looking to immerse yourself in the surroundings.

 

Stoney Creek Falls – Old Weir Falls

old weir falls at stoney creek in tropical north queensland
Image via: https://www.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au/

Another favourite destination that offers freshwater swimming and tranquil falls is the Old Weir Falls and surrounding Stoney Creek area. It’s hard to believe that a place so secluded is only 19km from Palm Cove.

From the car park, you can take a short walk along the rainforest track, over a small footbridge, which will lead you to a fork in the track. If you head left, you will reach a natural freshwater swimming hole within minutes. The swimming hole is 2m deep in the deepest parts and is a popular place for visitors to refresh themselves on a hot day. As it’s so easy to reach, it can be quite busy on hot days.

For a little seclusion and tranquillity, you can head to Old Weir Falls which can be reached by taking the Stoney Creek Walking Trail at the fork in the track near the footbridge. A 20-minute walk will be rewarded with the serene Old Weir waterfall – an 8m rocky faced waterfall that is the perfect place to cool off after your short hike.

 

Crystal Cascades

With an intriguing name like Crystal Cascades, it’s no wonder this area is a favourite for visitors and locals in the region. Located only a short half hour drive from Palm Cove, Crystal Cascades is an idyllic destination with a series of small waterfalls that flow into the many swimming holes that are surrounded by large granite boulders and shaded by luscious rainforest trees.

You can reach the many swimming holes by walking along the short 1.5km paved walking trail. Each one offers a relaxing and crocodile free destination for you to cool off. And at the end of the trail, you will reach the largest of the falls in the region, where you can cool off in the freshwater swimming hole, relax on the nearby rocks and enjoy the tranquillity of the gorgeous flowing falls.

 

Behana Gorge

view of behana falls in tropical north queensland from above
Image via: https://www.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au/

Clamshell Falls at Behana Gorge, the last destination on our list of must visit waterfalls in Tropical North Queensland, is not for the faint of heart as it takes a little more effort to get to than some of the others.

To reach this destination you will need to drive an hour south of Palm Cove to Behana Gorge. And from here, the work begins. For about 45 minutes, you will follow the fully paved walking path that runs parallel to the creek to reach the falls.

While the paved path makes it slightly easier, there are some serious hills you will need to conquer along the way, so make sure you bring some water with you!

Upon reaching Clamshell Falls, you will be rewarded with spectacularly breathtaking views of the falls and the granite gorge. At the base of the falls is a refreshing and welcoming freshwater swimming hole to cool you off after your trek. And with plenty of places to set up a picnic, you’ll be set to spend a few hours in this majestic destination.

Another perk of Clamshell Falls, besides the breathtaking scenery is that the tough trek does weed some people out along the way, so if you make it to the end, you’re guaranteed a serene final destination.

 

Where to stay

Discovering these waterfalls and the many others in Tropical North Queensland is easy to do when you stay nearby in Palm Cove. Located halfway between Cairns and Port Douglas along the Coral Sea Coast, Palm Cove offers an idyllic setting for you to relax in between chasing waterfalls and discovering the region.

Our recommendation is of course the Reef House. The iconic beachfront boutique hotel, with five-star facilities, personalised signature service and a location akin to paradise, is the perfect place to unwind and revel in this gorgeous location.

You can learn more about the Reef House here and some of the other incredible ways you can spend your time in Palm Cove here.

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