Waterfalls and Natural Swimming Holes

In a state gushing with hypnotic cascades and revitalising natural swimming holes, the best advice we can give you is to forget the 90s hit song: definitely do go chasing waterfalls.

Roaring glory
  • Lace up your hiking boots and immerse yourself in the spectacular Gondwana Rainforests of Australia or Wet Tropics World Heritage areas. Both sites are overflowing with wondrous waterfalls and are great places to start scratching the surface of Queensland's immense and impressive ancient rainforests.
  • On the western slopes of what was once an active volcano, Queen Mary Falls is part of the headwaters of one of Australia’s longest river systems, the Murray–Darling, plunging 40m to continue its twisting journey down the valley floor.
  • The locals won’t love us for sharing the secret of the Crystal Cascades, a secluded series of idyllic waterfalls and swimming holes about 14km from Cairns. Earn your dip in the freshwater pools with a walk through the surrounding rainforest, or pack a picnic and sit back in the cooling shade of an overhanging tree.
  • Just outside the town of Ravenshoe you’ll encounter Millstream Falls, reputedly Australia's widest single-drop waterfall. The falls tumble over an old basalt lava flow, a legacy of the Atherton Tableland's volcanic past
  • Hidden in the rugged ranges of Queensland's central highlands, Carnarvon Gorge will wow you with its gorges, waterfalls and secret pools, not to mention the abundance of wildlife, plants and birds that call the area home.

Take a dive
  • Cool down away from the surf and sand in one of the many swimming holes of the Gold Coast, including Currumbin rock pools, Cedar Creek rock pools and the man-made rockpools at Broadwater Parklands.
  • The tiny township of Finch Hatton presents you with a rare chance to get up close and personal with an Aussie icon when you go scuba diving with platypuses.
  • Freshen up on Fraser Island with its champagne pools, fresh springs and over 100 freshwater lakes.
  • Take refuge from the outback sun with a splash in the boulder creeks in Girraween National Park.

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The Pioneer Valley

Eungella, Mackay Area
Free Entry
A wonderland of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulder formations contrast against a tapestry of sugar cane fields as you head through The Pioneer Valley and Eungella National Park. Apart from being one of the richest sugar cane growing areas in Australia, this valley is by far one of the most picturesque in Australia, encompassing many rural townships where warm hospitality and delicious food can be enjoyed.

Crows Nest National Park

Crows Nest, Toowoomba Area
Free Entry
Discover spectacular scenery, granite outcrops, a scenic waterfall and eucalypt forest remnants on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. Nestled amongst eucalypt forest, bloodwood and stringybark trees lies Crows Nest Falls, about six kilometres east of Crows Nest and 56-kilometres north of Toowoomba.

Gardners Falls

Maleny, Sunshine Coast Area
Gardners Falls is a hidden gem in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Leave your vehicle in the car park on the banks of the Obi Obi Creek and take a short, level walk downstream to the falls. You’ll pass a number of shallow rock pools which are ideal for smaller children who just want to splash about.

Wongi State Forest

Duckinwilla, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
Immerse yourself in a landscape of fragrant pine plantations and eucalypt forests surrounding a string of paperbark-lined waterholes. A photographer's dream, the tannins from the paperbarks have coloured the waterholes a golden-brown, creating striking reflections.

Coomba Falls

Maidenwell, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
Coomba Falls, at Maidenwell, is an exceptionally beautiful place, featuring a deep natural swimming hole and striking granite cliffs. The water is icy most of the year, so it's the ideal site to cool down on a hot day.

Wallaman Falls, Girringun National Park

Ingham, Hinchinbrook Area
Free Entry
Discover Wallaman Falls, Australia's highest permanent single drop waterfall, in Girringun National Park, west of Ingham. Surrounded by World Heritage rainforest, Stony Creek plunges 268 metres in a clear single-drop, often through a rainbow-fringed cloud of mist.

Josephine Falls, Wooroonooran National Park

Bartle Frere, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Josephine Creek starts as a gentle trickle high on the south-east side of the summit of Queensland's highest mountain, Bartle Frere. By the time it has travelled the 7.5 kilometres to the smooth granite boulders of Josephine Falls, it is a thundering torrent that will take your breath away.

Baroon Pocket Dam

North Maleny, Sunshine Coast Area
Baroon Pocket Dam is a picturesque lake tucked away between Montville and Maleny. The dam offers a range of fantastic recreational facilities and you could easily spend the whole day exploring the shores and waterways.

Lake Wabby

Fraser Island, Fraser Coast Area
Free Entry
Lake Wabby is relatively close to the ocean side of Fraser Island and unlike the other lakes, it supports several varieties of fish. It is known as both a window lake and a barrage lake. Window lakes form when the ground level falls below the water table.

Welford National Park

Jundah, Barcoo Area
Free Entry
In Welford National Park, wind-blown sand dunes form a dramatic contrast to white-barked ghost gums, golden-green spinifex and delicate wildflowers. The Barcoo River, with its large, permanent waterholes, dissects Mitchell grass plains and arid mulga woodlands.
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Crystal Creek, Paluma Range National Park, Townsville North Queensland