About Dinner Falls
Dinner Falls seemed to Julie and I to be a series of three main waterfalls on the Upper Barron River, each with their own distinctive character and shape. Some of these shapes were pretty unusual, and perhaps that was what stood out about this waterfall collective. The falls also shared the same trailhead as that of the Hypipamee Crater, which seemed to be the main geological feature of Mt Hypipamee National Park. This crater was basically a deep hole filled in with stagnant green water and surrounded by very tall vertical cliffs (possibly 138m tall). This eerie-looking geologic attraction was definitely not the place to drop anything from the overlook.
Although there were options on how to visit all of the waterfalls (whether by completing a loop along the well-constructed circuit, or as an out-and-back return hike), Julie and I started with an out-and-back hike to all three tiers of Dinner Falls. Signs at the trailhead said it was 500m from the car park to probably the first of the three waterfalls. We basically descended directly to the third waterfall, then checked out each of the waterfalls as we deliberately made our way back up.
The bottommost of the waterfall series was a long cascade that was difficult to photograph due to its overall length and height. Even though there was an overlook that allowed us to take in the view of this waterfall, there was no way we were able to fit it all in one frame. Continuing further up the track, we then were before the second of the Dinner Falls, which was a trio of segmented drops as pictured as the top of this page. The plunge pool before the falls was fringed by reddish rocks, which added to the color of the greenish clear water of the plunge pool. Finally, the uppermost section of the falls had a triangular shape as seen from the official viewing area. As a result, we thought this one had the most unusual shape of the three.
When we were back up at the trail junction near the car park, we then took the 300m path to the Hypipamee Crater, which provided us with a welcome break from the waterfall saturation that Julie and I were overcome with (something that was very easy to do while touring the Atherton Tablelands). When we returned to the car park, we were wondering whether we should be disappointed or glad at not having seen a cassowary despite a sign saying there was a recent sighting here. Although it would’ve been quite cool to see the big, endangered, flightless bird with a head that reminded me of a bracchiosaurus, perhaps it was better that we didn’t as they were known to be very aggressive towards people.
Overall, Julie and I spent about an hour away from the car to take in the waterfalls as well as the crater.
From the town of Millaa Millaa, we took the Millaa Millaa-Malanda Rd (Hwy 25) for about 3.2km to the East Evelyn Rd. Turning left onto the East Evelyn Rd (still on Hwy 25), we then followed it for 14.6km to its junction with the Kennedy Hwy (Hwy 1). Turning right onto the Kennedy Hwy, we then drove north for about 13km to the turnoff for Mt Hypipamee National Park on our left.
From Ravenshoe, it was 28km north along the Kennedy Hwy until we reached the Mt Hypipamee National Park turnoff on our left.
Even though we didn’t go this way, from the Hwy 1/Hwy 52 junction in the town of Atherton, it would be about 24.5km south from along the Kennedy Hwy (Hwy 1) to the turnoff for the Mt Hypipamee entrance on the right.
Contextually, Malanda is 82km (an hour drive) west of Innisfail and 76km (about 90 minutes drive) south of Cairns. For further context, Innisfail was 88km (over an hour drive) south of Cairns and 260km (3 hours drive) north of Townsville.
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