Malanda Falls was a short but very wide waterfall that was essentially the last one out of ten that we visited in a day of self-touring the waterfall-laced Atherton Tablelands Region. Something that Julie and I found to be a bit unusual about this falls was that the plunge pool looked like it doubled as a community swimming pool. But I must say that the “pool” didn’t look very clean as it was full of leaves, algal growth, and even some litter. Perhaps it was intended to be a non-chlorinated pool so the stuff wouldn’t get into the Johnstone River drainage, or the water started to get too cold as the Far North Queensland was entering its Dry Season. That said, given how built-up the walkway surrounding the pool was, I reckon that this place would get pretty busy during the Australian Summer (though it was pretty quiet during our early evening visit in May 2008).
As far as its dimensions, I’d imagine that height of the falls was probably on the order of 5m, but it wouldn’t surprise me if its width could be as much as 90m or so. In the low lighting of our early evening visit, we took our time taking long exposure photographs from various angles around the plunge pool. Overall, Julie and I spent about 10 minutes away from the car.
Located near the town of Malanda, this waterfall did feel a little out of the way for a waterfall in the Atherton Tablelands (though what was meant by “out of the way” was relative considering most of the falls in the area were so close to each other).
From the Millaa Millaa Tourist Park on the western outskirts of the town of Millaa Millaa, we followed the Millaa Millaa-Malanda Rd for almost 22km into the town of Malanda. Then, we turned left onto the Malanda-Atherton Rd and followed it for about 1.3km. The well-signed car park for Malanda Falls was on our right (north side of the road).
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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