About Malanda Falls
Malanda Falls was a short but very wide waterfall with a bit of an unusual plunge pool turned community swimming pool.
This was one of the easiest waterfalls that we’ve visited because it’s just a real short jaunt from the car park down to the fringes of the man-modified plunge pool.
Malanda Falls was where the North Johnstone River dropped a modest 5m though its width was on the order of about 20m.
On our first visit in May 2008, this was the last waterfall out of ten that we visited on a super busy day of self-touring the waterfall-laden Atherton Tablelands Region.
And on that visit, we were easily able to view the falls from all sorts of angles as we were able to walk around the plunge pool to experience it from both sides.
That said, the plunge pool was green and full of leaves, algal growth, and even some litter, which I guess made me question how swimmable the pool was.
The bridge upstream from the falls was the Route 25, which was the very road that we took to get to the car park (see directions below).
On our second visit in late June 2022, it was an unseasonably rainy day while there was a bit of construction work going on so we were only able to see the falls from one side (we couldn’t get to the other side).
Of course, that didn’t stop a handful of people from braving the cold water and going for a swim in the murky plunge pool.
While I did notice a couple of people on the other side of the plunge pool, I surmised that they got there from the Malanda Falls Caravan Park, which was only for paying customers.
Also next door to the shelters and walks to the Malanda Falls was a visitor centre, which was a neat little spot to learn about the local geology, flora, and fauna (including taxidermed tree kangaroos).
There was also some pretty good food served up at the Malanda Falls Cafe next door though it was in the process of being sold during our visit.
Indeed, a visit here could take as little as 10 minutes (like on our May 2008 visit) though we did linger here a bit longer to check out that visitor centre and cafe (on our June 2022 visit).
Malanda Falls resides in the Eacham Shire Council near Malanda, Queensland. It is administered by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.
Located near the town of Malanda, this waterfall did feel a little out of the way for a waterfall in the Atherton Tablelands.
Of course, what was meant by “out of the way” was relative considering most of the falls in the area were so close to each other.
Anyways, 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 (Route 26) and followed it for about 1.3km.
The well-signed car park for Malanda Falls was on our right (north side of the road) just past the bridge over the North Johnstone River.
It was a pretty long car park so there ought be more than enough parking here so you can’t miss it.
Contextually, Malanda is 82km (an hour drive) west of Innisfail, 76km (about 90 minutes drive) south of Cairns, 221km (over 2.5 hours drive) north of Ingham, and 332km (over 4 hours drive) north of Townsville.
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