Mapleton Falls looked to be a fairly tall and impressive waterfall as it was where Pencil Creek cascaded over 120m into the ancient rainforest below. Unfortunately, as you can see from the photo at the top of this page, the view of the falls was disappointing as the waterfall was barely visible through the obstructing foliage, and the waterfall itself was facing away from our line-of-sight. Personally, I wondered why they didn’t make a track going to the base of this waterfall. Perhaps the forested base (said to be what was left of an ancient rainforest that once stretched all the way out to the Sunshine Coast) was too ecologically sensitive or access to the base was too difficult.
In any case, the falls itself might be worth the detour if Pencil Creek happened to be under high flow (so you can see more of the falls and maybe even a companion waterfall). Otherwise, you might understand why we didn’t score this waterfall very high in our scenic rating. Adding to the disappointment, there was another nearby waterfall (about 15 minutes drive) called Kondalilla Falls, which was said to drop some 80m. However, during our May 2008 visit, the trail access to get the best view of this waterfall was under construction so we weren’t able to even visit that waterfall.
All things considered, the panoramic view was pretty as we quite impressive as it looked into the Obi Obi Valley. Although there were walks in the area, none of them yielded better views of the falls. Instead, those walks featured the chance to see rare wildlife as well as some hexagonal basalt columns. We didn’t do any of the other walks so we can’t say more about them.
Julie and I went to Mapleton Falls from Brisbane. About 80km north of where the M1 became the Bruce Hwy (where the Gympie Arterial Rd [Hwy 3] merged with Hwy 1), we exited the Bruce Hwy at Bli Bli Rd. Going west on Bli Bli Rd (Hwy 23), we followed Hwy 23 for the next 13.3km to Obi Obi Rd, where we then kept right to go onto Obi Obi Rd. After nearly 3km on the Obi Obi Rd, we then kept right to go onto Mapleton Falls Rd, and we followed this road for about 800m to the car park at the road’s end.
We used this waterfall as a little waterfalling detour to break up the long drive from Brisbane to Rockhampton. This drive between the two cities was 7 hours long to go about 615km. However, I could totally envision this area could be a little bit of an escape from Brissie (Brisbane) or even the Sunshine Coast for residents.
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