Mena Creek Falls

Germantown / Innisfail / Paronella Park, Queensland, Australia

About Mena Creek Falls


Hiking Distance: almost roadside; about 700m round trip for Teresa Falls
Suggested Time: at least 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2022-06-30
Date last visited: 2022-06-30

Waterfall Latitude: -17.65316
Waterfall Longitude: 145.95664

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Mena Creek Falls is an impressively thick waterfall dropping roughly 15-20m on Mena Creek over an ancient basalt cliff (said to be over 7 million years old) on the Cassowary Coast.

I tend to associate this waterfall as “semi-public” because you can experience it for free from a public lookout as well as its brink across a bouncy suspension bridge.

Mena_Creek_Falls_068_06292022 - Mena Creek Falls
Mena Creek Falls

However, it’s best experienced from within the private Paronella Park, which gives you many more viewing angles compared to the public viewing areas.

There’s also an opportunity to feed eels, turtles, and fish in addition to checking out ruins, kauri trees, and even a side waterfall called Teresa Falls.

So this diversity makes a visit to Paronella Park more of a family friendly experience, especially when you consider how much you’re paying for to get into the park (more on that later).

Experiencing The Public Side Of Mena Creek Falls

The public experience of Mena Creek Falls starts from a sloping grassy picnic area on the other side of Mena Creek from Paronella Park (right across the street from the Mena Creek State School).

Mena_Creek_Falls_014_06292022 - Partial view of Mena Creek Falls at the public lookout
Partial view of Mena Creek Falls at the public lookout

From there, we noticed a trail past a real smelly toilet before the path descended into the rainforest and towards the banks of Mena Creek.

Once at the bottom, we arrived at the public lookout which yielded only a partial view of Mena Creek Falls.

The view was partial mostly because of a large tree where one of the branches drooped low enough to block a good portion of the view.

So after getting our fill of this viewpoint, we then backtracked to the sloping picnic area, where we proceeded to walk on the bouncy suspension bridge over Mena Creek.

Mena_Creek_Falls_030_06292022 - Crossing the suspension bridge over the brink of Mena Creek Falls
Crossing the suspension bridge over the brink of Mena Creek Falls

On the bridge, Mena Creek Falls was immediately downstream so it wasn’t the greatest view of the falls.

However, we definitely felt the precariousness of being suspended over the rush of water about to plunge over a cliff.

Looking upstream, we saw the modifications to Mena Creek, which resulted in some cascades upstream of the falls.

Once we were on the other side of the bridge, we were then at the entrance to Paronella Park, where we proceeded to queue up to pay for the admission to get into the private area.

Experiencing The Paronella Park Side Of Mena Creek Falls

Mena_Creek_Falls_038_06292022 - Looking towards some interesting architecture within Paronella Park
Looking towards some interesting architecture within Paronella Park

After paying for our ticket (which in June 2022 was $52 USD per person and $29 USD for our daughter; quite expensive for a waterfall), we then had an option to wait for a guided tour or just self-tour.

We opted to do the self-tour in the interest of time, but given the amount we paid to get into Paronella Park, you really get your money’s worth if you take your time and fully explore the park.

We started off by following the well-developed path beyond the cafe and meeting area towards a castle-look structure before cutting to the hydro plant butting right up against the brink of Mena Creek Falls.

This allowed us to get a much closer and more intimate look at the waterfall that we hadn’t been able to get to this point.

Mena_Creek_Falls_059_06292022 - Angled look at Mena Creek Falls from the hydro plant powering some of the facilities within Paronella Park
Angled look at Mena Creek Falls from the hydro plant powering some of the facilities within Paronella Park

Continuing further downstream away from the brink of the falls, we went past the ruins of a “castle” before going towards the Grand Staircase.

Once at the bottom of this flight of steps, we found ourselves at the level of the plunge pool beneath the falls, where we naturally proceeded to the edge of that pool.

There were picnic tables and railings here, where the latter was probably an attempt to keep people away from the possibility of encountering a crocodile (there were also warning signs).

It was at the edge of the railings against the plunge pool where our daughter was happy to feed turtles, fish, and an eel that would swim up and fight for the feed that the cafe and shop provided.

Mena_Creek_Falls_102_06292022 - Context of the viewing and feeding area across the big plunge pool from Mena Creek Falls within Paronella Park
Context of the viewing and feeding area across the big plunge pool from Mena Creek Falls within Paronella Park

While our daughter was occupied, this part was also perhaps the best place to witness the Mena Creek Falls since we were pretty much right across its plunge pool for that satisfying frontal look.

As far as experiencing the waterfall was concerned, this was the extent of the visit, and the rest of the exploration of Paronella Park would not be about this waterfall.

Experiencing The Rest Of Paronella Park

In case you’re curious about what else park had to offer, there was actually a pretty extensive area to explore.

Such things to check out included more interesting Spanish-inspired structures, kauri trees, a turtle nesting area, palm trees, a bamboo grove, a “Lover’s Tunnel”, and even a second waterfall.

Mena_Creek_Falls_117_06292022 - The Lower Refreshment Rooms further within Paronella Park
The Lower Refreshment Rooms further within Paronella Park

While experiencing Mena Creek Falls (both public and private parts) probably took us the better part of 30-45 minutes or so (and we really took our time), I spent an additional hour or so exploring the rest of the park.

The main goal was to visit Teresa Falls, which was a diminutive 3-5m waterfall situated just beyond the other end of the Lover’s Tunnel (which was closed during my June 2022 visit).

I recalled there being bats flying back and forth within that tunnel, but since it was closed, I had to go around the tunnel to reach the waterfall.

Along the way, I explored the other parts of the park taking in a line of kauri trees, a bamboo grove, a line of palm trees, and a turtle nesting area.

Mena_Creek_Falls_152_06292022 - Approaching the diminutive Teresa Falls deep within Paronella Park
Approaching the diminutive Teresa Falls deep within Paronella Park

Anyways, Teresa Falls was pretty much the extent of my extended visit before having my fill and returning to the cafe.

That said, I know there was still more to the park that I didn’t get around to exploring so that’s why I’d say that to really get your money’s worth, you’ll really want to spend time and explore as much of the park as you can.

By the way, if you do run out of time, we had the option of registering our visit to enable our ticket to be valid for another 2 years (of course that’s contingent upon coming traveling here again).

Despite the high price of admission, Paronella Park was surprisingly very busy during our late June 2022 visit though I’m still a bit stumped as to why (did we miss something?).

Authorities

Mena Creek Falls resides in Paronella Park near Innisfail, Queensland. Although there’s a limited public viewing area, I believe it is administered by the Estate of Paronella Park. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Mena_Creek_Falls_008_06292022 - Looking across the context of the sloping grassy picnic area and public car park across Mena Creek from Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_011_06292022 - Julie and Tahia approaching the public lookout for Mena Creek Falls
Mena_Creek_Falls_018_06292022 - This was the partial view of Mena Creek Falls from the public lookout during our late June 2022 visit
Mena_Creek_Falls_021_06292022 - Going back up the steps after having our fill of the public lookout of Mena Creek Falls during our late June 2022 visit
Mena_Creek_Falls_024_06292022 - Approaching the suspension bridge spanning Mena Creek on the public side on our way to Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_025_06292022 - Looking across the street towards the Mena Creek State School
Mena_Creek_Falls_027_06292022 - Looking up at the suspension bridge spanning Mena Creek on our way to Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_031_06292022 - Looking out from the suspension bridge towards the big plunge pool and some of the structures within Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_032_06292022 - Looking upstream from the suspension bridge towards the man-modified waterfalls above Mena Creek Falls
Mena_Creek_Falls_042_06292022 - Now on the Paronella Park side of Mena Creek
Mena_Creek_Falls_051_06292022 - Going by some castle or cottage that was under construction while within the Paronella Park complex
Mena_Creek_Falls_055_06292022 - Looking across the brink of Mena Creek Falls and suspension bridge from the hydro infrastructure within Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_058_06292022 - Looking along the railing above the hydro facility of Paronella Park peer towards Mena Creek Falls
Mena_Creek_Falls_062_06292022 - Closer look at the castle in Paronella Park that was still in work during our late June 2022 visit
Mena_Creek_Falls_066_06292022 - Tahia descending the Grand Staircase on the way down towards the plunge pool fronting Mena Creek Falls
Mena_Creek_Falls_068_06292022 - Approaching the end of the picnic and viewing area before Mena Creek Falls from within Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_073_06292022 - View across the huge plunge pool fronting Mena Creek Falls as seen from the edge of said plunge pool during our late June 2022 visit
Mena_Creek_Falls_080_06292022 - Looking down towards a turtle looking to get fed on the shores of the plunge pool fronting Mena Creek Falls
Mena_Creek_Falls_085_06292022 - Checking out an eel that looked to get fed on the shores of the plunge pool fronting Mena Creek Falls
Mena_Creek_Falls_089_06292022 - Looking back towards some Spanish-inspired buildings near the plunge pool of Mena Creek Falls
Mena_Creek_Falls_092_06292022 - Another broad look across the large plunge pool fronting Mena Creek Falls
Mena_Creek_Falls_093_06292022 - Looking towards the hydro infrastructure from within Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_098_06292022 - Another broad look towards Mena Creek Falls from near the mouth of the large plunge pool before the falls
Mena_Creek_Falls_107_06292022 - Looking back towards the Grand Staircase within Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_119_06292022 - Checking out some lookout area in Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_127_06292022 - Doing some exploration of the rainforest-like scenery within Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_131_06292022 - Going across a line of tall palm trees seen on the way towards Teresa Falls during my late June 2022 visit
Mena_Creek_Falls_132_06292022 - Another look up towards the tall trees lining one of the walkways within Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_140_06292022 - Approaching a sign pointing the way to Teresa Falls in Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_143_06292022 - Descending from the bamboo grove nearby the junction for the Teresa Falls
Mena_Creek_Falls_145_06292022 - Descending back down from the bamboo grove towards the trail leading to Teresa Falls
Mena_Creek_Falls_150_06292022 - Looking towards the closed Lover's Tunnel in Paronella Park
Mena_Creek_Falls_152_06292022 - Close-up look at the diminutive Teresa Falls in Paronella Park as seen in late June 2022
Mena_Creek_Falls_175_06292022 - Returning to the castle in Paronella Park on the way out after having my fill of this place
Mena_Creek_Falls_181_06292022 - Julie and Tahia going back across the suspension bridge after having left Paronella Park on the way back to the car park
Mena_Creek_Falls_002_iPhone_06302022 - Last look back at the suspension bridge as we were pretty much concluding our visit to Mena Creek Falls and the Paronella Park


Mena Creek Falls is pretty much resident in Paronella Park, which was about 19km south of Innisfail.

From Innisfail CBD, we’d drive south for about 2km along the A1 towards its turnoff at River Ave.

Mena_Creek_Falls_044_06292022 - The car park at Paronella Park was quite busy when we showed up in late June 2022
The car park at Paronella Park was quite busy when we showed up in late June 2022

Then, we’d drive about 17km following signs for Paronella Park, where the route would eventually become Japoon Rd.

The car park for Paronella Park was on the left before the bridge over Mena Creek.

Beyond the bridge, there were more public parking spaces on the left side of the road right across from the Mena Creek State School.

Overall, this drive would take less than a half-hour.

Mena_Creek_Falls_001_06292022 - There was additional public parking across the bridge over Mena Creek right across the street from the Mena Creek State School
There was additional public parking across the bridge over Mena Creek right across the street from the Mena Creek State School

For geographical context, Innisfail was 59km (less than an hour drive) west of Millaa Millaa, 88km (over an hour drive) south of Cairns, 148km (over 90 minutes drive) north of Ingham, and 260km (3 hours drive) north of Townsville.

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Partial view of the falls from the public lookout


Back and forth sweep from near the brink of the falls from the paid part of Paronella Park


Brief 360 degree sweep from the lower lookout and feeding zone at Paronella Park


Thorough sweep from the bottom view in Paronella Park that includes zoom-in of public lookout plus turtles and eels being fed


Video starting with Lover's Tunnel before panning and walking towards the Teresa Falls


Looking down at the falls from the suspension bridge spanning the falls' brink

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Tagged with: paronella park, germantown, innisfail, mena creek, cassowary coast, queensland, private, public, mena creek state school, feeding, turtles, eels, teresa falls



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Mena Creek Falls May 10, 2009 8:10 am by Alan Maxwell - Just happen to get to Mena creek falls near Innisfail, Queensland just after some heavy rains. It is quite a sight to see. ...Read More

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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