Millaa Millaa Falls

Atherton Tableland / Far North, Queensland, Australia

About Millaa Millaa Falls


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2008-05-18
Date last visited: 2008-05-18

Waterfall Latitude: -17.49541
Waterfall Longitude: 145.61044

In our minds, Millaa Millaa Falls was the most beautiful and most iconic waterfall of the waterfall-laden Atherton Tablelands region.

What the falls had going for it was a lush rainforest setting fringed with broad ferns, colourful flowers, and a plunge pool suitable for swimming.

Millaa_Millaa_Falls_048_05172008 - Millaa Millaa Falls
Millaa Millaa Falls

Even though the waterfall had a modest size at a reported 18.3m, it possessed a photo-friendly classical rectangular shape, which complemented the idyllic scenery well.

During our visit in May 2008, Julie and I even saw clear blue skies beautifully contrasting all of the lush characteristics that perhaps made Millaa Millaa Falls one of the most photographed waterfalls in all of Australia.

We could vouch for this subjectively lofty claim because we had repeatedly seen it in more calendars, posters, post cards, and even commercials than any other Australian waterfall that we’ve personally visited.

Heck, we even can’t understate its popularity given that we shared this place with tourists from tour vans and tour buses, locals, and independent travellers.

Millaa Millaa Falls was one of the three waterfalls along the so-called Waterfalls Circuit, which was a circular 17km sealed route on Theresa Creek Rd.

Ellinjaa_Falls_005_05172008 - Along with Millaa Millaa Falls, Ellinjaa Falls was another waterfall on the Waterfalls Circuit
Along with Millaa Millaa Falls, Ellinjaa Falls was another waterfall on the Waterfalls Circuit

The other two waterfalls on this short circuit were Ellinjaa Falls and Zillie Falls.

Even though Julie and I could have very easily given into waterfall saturation given the abundance of notable waterfalls in the Tablelands Regional Council, Millaa Millaa Falls still stood out to us.

Heck, we even visited it twice on the same day so we could take a photo of it in its best light (see the photo at the top of this page).

Timing A Visit to Millaa Millaa Falls

Indeed, our double-take on Millaa Millaa Falls was because we managed to figure out when the best time to photograph the waterfall would be under sunny skies.

Our first look at it happened during the late morning (a little after 10am) in mid-May 2008 when we noticed morning shadows draped across part of the waterfall and plunge pool.

Millaa_Millaa_Falls_015_05172008 - Earlier in the morning, shadows adversely impacted the lighting at Millaa Millaa Falls
Earlier in the morning, shadows adversely impacted the lighting at Millaa Millaa Falls

When we came back shortly after high noon, those shadows disappeared, and I’d argue that this was the time when the colours really jumped out at us.

I’d imagine had we waited until later in the afternoon, the shadows would come back and darken the waterfall from the other side.

Then again, if it was cloudy, there would be even lighting and thus the photographer could do much more to capture the splendour of Millaa Millaa Falls and its lush surroundings.

Speaking of timing, Julie and I timed our visit to Far North Queensland during the transition period between the Wet (Australian Summer) and the Dry (Australian Winter).

We did this to hopefully take advantage of the filling of the water catchments during the monsoons without being as exposed to the thunderstorms and intense humidity of the Wet.

Millaa_Millaa_Falls_057_05172008 - At midday, the lighting at Millaa Millaa Falls were such that the shadows didn't have as much of an impact on the lighting
At midday, the lighting at Millaa Millaa Falls were such that the shadows didn’t have as much of an impact on the lighting

The results you see on this page reflect this seasonal transition that the waterfall was in, and I’d imagine it could very well go dry well into the Dry Season.

Finally, visiting this waterfall was very easy as we were able to experience it after going on very short strolls from the car parks (see directions below).

Depending on which car park you stop at, in neither of our visits here did we spend more than 30 minutes, which encompassed the walking, relaxing, and photographing of the falls.

Authorities

Millaa Millaa Falls resides in the Atherton Tablelands Region near Millaa Millaa, Queensland. It is administered by the Tablelands Regional Council. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Millaa_Millaa_Falls_010_05172008 - Our first look at Millaa Millaa Falls.  Notice the morning shadows coming in from the left
Millaa_Millaa_Falls_044_05172008 - Back at Millaa Millaa Falls at high noon when the morning shadows were gone
Millaa_Millaa_Falls_056_05172008 - Millaa Millaa Falls at high noon in long exposure
Millaa_Millaa_Falls_018_jx_05172008 - Closer look at Millaa Millaa Falls.  Notice the basalt columns in the underlying cliff demonstrating the hard rock layer required for waterfall formation
Millaa_Millaa_Falls_019_jx_05172008 - As you can see from this photo, Millaa Millaa Falls was an excellent spot for a picnic

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The eastern turnoff for the 17km Waterfalls Circuit (along Theresa Creek Rd) was roughly 54km west along the Palmerston Hwy (Hwy 25) from its start as it left the Bruce Hwy (A1) in Innisfail.

The other (western) end of the loop drive was about another kilometre west along the Palmerston Hwy of the first turnoff for Theresa Creek Rd.

Millaa Millaa Falls was about 1.6km from the Theresa Creek Rd turnoff nearest to the town of Millaa Millaa (going clockwise on the circuit).

Once on the Waterfall Circuit, the proper turnoff for the car parks were well signposted.

Had we gone counterclockwise (anticlockwise) on Theresa Creek Rd, then we would have to drive about 13.3km passing by both Ellinjaa Falls and Zillie Falls along the way.

Again, there were signposts to make it very obvious when we should go on the final turnoff to the car parks for Millaa Millaa Falls.

For geographical context, Innisfail was 88km (over an hour drive) south of Cairns and 260km (3 hours drive) north of Townsville.

Fixated on the falls with a purple flower in the foreground


Closeup look at the falls

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Tagged with: atherton, far north queensland, queensland, australia, waterfall, tablelands, waterfall circuit, millaa millaa, theresa creek



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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Millaa Millaa Falls June 3, 2016 8:39 am by Suzanne Lennox - Millaa Millaa Falls is on the Atherton Tablelands west of Cairns. It is a plunge waterfall with a single 18m drop. It falls into a big pond which is ideal for swimming and then flows into a creek. It is easy to either walk or swim so that you are behind the waterfall. The falls… ...Read More
Cooling Off (Millaa Millaa Falls) May 3, 2009 9:51 am by James Pearce - We arrived at Millaa Millaa Falls on a hot and humid afternoon feeling pretty frazzled. However, one look at the inviting water and we were in. After getting over the initial shock at how cold the water was, we played happily for some time before emerging with our core temperatures somewhere closer to normal and… ...Read More
Milla Milla Falls in the Atherton Tablelands (Queensland, Australia) November 6, 2008 6:56 pm by Andrew Waddington - I took this picture with an old APS camera and it's one of my favorites from a 14 month trip to Australia between 1997 and 1998. I especially like the flower (possibly an Orchid) in the foreground. ...Read More

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of 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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