About Millaa Millaa Falls
Millaa Millaa Falls is perhaps the most iconic waterfall of the waterfall-laced Atherton Tablelands region.
It was certainly the poster child of the Waterfall Circuit near the rural town of Millaa Millaa, which was a scenic loop drive encompassing three waterfalls (Zillie Falls and Ellinjaa Falls being the others).
That’s saying something considering it had a modest size where Theresa Creek’s year-round flow dropped at a reported 18.3m.
What the falls had going for it was a lush rainforest setting fringed with broad ferns, colourful flowers, a classic rectangular shape, an open grassy area for picnics, and a plunge pool suitable for swimming.
It was also highly accessible since it required a short jaunt from either of its two car parks (see directions below) so I’m sure that aided in its popularity.
So far, we’ve experienced this waterfall twice over a 14 year span, and each experience was very different.
In May 2008, we made a visit under clear blue skies, which beautifully contrasted all of the lush scenery surrounding Millaa Millaa Falls.
Under these conditions, we found that if we visited at high noon, there was a noticeable lack of shadows, which really brought out the brightness and contrast in the natural colours of the scenery.
At other times of the day, shadows would drape across part of the waterfall and plunge pool thereby limiting the visual impact of this place.
In June 2022, we made a return visit under unseasonably La Nina rainy weather, where the lighting was even (so we didn’t have to worry about shadows), but it was less conducive to picnicking and swimming.
By the way, both of our visits occurred in the Dry Season (Australian Winter), but as you can see, our 2022 visit proved that with Global Warming, the climate “norms” can no longer be taken for granted.
If you compare the first photo on this page with the one immediately above, you’ll see that the plants or trees have grown taller, which definitely made the place appear less lush and “balanced”.
Nevertheless, I’d imagine that in the Wet Season (Australian Summer), the waterfall can easily grow in size and maybe even take on a more brownish colour as floods can take some of the soil with it.
Each of our visits took no more than 15 minutes so that gives you an idea of how easy and accessible this waterfall is.
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 sits within the Waterfall Circuit Scenic Drive in the heart of the Atherton Tablelands near the rural town of Millaa Millaa.
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 signed turnoff for Millaa Millaa Falls is on the left.
Then, upon turning off onto the access road, there’s a fork where the one on the left went to the day use car park while the one on the right is meant for buses.
I’ve noticed this sign on our first visit back in May 2008, but I still saw that sign in June 2022 (i.e. no one bothered to fix it after all these years)!
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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