In our minds, Millaa Millaa Falls was the most beautiful and 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, colorful flowers, and a plunge pool suitable for swimming. Even though the size of the falls was modest 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 complementary characteristics that perhaps made this 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, even its popularity couldn’t be understated as we were sharing this place with tourists from tour vans, tour buses, locals, and independents.
This was one of the three waterfalls along the so-called Waterfalls Circuit route, which was a looping 17km sealed road on Theresa Creek Rd. 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 (due to the abundance of notable waterfalls in the Tablelands Regional Council), Millaa Millaa Falls somehow still stood out to us so much that we even visited it twice on the same day!
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 visit was 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. When we came back shortly after high noon, those shadows disappeared and the result was the photo you see at the top of this page. 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.
Julie and I timed our visit to Far North Queensland right transition period between the Wet (Australian Summer) and the Dry (Australian Winter) to hopefully take advantage of the water catchments filling up during the monsoons without being as exposed to the thunderstorms and intense humidity of the Wet. The results you see on this page reflect this transitory state 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.
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.
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