About Millstream Falls
Millstream Falls is said to be Australia’s widest single-drop waterfall, and it was this pre-trip notoriety that made us eager to see it for ourselves.
Contrary to the disappointment that inevitably accompanies places with hyperbole and superlatives attached to them, there actually might be some legitimacy to this claim of it being the widest falls on the continent.
The main reason why is that there appeared to be a hidden half of its overall width, especially since only one side was facing the sanctioned overlook.
Speaking of that overlook, there were some misleading signs and older photos suggesting that it was possible to witness this waterfall from its base.
However, as you can see from the photo above, such a view was not allowed though at least from this elevated vantage point, I was kind of able to make out that hidden second tier (even though it’s still hard to see it without a drone).
Like many waterfalls in the Atherton Tablelands, this waterfall tumbled over an old basalt lava flow, which gave rise to its classic rectangular shape.
A sign here went further by illustrating the geologic process of how a lavaflow from a series of volcanos (including the Hypipamee Crater to the north) filled this valley and created a “tableland”.
Over time, the lava cooled and hardened, and the valley essentially acted as a drainage for precipitation.
This drainage eventually became the watercourse known as the Millstream (a tributary of the Herbert River), which in turn, plunged over the boundaries of this basalt flow resulting in the Millstream Falls.
As for the walk down to the lookout, it was a mere 340m from the car park (see directions below) to the lookout.
It was an upside down walk, but the entire path was paved and the descent (and subsequent ascent on the return) were pretty mild.
Therefore, this visit could easily take no more than 30 minutes.
Finally, you might notice there’s a WWII memorial walk just before the day use car park for Millstream Falls, but that other walk is optional (at least in my mind since there didn’t seem to be a significant waterfall worth checking out).
Millstream 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.
For the purposes of this write-up, I’ll start the driving directions from Ravenshoe, which was about 25km southwest of Millaa Millaa along a combination of the Palmerston Hwy and Kennedy Hwy.
From the Kennedy Hwy (Hwy 1) and Tully Falls Rd junction at Ravenshoe (that’s “ravens hoe” not “raven shoe”), we continued going west on the Kennedy Hwy for another 3.8km before turning left (south) at the signpost for the access road to Millstream Falls.
It’s worth noting that in this stretch of the road, the sign for the Millstream Falls showed a picture at its base, which I know from experience is misleading.
I hate it when people create that unrealistic expectation of what you’re supposed to see!
Anyways, after driving a short stretch on this unpaved road, it splits at a fork where the right fork goes to a car park for long vehicles while the left fork goes to an adjacent car park meant for day use visitors in smaller vehicles.
Both car parks are fine because they only differ in walking distance by a very marginal amount.
Alternatively, it was about 28km between Millaa Millaa and Ravenshoe along the combination of Hwy 25 (Millaa Millaa-Malanda Rd and East Evenlyn Rd) and Hwy 1 (Kennedy Hwy).
Going this latter route, we saw an impressive wind farm that I believe is called the Atherton Wind Farm.
For additional geographical context, Ravenshoe was 85km (over an hour drive) west of Innisfail and 118km (2 hours drive) south of Cairns.
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