Nandroya Falls

Wooroonooran National Park, Queensland, Australia

About Nandroya Falls

Hiking Distance: 5.3km loop
Suggested Time: 2-2.5 hours

Date first visited: 2008-05-17
Date last visited: 2008-05-17

Waterfall Latitude: -17.58629
Waterfall Longitude: 145.74895

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Nandroya Falls was an attractive multi-tiered waterfall said to have a cumulative drop of 50m.

It seemed to us to be one of those obscure waterfalls amongst the plethora of waterfalls in the Atherton Tablelands.

Nandroya_Falls_037_05162008 - Nandroya Falls
Nandroya Falls

Perhaps the reason for this perception was that we had to earn our visit to the falls going on a loop walk that was 5.3km long (though the park literature said it was 6km long).

However, Nandroya Falls served as a suitable reward for the effort as it featured a tall plunging upper drop of the waterfall followed by a segmented multi-pronged lower drop.

Douglas Creek twisted and altered its direction between the drops, which made the waterfall’s tiers fall at different angles to each other (as you can see in the photo above).

In addition to the waterfall’s character, we also encountered a bonus waterfall sighting at Silver Creek Falls along the way.

Trailhead Confusion

Julie and I actually weren’t sure if the trailhead we took (let alone the car park; see directions below) was the legal place to leave the car.

Nandroya_Falls_004_05162008 - Looking back towards the Palmerston Highway from the side of the Nandroya Falls Loop Track that we wound up starting from
Looking back towards the Palmerston Highway from the side of the Nandroya Falls Loop Track that we wound up starting from

Even though we saw other people already parked where we ultimately started the track, something just didn’t seem right about driving and parking on grass.

Anyhow, during our May 2008 visit, we were led to this alternate start to the track because the formal trailhead was closed (due to some work being done on a bridge over Henrietta Creek, I think).

In hindsight, perhaps we were supposed to walk onto this alternate start to the track instead of driving there.

The Hike to Nandroya Falls

Nonetheless, we did the loop hike in a clockwise manner from the aforementioned grassy entrance that faced the Palmerston Hwy (Hwy 25).

Immediately, the rainforest ferns and strangler fig trees (notable due to their fin-like buttressed bark growing by the roots) flanked the walking track.

Nandroya_Falls_008_05162008 - Buttressed strangler fig trees seen along the hike to Nandroya Falls
Buttressed strangler fig trees seen along the hike to Nandroya Falls

I recalled that we had to go across a couple of minor creek crossings (consisting of mostly a rock hop) in the beginning of the loop walk, but the trail remained relatively easy, well-forested, and shady most of the way.

Still, none of that mattered as both Julie and I sweated profusely during our walk despite the thick rainforest cover on both sides of the track.

About three-fourths the way to the waterfall (shortly before the trail junction on the far side of the loop), the track passed before the attractive 10m Silver Creek Falls.

This light-flowing waterfall had a plunging drop, but its light flow made me wonder whether it would last far into the Dry Season.

Our visit happened to have followed some late season rains (as evidenced by the wet pavement even though we hadn’t experienced the rain directly ourselves).

Nandroya_Falls_011_05162008 - Silver Creek Falls
Silver Creek Falls

Beyond the Silver Creek Falls creek crossing, the track then followed along Douglas Creek as we first passed by the lower segmented tier of Nandroya Falls.

Shortly thereafter, the track turned with the bend in the creek towards the dead-end at the plunging upper tier of Nandroya Falls.

Additional Info About Nandroya Falls and Wooroonooran National Park

Signs had indicated it was 2.2km each way from the start of the track that we took, but it was also said to be 2.4km from the Henrietta Creek Campground.

These shorter distances would only apply if the hike was done as a straight out-and-back route.

The longer distances mentioned earlier in the page applied to us since we did do the slightly longer circuit walk as we continued our clockwise route.

Nandroya_Falls_071_05162008 - The upper tier of Nandroya Falls, which had a satisfying tall uninterrupted drop as well as an inviting plunge pool
The upper tier of Nandroya Falls, which had a satisfying tall uninterrupted drop as well as an inviting plunge pool

Overall, we spent a over 2 hours and 15 minutes to do the entire hike, which included our time spent exercising our cameras.

Interestingly, this section of Wooroonooran National Park used to be called Palmerston National Park.

At least we got that sense from looking at a faded sign by the trailhead near the Henrietta Creek Campground.

The importance of this area to warrant its protection was largely due to the rich biodiversity of the tropical rainforest harbouring rare endemic species while also preventing any further resource exploitation.


Nandroya Falls resides in the Wooroonooran National Park near Innisfail, Queensland. It is administered by the State of Queensland Department of Environment and Science. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Nandroya_Falls_003_05162008 - The grassy trailhead facing the Palmerston Hwy, where we weren't sure if we were supposed to park here or not
Nandroya_Falls_001_05162008 - Sign telling us that Nandroya Falls was 2.2km away from this trailhead
Nandroya_Falls_005_05162008 - Julie on the direct trail to Nandroya Falls
Nandroya_Falls_006_05162008 - Julie further along the Nandroya Falls Track surrounded by lush rainforest
Nandroya_Falls_007_05162008 - Sign at a trail junction where the Nandroya Falls Circuit branched off the direct track.  We kept left at this junction (to go clockwise)
Nandroya_Falls_018_05162008 - Julie checking out the diminutive Silver Falls, which was kind of like a bonus waterfall in the Nandroya Falls excursion
Nandroya_Falls_020_05162008 - Our first look at the impressive and unique Nandroya Falls
Nandroya_Falls_040_05162008 - More directly angled view of the waterfall pairing of Upper and Lower Nandroya Falls
Nandroya_Falls_053_05162008 - Looking right at the inviting Upper Nandroya Falls at the end of the walking track
Nandroya_Falls_080_05162008 - Julie done hopping rocks as she traversed one of the creek crossings on our way back to the Nandroya Falls trailhead

Nandroya Falls sits in the Palmerston section of Wooroonooran National Park (near the Atherton Tablelands) between Millaa Millaa and Innisfail.

We’ll pick up the driving directions from Innisfail since that was where we started.

From the junction of the Bruce Hwy (A1) with the Palmerston Hwy (A25), we went west on the Palmerston Hwy for about 33km (about 22km east of Millaa Millaa). The signposted turnoff for Henrietta Creek Campground was on the right (north) side of the road.

I’d imagine that was where the official car park would be.

We did, however, drive on a grassy access from the Palmerston Highway right to the trailhead of Nandroya Falls.

This trailhead was just a minute to the west of the Henrietta Creek Campground turnoff.

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

Find A Place To Stay

Silver Falls seen along the trail to the Nandroya Falls

The main tiers of the falls from my favorite spot

Fixated on the uppermost waterfall

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Tagged with: wooroonooran, palmerston, national park, henrietta creek, silver creek falls, tablelands, atherton, queensland, australia, waterfall, millaa millaa, innisfail, douglas creek

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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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