About Queen Mary Falls
Queen Mary Falls could very well be the most impressive of the waterfalls that we visited near the rural town of Killarney.
Anyways, regarding the Queen Mary Falls, it was where Spring Creek plunged 40m over a basalt cliff, which was a remnant of the Main Range shield volcano.
That volcano, by the way, is why the reserve it’s in is called the Main Range National Park, which is the main draw to the Southern Downs (or Darling Downs) Region of South East Queensland.
Now when you compare the experience of this waterfall to the other two nearby, I’d say that the Queen Mary Falls offered a pleasant, family-friendly walking experience.
That walk involved doing a 2km circuit that took in gorge views, a lookout to better appreciate the entirety of the waterfall, and the misty base of the falls for a little cooling off.
By contrast, Daggs Falls was an easy lookout that could be wheelchair-accessible while the Browns Falls was more for the adventurous given that it required a bit of an uncomfortable scramble to reach.
Experiencing The Queen Mary Falls Circuit Track To The Lookout
There are actually multiple circuit tracks around the Queen Mary Falls, but I’ll just describe how I did the main loop in an anticlockwise manner.
My wife and daughter did an even shorter Cliff Circuit Track, but they were disappointed with that experience as it didn’t yield a clean view of the waterfall itself.
So starting from the car park, which was right across the Spring Creek Road from the Queen Mary Falls Caravan Park, I crossed a picnic area and proceeded to go onto the main circuit track to the far right.
In hindsight, I probably could have stayed closer to the cliff by taking the Cliff Circuit down from the picnic area for perhaps a little more variety in the scenery.
Regardless, both trails converge at a trail junction right in front of a bridge over Spring Creek just upstream from the Queen Mary Falls.
Once I got beyond the bridge, the trail then briefly followed Spring Creek downstream towards a fork, where the path on the left went right to an overhanging lookout yielding perhaps the best view of the Queen Mary Falls.
The first time Julie and I came here in May 2008, we contented ourselves with just going to this overlook and back, which made the whole experience about 30 minutes or so.
However, when I came back in July 2022, I was determined to finish the experience by completing the entire circuit, which I’ll detail below.
Completing The Queen Mary Falls Circuit Track
After having my fill of the main lookout for the Queen Mary Falls, I then backtracked and resumed my anticlockwise trajectory on the circuit track.
This involved following the cliff top for about 500m before reaching a lone switchback that then made the rest of the gradual descent to the base of the waterfall.
At the base of the falls were a jumble of giant boulders attesting to the inherent tendency of the cliff to flake off over time.
It was also quite misty down here, which I’m sure would exacerbate the constant erosion that always goes on at waterfalls as its brink tends to move upstream at a rate proportional to its waterflow and erosion rate.
After crossing the footbridge between the base of the Queen Mary Falls and some lower cascades, the track then made its gradual ascent.
Like with the first part of the circuit, this latter part goes up an elongated switchback as it went downstream away from the Queen Mary Falls before veering back towards the picnic area.
Overall, I spent about 75 minutes away from the car, but it could easily be shorter since I took my time and chatted with some families that I encountered.
By the way, that was further evidence that this circuit walk was indeed a family-friendly excursion.
Queen Mary Falls resides in the Main Range National Park near Killarney, 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.
I’ll describe the driving directions from Brisbane since that seemed to be the most sensible approach from an urban centre.
By the way, there are also a couple ways to go about doing this drive, which we learned the hard way due to flooding that wiped out the shortest route during our July 2022 visit.
The Shortest Route From Brisbane To Queen Mary Falls
The most straightforward way to drive to Queen Mary Falls from Brisbane would be to go through the rural town of Boonah on the way there.
This is actually the route that the GPS satnav units and iPhone routing apps advocate for since it’s the shortest distance as well.
So from Brisbane CBD, we drove roughly 30 minutes on a combination of the M3, M5, M7, and the M2 towards the suburb of Redbank.
Shortly after passing through Redbank, we kept left to stay on the M15 motorway as it veered around the southern end of Ipswich as the National Highway 15.
At about 13km from our departure from the M2, we then took the State Route 93 south towards Boonah for the next 42km.
Note that we also could have remained on the National Highway 15 for 42km towards Fassifern before backtracking for 11km towards Boonah.
Then, from Boonah, we’d drive another 14.5km south along the State Route 93 towards Carneys Creek Road (Route 21) on the right, and we’d follow this for another 46.5km to the Queen Mary Falls car park.
Ordinarily, this drive is supposed to take around 2-2.5 hours, but flooding closed of Head Road (between Carneys Creek Road and Spring Creek Road; all of which are on the Route 21).
The All Weather Route From Brisbane To Queen Mary Falls
As for taking the more reliable all-weather route from Brisbane to Queen Mary Falls, that pretty much meant driving the same route as mentioned above towards Ipswich, and then following the National Highway 15 towards Warwick.
The drive from the M2 departure along the National Highway 15 towards Warwick was about 107km, and that made up the majority of this route.
After going through Warwick, we then followed Route 1 nearly 30km towards Killarney, where after passing through that rural town, we then found ourselves on the Tourist Route 21.
Note that prior to getting to Warwick, there are signs that essentially shortcut and bypass Warwick in favor of getting to Killarney via rural roads.
So that can be an option, especially if there’s slow traffic and limited passing opportunities on the National Highway 15.
Anways, after passing through Killarney, we went the final 11km to the Queen Mary Falls car park.
Overall, this drive took us about 3 hours.
For geographical context, Killarney was 34km (about 30 minutes drive) east of Warwick, 182km (2.5 hours drive) southwest of Brisbane, 204km (3 hours drive) west from Byron Bay, and 210km (3 hours drive) west of Gold Coast.
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