About Queen Mary Falls
Of all the waterfalls we visited near Killarney in May 2008, Queen Mary Falls was perhaps the most impressive. It consisted of Spring Creek (the very watercourse along which Spring Creek Road was following) plunging from a height of 40m over what seemed to be a basalt cliff (suggesting this area once had volcanic activity). Something that Julie and I found hard to believe was that Spring Creek was part of the Condamine River system, which in turn, ultimately drained into the Murray-Darling catchment. We found this amazing because the Murray-Darling was the endangered river system (at least during the drought that affected our November 2006 visit to the southeast of Australia) that emptied at the Southern Bight near Adelaide all the way in South Australia!
What impressed Julie and I about this waterfall was obviously its size. Even though the waterfalls we had been seeing up until this point during our May 2008 visit had been on the lighter-flowing side, this waterfall still seemed to retain somewhat of a decent flow. I’m sure it would normally look thicker than what we had seen, but we were still satisfied with our experience here nonetheless. That said, given our experience, this seemed like a waterfall that would tend to have pretty reliable flow (possibly year-round).
Our visit was merely an abridged one where we only walked the 500m to a lookout yielding the photo you see at the top of this page. In hindsight, we should have done the 2km circuit track (said to take 40 minutes) that would’ve also taken us into the forest at the base of the falls where we could even feel the spray coming from the waterfall itself. Not to make excuses, but we did spend nearly 3 hours driving all the way here from Byron Bay so as the day entered the early afternoon, we didn’t feel like we had the time to do the full circuit though we did spent 30 minutes away from the car on our abridged self-tour. It was a decision I now regret, and I guess we’ll have to come back another time to allow ourselves a little more time to more fully explore this place (as well as check out the nearby Teviot Falls, which we also skipped).
We didn’t know it at the time, but Queen Mary Falls was said to belong to the far southwestern section of the Main Range National Park. It was said to be gazetted a national park in order to protect rare endangered wildlife as well as the old growth forest that is part of the greater Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area system.
Julie and I went towards to the town of Killarney as part of a very long out-and-back day trip from Byron Bay (a beach town in New South Wales). Killarney was the nearest town to Queen Mary Falls and just over the border in Queensland from its New South Wales boundary. Truthfully, it wasn’t the most common way of getting to Killarney, which would probably involve leaving from Brisbane towards the Cunningham Hwy, then taking it all the way to the town of Warwick before going east on the Warwick-Killarney Rd to the town of Killarney.
We made the long drive from Byron by taking Bangalow Rd west for about 48km to the town of Lismore. Bangalow Rd would become Dawson St, which we followed to the roundabout at Woodlark St (taking the exit going right), then we followed Woodlark St to the roundabout with Union St (taking the left exit). We then went 750m before turning right onto Casino St, which then became Kyogle Rd.
We followed Kyogle Rd for about 35km to its junction with Summerland Way (Route 91). Turning right onto Summerland Way, we then continued for 111km (after 63km, Summerland Way became the curvy Mt Lindesay Rd). Afterwards, we turned right onto Killarney Rd (turnoff near the town of Legume), then we drove 6km north to Spring Creek Rd on our right (this turnoff was about 2km south of Killarney). Turning right onto Spring Creek Rd (also dubbed the Falls Drive), we then continued on this road for about 6.5km to the car park for Queen Mary Falls. Overall, the entire drive took us about 3 hours in each direction.
I recalled there was additional signage near the car park indicating there was another waterfall in the vicinity called Cheviot Falls, but we didn’t visit it so we can’t say more about it.
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