One of the most spectacular waterfalls on the Atherton Tableland, the Millaa Millaa Falls is a popular attraction. Featuring on many tourist itineraries, the heritage-listed plunge waterfall was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 5 December 2005. (The name ‘Millaa Millaa’ is a phonetic adaptation of the Aboriginal word “Malay Malay”, from the local Mamu Aboriginal people. It refers to the rainforest vine Elaeagnus Triflora, which bears fruit from May to February.)
Just under 20m in height, the waterfall is surrounded by lush rainforest and plunges into a deep, natural swimming hole. In front of the falls is a grassy area, and a viewing platform provides an elevated position over the waterfall.
Millaa Millaa Falls in popular culture
I’ve seen Millaa Millaa Falls described as “the most photographed waterfall in Australia” – and there may be some truth to this bold statement! The falls are included in numerous tour itineraries, with daily departures from Cairns that visit the waterfall. Milla Milla Falls has also featured in numerous movies, documentaries and television commercials including:
- “Jacko’s Retreat” – XXXX Gold Beer advert
- “Rainforest – Waterfall” – Herbal Essence commercial for the Rainforest Deep Nourishment and Shine shampoo
- Sections of song and dance from the Indian movie “Major Saab” (below).
Getting to Millaa Millaa Falls
Millaa Millaa Falls is about one and half hours south of Cairns, near the village of Millaa Millaa, and is the first (or last) of three waterfalls along the picturesque Theresa Creek Road. The falls have an upper and a lower carpark (the lower carpark is nearest the falls, and has toilet facilities). From the upper carpark, a short walking track on a well-made track descends through the rainforest to the lower carpark.
You can visit Millaa Millaa Falls as part of a Waterfall Loop day trip from Cairns, which includes a number of waterfalls and swimming holes, or via many commercial tour operators out of Cairns.
Best time to visit
As with all the waterfalls around Cairns, the best time to visit is December to March, when the flow of water is at its peak.
- Queensland.com – Millaa Millaa Falls
Visit Waterfalls and Swimming Holes around Cairns and Far North Queensland for more spectacular falls and picturesque swimming holes.