You can hear Nandroya Falls well before you see it, as you approach the waterfall from below. At one point along the track you can see both the main falls, and the lower falls which are a short distance dowstream. Nandroya Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls arouns Cairns – it requires a 2-3 hour (return) walk through the rainforest to reach the falls, but this also means you’ll avoid the crowds.
You’ll pass by the lower cascade first, and you can scramble down to get close to these.
You start getting a sense of the size and power of this waterfall, as you continue along the walking track. Formed by Douglas Creek plunging through a narrow chute in a basalt parapet, the water drops fifty metres into a deep pool.
The track stops directly opposite the waterfall, and at the edge of the large and deep pool, which you can swim in.
Getting to Nandroya Falls
The full Nandroya Falls walking track is a circuit which is (officially) 6.4km in length; you can also return the same way along the shorter part of the loop to make it a 4.4km return walk. The track, which is a bit rough and muddy in places, also passes the smaller Silver Creek Falls. The trailhead is at the western end of the Henrietta Creek Campground in the Wooroonooran National Park. The national park and trail is on the Palmerston Highway, which is about a 1:30min drive to the south of Cairns via the Bruce Highway.
You can visit Nandroya Falls as part of a Waterfall Loop day trip from Cairns, which includes a number of waterfalls and swimming holes.
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. The waterfall flows all year round, and Douglas Creek has a decent flow even in the dry months.
- Wet Tropics – Nandroya Falls Circuit
- QLD Parks – Wooroonooran National Park sketch map [PDF]
Visit Waterfalls and Swimming Holes around Cairns and Far North Queensland for more spectacular falls and picturesque swimming holes.