A road trip through North Queensland is a right of passage for anyone visiting Australia, or travelling through Queensland and wanting to see some of Australia’s best. Not only do we have the oldest rainforests in the world, the incredible Great Barrier Reef, and the outback right on our doorstep, we also have some of the most phenomenal waterfalls as well.
When it comes to waterfalls in North Queensland, nowhere is better than North Queensland’s Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit. Trust me, I’ve been there so many times I could count it on my feet and toes.
It’s pure paradise.
The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit has three of North Queensland’s most epic waterfalls- Millaa Millaa, Zillie, and Ellinjaa falls and they are equally as amazing as one another and not to be missed.
If you’re heading on a trip in North Queensland or visiting the Atherton region, Cairns, or passing through, here’s how you can check out these epic falls!
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Where is North Queensland’s Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit Located?
The Tablelands, located in North Queensland, is one of the most underrated adventure destinations in all of Australia, and probably one of my favourite places in the world! From epic waterfalls and ancient rainforests to unique native animals, and some of the most scenic views, this place is honestly incredible- and should be put right at the top of the list of things to do in Australia.
The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit is located in the Atherton Tablelands region of Queensland near the small township of Millaa Millaa.
The circuit is located approximately 105 KM from Cairns, so you can expect at least a 1-hour 40-minute drive. However, don’t let that discourage you. There is so much to see and do in this region you can very easily create a full day trip of adventuring if you are looking to do so. Check out my guide to Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls or my guide to hiking Nandroya Falls– all located in the same region as The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit that are close enough to make a little detour to.
You will not be disappointed!
How to get to Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit
From Cairns, you’ll need to head south on the Bruce Highway towards Gordonvale. Once you approach the obvious Walsh’s Pyramid (it looks like a legit pyramid), look out for signs towards Atherton Tablelands over Gillies Range Road.
Follow this winding road all the way up to the Tablelands, past the crater lakes (incredible places to stop at) and continue following signs south to “Millaa Millaa“, which is just passed Malanda.
The waterfall circuit road is located along “Theresa Creek Road“, a 15 kilometre stretch of the road offering scenic views over the rolling hills and pockets of dense rainforest.
Theresa Creek Road (the Waterfall Circuit Road) is just a minute or so from the small township, where you’ll find some small shops, a caravan park and a fuel station if yu need to fuel up and stock up on some supplies.
The Waterfall Circuit is a popular tourist spot so it can be accessed by any vehicle type. However, the road can get narrow in some sections as it wraps around the neighbouring farmlands, so it is important to be careful- especially it is has been raining.
Tip: If you don’t have a car while visiting Cairns, I highly recommend hiring one from EuropCar to compare the best prices on rentals in Queensland.
Explore the Atherton Tablelands on a Guided Tour
As of now, there are currently no guided tours that will take you to all of the waterfalls along the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit. However, there are still some incredible tours that take you to the main one, Millaa Millaa, and will also take you to many other incredible locations around the Atherton Tablelands.
Although hiring a car is the sure way to explore the area in its entirely, these tours will still be incredible! To find more information on these waterfall tours and to book, just click the links below.
THE WATERFALLS ON THE CIRCUIT
Once you make it to the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit, it’s time to start exploring! Here are the three waterfalls on the road. Each is located on different points along the road, with a car park and signs indicating where to stop (check the map above).
In terms of access, every waterfall on this Millaa Millaa circuit is very easy to get to and requires only a very short walk. I do recommend having shoes that are comfortable and sturdy, and if it is raining, an umbrella and shoes you won’t mind getting muddy. I also always recommend lots of water and snacks, as well as your swimmers, sunscreen, and camera!
MILLAA MILLAA FALLS
Millaa Millaa Falls is undeniably the best waterfall of the three. It’s usually the busiest waterfall because there is a great bit swimming hole in front of it that is perfect to cool off and to photograph.
I definitely recommend visiting Millaa Millaa early, or if possible, in winter (May-August) as to avoid any crowds.
Millaa Millaa waterfall is definitely one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Australia. As a result, it’s earned itself the title of “Australia’s Most Photographed Waterfall”. You’ll often see van lifers taking epic shots from the back of their van, tourists piling up to take lots of snaps, and families gathering at the base of the fall to dive through the water and enjoy it.
There are toilets and picnic benches here making it a great spot for a day trip!
Next on the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit is Zillie Falls, a 15-metre tall waterfall that gushes over the edge of the eroded basalt column and crashes hard onto a pile of large boulders below.
Unlike the other waterfalls on the circuit, Zillie is quite easy to miss if you are not paying attention. There is a sign and a large carpark, but I recommend keeping an eye out on the drive so you don’t drive straight past it!
Once you arrive, you’ll walk out to a viewing platform that is positioned above and adjacent to the waterfall. There are beautiful views up here, however, if you want to go further, you have to go down the ‘unofficial’ track which can be incredibly muddy, slippery, and unstable. You’ll find it by looking for a small clearing in the forest beside the viewpoint.
At the based of the falls, there are tonnes of rocks to climb on for a great view looking up at the falls. You can wander further down the stream to swimming areas, however, it did not look overly safe to do so, and I would recommend caution!
Zillie Falls is certainly not the easiest falls to see on the circuit, but in my opinion, it is not worth missing! I found it to be more enjoyable because of the lack of crowds, and a little more natural since there was nothing but a waterfall and lots of rainforest!
Ellinjaa Falls is my favourite waterfall in the circuit. In fact, it would be up there as my favourite waterfall of all time- next to Tchupala and Wallicher Falls!
Like the other waterfalls along the circuit, there is plenty of signage to find the waterfall, and a large car park as well. There are toilets and picnic tables, however not as many as Millaa Milla.
This waterfall requires the longest walk to reach out of the three. In saying that, it’s probably going to take you less than 5 minutes. The track is sealed and meanders through the rainforest, so it is a really peaceful walk to do.
Once you get to the base, you’ll know why Tropical North Queensland tourism uses this waterfall to promote the region so much. Although smaller, this wide, cascading waterfall in a small rainforest clearing creates an otherworldly scene. There is plenty of space to swim, and shallow rocks pools that go right down the stream, meaning it is easy to explore!
Elinjaa Waterfall is by far my favourite along the North Queensland’s Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit, but I recommend stopping by all of them and deciding yourself!
Is it safe to visit these waterfalls alone?
Absolutely! I visit these waterfalls alone all the time, and never once have felt unsafe. Aside from taking caution when it is slippery and when walking through muddy trails (Zillie Falls) or over rocks (Elinjaa Falls), there is no need to be worried!
What to Pack on your Trip to Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit?
Insect Repellant– For all the tropical North Queensland bugs and Mosquitoes!
Picnic Basket– Regardless of how long you plan on spending around the waterfalls, you’re going to need to eat! I recommend packing a nice picnic basket full of lunch and snacks, and this one has a great set of all the utensils you’ll need!
Umbrella– The Atherton Tablelands has a nasty habit of raining a lot! I always recommend having an umbrella just in case it decides to be a wet day!
Stainless steel water bottle- All of North Queensland is hot, pretty much all year round! You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of water to get you through the day. This waterbottle is stainless steel so it will keep your water nice and cool while you’re off adventuring all day!
Swimmers- Don’t forget to back your swim gear! All three waterfalls have places for you to go for a dip. The water is always beautiful, refreshing, and cool!
Final Thoughts on the Travel Guide to North Queensland’s Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit
Does the iconic Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit sound like something you’d like to add to your bucket list? Or would you prefer some more isolated waterfalls at the end of some epic hikes? Need some more inspiration for your North Queensland adventure? Check out the list below for some more waterfalls and adventure attractions in North Queensland.
Nandroya Falls (an epic, easy hike that ends in a double waterfall!)
Book your Trip to the Atherton Tablelands
Book Cheap Flights
Still in the planning stage of your trip? Currently, the best and easiest way to find cheap flights is to use eDreams, Bravofly and Skyscanner. Between them all, you’ll be guaranteed to always find the cheapest flight, anywhere in the world.
Book Tours and Transport
Although a combination of independent travel and touring is my ideal form of travel, if the best, cheapest, and safest way to explore is to book a tour or package, I’ll do it! For this, I always use Viator andGet Your Guide.
Finding a Car in Australia
Having a car or camper is an awesome way to travel. You can compare rental car deals on EuropCar.
Don’t Forget Adventure Travel Insurance
If you’re reading this blog then you’re more likely to be seeking epic adventures for an affordable price over relaxing and luxurious vacations. By far, my favourite, most comprehensive adventure travel insurance is World Nomads.
Atherton Tablelands ACCOMMODATION GUIDE – WHERE TO STAY
Best Budget Hostel in the Tablelands
If you’re looking for somewhere close to all the action, On The Wallaby Lodge is located in the Central Tablelands town of Yungaburra. It’s less than a 5-minute walk to town, where supermarkets, cafes, and gift shops are in abundance.
Stay in a Tree House
There’s nothing more relaxing than being pampered amongst the rainforest in a 5-star resort. Luckily for you, the Tablelands has several of Australia’s top luxurious treehouse and retreat accommodations. Mt Quincan Crater Retreat and The Canopy Rainforest Treehouses are two of the most popular treehouse accommodations in the area and will offer you the perfect getaway.
There are countless AirBnB’s within the region that are bang for buck and totally stunning! While they may be a little pricier than most areas, most of them come with stunning views of the surrounding hillside and rainforest. Don’t forget to sign up with Airbnb and get $51 AUD off your first trip!
There are countless hotels, motels and camping grounds to stay in throughout the region. From Millaa Milla town to Yungaburra, to Malanda. Alternatively, check out the full list of hostel and hotel deals in Cairns