The best waterfalls in Queensland you can swim in
There’s something to be said for spending a day waterfall-hopping around magical swimming spots and in Queensland, it’s no exception.
Hidden within rainforests, bushland, and even tropical islands, these natural swimming pools are simply wonder…fall.
Ready to jump in? Here are the best waterfalls in Queensland for swimming in when you visit.
Waterfalls near Brisbane
Cedar Creek Falls
Where: Samford, just outside Brisbane
Take a breath and feel the mist at the base of Cedar Creek Falls. Just a short drive outside of Brisbane, this beauty was made for those wanting to picnic in nature and laze away the day in calm waters.
How to get there: Take a short drive from Brisbane along Mt Samson Road and onto Cedar Creek Road. There is no direct track to the waterfall so be prepared to walk an hour (or more depending on how quick you are) through rocky terrain. There is also no phone service here so make sure you pack plenty of water, snacks and a first aid kit (just in case).
Where: Maleny, Sunshine Coast
Do as the locals do and cool off at this secret(ish) location in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Gardners Falls offers not just one, but several spots, meaning you can escape the crowds and choose your own private pool.
How to get there: Take a short, 15-minute stroll from the carpark near Obi Obi Creek before reaching the deepest and largest swimming hole.
Where: Montville, Sunshine Coast
If you think nature’s own infinity pool sounds too good to be true, then you clearly need to meet Kondalilla Falls. Located outside of the town of Montville on the Sunshine Coast, this natural native punches well above its weight with lush rainforest, rock pools and of course, a waterfall. This spot can draw a crowd in summer, so be prepared to share with the locals.
How to get there: From the carpark, walk 100 metres downhill (with steps) to the large grassed area with picnic tables and toilets. Note: There are over 300 stairs on the circuit, so you need to be reasonably fit and allow enough time for travel.
Currumbin Rock Pools
Where: Currumbin, Gold Coast
Looking for a swell time without the surfboard? Located behind Currumbin Beach, Currumbin Rock Pools are the perfect antidote for those chasing fresh water after a paddle in the surf. Diverse as it is beautiful, the waters range from shallow to deep, meaning you can choose to swim, laze or lay on your back.
How to get there: Jump in the car and drive 10 minutes to Currumbin Rock Pools from Currumbin Beach in the Currumbin Valley. These local hotspots are so close together you can easily explore both in a day.
Waterfalls near Cairns
Where: Cairns, Tropical North Queensland
Did someone say triple threat? With its fresh mountain-fed waters, rope swing and natural waterslide (we’re not kidding), Josephine Falls is a true over-achiever. After you’ve explored this slice of seclusion in the middle of the rainforest, it’s not hard to see why locals and visitors alike fall in love with it.
How to get there: You’ll find this spot an hour’s drive south of Cairns in the Tablelands.
Millaa Millaa Falls
Where: Wooroonooran National Park, Tropical North Queensland
Millaa Millaa is one of those places that look so good, it looks like it’s been Photoshopped. Fringed with lawn that’s perfect for a picnic, the fall plunges symmetrically into a large waterhole where you can swim freely. Local platypus frequent the area to so be sure to keep an eye out.
How to get there: Located on the infamous Waterfalls Circuit, take Theresa Creek Road and drive five minutes to Millaa Millaa.
Where: Wooroonooran National Park, Tropical North Queensland
Welcome to a fall so serene, you will only hear the sound of gushing water and your own heartbeat as you pause at the peak and take in the view. Overlooking a lush valley of green, Windin Falls offers an infinity pool and a panoramic view across the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics Rainforest.
How to get there: To find Windin Falls, take a 90-minute hike (one way) through the rainforest of the Wooroonooran National Park. Then, follow the Old Cairns Track across the Gillies Range. Make sure you’re prepared to spend two hours hiking each way.
Looking for more waterfalls to find in Tropical North Queensland? They’re right here.
Waterfalls near Townsville
Where: Hinchinbrook Island, Townsville
There are infinity pools and then there’s Zoe Falls. With panoramic views of the lush rainforest and Zoe Bay, this waterfall is best visited after you’ve tackled the hike on Hinchinbrook Island along the Thorsborne Trail. The view alone is worth it.
How to get there: First you need to get to Hinchinbrook from Townsville (which you can learn more about here). Once you’re on the island, walk 20 minutes from Zoe Bay and either swim in the waterhole below or hike to the top of the mountain to Zoe Falls.
Waterfalls near Rockhampton
Where: Carnarvon Gorge, Central Queensland
If you’ve been to Carnarvon Gorge you’ll know it’s a hiker’s dream with its endless trails and breathtaking scenery. With days spent hiking, it’s only fair that you’ll need a pretty decent swimming spot nearby. Luckily for you, Carnarvon Gorge delivers in spades, with the rock pool.
How to get there: You’ll find it a short walk from the car park. It’s fresh, mountain-sourced water makes for one of the most refreshing swims you’ll ever have.
Finch Hatton Gorge
Tucked away in Eungella National Park, Finch Hatton Gorge is where Mackay locals head when the warm, balmy weather rolls in. And it’s not hard to see why. Here, you can swim underneath the shady rainforest canopy through water so pure you can focus on the bottom.
How to get there: From Mackay, drive 1.5 hours along Mackay-Eungella Road to the town of Eungella. From there, drive to the top of the range and follow the road on the left to get to Eungella National Park. Once you’ve arrived, make sure you take the track to Finch Hatton Gorge.
Where: Byfield National Park, just outside Yeppoon
Think you can’t have turquoise blue waters in the middle of bushland? Head to Stoney Creek. The gentle waters mean that this swimming hole is perfect for those searching for a more tranquil experience, or for those travelling with kids.
How to get there: You’ll find Stoney Creek nestled in Byfield National Park, a 30 drive from Yeppoon. To access the waterhole, take an easy 15 minute trek through the bush.