Wallaman Falls near Ingham in Queensland is widely regarded as the tallest waterfall in Australia. In my opinion, it’s one of the most spectacular too and is a must-see on any trip to the East Coast of Australia. Everything you need to know about visiting Wallaman Falls is here in my helpful guide.
Located in the Wet Tropics of Queensland, a world-heritage area, Wallaman Falls is the tallest, permanent, single-drop waterfall in Australia. Whilst many will want to keep the ocean blue close by when meandering up or down the East Coast of Australia, I can’t recommend enough travelling in-land to the Girringun National Park to experience the raw natural beauty of Wallaman Falls. The main drop of Wallaman Falls is a massive 268 metres which, when combined with a few smaller cascades above, means that this is the 294th tallest waterfal in the world! This is a must-see on any trip to this region of Australia.
A GUIDE TO WALLAMAN FALLS IN QUEENSLAND: AUSTRALIA’S TALLEST WATERFALL
WHERE ARE THE WALLAMAN FALLS & HOW TO GET THERE
This waterfall is located in the Girringun National Park approximately 50 minutes west of the small town of Ingham on the East Coast of Australia. There are no public transport options so you’ll need your own vehicle to visit Wallaman Falls. Thankfully, despite it’s remoteness, the road is sealed (it’s tarmac!) all the way.
Ingham itself is located on the Bruce Highway (the main road up and down the East Coast), approximately 235km from Cairns and approximately 112km north of Townsville.
The road to Wallaman Falls is easy enough to follow, even for those not great with directions. Another reminder though, this is a remote road so be prepared! From Ingham take the only road that heads west to Trebonne, turn left and then right down Stone River Road. Continue until you see a right turning at Venables Crossing (a helpful waterfall sign will assist). One more left followed quickly by a right and you’re onto the Wallaman Falls Road; all 37km of it.
This road, again it’s sealed, will take you all the way up through the rainforest to the lookout opposite Wallaman Falls. Be careful early on as the road is regularly blocked with cattle. Keep your eyes peeled as you drive as we spotted snakes and even a wild pig!
BEST TIME TO VISIT
We visited Wallaman Falls towards the end of the May and the weather was absolutely perfect plus the water was flowing strongly. The Wet Season runs from November to April but you could visit all year round as the falls don’t stop flowing!
If you can, try to get to the falls in the morning not only for the best lighting but also to take advantage of the slightly cooler mornings. The walk down to the pool below the falls can take around 2 hours (return) so please time it sensibly; don’t be setting off near sunset as the walk is tricky enough without trying to do it in the pitch black!
When arriving at Wallaman Falls you’ll first come to the car park (there’s a toilet!) and the main lookout is easy enough to find. There’s a viewing platform which gives an incredible birds eye view of the falls; beautiful. I mean, there’s not much that gets better than this view; I remember Emma and I were silent for a few minutes completely in awe. There’s a second lookout not far along the Djyinda Track which has great views of the gorge as well as the Herbert River Valley.
However, you didn’t come all this way not wanting to have a little adventure (unless you’re unable or not keen) did you?
THE DJYINDA TRACK
The Djyinda Track is an adventure in itself, a tricky descent down the mountainside all the way to the base of Wallaman Falls. It’s a 4km return hike which takes approximately 45 minutes down and around an hour coming back up. We were in two minds as to whether to hike down to the bottom (there are signs that might put you off) but I promise you it’s so worth it. For anyone with relatively good fitness, this walk will be absolutely fine.
The track starts off easy enough on a sealed path but soon becomes a little more difficult as the path twists and turns through the rainforest down the mountain. It is worth mentioning that the further down you get, the more rockier, the wetter and the more slippery it gets so please be careful. You’ll soon find that Australia should have a motto that nothing worth having comes easy.
There are signs along the track that remind you that there are dangerous plants and cliffs so don’t be silly and just stick to the path.
Finally, after what feels like the longest walk ever, you’ll start to catch glimpses of the waterfall crashing into the pool perhaps even with a rainbow where the sunlight filters through the mist.
AT THE BASE OF WALLAMAN FALLS
You’ve made it! This is what makes that hike all worth it; staring back up the escarpment mesmerised by the power of the water crashing 268 metres down right in front of you. Wallaman Falls will make you feel so small.
There’s a small fenced-off viewing platform at the end of the track but if you wish, the rocks are slippery remember, you could always scramble closer to the waterfall for some stunning photographs or even for a cool-off if you wanted to have a swim. The pool is 20 metres deep, there’s plenty of room but you wouldn’t really want to risk feeling the force of the waterfall; I’m sure that would hurt. A lot.
For us, having a short break drinking plenty of water and capturing some photos on the rocks was enough; we didn’t fancy swimming! You’ll want to be well-rested before climbing back up.
CAMPING NEAR WALLAMAN FALLS
The night before visiting Wallaman Falls we stayed at a free camp at Bluewater just outside Townsville which meant the early morning drive to Wallaman Falls was approximately 1 hour 45 minutes. Given we were up early, this wasn’t bad at all and meant we were able to save money plus still get to the falls very early before anyone had really arrived.
There is an official campsite very close to Wallaman Falls which allows tents and campervans (no caravans). We chose not to stay over as you have to pre-book online though the cost is only around $6 per person per night. There are drop toilets and cold showers; perfect for recovering after completing the Djyinda Track.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR VISITING WALLAMAN FALLS
Fill up your petrol tank in Ingham – better to be safe than sorry; we ended up turning around driving back to Ingham to fill up as we were worried as to how much petrol we’d end up using!
Take plenty of water – this is just common sense across Australia. Always make sure that you have adequate water supplies plus extra for all eventualities.
Use a telephoto lens in your photography – I used my Fujifilm 55-200mm lens to capture those shots where it looks as though I’m basically under the waterfall; I wasn’t but the ‘compression’ produces a lovely effect.
Wear sensible shoes
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this article! If you have a question or if there’s anything that’s missing, please let me know by leaving a comment below!