The Weekend Series: where to go chasing waterfalls near Brisbane this summer
In the words of Hans Moleman, “You’re certainly doing your job today, Mr Sun!” We’re in the thick of summer and there’s already been some gnarly heatwaves passing through. Instead of getting soupy at your local public pool (no thank you), we’ve rounded up the best swimming holes and waterfalls within roadtrip distance to help you cool off the natural way.
Kondalilla Falls: Not far from the Sunshine Coast lies Kondalilla Falls, a popular retreat that sits where Skene Creek plummets into the rainforest valley. This spot is popular among families and groups, with plenty of parking and room for all. In addition to the falls, the Kondalilla National Park features a 58 km walking track, shorter tracks, overnight campsites and picnic areas.
Minyon Falls: Situated in the Northern Rivers section of New South Wales, Minyon Falls is one of the best spots to visit thanks to it’s breathtaking coastal views, lush rainforests and the beautiful cascade of the falls. The area features shady picnic spots, bushwalks and wheelchair accessible lookout areas, making it well worth the drive. If you make the trek all the way down to the bottom, you’ll find a crystal clear swimming hole waiting for you.
Killarney Glen: This hidden treasure can be found in the Gold Coast hinterland and boasts a number of falls that meander along a gorge. A beautiful heart-shaped pool is popular for swimming, with a walking tracks leading to the best bits. You can also make another stop on your trip to Killarney Glen by visiting Lip Falls, which is located nearby.
Morans Falls: Located near the Green Mountains of Lamington National Park is Morans Falls. After following the walking track (a 4.4 km return walk), wanderers descend roughly 150 m through sub-tropical rainforests to find the base of the plunge waterfall. You can trek a bit further to reach the top of the falls, where you can enjoy a majestic view of the sprawling landscape.
Booloumba Falls and Gorge: Located in the Somerset Area in Conondale National Park, Booloumba Falls and Gorge boasts lush rainforest scenery and cascading waterfalls and rock pools. Swim at the base of the falls before exploring the amazing rock formations of The Breadknife. The falls are reached by a track which is a 4 km return trip.
Enoggera Reservoir: If you follow Waterworks Road all the way to The Gap, you’ll find one of Brisbane’s most popular spots to cool off. Families load up the car with picnic supplies, pool noodles and kayaks and make tracks for Brisbane Forest Park’s visitor centre, which sits a couple of minutes walk from the gently lapping shores of the Enoggera Dam. A space has been conveniently cordoned off for swimming, while a few scenic walking tracks wind around the dam’s exterior.