The Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Circuit
During our time in Cairns we rented a car to explore and get the most out of our time there. We’ve already talked about the Rock Wallabies of Granite Gorge, Babinda Boulders and the Lake Circuit in previous posts. This is our last post in this series about the Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Circuit.
We’d decided we wanted to see the waterfalls on our second day driving. We would be heading past them on our route from Cairns. We planned to head south from Cairns, visiting Babinda Boulders and taking a short detour to Etty Bay before heading up through the Tablelands to Milla Milla and the waterfall circuit.
We’d got caught in a downpour on our way to Etty Bay and we were a bit worried that the rest of our road trip would be a washout. Luckily the weather just about held off for us. The mists over the tablelands added a bit of mystery as we made the climb up to Millaa Millaa. The waterfall circuit is easy to find, it’s well signposted once you’ve reached Millaa Millaa. You just follow the signs to each waterfall before joining the highway route which heads back to Cairns.
You can do the waterfall circuit in either direction depending on which way you’re heading. We started with Elinjaa and it turned out to be our favourite one. Having parked in the small car park just off the road there’s a short walk down some steps (a little tricky in the wet) to reach the falls.
Elinjaa was beautiful! We were surprised how picturesque it was as Millaa Millaa is the one everyone raves about. Elinjaa cascades down a number of small ledges and is a great spot for photos. We both braved the slippery rocks to get a shot in the middle.
This was the weakest of the three but still well worth a quick stop especially since the waterfall is so close to the car park. Sadly the viewpoint for this one is nowhere near as spectacular as Elinjaa or Millaa Millaa. It’s a shame you can’t get to the bottom easily and see it from there. We looked at it from the side and had to negotiate the bushes to get a good picture.
Millaa Millaa Falls
We were excited to see the “most photographed waterfall in Australia” but the weather was trying its very best to put us off. By the time we arrived at Millaa Millaa the rain had started up again and we knew we were going to get pretty wet venturing out for a look.
Millaa Millaa must be quite a sight on a beautiful sunny day, especially as you can go for a swim in the pool underneath. I think it’s safe to say we didn’t catch it at it’s most photogenic! We stayed for about one minute before running back to the car and continuing on our way to Lake Eacham. It’s a shame that we couldn’t really get the most out of Millaa Millaa, I’d have loved to jump in and go for a swim in the pool but sadly it wasn’t to be. Perhaps if we ever return to Australia we’ll have another go!
If you have access to a car whilst in Cairns the Tablelands really are a must. Even with heavy rain they were one of our favourite spots in the 7 months we spent in Australia. The waterfall circuit was well worth the small detour from the main route through the Tablelands. Despite the weather we loved seeing them and would recommend them to anyone taking a similar route.
What’s your favourite waterfall in the world? Have you visited the waterfall circuit in Cairns? What did you think?