The Best Sunshine Coast Waterfalls.
Dive into the Sunshine Coast Hinterland’s Secret Waterfalls

The beaches of the Sunshine Coast are undeniably stunning, but if you’ve only been sticking to the coastal fringes, you’re missing out on the awe-inspiring beauty of the Hinterland’s waterfalls. Escape the summer heat with a refreshing plunge in one of these hidden oases. Here, we list our favourite hidden waterfalls and swimming holes on the Sunshine Coast.

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland, a trove of breathtaking views and captivating national parks, boasts secret gems waiting to be uncovered. On your next quest for outdoor fun, consider packing a picnic and embarking on an adventure to discover the region’s most spectacular waterfalls.

There’s a certain thrill that accompanies a trek to a secluded swimming hole. The anticipation of reaching your destination, the enticing prospect of cooling off, and the peace that comes with being nestled in the heart of nature—it all paints an irresistible allure for many. If you’re more familiar with the Sunshine Coast’s sandy shores, allow us to guide you to some of the region’s best inland waters.

  1. Gardner’s Falls
  2. Kondalilla Falls
  3. Gheerulla Falls
  4. Baxter Falls
  5. Booloumba Falls
  6. Artists Cascades
  7. Wappa Falls
  8. Robinson Falls
  9. Serenity Falls
  10. Kureelpa Falls Circuit

Before embarking on your journey, ensure your footwear is suitable for the trek, stock up on mosquito repellent and sunscreen, don a hat, and remember to carry more water than you think you’ll need. Please enjoy these swimming holes responsibly—preserve their beauty for future visitors and heed any safety signage.

So, ready to swap your beach towel for a hiking pack? Venture beyond the well-trodden beach tracks and uncover the cascading delights of these hidden waterfalls on the Sunshine Coast. Happy exploring!

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1. Gardners Falls: A Hidden Water Wonderland on the Sunshine Coast

Nestled in the tourist hotspot of Maleny, Gardners Falls is a beloved swimming hole among locals and a must-visit gem in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Its beauty is as alluring as it is accessible – there’s no need for an arduous trek as it’s conveniently located just 300 metres from the parking lot. Just imagine, you’ll be able to step out of your car and immerse yourself in the inviting waters of the renowned Obi Obi Creek in no time.

As you follow the path, you’ll find the main attraction at its end: the resplendent Gardners Falls swimming hole. Complete with a rope swing, this spot promises plenty of fun for thrill-seekers. And if you’re lucky enough to stay at the nearby Spicers Tamarind Retreat, you’ll even have private access to this tranquil oasis.

Why invest in a man-made pool when nature herself has masterfully landscaped a breathtaking swimming spot like Gardners Falls? With a large pool for adults and a smaller one for children, this waterfall caters to both the young and the young at heart. From the coastal hub, a short 30-minute drive leads you to the hinterland charm of Maleny. Park your vehicle by the Obi Obi Creek, then follow the flat 300m path, tracing the smaller rapids and rock pools, until you reach the large swimming hole. For families with tiny tots, shallow rock pools closer to the car park offer the perfect playground for safe water play. Plan for a full day at this waterfall – spread a blanket on the grassy banks or snag a picnic table to enjoy a meal.

How to get to Gerdner falls:

Off the Landsborough-Maleny Road, turn into Obi Lane South and follow the road (past Spicers Tamarind Retreat) to reach the car park.

Despite its easy accessibility, be warned that Gardners Falls can draw a crowd. Its popularity means limited parking and often, a bustling atmosphere. I estimate about 100 visitors during my trip, yet the parking lot only accommodates approximately 15 vehicles.

Like many spots in the area, cars often line the small, windy road, making driving in and out a bit of a challenge. However, the falls are just a short walk away, and you’ll find plenty of spots to lounge on the grass.

Gardners Falls boasts small cascades perfect for a refreshing sit-down and a larger waterfall featuring two rope swings over the waterhole. It’s a lovely spot to visit, albeit at less busy times if possible.

Essential Information for Gardners Falls:

  • Vehicle Type: Accessible by a 2 Wheel Drive to the car park.
  • Location: Obi Obi Creek, Maleny
  • Trail Grade: Grade 1 – Flat, well-formed track of less than 5km. Clearly signposted.
  • Distance: 800 metres return on the same track
  • Difficulty: Very easy
  • Time: Allow 1 hour including swimming
  • Waterfall Height: Cascades of small ones with a 2-metre drop into the waterhole
  • Opening times: Daylight hours only
  • Footwear: Thongs or flip-flops are acceptable
  • Facilities: Bathrooms and picnic tables at the car park
  • Cost: FREE
  • Pets: Not permitted
  • Swimming: Yes, it’s an ideal waterhole for swimming
  • Camping: Not available in the area but accommodations are nearby

Though Gardners Falls is a popular spot among Sunshine Coast locals, the easy stroll from the car park, the stunning bush

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2. Kondalilla Falls: A Captivating Oasis in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Kondalilla Falls is one of the most visited swimming holes on the Sunshine Coast, and with good reason. Its mesmerising beauty and unique setting in the heart of Kondalilla Falls National Park, close to Montville, make it a popular choice for both locals and tourists. This spectacular swimming hole perched at the top of a 90-metre waterfall is not just safe but invites you to swim right under the cascading waterfall while basking in the stunning views.

Make a summer visit to cool off after a rewarding 20-minute hike from the car park. For those craving a more challenging excursion, carry on to the bottom of the falls and back, completing a 4.6km circuit. However, if you plan a winter swim, brace yourself for the invigorating chill of the water!

Escaping to Kondalilla Falls is the perfect day trip from the city’s hustle and bustle. Embrace the fresh air and feast your eyes on the breathtaking vistas of the Blackall Range.

In Aboriginal language, Kondalilla means “rushing waters,” an apt descriptor for this majestic 90-metre high waterfall. Before taking a plunge in the icy waters of this Sunshine Coast waterfall, consider conquering the Kondalilla Falls Circuit. It’s a natural workout, featuring over 100 stairs within the 4.7km round trip. This trek requires sturdy shoes and a decent fitness level. But rest assured, the mesmerising views from the Kondalilla Falls lookout, where Skene Creek plunges 90 metres below, will leave you breathless, not the exercise. Even if you opt out of the full circuit, make the journey to the waterfall’s rockpool base, a journey through a lush eucalypt forest blending into dense rainforest.

How to get to Kondillia Falls:

From Montville in the north or Flaxton in the south, follow the national park signs and turn onto Kondalilla Falls Road. Follow it to the car park.

Kondalilla Falls, one of my favourite Sunshine Coast waterfalls, stands out not just for its natural beauty, but also as an enticing swimming spot. Reaching the falls requires a hike, an exciting journey you can undertake by completing the entire trail and swimming midway, or by simply walking to the falls and returning on the same track.

While the hike does include a fair share of stairs, typical of trails around the Glass House Mountains, the payoff is a waterfall that’s consistently running, at least during my visits.

Essential Information for Kondalilla Falls:

  • Vehicle Type: Accessible by a 2 Wheel Drive to the car park
  • Location: Kondalilla National Park or Kondalilla Falls National Park, Montville
  • Trail Grade: Grade 3 – Formed track, some obstacles, 20 km or less. May have short steep hills and many steps. Some experience recommended.
  • Distance: 4.7 kilometres return (round Trip), or 2.4 kilometres return just to the falls
  • Difficulty: Formed track with 300 stairs
  • Time: Allow 2 to 3 hours depending on the track, including walking and swimming time
  • Waterfall Height: 90 Metres
  • Opening times: Daylight hours only
  • Footwear: Thongs or flip-flops can be worn to the falls, but closed-in shoes are recommended for the entire track
  • Facilities: Bathrooms at the picnic area near the start of the track
  • Cost: FREE
  • Pets: Not permitted in the National Park
  • Swimming: Yes, this waterhole is ideal for swimming
  • Camping: Not available in the National Park

In the mood for a sweat-inducing waterfall chase? Kondalilla Falls offers just that. After trekking through the bush, reward yourself with the sight of a striking four-metre waterfall surrounded by verdant greenery and cool off with a refreshing swim. Visit this waterfall in the summer to witness its true might and understand why it’s named “Kondalilla”, after the Aboriginal term for “rushing waters”.

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3. Gheerulla Falls: A Hidden Gem in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Gheerulla Falls, just a 2.7km return walk from Mapleton, offers a peaceful and serene getaway. Leading to a swimming hole at the base of the falls, this area forms part of the illustrious Sunshine Coast Great Walk. Although the swimming hole may not be vast, it fills up nicely after substantial rainfall, creating an inviting spot for a refreshing dip.

For those seeking a more extended adventure, consider the 16km return walk between Mapleton Falls and Gheerulla Falls. While you cannot swim in Mapleton Falls, the route offers access to three breathtaking lookouts that add a scenic allure to your trek.

Bear in mind, Gheerulla Falls truly shines after substantial rainfall, when the swimming area also expands. The spot might have a few mosquitoes during warmer months, so bring your bug repellent. The falls are a dream for photographers seeking slow shutter effects, and even though the swimming area is not extensive, it’s still a pleasant spot for a dip.

The walk to Gheerulla Falls is quite manageable but does descend, making the return journey a little more challenging. The area features tall grass, so be vigilant for snakes.

Basic Information for Gheerulla Falls

  • Type of Vehicle: Accessible by a 2 Wheel Drive to the car park. Some parts are unsealed and dirt.
  • Location: Delicia Road
  • Grade: Uneven track, long grass, some rocks at the end
  • Distance: Approximately 1.2 kilometres one way, return on the same track
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Time: About 1 hour return, the uphill return journey may take longer
  • Waterfall Height: 3 metre into waterhole
  • Opening times: Daylight Hours only
  • Footwear: Closed-in shoes preferred (especially for potential snakes), but thongs or flip-flops are okay
  • Facilities: None
  • Cost: FREE
  • Pets: Not allowed in the National Park
  • Swimming: Yes, but the swimming area is not extensive
  • Camping: Part of the “Great Walk” includes bush camping near the falls

The Sunshine Coast Great Walk lies within the heart of stunning eucalypt forests and rainforest biomes in the hinterland. Just 1.3km from Mapleton, you’ll reach Gheerulla Falls. Following heavy rainfall, the swimming hole fills up and presents an excellent spot to cool down before resuming your hike. For a more strenuous trek, the 16km walk linking Gheerulla and Mapleton Falls is ideal. Swimming is off-limits in Mapleton Falls due to its 120-metre drop, but three observation decks along the route provide unbeatable views that you won’t want to miss.

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4. Baxter Falls: A Hidden Retreat in Kondalilla Falls National Park

Situated within the Kondalilla National Park, Baxter Falls offers a quieter waterfall experience compared to its more famous counterpart. A beautiful hike of approximately two hours round trip takes you over a charming suspension bridge and to the base of this picturesque waterfall.

There are two routes to access the waterfall, starting from either the Northern end or Southern end. Both trails are estimated to take about the same time to complete. The first trailhead is at Flaxton Mill Road (Southern End) and the other at Suses Pocket Road (Northern End). Take note, however, that there’s no designated car park at either trailhead, so you’ll need to park your vehicle by the side of the road.

Baxter Falls’ trails are not as well-maintained and could be a bit rough, so wearing closed-in shoes is highly recommended. The trail is suitable for experienced hikers, but it’s not overly challenging. This trail forms part of the renowned Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk, so be sure to follow the signposts along the way.

The route from the Northern end is about 4 kilometres in return and takes just under 2 hours to complete. The length of the hike may vary depending on the time you spend enjoying the serenity at Baxter’s Falls. The spot is perfect for a picnic with packed lunch or snacks. Also, about 100 metres from the falls, you’ll find a suspension bridge. Swimming is safe in the area around the falls.

So, if you’ve visited Kondalilla Falls and Serenity Falls, Baxter Falls should be next on your list. With a suspension bridge over Baxter Creek adding to its charm, it makes for an ideal spot for your “weekend adventure” Instagram snaps. Following the hike, head over to Little May Espresso’s in Montville for a refreshing smoothie and unwind after your enjoyable outing.

Basic Information for Baxter Falls

  • Type of Vehicle: 2 Wheel Drive. Note that there’s no designated car park at the trailheads.
  • Location: Kondalilla National Park, Flaxton Mill Road (Southern End) or Suses Pocket Road (Northern End)
  • Grade: Rough and uneven track; suitable for experienced hikers.
  • Distance: 4 kilometres return from the Northern end
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Time: Approximately 2 hours, time varies depending on the length of stay at the falls.
  • Opening times: Daylight Hours only
  • Footwear: Closed-in shoes are recommended
  • Cost: FREE
  • Pets: Not allowed in the National Park
  • Swimming: Yes, it’s safe to swim in the area around the falls
  • Camping: No camping facilities available at the falls
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5. Booloumba Falls: A Serene Retreat Nestled in Conondale National Park

Secluded within the stunning Conondale National Park, Booloumba Falls is one of the most tranquil swimming spots on the Sunshine Coast. The adventure to reach the falls, requiring a 4WD vehicle, can be part of the charm for many visitors. The 3-kilometre walk to the falls is perfect for a beautiful summer’s day, and takes around two hours to complete. However, with the captivating allure of the falls, you may find yourself wanting to stay longer.

The drive to the falls takes you through pristine mountain landscapes, creek crossings, and offers panoramic views of the mountain range. On arrival, you’ll be greeted with a spectacular vista – lush rainforests, eucalyptus forest, and creeks scattered with boulders.

Don’t forget to bring along your walking shoes to take the Booloumba Falls Walk, an easy 2-kilometre forest track. Follow the trail past cascades and rock pools until you reach the waterfall. You can even turn your day trip into a two-day adventure, as camping is available in the vicinity.

The path to Booloumba is generally easy and doesn’t have much elevation, but it’s a bit secluded, making a 4-wheel drive necessary. The area around the waterfall features a small stream, a large pool, and a few smaller pools at the top. You can even swim behind the waterfall as it isn’t too tall.

One of the highlights of Booloumba Falls is the nearby camping area and the clear water creek available for swimming. It’s an ideal location to spend a day or park up and stay for the weekend. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the nearby town of Kenilworth.

Basic Information for Booloumba Falls

  • Type of Vehicle: 4 Wheel Drive Vehicle to the Car park. Note that there are some 2 wheel drive vehicles in the camping area.
  • Location: Booloumba Creek Road, Conondale National Park, Kenilworth
  • Grade: Grade 3 Formed track, some obstacles, 20 km or less. May have short steep hills and many steps. Some experience recommended.
  • Distance: 3 kilometres return on the same track
  • Difficulty: Formed track with slight elevation uphill on the way there
  • Time: Allow 2 hours depending on the track walking and swimming time
  • Size of Falls: 3 Metres
  • Opening times: Daylight Hours only
  • Footwear: Thongs will suffice, but closed-in shoes better for the entire track
  • Facilities: Bathrooms at the Camping ground but no where near the Carpark
  • Cost: FREE
  • Pets: Not permitted in the National Park
  • Swimming: Yes, this is a great waterhole to swim in
  • Camping: Yes, a permit is needed for Booloumba Creek Camping in the Conondale National Park

Remember to switch off Google Maps and follow the signs instead, as network connectivity can be spotty in these parts. Lastly, be ready to put on your hiking shoes (thongs can attract leeches) and explore this magnificent spot in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

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6. Artists Cascades: A Hidden Paradise Amidst Lush Greenery

Further up the river from Booloumba Falls, you’ll find the Artists Cascades – another enchanting swimming spot. Reaching this picturesque location requires a 4WD, and a 10-kilometre hike that lasts approximately five hours for the round trip. But rest assured, the effort is well worth the reward.

The Artists Cascades is part of the Conondale Great Walk, which takes you through the lush subtropical rainforests of the Conondale National Park. Start your journey early if you plan to visit in Summer, to ensure enough time to enjoy the cool, clear waters before you head back.

The walk starts from the Booloumba Creek Day use area (Area 2), but you can also access it from other camping areas. Please note that you’ll need a four-wheel-drive or at least a high-clearance vehicle to cross the creeks. If you don’t have a suitable vehicle, you can park outside the first creek crossing and walk an extra few kilometres to the Day use area. It’s not advisable to attempt crossing in a standard vehicle due to loose stones and rocks under the shallow waters.

Along the way, you’ll encounter a vibrant ecosystem with numerous bird species and wildlife, such as large goannas searching for food. Don’t forget to check out other points of interest like the Old Gold Mine and the Strangler Cairn, a stone art piece helicoptered into the park.

While the Artists Cascades is an excellent spot for swimming, the flow of the falls will be more robust in the summertime or after rain.

Hidden within the verdant expanse of the Conondale National Park near Kenilworth, Artists Cascades demands a bit of a hike, about 5 kilometres each way. But those willing to take on the challenge will be rewarded with a vision of one of the Sunshine Coast’s best-kept secrets – a picturesque waterhole tucked away in nature. Park at the Booloumba Creek Day Use Area and set off on your adventure – the beauty that awaits you at the end is truly worth the effort.

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7. Wappa Falls: A Hidden Gem in Yandina

Tucked away in the town of Yandina, known for the renowned Yandina Country Markets and the Ginger Factory, there’s a hidden gem – Wappa Falls. Situated on the fringes of Mapleton Conservation Park, Wappa Falls is a beautiful spot to indulge in a refreshing swim during the hot summer months.

You can park right next to the falls and set up a picnic for a leisurely day out. However, do remember to be careful while entering the water and avoid jumping from the rocks as it could be dangerous.

Just five minutes from Yandina, Wappa Falls is fed by the South Maroochy River, featuring an array of rock formations and small rock pools that lead to a mini-gorge below. It can be a bit of a scramble exploring this area, so caution is advised as the rocks may be slippery. If you plan your day wisely, you can visit the Yandina Markets first to pick up some supplies for a delightful picnic either at the falls or under the shaded trees at Wappa Dam park.

To reach Wappa Falls, take the Nambour Connection Road exit off the Bruce Highway, turning off at Wappa Falls Rd. Follow until you turn right at Pump Station Rd, where Wappa Falls is located. Alternatively, you could park at Wappa Dam and take a short 10-minute walk to the falls.

Here are some safety tips before you embark on your adventure:

  • Observe all safety and warning signs
  • Exercise caution, particularly if there’s been recent rainfall
  • Bring along insect repellent, sunscreen, plenty of water, and wear sturdy shoes
  • Take all rubbish with you if there are no bins on site
  • Never jump or dive as you may not be aware of what’s hidden beneath the water surface

Fed by the Maroochy River, Wappa Falls is composed of cascading water over rock formations into a small gorge. While the rocks can get slippery and the descent into the swimming area might require some scrambling, the natural beauty of the location makes it worthwhile. Just make sure not to jump in, and avoid going for a swim unless the water is running clear.

This is a wild swimming spot that could be best enjoyed after some rain. Once you arrive, head to the right side, where there are some rock stairs that make it easier to descend to the bottom.

Here is some basic information for Wappa/Kiamba Falls:

  • Type of Vehicle: 2 Wheel Drive Vehicle to the Car park
  • Location: Wappa Falls Road, Mapleton Conservation Park, Pump Station Road, Kiamba (near the Wappa Dam)
  • Grade: Grade 1 – Flat, well formed track, no steps, 5km or less. Clearly signposted.
  • Distance: 5 mins from Pump Station Road. 10 mins walk from Dam
  • Difficulty: Very easy
  • Time: 30 mins from Quorn Close, 1 hour from Harrys Lane
  • Size: 1 meter into the waterhole
  • Opening times: Daylight Hours only
  • Footwear: Closed in shoes for walking on rocks
  • Facilities: Bathrooms & picnic tables at the dam car park but not near the falls.
  • Cost: FREE
  • Animals: Not permitted
  • Swimming: Allowed but could be stagnant if not running.
  • Camping: Not in the area but there are accommodations nearby

If you’re averse to long hikes or jumping off heights, Wappa Falls is just the right spot for you. With easy access to park your vehicle right next to the falls, it offers the perfect setup for a laid-back day out, complete with a picnic and a refreshing swim in the pools. Despite being a bit slippery, the tranquil and serene surroundings make it an ideal retreat for the relaxed individual.

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8. Robinson Falls: A Hidden Waterfall in Nambour

Perhaps lesser-known among Sunshine Coast locals, Robinson Falls is a hidden gem tucked away in Nambour. Nestled within the Cilento Bushland Conservation Reserve, a 1km loop track brings you to this modest waterfall where you could potentially take a dip.

The vicinity also features a charming park complete with a playground and BBQ facilities – making it an ideal setting for a family outing.

While Robinson Falls might not be a mainstream swimming spot, it’s definitely a possibility for those who wish to do so. However, it’s advisable to carry mosquito repellent as the insects can be bothersome. This is a delightful spot for a local hike with the waterfall as the highlight along the track. You can enjoy views of the water cascading from both the top and the bottom. The waterfall appears even more striking after substantial rainfall.

Despite the absence of explicit signage directing you to this waterfall or the walking trail, there is a clearly marked track. Once you reach Cilento Park, you should have no trouble locating the waterfall.

Here’s some basic information for Robinson Falls:

  • Type of Vehicle: 2 Wheel Drive Vehicle to the Car park
  • Location: Cilento Park, Waterfall Road, Nambour
  • Grade: Uneven track, rocks, stairs and not always signed
  • Distance: Approximately 1 kilometer loop track
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Time: 20 to 30-minute loop track
  • Size of Falls: 3 meters into the waterhole
  • Opening times: Daylight Hours only
  • Footwear: Closed in shoes for walking on rocks preferred, but can be managed in thongs
  • Facilities: Bathrooms & picnic tables at Cilento Park area.
  • Cost: FREE
  • Animals: Allowed
  • Swimming: Permitted but not a vast swimming area.
  • Camping: Not available in the area, but accommodations can be found nearby.

While technically a waterfall, Robinson Falls in Nambour provides a refreshing spot for a quick dip. The small water hole is accompanied by nearby BBQ facilities and a playground, making it a suitable place to bring the kids along. The track is a family-friendly 1km loop, so it’s quite accessible and qualifies as a bit of a hidden treasure on the Sunshine Coast.

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9. Serenity Falls: A Sub-Tropical Paradise in Buderim

Serenity Falls, also known as Buderim Falls, is a well-known swimming hole among Sunshine Coast locals. Located just 2km from Buderim village within the Buderim Forest Park, this sub-tropical haven is bound to make you feel like you’ve stepped into a different world!

An easy 800m walk, accessible from both Lindsay Road and Quorn Close, leads you to this captivating waterfall. You’ll cross an enchanting bridge offering a perfect view of the falls that creates an excellent opportunity for photography. This spot is ideal for a family outing if you’re in the mood for an adventure that deviates from the usual beach day.

Nestled among the strangler figs and native vines of Buderim Forest Park, Buderim Falls is a testament to the charm of small waterfalls. This 45-hectare oasis is conveniently located five minutes from the central strip of Buderim Village, offering close proximity to coffee shops for those who prefer not to carry a picnic basket around.

The higher entry point from Quorn Close provides an easy 300m dirt track down to the falls – a perfect choice if you’re short on time but still want to enjoy the beauty of Sunshine Coast waterfalls. For a more leisurely exploration, opt for the lower entry point off Lindsay Road via Harry’s Lane.

Whichever path you choose, you’ll be welcomed by an exquisite elevated wooden arch bridge, which was assembled off-site and then lowered into the park by helicopter. Crossing this bridge will lead you to the base and lower creeks, which you can access via steps. Note that the creek is spring-fed at the source but also runs through several urban developments and stormwater drains, making swimming not advisable.

Here’s some practical information for Buderim/Serenity Falls:

  • Type of Vehicle: 2 Wheel Drive Vehicle to either car park on Quorn Close or Harry’s Lane
  • Location: Quorn Close or Harry’s Lane, both off Lindsay Road in Buderim Forest Park
  • Grade: Grade 3 – Formed track, some obstacles, 20 km or less. Might have short steep hills and many steps. Some experience recommended
  • Distance: 700 meters return from Quorn Close, 1800 meters return from Harry’s Lane
  • Difficulty: Some stairs and walking on rocks involved. The entrance from Quorn Close is steeper
  • Time: 30 minutes from Quorn Close, 1 hour from Harry’s Lane
  • Size: 3 meters into the waterhole
  • Opening times: Daylight Hours only
  • Footwear: Thongs are adequate
  • Facilities: Bathrooms & picnic tables at both car parks
  • Cost: FREE
  • Animals: Not permitted
  • Swimming: Allowed but not recommended due to potential stagnation, stormwater feed, and presence of broken glass in the water
  • Camping: Not available in the area, but accommodations can be found nearby

If you’re not keen on venturing too far from the Sunshine Coast region, then Serenity Falls located in a nearby oasis is an excellent choice. This waterfall, hidden amidst strangler figs and native vines, is a mere 5 minutes from Buderim Village, offering two access points depending on your preference for a shorter, steeper walk or a longer, gentler one. Both paths will lead you to the same breathtaking waterfall view.

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10. Kureelpa Falls Circuit: A Hidden Gem in Mapleton National Park

Kureelpa Falls, situated in Mapleton National Park, is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. This 8.5km circuit commences from the Mapleton National Park day-use area, providing a three-hour exploration of the magnificent national park.

The walk to the falls is primarily downhill, so be prepared for the uphill journey back. Upon reaching the falls, you’ll find a selection of small rock pools, perfect for a natural jacuzzi experience! You can either continue and complete the circuit or turn back for a slightly shorter walk.

Kureelpa Falls Circuit is a part of the Mapleton National Park and begins at the Mapleton Day Use area. The full loop is just under 9 kilometers and will take approximately 2.5 to 4 hours, depending on your pace and time spent at the falls. On average, a three-hour trek is expected without swimming breaks. This spot is truly a hidden gem, often overlooked by tourists.

A shorter route to the falls starts from the end of Kureelpa Falls Road, but it can be challenging due to creek crossings, especially after rainfall. However, if you enjoy water-walking and rock hopping, this route could be the more interesting choice.

From the Day Use area, follow the Number 4 signs, which will take you downhill to the falls. Remember, the return journey will be uphill, so good fitness levels are recommended for this hike.

Kureelpa Falls, fed by the South Maroochy River, cascade over large boulders and stand about 30 meters in height, making the trip truly worthwhile.

Mapleton National Park is a generous gift to nature enthusiasts. The 8.7km circuit leads to Kureelpa Falls situated just before the halfway mark, so you can opt to stop, refresh, and head back, or challenge yourself and complete the entire hike. For an additional challenge, the neighboring 6.7km Piccabeen Circuit is a lovely walk that starts and finishes in the Mapleton Day Use area, exploring rainforests, plantations, and a piccabeen palm grove.

About Londoner in Sydney: Annie & Steve run the Londoner In Sydney, a travel blog devoted to uncovering Australia’s best-hidden gems. They have a passion for hiking, finding secluded waterfalls, and discovering unique locations to share with their readers.

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Suggested Packing list for Hiking any of these Falls

  1. Footwear: Closed-in hiking boots, sneakers, or good walking shoes for longer hikes. For shorter hikes and if you plan to swim, thongs/flip-flops can be sufficient.
  2. Socks and Band-aids: Thick breathable socks and band-aids can prevent blisters. These pair well with closed-in shoes.
  3. Hat: A wide-brimmed hat offers good sun protection.
  4. Sunscreen: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
  5. Lip Balm: To prevent chapped lips.
  6. Hydration: Water bottle or hydration pack. There are intermittent water fountains at the start of hikes or near public bathrooms.
  7. Sunglasses: To protect your eyes from the sun.
  8. Lightweight Towels: Useful for wiping sweat off your face, light cleaning from dust, or assisting with minor injuries.
  9. Insect Repellent: Useful primarily at dusk, but can also be beneficial in rainforest locations.
  10. Clothing: Layered lightweight clothing for adjusting to temperatures, especially important for winter months.
  11. Rubbish Bags: For carrying out any rubbish you bring in.
  12. Binoculars: Great for spotting wildlife or other interesting sights.
  13. Camera/Tripod: To capture your memories.
  14. Day Pack or Backpack: For carrying all your gear.
  15. Snacks: Nuts or energy bars for energy replenishment.
  16. First Aid Kit: For any minor injuries, scrapes, or twisted ankles.
  17. Phone & Power Bank: Keep your phone charged for emergencies or navigation.
  18. Hiking Poles: Useful for long hikes to support your knees, especially on stairs.
  19. Warm Clothing: Jumpers or coats for the winter, along with beanies and gloves.
  20. Water: Plenty of water for hydration.
  21. Torch: Useful for sunrise or sunset walks.
  22. Hiking Poles: Can be helpful for long hikes.
  23. Warm Clothing: Jumpers or coats for the winter, along with beanies and gloves.

Remember to pack according to the specific conditions and length of your hike, and always leave no trace to preserve these beautiful environments for future visitors!

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