Waterfall chasing in tropical north Queensland is practically a sport. Some are harder to reach than others but the thrill and toil makes the adventure much more memorable!
Many of you may give a sigh of relief when we say that we’d consider the hike to Nandroya Falls in Wooroonooran National Park a moderate trek in terms of effort and physical exertion. The entire trail sits underneath the rainforest canopy, which provides some blissful shady respite from the blistering Queensland sun in the hotter months.
This blog post details how to get to Nandroya Falls, the hike and camping options nearby.
NANDROYA FALLS | DIRECTIONS, CAMPING & MORE
Nandroya Falls Quick Facts
- Opening Times/Seasons: All day/ All year
- Entrance Fee: Free
- Are there crocodiles at Nandroya Falls? No
- Can you swim at Nandroya Falls? Yes
- Can you camp at Nandroya Falls? Camping is permitted at the Henrietta Creek camping area (see below)
- Picnic tables: Yes
- Toilets: Yes (non-flush)
- BBQ: Yes (Electric/Fuel - free of charge)
Where is Nandroya Falls?
Nandroya Falls is located at the bottom of Wooroonooran National Park, just off the Palmerston Highway, and is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage rainforest.
The stunning single drop waterfall is accessible following a marked and relatively flat trail through the rainforest. The great thing about Nandroya Falls is being amongst the tranquility and serenity of the trees before reaching the beautiful falls and swimming hole.
Nandroya Falls | How To Get There
Situated on the Palmerston Highway, about halfway between Innisfail and Millaa Millaa, Nandroya Falls is part of three waterfalls that make up the Palmerston section within Wooroonooran National Park.
Nandroya Falls from Cairns
The drive from Cairns will take you 117km south, mostly along highways. Take the Bruce Highway to Innisfail before joining the Palmerston Highway which cuts through the Wooroonooran National Park. The Henrietta Creek camping area will be on the right hand side of the road as you travel through the rainforest section of the highway towards the township of Millaa Millaa. Driving time from Cairns to Henrietta Creek camping area will take you around 90 minutes.
Nandroya Falls from Townsville
We travelled north along the Bruce Highway during our 5-day campervan trip from Cairns and back. We didn’t make it to Townsville, only as far as Wallaman Falls, but the journey to Nandroya Falls will follow a similar route. From Townsville, take the highway north until you reach a turn off to Boogan, approximately 240km. From there, continue on until you reach the Palmerston Highway and drive towards Millaa Millaa. The Henrietta Creek camping area will be on the right – keep your eyes peeled for a sign to the entrance. The drive from Townsville will take you around 3.5 hours.
How long is Nandroya Falls hike?
Park your vehicle at the Henrietta Creek camping area. Cross the creek over the footbridge, walk through a small clearing before coming to the trail entrance. After approximately 700m, you’ll discover a fork in the trail. To the left is a shorter route, taking you about 1.5 kilometres to reach Nandroya Falls via Silver Falls. Alternatively, the 3.5 kilometres trail to the right follows along Douglas Creek, where you can cool off in the rockpools and rapids. Both trails meet up again at the base of Nandroya Falls.
As we were short on time and racing the light, we opted for the shorter route. The return journey, plus some time for taking photos, was approximately 2 hours. The trail is clear and is unpaved. There are no barriers either.
Safety Tips For Visiting Nandroya Falls
- Make sure to have a full tank of petrol – we would recommend filling up in Innisfail before joining the Palmerston Highway as there are no petrol stations along this stretch until you reach Millaa Millaa
- Wear enclosed shoes for the hike – sturdy hiking shoes are probably best but trail shoes or runners would suffice for this track
- Keep an eye out for wildlife, reptiles and insects
- Do not hike alone and always let someone know where you are hiking and when you expect to return
What other waterfalls are in the area?
Other waterfalls in the immediate area within walking distance of Henrietta campground include Wallicher Falls and Tchupala Falls.
The Millaa Millaa waterfall circuit, comprising Millaa Millaa Waterfall, Ellinjaa Falls and Zillie Falls is only 20 minutes drive up the road.
For those looking to venture a little further off the beaten path, drive approximately one hour to reach the mouth of the trail leading to Windin Falls. Alternatively, lesser known waterfalls in the vicinity include Emerald Creek Falls and Millstream Falls.
Hiking Essentials | What do I need to hike to Nandroya Falls?
- Hiking boots | We recommend sturdy, reliable footwear for this hike. Trail shoes and runners would suffice.
- Basic first-aid kit | Including a space blanket
- Reusable water bottles | Preferably one that has a filter like this Grayl waterbottle in case you need to fill up from a natural water source
- Adequate drinking water | Unfortunately the water at Henrietta Creek Camping Area is not suitable for drinking. Bring a sufficient amount for a day’s walk and then extra!
- Biodegradable wet wipes | There are no showers so wet wipes are a good alternative!
- Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellent
- Adequate clothing for all weather conditions including rain
- Swimsuit & microfibre towel if you plan on swimming
- Fully charged mobile phone | Mobile phone coverage is limited. Telstra seems to work best out here.
- Torch or headlamp | Always handy for when nature calls in the middle of the night!
Where can I stay near Nandroya Falls?
BEST CAMPING NEAR NANDROYA FALLS
The closest campsite is Henrietta Creek Camping Area. It has 11 sites and is suitable for caravans, campervans, camper trailers and tents.
Facilities include composting toilets, picnic tables, gas barbecues and taps. Generators are also permitted within limits. You must reserve a campsite online and pay the applicable permit fees – booking link HERE
We stayed here and found the campground perfect for our needs. It is surrounded by rainforest so make sure to bring drinking water, rubbish bags, a torch/headlamp and insect repellent.
BEST AIRBNBS NEAR NANDROYA FALLS
BEST COTTAGES NEAR NANDROYA FALLS
Possum Valley Rainforest Cottages | These modest self-contained cottages offer simple essentials in the middle of the rainforest. A humble owner offers moderate rates and even doesn’t accept payment from those financially stressed. This would be the perfect stay for those who love being out in nature and are content with getting by with the simple things in life.