I can’t help but smirk about the fact that my home state Queensland is where you find Australia’s highest, permanent, single-drop waterfall. And I’m so relieved that Bevan convinced me that it was worth the drive from Cairns on our super cramped 5 day campervan itinerary.
Wallaman Falls is a beauty to behold and the trek is worth the physical effort a hundred times over. The tour groups don’t venture here so getting to the Wallaman Falls location is an adventure in itself. Standing above and before this waterfall will literally leave you breathless and is a must for any road trip itinerary of tropical north Queensland.
This blog post outlines information on the Wallaman Falls hike, swimming at Wallaman Falls and details about Wallaman Falls camping among other things. We count ourselves fortunate to have had the opportunity to stand before a glorious Mother Nature phenomenon and we sincerely hope that you will have this chance too.
WALLAMAN FALLS QLD | THE HIKE, THE LOCATION & THE CAMPING
Wallaman Falls Quick Facts
- Opening Times/Seasons: All day/ All year
- Entrance Fee: Free
- Can you swim at Wallaman Falls? Yes
- Can you camp at Wallaman Falls? Yes (see below)
- Picnic tables: Yes
- Toilets: Yes (non-flush)
- BBQ: Yes (wood-fired - BYO wood)
Where is Wallaman Falls located?
Located within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area inside Girringun National Park, Wallaman Falls is Australia’s highest, permanent, single-drop waterfall. Measuring 268 metres from Stony Creek down into the Herbert River Valley, suffice to say that it is certainly worth the winding uphill drive and the blistering trek to the bottom of the falls.
How to get to Wallaman Falls
Ingham to Wallaman Falls
Ingham is the closest town to Wallaman Falls. Driving from Ingham will take just under an hour. The road to Wallaman Falls leaves from the town centre. You’ll make your way through farmland, most likely passing by cows wandering along the roadside before entering Girringun National Park. Once inside the park, you’ll ascend a single paved road that makes its way towards the lookout and campground at the top of Wallaman Falls.
Townsville to Wallaman Falls
If you are looking to fly to Wallaman Falls, then Townville has the closest domestic airport with regular services from major cities across Australia. Driving from Townsville to Wallaman Falls is 162km and will take you just over 2 hours via Ingham.
Cairns to Wallaman Falls
The gateway to tropical north Queensland is via Cairns and is where most visitors fly into. Driving from Cairns to Wallaman Falls is around 4 hours and is better suited (and feasible) to an overnight itinerary rather than a day trip. When we planned to visit Wallaman Falls on our epic 5 day tropical north Queensland road trip, we stopped overnight at Mission Beach, approximately halfway, to break up the driving and then overnighted at Wallaman Falls campground.
How long is Wallaman Falls hike?
The Wallaman Falls hike to the base begins at the top from the lookout. The steep descent is 1.6km one way as you weave your way to the bottom.
You’ll pass through various viewpoints as the vegetation changes from forest into rainforest the closer you get to the mist escaping from the waterfall. There are a lot of boulders to clamber over from the end of the trail to the edge of the swimming hole. You can swim at Wallaman Falls and we did see other visitors taking a dip. There are warning signs not to jump into the water. We did not swim ourselves as we were unfortunately running out of time with the fading light.
Allow 2 hours time to complete the loop, significantly more for the uphill return.
Safety Tips For Visiting Wallaman Falls
- Wear enclosed shoes for the hike – it is not always a flat trail and you will be navigating unpaved, uneven stairs for the most part
- Keep an eye out for wildlife, reptiles and insects
- Make sure to have a full tank of petrol – the closest petrol station is at Ingham; be mindful of public holidays as many petrol stations in these small towns will be closed
- Do not hike alone and do not hike in the dark – Wallaman Falls is a remote area; the closest hospital is in Ingham
What other waterfalls are in the area?
Blancoe Falls is another waterfall located within Girringun National Park and offers multiple hiking opportunities. Some of these trails include overnight camping.
Escape over to Hinchinbrook Island where you will find Zoe Falls with stunning views over Zoe Bay. If you’re on the island just north of Ingham, make sure to also check out Mulligan Falls. Hinchinbrook Island is on our list for our next trip up north!
Staying on the mainland, you’ll find Jourama Falls on your way towards Townsville.
Hiking Essentials | What do I need to hike to Wallaman Falls?
- Hiking boots | We recommend sturdy, reliable, closed-in footwear for this hike. Trail shoes and runners would suffice. We passed by a young man wearing flip flops and we heard him cursing on the uphill return journey.
- Basic first-aid kit | Including a space blanket
- Reusable water bottles | We recommend a water bottle with a filter such as this Grayl water bottle.
- Adequate drinking water | Unfortunately the water at Wallaman Falls camping area is not suitable for drinking. Bring a sufficient amount for a day’s walk and then extra!
- Biodegradable wet wipes | There are showers at the nearby camp site but just in case you need something extra!
- 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 | For when nature calls in the middle of the night!
Camping Near Wallaman Falls
Wallaman Falls camping area is adjacent to Stony Creek and only a short drive from Wallaman Falls lookout. Campers are able to pitch a tent or sleep in their caravan/campervan but must reserve a spot online and pay their camping fees to obtain an e-camping permit. The camping area facilities include hybrid composting toilets, cold water shower, wood fire barbecues, picnic tables and a public pay phone. Please remember to take all your rubbish with you.
For more information and to book online, click here.