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About Malanda Falls

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Getting there and getting around

Malanda township is 120km from Cairns via the Gillies Highway. From Malanda, follow the main street as it becomes Malanda–Atherton Road to the western edge of the township. Turn right into the carpark just after crossing the North Johnstone River.

From Atherton, follow Malanda–Atherton Road to the outskirts of Malanda.

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair accessible facilities at Malanda Falls Conservation Park.

Park features

Malanda Falls, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Queensland.

Malanda Falls, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Queensland.

Malanda Falls, on the North Johnstone River, tumbles over basalt rock formed by an ancient lava flow that spread from the Mount Hypipamee area 15km away.

There are two short walks through the surrounding remnant rainforest. The tulip oak walk features signs written and designed by the local Aboriginal people. The signs tell of the Aboriginal and European history of the area and of the Ngadjon-Jii culture and lifestyle. The rainforest circuit walk follows the river before winding back through the forest. Look for platypus, fish and turtles from the viewing deck over the river, and learn some of the many tree species that make up the forest. See things to do for more information on these walks.

The Tableland Regional Council's Malanda Falls Scenic Reserve adjoins the conservation park. The reserve has toilets, picnic tables, shelters, barbecues and water access points.

Read more about the nature, culture and history of Malanda Falls Conservation Park.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted in Malanda Falls Conservation Park.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation on the Atherton Tableland. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Tulip oak walk trail head. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Tulip oak walk trail head. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Viewing areas over the North Johnstone River. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Viewing areas over the North Johnstone River. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Learn about Ngadjon-Jii culture. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Learn about Ngadjon-Jii culture. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Walking

There are two short walks through Malanda Falls Conservation Park.

Tulip oak walk (Grade: easy)

Distance: 1km return
Time: allow 35mins walking time
Details: This short walk, starting near the toilet block, wanders through the Malanda Falls rainforest, stopping at viewing areas that overlook the North Johnstone River. Learn about the Ngadjon-Jii culture and lifestyle from trackside signs.

Rainforest walk (Grade: easy)

Distance: 1.5km return
Time: allow 1hr walking time
Details: Starting on the opposite side of the road to the car park, this short walk follows the North Johnstone River before turning back through the forest to its starting point. Many of the towering rainforest trees are labelled.

Guided tours and talks

Ngadjon people provide guided walks through the Malanda Falls rainforest. Contact the Malanda Falls Visitor Centre for details and bookings. Several tour companies also visit Malanda Falls Conservation Park as part of their tour of the tableland. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Picnic and day-use areas

The Tablelands Regional Council's Malanda Falls Scenic Reserve, adjoining the conservation park, has toilets, picnic tables, shelters, barbecues and water access points.

Viewing wildlife

Birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians abound in Malanda Falls Conservation Park. During the day, look for birds from the canopy to the forest floor. Keep an eye out for platypus in the river, especially at dawn and dusk. Lumholtz's tree-kangaroos and green possums can sometimes be seen snoozing on branches during the day. At night you can use a spotlight to look for them in the canopy, as well as for leaf-tailed geckos, spiders and bats.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

To enjoy your time at Malanda Falls Conservation Park remember to bring:

  • drinking water
  • appropriate footwear.

Opening hours

Malanda Falls Conservation Park is open 24 hours a day.

Permits and fees

If you intend conducting a commercial tour, wedding, school excursion or scientific research in Malanda Falls Conservation Park, a permit may be required. See park permits and policies for further information.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Malanda Falls Conservation Park.

Climate and weather

The lower humidity and daytime temperatures at Malanda Falls Conservation Park are a pleasant escape from the coastal extremes. Maximum summer temperatures are around 29°C while winter temperatures can fall below 10°C at night. Most of the rain falls during the wet season, between October and March. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available from Malanda. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

  • Avoid stinging trees. These plants grow to 4m high and have large, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges. Do not touch these plants as it will result in a very painful sting. If you are stung and symptoms are severe, seek medical advice.
  • Always carry water and wear a hat and sturdy footwear.
  • Treat all water before drinking.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Stay on the walking tracks at all times. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Stay on the walking tracks at all times. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

  • Stay on walking tracks, as taking short cuts leads to erosion and adjacent areas may be unstable.
  • Everything in the park is protected—leave everything as you found it.
  • Please take rubbish with you when you leave the park and help by picking up rubbish left by others.
  • Feeding wildlife can affect the health of the animals and alter the natural population balance. Please don't feed the wildlife.

Spotlighting

A well-planned spotlight activity will deliver great results with very little effort or impact on the environment. Here are a few things that will make the experience memorable.

  • Keep bulb wattage to 30 or less. This increases the chance of finding animals (by not warning them) and extends viewing time.
  • Bring binoculars for better viewing.
  • Use many senses to find wildlife. Look for eye shine, listen for leaves rustling and inhale the smells.
  • Use a white light to explore the forest, and then add a red or orange filter to view wildlife (cellophane is useful).
  • Remember loud voices and sounds scare away wildlife.
  • Never train lights on nesting birds—it can cause distress.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks

Park management

Malanda Falls was initially gazetted as an environmental park on 25 November 1989. In December 1994, it was converted to a conservation park. The park is 19.12ha in size.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages the conservation park to:

  • protect the park's natural condition
  • ensure rare and threatened species are protected
  • provide facilities for minimal impact and nature-based recreation
  • protect it from overuse
  • concentrate human activity in less sensitive areas
  • help visitors enjoy the park's special attractions.

The traditional culture and country of the Ngadjon-Jii has been formally recognised in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ngadjon-Jii and QPWS. This MoU recognises the link Ngadjon-Jii have with their country and forms the basis for communication protocols for management of Malanda Falls and other places of significance.

Tourism information links

Malanda Falls Visitor Centre
www.malandafalls.com
132 Malanda-Atherton Road, Malanda QLD 4885
ph (07) 4096 6957
email

Atherton Visitor Information Centre
Corner Silo Road and Main Street, Atherton QLD 4883
ph (07) 4091 4222
email

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last reviewed
26 April 2017
Last updated
11 October 2016