Millaa Millaa Falls is a Queensland heritage-listed plunge waterfall adjacent to the town of Millaa Millaa, almost 100 kilometres west of Cairns in the Atherton Tablelands. One of the most photographed waterfalls in Australia, Millaa Millaa Falls cascades into a pristine waterhole below. It’s the perfect place to unpack a picnic, cool off during a tropical Queensland summer and enjoy the magnificent rainforest setting.
Millaa Millaa Falls is a great place to spot North Queensland wildlife. If you’re there in the late afternoon, you might see the elusive platypus, or throughout the day, the splendid Ulysses butterfly. And if one waterfall isn’t enough, take the 17-kilometre waterfall circuit just south of the township of Millaa Millaa and discover two more beauties - Zillie Falls and Ellinjaa Falls.
The beautiful town of Millaa Millaa is the gateway to the southern Atherton Tablelands. It sits 850 metres above sea level, nestled among lush green hills and dairy pastures, with panoramic views, majestic rainforests, and magnificent waterfalls.
An icon within the tourism industry, Millaa Millaa Falls is a must-visit (and must-photograph) spot for national and international visitors. The falls are approximately 18.3 metres high and were formed from volcanic basalt, which wore away to create distinctive vertical pipe formations on the surface of the rock giving the falls its ‘perfect’ appearance and bringing photographers from near and far. The falls are surrounded by rainforest and drop into a large pool that beckons visitors into its cool waters, all year round.
In 1882, Millaa Millaa Falls was stumbled upon during the exploration of overland routes to connect the minefields in Herberton with coastal ports. A clearing was made at the falls and used as a rest stop for early horse and mule pack teams travelling to and from Herberton. It was later utilised as a base for land surveyors and a camp for workers constructing the railway line between Millaa Millaa and Malanda in the 1920s.
In that same period, a quarry was established next to the falls to supply stone for making roads and the falls came under threat from blasting and excavation. Fortunately, due to local community efforts, the falls were protected and went on to become a popular tourist destination. Millaa Millaa Falls is now part of the famous ‘waterfall circuit’ which includes nearby Zillie and Elinjaa Falls.
The name Millaa Millaa is derived from a phonetic adaptation of the Aboriginal word ‘Malay Malay’ in the language of the local Mamu people. Mamu is an Indigenous Aboriginal people from the coastal and Wet Tropics rainforest region of Far North Queensland. Malay Malay refers to the rainforest vine Elaeagnus Triflora which fruits from May to February and was a seasonal food source. This plant is still found in the local area and is commonly known as the Millaa Millaa vine.
Yes, Millaa Millaa Falls is just a short walk from the parking area (around five minutes) and relatively easy to access. It's a gentle and easy walk that takes you through lush rainforest.
Yes, swimming is allowed at the base of Millaa Millaa Falls. The pool at the base is relatively deep and offers a refreshing swim, especially on hot days.
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