Scenic Rim:
Most picturesque waterfalls

18 JANUARY 2023

Is there anything more refreshing than feeling the cool mist of a waterfall on your skin at the end of a long, hot hike? We’ve chased the best waterfalls in the Scenic Rim for you to explore on your next day trip or adventurous getaway. All you need to do is rally your friends, fill your water bottles, pack dry socks and prepare to be wowed by wonderous waterfalls.

Elabana Falls, Lamington National Park

A straightforward hike will get you to Elabana Falls in Lamington National Park. Take the Main Border Track from O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and walk 3.5km – including a little scramble over rocks in the creek – and you’ll find yourself close to the cascades. You can also view it unimpeded from the track if you don’t want to get your feet wet. Retrace your steps for the return journey. 

Cronan Creek Falls, Mt Barney National Park

About 100m off the beaten path – in this case, the Yellow Pinch trailhead – you’ll find the “secret” Cronan Creek Falls. From the Yellow Pinch Reserve, follow the Cronan Creek Track past stunning views of the Great Dividing Range and Mt Barney. Pack spare socks, plenty of water and a camera for this 13km, four-hour roundtrip.

Shot of Morans Falls waterfall and treetops, O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat.

Morans Falls, Scenic Rim

Morans Falls, Lamington National Park

To reach the plunging Morans Falls, follow the descending 4.4km return track about a kilometre back from the O’Reilly’s car park. Adventure through a sub-tropical rainforest of booyongs, figs and brush box along the well-marked track. Visit the clearing or the lookout – or both – then return for a well-earned treat at O’Reilly’s Mountain Café.

Curtis Falls, Tamborine National Park

In the heart of Tamborine Mountain, Curtis Falls is fed by Cedar Creek all year round. This circuit is an easy stroll for all ages and abilities at 1.5km and only half an hour in total. Grab a bite to eat before or after your expedition at the picturesque Curtis Falls Café set among the lush rainforest. If you’re keen for more, tack on the Joalah Lower Creek Circuit and time your trip just after heavy rainfall to witness the falls at full strength. Extend your stay with a night or two at the quaint Mt Tamborine Stonehaven Guest House

Cedar Creek Falls, Tamborine Mountain

Take a day trip to Tamborine Mountain where you will find Cedar Creek Falls. It’s worth the short walk to the rock pools at its base to peer up in wonder at the majestic 15-20m waterfall. Immerse yourself in nature and stay a few nights in Cedar Creek Lodges, a collection of stylish self-contained lodges and holiday cabins set amid the lush rainforest. 

Lower & Upper Portals, Mt Barney National Park

These aren't exactly waterfalls, more waterholes, but they're too pretty not to include. For those who like to work for their rewards, take a day trip to Mt Barney and hike the Lower Portals or Upper Portals trail. Both tracks follow a three-hour return route that treks through these waterholes and are the perfect spots to cool off on a hot day.

Shot of woman standing in front of waterfall, O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat.

O'Reiley's Rainforest Retreat, Scenic Rim

Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park

An iconic landmark, Natural Bridge is a short 1km clockwise circuit that descends through ancient rainforest, across Cave Creek and into a cave as a waterfall plunges down. At night, take yourself on a glow-worm tour of the cave but make sure not to expose them to torches, bright lights, smoke or fire. The Settlement camping area nearby is perfect for overnight adventures and glow-worm spotting. 

Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park

The Purling Brook Falls circuit begins at the Gwongorella picnic area in Springbrook National Park. This track’s easier to walk clockwise but make sure you keep clear of the edge. The 4km circuit can be extended with a visit to the Warringa Pool, adding an easy 2km to your journey.

Coomera and Yarrabilgong Falls, Lamington National Park

Off the Coomera Circuit at Binna Burra, the Coomera and Yarrabilgong Falls are a 17.5km return trip that takes between five and seven hours, depending on how fast-paced you feel. Dense forests, creek crossings, waterfalls, gorges and cliffs are just a few of the stunning features on this spectacular walk. Wind down into the Coomera Valley itself and pack a picnic lunch for a picturesque way to spend the day. Rest your weary feet overnight at Binna Burra Lodge with accommodation options ranging from luxe Sky Lodges to Safari Tents. 

Mirror Falls, O'Reilly's

A huge 20km trek, Mirror Falls is a physical investment but the dividends are well worth the effort. Starting from O’Reilly’s, you’ll likely feel tired and sore the following day but the views you’ll encounter are priceless. Why not rest and recuperate with a night or two at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat where each studio and suite boasts a showstopping view?

Low angle shot of waterfall, O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat.

Chalahn Falls, Scenic Rim

Chalahn Falls, Lamington National Park

Accessed via the Tooloona Creek Circuit, the Chalahn Falls walk to and from O'Reilly's is roughly 10.5km. Creek crossings mean you should prepare to wade if you can’t rock-hop. The track can degrade in heavy rain and you’ll have to scramble over fallen trees too but it’s the perfect spot for a picnic and an awe-inspiring view.

An image of a family standing on a ledge in a rainforest, surrounded by large rocks and trees.