As the weather heats up, Brissy locals and tourists alike head out of the city looking to cool off. I love chasing waterfalls in the summer (yeah, you heard me TLC), and luckily for me, I don’t have to go far to find them. Here are some of the best waterfalls near Brisbane for a quick dip:
1) Cedar Creek Falls (Samford)
You’ll find these beautiful falls 45minutes North West of Brisbane. Drive passed Samford and continue to the end of Cedar Creek Road… There’s no real car park, but plenty of places to leave your car. From there, you’ll need to hike about 20minutes upstream to get to the falls. There are heaps of awesome swimming holes along the way, and more often than not they are totally empty. Being so close to the city and the amount of places to swim definitely makes this one of the best waterfalls near Brisbane!
2) Cedar Creek Falls (Mt Tamborine)
Same name, different place. You’ll find these falls 1hr south of Brisbane at the base of Mt Tamborine. There is limited access to these falls for safety reasons, and the parts you can get to do get super busy on weekends. That said, if you go early and get them to yourself (like I did), it’s a great place for a dip!
3. Serenity Falls (Buderim)
Also called Buderim falls, these picture perfect falls are just a 5minutes drive from Buderim. It’s a super photogenic curtain of water (that you can walk behind) with a nice pool at the base. If the falls themselves are too crowded, head downstream, you’ll find some great wee swimming holes to cool off.
4) Gardner Falls (Maleny)
Gardner Falls is definitely one of the best waterfalls near Brisbane, especially for families. Located 10 minutes from Maleny, on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, they’re a local favourite. Complete with rocks to slide down and rope swing, these place is great for the kids. If you hate crowds… get in VERY early on the weekends!
5) Booloumba Falls (Kenilworth)
A bit further out of the way, but definitely worth it! Just two hours north, these are definitely one of the best waterfalls near Brisbane. You will need a 4WD to get here, so if you don’t have one, ask your mate for a lift. There are plenty of swimming holes, a rope swing, and lots of places to explore. The campground at Booloumba creek is also beautiful, so why not make a weekend of it?
6) Elabana Falls (Lamington National Park)
Not so great for swimming, but beautiful none-the-less! These are just one of the falls found on the Box Forest Circuit hike (10km) in Lamington National Park. If you’ve got the time, take on the more challenging Tooloona Creek Circuit (18km) – you’ll see more falls and incredible scenery!
7) Cronan Creek Falls (Mt Barney)
Located in the middle of Mt Barney National Park, Cronan Creek Falls (also called Secret Falls) are definitely worth hiking for. It’s about 1 – 1.5 hrs easy walk (one way) from Yellow Pinch Carpark. There’s a few creek crossings along the way so be prepared to get your feet wet (especially if there’s been recent rain). You leave the track on the left hand side (there’s a small sign) to access the falls – and yes, a little bush bashing it required – but it’s so worth it.
8) Artists Cascade (Kenilworth)
Near Boolumba Falls, but a little harder to get to, Artist Cascades are a bit of a walk – but they are lovely. The hike takes a couple of hours return from the Booloumba Creek camping area, but you’re rewarded with a pretty waterfall and a great swimming hole that’s normally completely empty!
9) Larapinta Falls (Lamington National Park)
Now we’re getting serious. These are definitely one of the most breathtaking waterfalls near Brisbane! Finding them is tricky, but I promise you won’t regret it! To find this gem, follow the track to Westray’s Grave deep into Lamington National Park. Once you reach the grave, cross the creek and head upstream until you hit the falls. NOTE: There is no track. You WILL need to boulder hop up some pretty big, slippery rocks. Also watch out for leeches, stinging trees and the little blue crayfish that can and will scare the sh*t out of you if they jump out from under a rock!