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Dinner Falls & Mount Hypipamee Crater Loop Hike

Dinner Falls & Mount Hypipamee Crater Loop Hike

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Discover Dinner Falls and Mount Hypipamee Crater in Far North Queensland’s Tablelands Region.

Whether you’re planning a day trip from Cairns, or you’re exploring the Tablelands, a trip to Mount Hypipamee Crater and Dinner Falls is a great bet.

The trip makes a good half-day trip that includes a scenic swimming spot and a sight of the famous crater lake at the end of a short rainforest loop. After visiting this awesome spot, I’ve written this quick guide detailing everything you need to know about visiting Dinner Falls Cairns and the Mount Hypipamee Crater, as well as what you might expect!

Mount Hypipamee National Park

Both Dinner Falls and the Hypipamee Crater can be accessed on a short loop walk in the Hypipamee National Park.

This park sits at 900 m+ on the southern Evelyn Tableland in the Hugh Nelson Range. Due to its altitude, the Hypipamee National Park is a hotspot for high-altitude birds and possums.

Tip: There are also signs for Cassowaries, so keep an eye out!

YouTube video
Mount hypipamee crater cairns

How to Get to Dinner Falls & the Hypipamee Crater

Mount Hypipamee is located approximately 1.5 hours drive from Cairns and about 20 minutes from Atherton. The waterfall and crater car park are easy to follow using Google Maps to the pin below.

From Cairns, you'll have the option of taking the shorter, but much more winding Gillies Range Road past the Crater Lakes towards Malanda and onwards to Mount Hypipamee National Park.

Alternatively, a longer (yet similar duration) drive can be taken by driving North on Bruce Highway and onto Kennedy Highway towards Mareeba, passing Kuranda on the way. From Mareeba, it's an extra 45-minute drive to the crater and waterfall car park following the Kennedy Highway south.

Map of mount hypipamee crater

Dinner Falls and Crater Loop Walk

  • Hike Distance: 1.2 km loop
  • Duration: 30-40 minutes
  • Elevation: Mostly flat with some short sections of slight gradient
  • Difficulty: Easy

Once you arrive at the Mount Hypipamee car park, you'll see a large sign next to the scrub which details the short loop to the crater and Dinner Falls.

There are two walking tracks in this national park; the short 800 m return walk to the Mount Hypipamee Crater, or the 1.2 km Dinner Falls loop track.

I'd recommend taking the loop track, since this way you'll get to see Dinner Falls, as well as the Mount Hypipamee Crater on a relatively easy track. The walking track is well-marked, wide, and easy to navigate, albeit a little bit steep in some sections. Overall, this loop walk is very easy and can be attempted by anyone.

Dinner falls, mount hypipamee waterfall loop walking track

Nearby: Windin Falls

Dinner Falls and Mount Hypipamee National Park Map

Map of the mount hypipamee crater and dinner falls walking track

Related: Tchupalla and Wallicher Falls

The Hypipamee Crater

The first stop on the walking track is a viewing platform just above the Hypipamee Crater, approximately 400 m from the car park.

From here, you'll get clear views of the sheer granite walls that plunge into the 70 m deep crater lake.

The Hypipamee Crater is really a diatreme (volcanic pipe caused by a gaseous explosion), which was discovered in 1879 when a gold-prospecting party accidentally fell into it.

It is now protected within the National Park and is a unique ecosystem that is home to a particular freshwater shrimp species that may be found nowhere else on earth.

Mount hypipamee crater cairns

Dinner Falls: Waterfall Levels & Swimming Spots

From the Hypipamee Crater viewing platform, turn around and take the immediate left trail heading down the valley. This track forms the Dinner Falls loop, where you'll spot the several tiers of the waterfall along the way.

The first tier on the track is blocked by a steel barricade with warning signs not to enter. This spot doesn't offer any opportunity for a swim, so it's best to just take a look and move on.

Dinner falls waterfall cairns

The second tier of Dinner Falls is the most impressive, and also the best swimming spot. The wide, 12 m high waterfall cascades down in multiple streams into a 1.5 m deep pool. This pool has been propped up by concrete walls on the edges, which helps maintain the depth.

Dinner falls cairns, swimming hole and waterfall
Dinner falls cairns, waterfall circuit loop

Continuing up the Dinner Falls loop track, you'll soon reach the second swimming spot. This one is a little shallower and the waterfall is slightly smaller. However, it's still a great spot to hang out, especially if the larger level is too busy.

Dinner falls cairns - waterfall mount hypitamee national park, tablelands

Best Cairns Outdoor Experiences

Not sure which outdoor experiences & natural attractions to visit for your next adventure to Cairns?

I've visited Cairns a dozen times, have been on over 20 different tours and worked with countless tour operators. This is a summary of my favourite tours & bookable experiences in Cairns.

Fitzroy island ferry

1. Fitzroy Island Full Day Trip

Fitzroy Island is the closest (and cheapest) Great Barrier Reef Island to visit from Cairns. Check out the world-famous famous Nudey Beach and hike to the island summit.

Scuba diving on the great barrier reef tour cairns

2. Great Barrier Reef by Catamaran Top-Pick

Visit the outer reef and snorkel or scuba dive at two pristine reef locations. You might even get lucky and meet the local Maori Wrasse like we did in the photo.

Cairns helicopter tour over the great barrier reef

3. Scenic Helicopter Flight

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Great Barrier Reef from above on a scenic helicopter flight from Cairns city.

Travel tip: By far, the best islands for snorkeling in Cairns are the Frankland Islands (pristine reef). There is only one boat trip allowed to stop on these islands and you can book this directly with BackpackerDeals + use code OLLY5 to get $5 off.

More Cairns & Tablelands Waterfall and Travel Guides

I hope this guide to visiting Dinner Falls Cairns and the incredible Mount Hypipamee Crater has been helpful in planning your Tropical North Queensland adventures.

For more ideas and travel inspiration, check out my list of essential guides below.

Cairns dinner falls and mount hypipamee crater loop
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.