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Millaa Millaa Falls: Cairns Waterfall Guide

Millaa Millaa Falls: Cairns Waterfall Guide

Millaa Millaa Falls is and arguably one of Australia’s most beautiful waterfalls. The complete guide to visiting Millaa Millaa Falls in the Atherton Tablelands from Cairns, Queensland.

Millaa Millaa Falls is a very accessible and picturesque plunging waterfall in the Tablelands Region near Cairns. This particular waterfall is known to be the most photographed waterfall in Australia! And, it’s not hard to see why. It truly is a perfectionist’s ideal, with perfect plunging water and a wide, round swimming pond at the base.

I’ve visited over 30 different waterfalls in Cairns and the surrounding region and out of all of them, perhaps the most well-known is Millaa Milaa. After visiting this waterfall a few times, I’ve formulated this updated guide to help other travelers. I include how to get to this primary waterfall on the popular Millaa Millaa waterfall circuit and what to expect once you arrive.

Olly gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler & adventure photographer for 6 years with 700+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.

How to Get to Millaa Millaa Falls

Millaa Millaa Falls is located in the Atherton Tablelands, close to the small township of Millaa Millaa. If you have your own car or transport, then it's a 1.5-hour drive from Cairns down the Bruce Highway and up the twists and turns of Gillies Range Road.

However, if you prefer directions, head south on the Bruce Highway from Cairns towards Gordonvale. Once you approach the obvious Walsh’s Pyramid, look out for signs to Atherton Tablelands over Gillies Range Road.

Follow this winding road all the way up to the Tablelands, pass the crater lakes and continue following signs south, just passed Malanda. Theresa Creek Road (the Waterfall Circuit Road) is just a minute or so from the small town.

There are very detailed signs to each waterfall on this road, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding Millaa Millaa Falls once you're on the road.

Once you reach the car park, the waterfall is right around the corner at the bottom of a few stone steps. It's really impossible to miss it.

Car in the rainforest near cairns

Car Rentals in Far North Queensland

Cairns is one of the most popular travel destinations in Australia and car rentals quickly book out! I recommend booking well in advance. I always use DiscoverCars as they compare the widest range of rentals across dealerships in the Far North.

Millaa millaa falls, cairns waterfalls, things to do, drone photo

Alternative: Best Waterfall Tour From Cairns

If you don't have your own transport, then it's also possible to take a waterfall tour from Cairns. While I didn't take a tour, the linked tour below offers the best value that I could find for a full-day tour that takes you to many different locations near Cairns.

The total tour duration is 10-11 hours and includes:

  • Cairns Hotel Pickup
  • English Speaking Tour Guide
  • Hike in the Nearby Wooroonooran National Park
  • Swim at Josephine Falls (one of my favourite waterfalls near Cairns)
  • Swim at Millaa Millaa Falls
  • Platypus spotting in Yungaburra
  • Swim at Lake Eacham
Millaa millaa drone photo waterfall
Cairns waterfalls in the atherton tablelands

Related: Australia's Tallest Waterfall (Wallaman Falls)

What to Expect at Millaa Milaa Waterfall

The perfectly shaped waterfall cascades into a beautiful waterhole below. The scene seems to be tucked away in the dense surrounding rainforest, with tropical palms, ferns, and vines on each side.

Millaa Millaa Falls has a total waterfall height of 18.3 metres, and the waterhole is deep enough for swimming. This waterfall was also added to the Queensland Heritage Register back in 2005.

Millaa millaa falls, cairns waterfalls, things to do

This waterfall definitely looks the part for a Tropical North Queensland waterfall. However, if you're looking for a surreal tropical waterfall at the end of a rainforest hike, then this might not be the one for you.

Millaa Millaa waterfall is understandably a popular destination, with tour buses stopping by daily.

There has also been a fair bit of development here, perhaps to make it a more attractive destination for weddings and events.

If you prefer a more secluded waterfall without any construction or development, I could highly recommend nearby Windin Falls, Dinner Falls, Little Millstream or the other two waterfalls on the Millaa Millaa waterfall circuit (below).

Millaa millaa falls, cairns waterfalls, things to do

Tip: Try to Spot a Platypus Near the Falls

Apparently, if you're extremely lucky and have a keen eye for spotting wildlife, then you might be able to spot a Platypus.

While I didn't spot a Platypus here, you might get lucky! Otherwise, a tip is to head to nearby Yungaburra. Here, there's a viewing platform above Peterson Creek where a bunch of the little guys live!

Wild platypus

More Quick Tips for Visiting the Waterfall

Here are some quick tips for visiting Millaa Millaa Falls.

  • Come Early - If you're driving yourself, make sure to come early. We arrived at first light to be able to capture some photos without the crowds. Sure enough, after about half an hour there were hordes of tourists lining up for that perfect waterfall selfie.
  • Bring your swimmers - This one is a no-brainer. It's a beautiful waterfall and an even better place to swim!
  • Don't miss the surrounding waterfalls - If you book a waterfall tour, then you'll probably already see some more. But, if you drive yourself, make it a waterfall day trip.
Milla milla falls cairns 9182
Milla milla falls cairns

Driving the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit

Millaa Millaa Falls is the main attraction on the Tableland's Waterfall Circuit on Theresa Creek Road. In total, there are three very easily accessed waterfalls on this route, each only a few minute's drive away.

I've written more posts for each of these waterfalls, so if you're looking to check out more (I definitely recommend it), then you'll find these below. Furthermore, here's a quick summary and guide to the entire Waterfall Circuit.

Ellinjaa falls waterfall cairns
Ellinjaa Falls
Zillie falls waterfall queensland
Zillie Falls

FAQ About Visiting Millaa Millaa Falls

Where's Millaa Millaa Falls Located?

Millaa Millaa Falls is located in Queensland, Australia, specifically in the Atherton Tablelands,. From Cairns, it's about an hour and a half drive. You'll want to aim for the famous Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit to find this waterfall, as well as two others.

What's the Best Time to Visit?

Millaa Millaa Falls is good to visit year-round. However, you'll likely have a different experience in the dry season compared to the wet season. The dry season between May and September is usually your best bet. You'll get clear skies, low humidity, and comfortable weather. However, the falls are more impressive in the wet season, especially after a big flood.

Can you swim at the waterfall?

Yes! I swim here every time I visit. You can swim right up to the waterfall, which is quite an impressive feeling. The pool is fairly deep, just watch out for submerged rocks.

Is there an entrance fee?

No, visiting Millaa Millaa Falls is free.

Is there parking at the waterfall?

There's a car park near the falls, and it's also free. Though I've got to warn you that weekends can get crowded.

Swimming at millaa millaa falls, cairns

Where to Stay In Cairns

Visiting Cairns? The best places to stay are near the Cairns Esplanade or on the sunny Northern Beaches. Below are the top 4 options for varying budgets.

Alternatively, check out my Port Douglas accommodation guide for more ideas on where to stay in Far North Queensland.

Girl sunbathing at crystalbrook riley resort in cairns

1. Crystalbrook Riley Luxury

If luxury and location are what you're after, you can't beat this 5-star resort right in the heart of Cairns Esplanade.

Fitzroy island wharf

2. Fitzroy Island Resort Mid-Range

Sleep out on one of the picturesque Great Barrier Reef Islands! Staying at Fitzroy often works out cheaper than staying in town & means you get more time to explore the reef, beaches, and rainforest walking trails.

Gilligans backpacker resort

3. Gilligan's Backpackers Budget

The best backpacker option for a great vibe in Cairns. Great place to meet like-minded travelers & features a pool, air-con rooms, a huge shared kitchen, & a great common area.

Peppers beach club four mile beach port douglas

4. Pepper's Beach Club Palm Cove

Stay at the best beach resort in the heart of Palm Cove on Cairns's Northern Beaches!

More Cairns Travel Blogs

I hope that this quick guide to visiting Millaa Millaa Falls has been useful in planning your adventures in the Tablelands and around Cairns. Looking for more inspiration? Here are some more Millaa Millaa Falls photos that I hope will inspire your trip.

Millaa milla afalls, cairns waterfalls, things to do
Millaa millaa falls, cairns waterfalls, things to do
Millaa millaa falls
Swimming at millaa millaa waterfall
Millaa millaa falls long exposure
Millaa millaa falls cairns
Millaa millaa falls
Milla milla waterfall
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure travel journalist & photographer. Traveling non-stop since 2018, I've published over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. These draw on my personal experience to share unique itineraries, accommodation tips, & fun adventure guides covering hikes, viewpoints, beaches, waterfalls, & tours. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.

Your feedback & updates are crucial to keep my guides factual & current. Got new info or updates? Drop a comment below or contact me directly.

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