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Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit – 2024 Guide

Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit – 2024 Guide

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.

The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit is a trio of epic rainforest waterfalls located in the Atherton Tablelands Region just behind Cairns, Queensland.

I’ve said it a few times but the Tablelands are easily one of the most underrated adventure destinations in Queensland and probably in Australia! From epic waterfalls and ancient rainforest hikes to unique native animals, this region really is a hidden gem.

In this guide, I’ll detail what to expect when planning a trip to the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit on Theresa Creek Road near Millaa Millaa. I’ll include tips on how to get to Millaa Millaa from Cairns, what to expect and some photos that I hope will inspire you to check out the full trio.

I've also written independent blog posts for each waterfall on the circuit; Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls and Ellinjaa Falls. So, if you want some more detailed information or more photos of each, you'll find the links to them below each section underneath.

Tip: Visit Millaa Millaa Falls on an Epic Day Trip From Cairns

Travelers looking to visit the absolute best waterfalls in the region surrounding Cairns, including Millaa Millaa, will want to check out this epic Atherton Tablelands waterfall tour.

This is great value for money and includes a stop at Josephine Falls and the Crater Lakes as well!

Girl swimming at millaa millaa falls in queensland, australia

Where is the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit?

The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit is located in the Atherton Tablelands region of Queensland near the small township of Millaa Millaa. The waterfall circuit road is called "Theresa Creek Road", a 15-kilometre stretch of road offering scenic views over the rolling hills and pockets of dense rainforest.

The circuit is located approximately 105 km from Cairns, so you can expect at least a 1-hour 40-minute drive. However, don't let that discourage you. There is so much to see and do in this region and I'm sure you definitely will not regret the trip.

Theresa Creek Road on the Waterfall Circuit is sealed and can be accessed by any vehicle type. However, the road can get narrow in some sections as it wraps around the neighbouring farmlands.

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've missed out on cars before & recommend booking well in advance. I always use DiscoverCars as they compare the widest range of rentals across dealerships in the Far North.

Waterfall Circuit Map

Map of millaa millaa falls circuit

How to Get to Millaa Millaa from Cairns

From Cairns, you’ll need to head south on the Bruce Highway towards Gordonvale. Once you approach the obvious Walsh’s Pyramid, look out for signs towards 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 to Millaa Millaa“, which is just passed Malanda.

Theresa Creek Road (the Waterfall Circuit Road) is just a minute or so from the small township, where you'll find some small shops, a caravan park and a fuel station.


Millaa millaa drone waterfall photo

The Waterfalls on the Millaa Millaa Circuit

Once you make it to the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit, it's time to start exploring! Here are the three waterfalls on the road. Each is located on different points along the road, with a car park and signs indicating where to stop (check the map above).

In terms of access, every waterfall on this Millaa Millaa circuit is very easy to get to and requires only a very short walk.

Again, I've written more detailed posts for each waterfall. You'll find the links underneath each section below.

1. Millaa Millaa Falls

  • Height: 18.3 metres
  • Known for: Most photographed waterfall in Australia, great swimming spot.

Millaa Millaa Falls is undeniably the star of the show. As I mentioned above, most tours heading to Atherton Tablelands stop by Millaa Millaa so it can understandably be a little busy. You can reach this waterfall via a short 2-3 minute walk from the dedicated car park.

Tip: visit early

This 18.3 metre single-drop, plunging waterfall is indeed one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Australia. As a result, it's earned itself the title of "Australia's Most Photographed Waterfall".

The waterfall is located right next to a large car park that is well-signed so it's really impossible to miss it. Unfortunately in my opinion, a fair bit of rainforest has been cleared and some construction has been developed around the edge of the waterfall.

This creates a less "natural" vibe, but understandably makes it a more attractive spot for weddings and events.

At the base of the waterfall is a deep and very wide swimming pool that is perfect for a dip.

Millaa millaa falls near cairns

2. Zillie Falls

  • Height: ~15 metres
  • Known for: Viewing platform above the falls, slippery track

Next on the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit is Zillie Falls, a roughly 15 metre tall waterfall that gushes over the edge of the eroded basalt column and crashes hard onto a pile of large boulders below.

While there is a signpost and a large car park, it's actually not that hard to miss this if you're not paying attention.

Once you arrive, you'll walk out to a viewing platform that is positioned above and adjacent to the waterfall. There is a slippery "unofficial" worn track that also leads to the base but it's easy to miss. You'll find it by looking for a small clearing in the forest beside the viewpoint.

Unfortunately, many people skip Zillie Falls. Don't be one of those! Zillie Waterfall in my opinion is a more enjoyable experience since there's a lack of crowds, so make sure to stop by.

Honestly, it would be "Zillie" not to.

Zillie falls waterfall queensland
Zillie Falls

3. Ellinjaa Falls

  • Height: 12 metres
  • Known for: Fewer crowds, large swimming hole, ledge behind the waterfall

By now you're probably wondering how yet another waterfall could possibly impress you. I bet that you'll be pleasantly surprised once you arrive at the last waterfall; Ellinjaa Falls.

This waterfall requires the longest walk to reach out of the three. In saying that, it's probably going to take you less than 5 minutes on a sealed track through the rainforest.

Once you get to the base, you'll know why Tropical North Queensland tourism uses this waterfall so much to promote the region. Although smaller, this wide, cascading waterfall in a small rainforest clearing creates an otherworldly scene.

Ellinjaa Falls is my personal favourite waterfall on the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit for its wide pool, awesome ledge and the chance to spot a wild platypus!

Ellinjaa falls waterfall cairns
Ellinjaa Falls

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!

FAQ About The Waterfalls of Millaa Millaa

How do I get to the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit from Cairns?

To get to the waterfall circuit, you can book one of the tours recommended in thie guide, rent a car and drive up the Gillies Range Road towards Millaa Millaa. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes to reach the first waterfall.

Can I swim at the falls?

Yes, swimming is possible at Millaa Millaa Falls and Ellinjaa Falls, where you'll find large swimming holes suitable for a refreshing dip. There are no crocodiles at these waterfalls!

How long does it take to visit all three waterfalls?

The time can vary depending on how long you spend at each site, but generally, you can visit all three waterfalls within a 3 hours, including short walks to each fall and time for swimming.

More Cairns Waterfalls and Adventure Attractions

Does the iconic Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit sound like it's something up your alley? Or would you prefer some more isolated waterfalls at the end of some epic hikes? Check out the list below for some more waterfalls and adventure attractions near Cairns.

Stay adventurous!

Millaa millaa waterfall
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.