The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit is a trio of epic rainforest waterfalls located in the Atherton Tablelands Region just behind Cairns, Queensland. Here’s a quick guide to checking out the circuit for independent adventurers.
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 here, 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.
Book Your Trip To Cairns
Book Cheap Flights
Still in the planning stage of your trip? Currently, the best and easiest way to find cheap flights are to use Momondo and Skyscanner. Between the two, you’ll be guaranteed to always find the cheapest flight, anywhere in the world.
Book Your Accommodation
Whether you’re looking for hostels, hotels, guest houses, or resorts between Booking.com and Agoda, you’ll always get the best deals. I always search using the map feature to find accommodation in the best locations. Sometimes, if I want to stay in a place a little longer, I’ll use Airbnb.
TIP: For the best hostels, I usually compare reviews on Hostelworld, then check other booking sites to compare prices and deals.
Book Tours and Transport
You already know that I prefer independent travel. In saying that, sometimes the best and cheapest way to get things done is to just book a tour or package. For Australia, I always use Klook, Viator and Get Your Guide.
Finding a Car in Australia
Having a car or camper is the best way to travel Australia. You can compare rental car deals on RentalCars.com, or use Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and CarSales to purchase a car for longer trips.
Don’t Forget Adventure Travel Insurance
If you’re reading this blog then you’re more likely to be seeking epic cairns adventures over poolside sips. By far, my two favorite companies for the most comprehensive adventure travel insurance is World Nomads and SafetyWing. If you’re on the fence, you can read the comparison article.
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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.
Waterfall Circuit Map
How to get here 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.
Tip: If you don’t have a car yet, I highly recommend using RentalCars.com to compare the best prices on rentals in Queensland. This works similarly to Skyscanner, except for cars. If a camper rental is what you’re after, I’ve had great experiences with Spaceships Rentals.
Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit Tour
As of now, there is only one tour that visits all of the waterfalls on the Millaa Milllaa Waterfall Circuit. However, this tour can only be booked in a group, so it’s not much use for solo travellers or couples.
If you don’t have a car, or you’d prefer to jump on a tour to meet people instead, you’ll unfortunately miss Ellinjaa and Zillie.
I’ve done a bit of research and compared the best Atherton Tablelands tours available based on price and value. I’ve summarised these tours for you and included the prices as well. To find more information on these waterfall tours and to book, just click the links below.
|Most-booked waterfall tour from Cairns||$115||Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa, Dinner Falls, Crater Lakes|
|Cheapest Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Tour||$107||Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa, Dinner Falls, Curtain Fig Tree|
|2D1N Waterfall and Atherton Camping||$251||Barron Falls, Lake Eacham, Overnight Camping, Peterson Creek (platypus viewing), Curtain Fig Tree, Josephine Falls|
The Waterfalls on the 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.
Millaa Millaa Falls
Millaa Millaa Falls is undeniably the star of the show. As I mentioned above, most tours heading to Atherton Tablelands stop by Millaa Milla so it can understandably a little busy.
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.
FULL POST: MILLAA MILLAA FALLS GUIDE
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.
READ MORE: ZILLIE FALLS WATERFALL GUIDE
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 of spotting a wild platypus!
Cairns Accommodation Guide – Where to Stay
BEST BUDGET HOSTEL WITH A POOL FOR $19 A NIGHT – MAD MONKEY BACKPACKERS
The best budget backpacker option in Cairns is Mad Monkey Backpackers. This one has a swimming pool, AC, a complete kitchen and even free bike hire to take you around Cairns. There are also three locations, but we thought that the village was the best. They also organise plenty of things to do in Cairns straight form the hostel.
BUDGET HOSTEL CLOSEST TO THE ESPLANADE FOR $26 A NIGHT –YHA CAIRNS CENTRAL HOSTEL
If you’re looking to stay close to Cairns center, then you can’t beat YHA Central. It’s only a 5-minute walk to the esplanade and situated right near pubs and supermarkets. There’s also a pool and two spas, with a free breakfast included.
SLEEP ON A BOAT IN CAIRNS HARBOUR – BOATEL CAIRNS
If you’re looking for a unique stay in Cairns, then you can’t get much more unusual than staying at a “boatel”. It’s located 1 KM from Cairns and only a 6-minute walk from Cairns Rainforest Dome. The boat has free WiFi, AC, a bar and even a TV in the room.
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.
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