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.
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
The Best Organised Trip to Millaa Millaa From Cairns
Since there aren’t any public transport options heading to the Tablelands from Cairns, you’re best of booking a Atherton Tablelands waterfall tour if you don’t have your own car.
I can highly recommend this tour for value-for-money. It’s also one of the best-rated waterfall tours from Cairns. Unfortunately, it doesn’t visit all of the waterfalls on the Millaa Millaa waterfall circuit but it does include Millaa Millaa falls and one of my favourites: Josephine Falls.
Check best price: Best Waterfall Tour from Cairns with Klook
How to get here from Cairns (Self Drive)
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.
The Waterfalls on the Milla Milla 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
Planning a trip to Cairns and wondering where to base yourself? Below I’ve listed some of the best options near Cairns Esplanade. I’ve also written a comprehensive accommodation guide to Cairns, so make sure to check that out too before you book!
Also, if you’re looking to stay in Port Douglas, I’ve got some tips on finding great accommodation deals there too.
LUXURY RESORT WITHOUT THE PRICE TAG – Rydges Resort
This hotel offers the best bang-for-buck. In terms of an epic stay for a decent price! The location is perfect, close to the esplanade and features include three swimming pools, two tennis courts, a jacuzzi, a fitness centre and even an award-winning restaurant.
BEST 5-STAR LUXURY HOTEL: Pullman Reef Hotel Casino
If luxury and location are what you’re after, you can’t beat the Pullman. It’s rated Cairns’ best hotel and features restaurants, a pool, live music gigs and even a casino! If nightlife is your thing, don’t go past this one.
STAY ON THE ISLANDS: Fitzroy Island Resort
If you’d rather sleep out on one of the picturesque Great Barrier Reef Islands, look no further than the Fitzroy Island Resort. While you can get out here on a day trip, I highly recommend spending the night so you get more time to explore the reef, coral beaches and rainforest walking trails.
BEST BUDGET HOSTEL WITH A POOL – Gilligan’s Backpackers
The best backpacker option for a great vibe in Cairns is Gilligan’s Backpackers. That’s because this one has a swimming pool, AC, a complete kitchen and a great common area to meet other travellers.
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.
MY CAMERA AND PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT
- Mirrorless Camera: Canon R5
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
- 360 Action Camera: Insta360 One X2
- Landscape Lens: Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L
- All-Round Lens: Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L
- Telephoto Lens: Canon RF 100-500mm f/f/4.5-7.1 L
- Long Action Pole: Insta360 Invisible Pole (BulletTime)
- Landscape Lens Filter: Hoya Circular Polarizer
- Camera Backpack: F-Stop Tilopa
- Favorite Photography Accessory: Peak Design Capture Clip
For a list of all my recommended photography gear (including what I use and why) check out my guide to camera gear for travel.
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