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Mungalli Falls – Complete Waterfall Guide (2023)

Mungalli Falls – Complete Waterfall Guide (2023)

Complete waterfall guide to visiting Mungalli Falls in the Atherton Tablelands above Cairns in Far North Queensland. Includes everything you need to know to visit this little-known waterfall in the Outdoor Education Centre.

Mungalli Falls is a great waterfall located in the Atherton Tablelands, approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes from Cairns. There are multiple levels to explore, with the tallest having a 75-meter cumulative drop. This makes it one of the largest in the area!

However, this one is a little different from the other waterfalls near Cairns since it is located within a Wilderness Retreat Complex. Don’t worry though, the owners of the land allow visitors to check out the waterfall free of charge!

In this guide, I’ll detail everything you need to know about visiting Mungalli Falls based on my trip. I’ll include how to get there, what to expect when you arrive, and some useful tips throughout for making the most of your visit.

Mungalli falls cairns, milla milla waterfalls
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 Mungalli Falls

In order to get to Mungalli Falls, you're going to need your own car or transport. If you're drive from Cairns like we did, it's a fairly long, 130-kilometer drive through the Atherton Tablelands. Note that there are no public buses to this region from Cairns.

On the Palmerston Highway, you'll need to turn right onto Junction Road. This is a dirt road that continues for approximately 2 kilometres before reaching the Mungalli Falls Outdoor Education Centre.

You are free to leave your car in the car park and walk through the wooden-decked cafe to the road leading to the falls. Immediately on your right, you'll see the first waterfall cascade.

Keep walking down this road for 15 minutes, passing some balance obstacles until you reach a dead-end cul-de-sac. Here you'll see a sign indicating the direction toward the main level of Mungalli Falls.

Mungalli creek
Mungalli waterfall rapids
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.

What to Expect at Mungalli Falls

By far, the most impressive level at Mungalli Falls is the bottom level. While it's not a vertical drop, the flow can create a powerful scene, especially in heavy rainfall.

It's said that the cumulative fall of this section is 75 meters. However, it looked a little shorter, perhaps 60 meters would be a little more accurate. Regardless, it's an impressive waterfall and definitely worth a visit if you're heading to Millaa Millaa anyway.

Unfortunately, there isn't much opportunity for a swim at this waterfall, since access to the bottom is blocked off.

Mungalli falls cairns, milla milla waterfalls
Mungalli falls cairns, milla milla waterfalls

Related: Crystal Cascades | Windin Falls


Spotting Platypuses and Glow Worms at Mungalli Falls

We were also told that you could see glow worms around the base of the waterfall. However, if they were there, it was too bright to see them when we were there.

Locals have also mentioned that wild platypuses live in the rivers in and around the waterfall. If you manage to spot one, you're one lucky visitor.

If there was a gold standard for Australian wildlife spotting, then a wild platypus would definitely take the cake. If you didn't manage to spot one at Mungalli, a little tip is to go to Yungaburra, which is also in the Tablelands. There is a little lookout over Petersons Creek here where you can often spot a wild platypus!

Mungalli Falls Weather and Climate

Mungalli Falls and the general Millaa Millaa area sit at an altitude of 800+ meters in the North Queensland wet tropics. This creates a unique climate that is sometimes up to 10 degrees cooler than the coast.

The tall surrounding peaks of Wooroonooran National Park, including Queensland's tallest mountain; Mt Bartle Frere, create dense rain clouds which cause constant downpours year-round. As a result, the waterfalls in the area always have decent power and flow.

Mungalli falls cairns, milla milla waterfalls
Mungalli falls outdoor education centre balance rope

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!

Don't Miss the Nearby Waterfalls

Looking for more waterfalls near Cairns? Don't miss Australia's most photographed waterfall on the Millaa Millaa waterfall circuit, or my personal two favourites; Nandroya Falls and Tchupala Falls.

Nandroya falls, waterfalls in cairns, wooroonooran national park waterfalls
Nandroya falls
Tchupala falls, waterfalls in cairns, best cairns falls, cairns attractions, to do
Tchupala Falls

More Cairns Waterfalls & Adventure Articles

If you enjoyed this quick guide to visiting Mungalli Falls, make sure to check out some of my other travel guides. I've written extensively about travel and adventure in and around Cairns, so I'm sure you'll find something new!

Mungalli creek falls atherton tablelands cairns
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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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.

Jane

Tuesday 18th of May 2021

We only saw the first section of the waterfalls and thought that was it and were disappointed. Will have to go back and walk a bit further next time we are exploring the Tablelands area again

Olly Gaspar

Tuesday 18th of May 2021

Ahh, that's a shame. Definitely head back, there are so many great waterfalls in the Tablelands.