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Nandroya Falls: Hiking & Waterfall Guide From Cairns

Nandroya Falls: Hiking & Waterfall Guide From Cairns

Nandroya Falls is a 50-metre vertical plunging waterfall located in the rainforest valleys of Wooroonooran National Park, Queensland.

Are you looking for one of the most impressive rainforest waterfall hikes in Far North Queensland? Nandroya Falls is up there with one of the best waterfalls and hikes near Cairns, and trust me, I’ve seen a few!

I’ve visited this waterfall over 10 times. In fact, this is one of the first waterfalls that I show friends and other travelers when visiting Far North Queensland since it truly is epic! In this quick guide I’ll detail how to get to Nandroya Falls, give you some information about the hike to the waterfall and include some pictures to hopefully inspire you to come and visit.

Nandroya waterfall photography
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 Nandroya Falls

To get to this incredible waterfall, you'll need to drive to "Henrietta Creek Campground" in the Palmerston (Doongan) area of Wooroonooran National Park. If you're heading here from Cairns, drive south towards Innisfail and take the Palmerston Highway west towards the Tablelands.

Below you'll find the pin for Henrietta Camp Ground, where you'll begin the hike to Nandroya Falls. If you haven't downloaded offline maps, then it's best to set your Google Maps or GPS to the location before you leave because mobile reception can be patchy.

The road to Nandroya Falls and Henrietta Camp Ground is sealed, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting here in a regular sedan or hatchback.

It's a pretty far drive from Cairns, which will take you at least 1.5 hours. However, take my word for it that the drive will be well worth it. There are loads of highlights right near Nandroya, including Crawford's Lookout, Wallicher & Tchupala Falls, as well as the Mamu Skywalk.

Getting to Nandroya Falls requires your own car or transport.

Nandroya falls map

You can also download a map of the surrounding area to help you orientate yourself for the waterfall hikes.

Once you enter the campground carpark, keep driving through to the left. You'll need to follow this dirt road all the way to the end, where you can leave your car near a sign just before a footbridge.

Once you cross the footbridge, you'll round a bend that follows parallel to the main road. Approximately 50 meters further, you'll see the signpost for the Nandroya Falls hike.

Nandroya falls, waterfalls in cairns, wooroonooran national park waterfalls
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.

The Nandroya Falls Walk

This waterfall hike is one of my personal favorites in the entire Wet Tropics Heritage Area. The trail is narrow and surrounded by thick rainforest vines and tropical vegetation on all sides. The Wooroonooran is known to be a wetter and in my opinion, more wild National Park than the others in the area.

There are two routes you can take to get to Nandroya Falls. One is roughly 2 kilometres and the other is 3.5 kilometres to the falls. You can also complete the Nandroya Falls walk as a circuit by taking both tracks on a loop.

If you take the quicker track, the hike only takes about 40 minutes to reach the main level of Nandroya Falls but you'll probably want to spend more time exploring once you arrive.

Allow at least 2 hours for the return trip back to the campground car park with a bit of time at the falls.

Along the way, you'll pass some incredible tropical creeks and some of the biggest fig trees that I've ever seen.

Follow the Route on: My Strava

Wooroonooran national park rainforest hike, nandroya falls bushwalk
Wooroonooran National Park trails
Wooroonooran national park rainforest fig trees
Huge fig trees

Related: Clamshell Falls on the Behana Gorge

Visiting Three Waterfalls on One Hike

I definitely wasn't expecting it, but the Nandroya Falls trail actually includes three waterfalls. These include Silver Falls and the two tiers of Nandroya Falls.

Silver Falls

Approximately 20 minutes along the trail, you'll pass the first waterfall. Silver Falls is a much smaller waterfall located in a tight clearing. It flows gently into a shallow blue pool that reminds me of a scene from the Jungle Book.

Silver falls. Silver creek falls at nandroya falls, wooroonooran national park, cairns
Silver Creek Falls

Featured in: 22 Awesome Things to do in the Atherton Tablelands

Nandroya Falls - The Lower Level

After about 40 minutes of walking, you'll undoubtedly hear the force of Nandroya's two main waterfalls. You'll also quickly notice the first lower level immediately to the right of the track.

This is one isn't as tall, but is wide and can get pretty powerful following heavy reainfall, especially in the wet season. If you walk down, you can get a view of the taller upper level gushing in the distance.

Nandroya falls, wooroonooran national park, australia
Lower levels of nandroya falls
Nandroya falls levels cairns
Both Nandroya Falls Tiers
Grayl water filter bottle

Get Clean Drinking Water on Your Hike

I take the Grayl GeoPress Purifier Bottle on every hike and use it as my go-to source for filtering water all over the world. I've even used it to drink tap water in India!

Compare how the GeoPress stacks up against the best water bottle filters on the market.

Nandroya Falls - The Upper Level

A little further on, you'll reach the upper level of Nandroya Falls. This is the main waterfall and the primary attraction of this rainforest hike.

Nandroya Falls is a 50-meter waterfall flowing vertically down a tall cliff into a deep, blue pool. There are palm trees and tropical vines covering nearly all sides of the large valley clearing.

The entire scene creates a natural ampitheatre of lush rainforest greenery which frames the waterfall perfectly.

Nandroya falls, wooroonooran national park, australia
Nandroya falls, waterfalls in cairns, wooroonooran national park waterfalls
Nandroya falls, waterfalls in cairns, wooroonooran national park waterfalls
Nandroya falls

Although it's a spectacular waterfall, it's not as popular as some of the other waterfalls like Millaa Millaa. However, I'd probably rate it as a much better waterfall due to being more secluded and tranquil.

Also Nearby: Windin Falls

Swimming at Nandroya Waterfall

The pool of the main waterfall is deep enough to swim. It's a great spot to cool down after a tiring hike and to enjoy the serenity of the Wooroonooran Rainforest. I'd say that the pool is roughly 6ft deep in the deepest section. However, on the left side of the waterfall, there is a sandy bank where you can easily stand (pictured below).

Nandroya falls, wooroonooran national park, australia
Nandroya is FNQ's Answer to The Twin Falls Waterfall on the Gold Coast

More Waterfalls in Wooroonooran National Park

If you're already here, why not check out two other epic waterfalls that are only a 5-minute drive from the Henrietta Camp Ground?

Tchupala and Wallicher Falls are two incredible waterfalls with a much shorter hike that I'd highly recommend checking out. Additionally, you'll find Wankaroo Falls, and the more popular Josephine Falls, just a little further down the road.

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 Photos of Nandroya Falls From My Visits

Below are more photos that I've taken of this waterfall on my many visits. I hope that you enjoy!

Nandroya falls, waterfalls in cairns, wooroonooran national park waterfalls
Nandroya falls, waterfalls in cairns, wooroonooran national park waterfalls
Lower level of nandroya waterfall

More Cairns Hikes, Waterfalls & Travel Guides

I hope I have inspired you to hit the trail to this incredible waterfall in the ancient Wooroonooran National Park. If you liked Nandroya Falls, make sure to check out some more waterfall recommendations in the list below.

Nandroya falls
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.

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