Nandroya Falls is a 50-metre vertical plunging waterfall located in the rainforest valleys of Wooroonooran National Park, Queensland. Read this quick guide to one of the Tropical North’s most incredible rainforest waterfalls.
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!
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.
Best Cairns Outdoor Experiences
- Fitzroy Island Full Day Trip – the closest (and cheapest) Great Barrier Reef Island to visit from Cairns. Check out the world-famous famous Nudey Beach and hike to the island summit // Fitzroy Guide
- Daintree & Mossman Gorge Trip – visit the oldest rainforest in the world in the Daintree National Park. Visit Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge and get an included cruise.
- Great Barrier Reef by Catamaran – visit the outer reef and snorkel or scuba dive at two pristine reef locations.
- Scenic Helicopter Flight – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Great Barrier Reef from above on a scenic helicopter flight from Cairns city.
- … 7 more top-rated tours here
Travel tip: By far, the best islands for snorkeling in Cairns are the Frankland Islands (pristine reef). There is only one boat trip allowed to stop on these islands and you can book this directly with BackpackerDeals + use code OLLY5 to get $5 off.
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. If you don’t have a car and you’re looking to spend a day chasing waterfalls and exploring the parks around Cairns, then I’d recommend using Rentalcars.com or Car Next Door to get a good deal on a rental in Cairns.
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.
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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
RELATED: Clamshell Falls on the Behana Gorge
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.
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.
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 – 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.
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).
More Waterfalls in Wooroonooran National Park
If you’re already here, why not check out two other epic waterfalls which 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.
Cairns Accommodation Guide – Where to Stay
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.
- Crystalbrook Riley – If luxury and location are what you’re after, you can’t beat the Crystalbrook Riley. This is the best 5-star resort in Cairns and features absolutely everything you’d expect from a Crystalbrook resort.
- Fitzroy Island Resort – Sleep out on one of the picturesque Great Barrier Reef Islands at Fitzroy Island Resort. Spending the night on the island can work out cheaper than staying in town and means you get more time to explore the reef, coral beaches and rainforest walking trails.
- Gilligan’s Backpackers – The best backpacker option for a great vibe in Cairns. Great place to meet like-minded travelers and facilities including a pool. air-con, a huge shared kitchen, and a great common area!
- Pepper’s Beach Club – stay at the best beach resort in the heart of Palm Cove on the Cairns Northern Beaches!
PHOTOS OF NANDROYA FALLS
More Cairns Hikes, Waterfalls and 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.
For a quick summary of some of the best falls and hikes in the region, don’t miss these guides to the best waterfalls or best hikes in Cairns and surrounds. For more hikes, attractions and things to do, you can check out this comprehensive Cairns travel guide.