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Spring Creek Falls Hike in Port Douglas: Complete Guide

Spring Creek Falls Hike in Port Douglas: Complete Guide

Spring Creek Falls (Black Rock Falls) is a hidden gem waterfall located in Mowbray National Park, Queensland.

Are you looking for an awesome, hidden-gem waterfall hike north of Cairns or close to Port Douglas?

Located just a short drive from the coast in the Mowbray National Park lies Spring Creek Falls, also known as Black Rock Falls, a towering, cascade waterfall with a series of incredible swimming holes that is perfect for a quick adventure.

Apart from the locals, there aren’t many who know about this gem. As a result, the chances are high that you’ll get to enjoy this epic waterfall hike all to yourself! In terms of the actual mission to the falls, there isn’t a clear track and instead, you’ll need to make your way upstream along Spring Creek.

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 Spring Creek Falls

Spring Creek Falls is located deep in the Mowbray Valley, just a 20-minute drive from Port Douglas. If you're making the trip from Cairns, expect a journey of just over an hour on one of Queensland's most scenic drives, the Great Barrier Reef Drive following the Captain Cook Highway North.

Whichever direction you're coming from, you'll need to navigate to Spring Creek Road. This road is accessible via Trezise Road off the Captain Cook Highway, just 15 kilometres south of Port Douglas.

Below I've pinned the exact GPS Coordinates for the Spring Creek Falls trailhead to help you navigate.

Trailhead to spring creek falls hike
The hiking trail starts on the left of this bend

Also Nearby: Hartley's Creek Falls

The Spring Creek Falls Hike

  • Hike Distance: 6.3 km return
  • Duration: 2.5-3.5 hours return
  • Elevation: ~300 m overall gain
  • Difficulty: Moderate

The walk up to Spring Creek Falls doesn't follow a set track but instead winds up the length of Spring Creek to the upper waterfalls. While there are sections where you'll notice a worn track, you'll likely end up skipping, hopping, scrambling and crawling over the rocky banks on a random course all the way to the waterfall.

If you have trouble finding your way, I've also attached a GPX file below showing my route. Just keep in mind that after heavy rainfall and especially in the wet season, this hike can become very dangerous.

While you will likely cross the creek several times, I didn't need to take my shoes off once as there are shallow sections throughout most of the creek run.

Spring creek near port douglas

Step By Step Hiking Guide

Starting off, the first section of the Spring Creek Falls hike follows a wide 4WD access road to the river bank. It's tough to get lost as you'll have the creek as your reference for the entire walk.

However, I'd suggest sticking to the right side of the creek to start. Also, keep an eye out for ribbons on the trees which indicate the best routes around annoying rocky sections. These ribbons also indicate the best places to cross.

You will also notice that there is a fair bit of tree fall on this hike, so it's more of a total body workout than a gentle stroll!

Spring creek, port douglas

Stick to the right of the creek once you arrive at a large clearing with the first obvious deep swimming hole. The creek then begins to climb up the mountain and the boulders start to get bigger. You might need to cross over the flow a few times in this last stretch.

However, when you get to the very steep section in front of the most significant cascade yet, head right and climb up the roots of the steep slope to the right. From here, it's just a few more minutes until you reach Spring Creek Falls.

Spring creek falls hike big boulders
Black rock waterfall near spring creek, mowbray national park

Avoid the temptation of calling it quits early and settling for one of these smaller waterfalls or swimming holes. Spring Creek Falls (Black Rock Falls) is easily worth the reward and a sight to behold! Don't worry too, you will know you've arrived when you see the huge cascade in the rugged amphitheater pictured below.

Spring creek waterfall port douglas

GPX File

Here's a useful GPX file that shows the route I took on the way to Spring Creek Falls in Mowbray National Park.

GPX File: Download

My Strava: Visit

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Get Clean Drinking Water on Your Hike

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

What to Expect & Spring Creek Falls

As I mentioned above, there aren't any ifs or buts about whether you've arrived at the main waterfall. Spring Creek Falls, or Black Rock Falls, is a towering cascade that flows down a near-vertical cliff face of at least 50 metres!

Below the waterfall is a deep swimming hole which is an excellent reward after scrambling around all those boulders. This makes it a perfect place to chill out and have a swim. I wouldn't worry about crocs here either— it'd have to be one adventurous reptile to make its way all the way up to this waterfall!

Spring creek, black rock falls
Black rock falls near port douglas, queensland

More Cairns Blogs & Guides

I hope that you enjoyed this guide to Spring Creek Falls in Mowbray National Park, Port Douglas.

If you're looking for more waterfalls, hikes and epic adventure guides in Far North Queensland, check out some of my other blog posts below.

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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Tuesday 29th of March 2022

Thank you for writing this blog post! My partner and I just made the trek up to the falls and this article was great help.

I just wanted to stress to anyone wanting to make this trip that there really is no path. Once you get off the 4WD dirt road, you just have to follow the creek up. There is lots of rock climbing, and I would only do it if you have good ankles and wrists.

It is a hard trip up, but don't give up. When you reach the small falls and the smooth cliff face, keeping going! It's not as tough as it looks, and you're so close to the falls at the end! Definitely bring your togs because the swim is worth it.

We went in late March and it was very hot, so bring lots of water. Mosquitoes were hell so bring insect repellent too. I recommend going earlier in the morning. We went from 8:30 to 11am and had the whole place to ourselves, but some people were arriving as we were leaving.

This is definitely worth doing if you want an adventure that isn't touristy like mossman gorge. This really is a hidden gem and would recommend to anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

Olly Gaspar

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

Glad you had a good trip out to Spring Cree Falls Gen!