A quick guide to visiting Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls in Wooroonooran National Park. Everything you need to know including how to get here, what to expect and photos of the waterfalls.
Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls are two waterfalls located in the tropical Wooroonooran National Park. Although they’re not as popular as other waterfalls in the area, they offer bang-for-buck for the adventure lover, who’ll get two waterfalls on the same hike!
How to Get to Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls
To get to these incredible waterfalls, you’ll need your own car. While there are several guided tours that run tours from Cairns to Wooroonooran National Park and the surrounding waterfalls, I don’t know any that visit these particular waterfalls.
It’s a fairly long drive from Cairns and the waterfalls should take about one and a half hours to reach. However there are many other falls in the area, so it’s well worth a day trip.
Head down Palmerston Highway in Wooroonooran National Park and stop at a small bend just past Henrietta Creek Campground in the Palmerston (Doongan) area. You’ll notice a sign that points to hikes and a waterfall. There is a small section of dirt for you to park your car.
Below you’ll find the pin for the location of the trailhead. It’s very easy to miss, and mobile reception isn’t too great in the area. I’d suggest configuring the route to Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls before you get too far into the National Park. Keep an eye out for a sign near Henrietta Camp Ground and Gooligans Picnic area and you can’t go wrong.
You can also download a map of the surrounding area here to help you orientate yourself for the waterfall hikes.
Also Nearby: Crawford’s Lookout
The Waterfall Trailheads
Once you park your car, you’ll notice a trailhead sign indicating the start of the track. Both waterfall tracks branch off the same starting trail, with Wallicher Falls to the left, and Tchupala to the right after approximately 100 meters.
Tchupala Falls Track – What to Expect
If you only have time for one waterfall, then I’d definitely recommend Tchupala Falls. We found these waterfalls by chance after exploring nearby Nandroya Falls and we were completely blown away.
The track winds right after the turn, following a trail through dense tropical rainforest and up a steep ridge. After approximately 600 metres, you’ll reach the top level of Tchupala Falls, which is a wide rainforest waterfall fed by the Henrietta Creek.
Closed Waterfall Trail
Tchupala Falls actually has three major levels, each as incredible as the last. Unfortunately though, due to the devastating power of the waterfalls in the wet season, the path is closed.
There are several signs telling travelers not to continue down to the lower levels, however, after reviewing the conditions, we decided to explore anyway.
The trails were completely abandoned, and it seemed they had been like that for years. The old rails are now covered by thick vines and the carved rock steps swallowed by dirt and moss.
Tchupala Falls – The Lower Levels
The track down to the lower waterfall levels was very slippery and steep. However, after reaching the bottom, we took time to admire the sheer power and beauty of the place. There were waterfalls on each side and steep limestone cliffs covered in thick vines and rainforest flora.
I am in no way encouraging anybody to hike on closed trails. The flowing rivers can be extremely unpredictable and dangerous. You’ll need to take extreme caution and make your own judgments.
Wallicher Falls Track – What to Expect
If you have time, then it’s also worth checking out Wallicher Falls on the same track. Instead of turning right at the first fork, turn left and continue on for about 1 kilometer. Soon, you’ll reach a lookout point where you’ll get great views of the powerful Wallicher Falls.
Unlike Tchupala Falls, Wallicher Falls is only a single-level waterfall. However, it’s still very impressive and I would imagine it to have some serious power in the wet, rainy season.
If you want a closer view, then you can walk down the steep track just in front of the viewing platform.
Continuing On For the Palmerston Track
From Wallicher Falls, you can continue hiking all the way around to Gooligans Picnic Area and Henrietta Creek Campground. The track is a little long, and you won’t see any more waterfalls along the way. However, you could certainly spend an entire day walking the loop and checking out Nandroya Falls and Silver Creek Falls on the way.
READ THE FULL WATERFALL GUIDE: BEST WATERFALLS NEAR CAIRNS
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 Without the Price Tag: 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.
Check price & availability at Pullman
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.
Check price & availability at Fitzroy Island resort
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.
Check price & availability at Gilligan’s
MORE PHOTOS OF TCHUPALA FALLS AND WALLICHER FALLS
More Cairns Waterfalls, Hikes & Adventure Guides
I hope that you enjoyed this quick guide to visiting Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls in the Wooroonooran National Park. For more travel guides and adventure inspiration, check out some of my other blogs for Far North Queensland below.