A quick guide to visiting Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls in Wooroonooran National Park. Everything you need to know including how to get to the trailhead, what to expect & photos of the waterfalls.
Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls are two waterfalls located in the tropical Wooroonooran National Park in Far North Queensland, Australia.
Although they’re not as popular as other waterfalls in the area like Josephine Falls or Nandroya Falls, they offer bang-for-buck for the adventure lover, who’ll get two waterfalls on the same short, scenic rainforest hike!
I discovered this waterfall for the first time in 2018 and have been back several times since. This guide will give you a thorough walkthrough of how to get to these twin waterfalls, what to expect, and some useful information to prepare you for your trip.
- About Wallicher Falls and Tchupala Falls
- How to Get to Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls
- Tchupala Falls Track – What to Expect
- The Wallicher Falls Track – What to Expect
- More Photos of Tchupala & Wallicher Falls
- More Cairns Waterfalls, Hikes & Adventure Guides
I'm Olly, a full-time traveler for the past 5 years. I visit every destination I write about & handpick all recommendations.
Best Cairns Outdoor Experiences
Not sure which tours to choose for your next adventure to Cairns? I have you covered. Whilst living in Cairns I have been on over 20 different tours and worked with countless tour operators. This is a summary of my favourite tours & bookable experiences in Cairns.
2. Great Barrier Reef by Catamaran Top-Pick
Visit the outer reef and snorkel or scuba dive at two pristine reef locations. You might even get lucky and meet the local Maori Wrasse like we did in the photo.
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.
About Wallicher Falls and Tchupala Falls
Wallicher Falls (also spelled Wallacha) and Tchupala Falls are located quite close together and are both fed from Henrietta Creek. These falls share the same trailhead, which splits in a Y-junction near the start of the trail.
While not the most popular waterfalls in the Cairns region, they are certainly very beautiful. The rainforest trail is also very scenic, and you'll likely have both of these falls to yourself!
How to Get to Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls
To get to these epic waterfalls, you'll need your own car. While there are several guided tours (above) that run tours from Cairns to Wooroonooran National Park and the surrounding waterfalls, I don't know any that visit these particular waterfalls.
You'll want to continue into the Palmerston (Doongan) area, passing the popular Mamu Tropical Skywalk and Crawfords Lookout. If you keep your eyes peeled to the right side of the road, you'll notice a small sign that points to the hike and waterfalls. Additionally, there's a small pull-over space here to park your car.
If you make it to the Henrietta Creek Camp Ground (the start of the Nandroya Falls hike), then you've come too far. Head back roughly 2.5 kilometers and you'll see the sign.
Below you'll find the pin for the location of the trailhead. Again, 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.
You can also download a map of the surrounding area to help you orientate yourself for the waterfall hikes.
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.
Hiking Trail to Wallicher Falls and Tchupala Falls
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 probably recommend Tchupala Falls. We found this waterfall trail by chance for the first time in 2018 after exploring nearby Nandroya Falls and we were completely blown away. My personal favorite was Tchupala Falls, but considering the close distance, you may as well check both out!
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 Henrietta Creek.
The 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 now 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 are swallowed by dirt and moss.
Tchupala Falls - The Lower Tiers
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.
The 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 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.
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.
Alternatively, check out my Port Douglas accommodation guide for more ideas on where to stay in Far North Queensland.
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.
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.
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.
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 Tchupala & Wallicher Falls
Below are more photos that I've taken of these two epic rainforest waterfalls on my several trips. I hope that they inspire you to visit too!
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.
- 60+ Things to do in Cairns - my ultimate Cairns and FNQ travel resource covering the best activities, hidden gems, and unmissable experiences.
- Cairns Tours - my roundup of the best tours you can book in Cairns and FNQ, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Daintree Rainforest.
- Cairns Packing List - tips on what to pack for a trip to Far North Queensland.
- Top Things to Do in Port Douglas - a comprehensive guide to the sleepy Far North Queensland town of Port Douglas.
- Epic 5-Day Cairns Itinerary - my suggested adventure itinerary if you only have 5 days to spend in Cairns.
- Cape Tribulation Travel Guide - discover where the rainforest meets the reef at one of my favourite places in Australia.
- Cairns Hiking Guide - a huge list of epic rainforest, waterfall, and lookout hikes in Cairns.
- Cairns Waterfalls - a huge list of epic waterfalls that I've visited in Cairns and the surrounding tropics.
- Cairns Islands - discover my favorite Great Barrier Reef islands near Cairns and Port Douglas.
- Magnetic Island Travel Guide - your ultimate resource for visiting "Maggie" near Townsville.
- Best Things to do in the Atherton Tablelands - my guide to one of Far North Queensland's most underrated adventure destinations.
- Accommodation Resources: Discover where to stay in Cairns, the best hotels in Port Douglas and my Cape Tribulation accommodation guide.