Windin Falls is one of the most scenic waterfalls near Cairns. Following a roughly 1.5-hour hike through the incredible Wooroonooran National Park, visitors are rewarded with some of the most spectacular views in Far North Queensland atop an incredible waterfall infinity pool.
Windin Falls is easily one of the most impressive waterfalls near Cairns and perhaps in all of Far North Queensland. Although Windin Falls has become quite a popular place to visit, it still seems a little confusing as to how to get here and what to expect on the hike.
This is because there is now a new “official” trailhead for the Windin Falls hike. Other than this blog, there isn’t much information available for hiking to this epic infinity-pool waterfall on the new track.
So, in this blog post, I’ll aim to detail everything you need to know about getting to Windin Falls, including directions and hiking information for both tracks. You’ll also find some great photos here that I hope will inspire your visit to this incredible waterfall.
Where is Windin Falls?
Windin Falls is located in the Wooroonooran National Park at the end of an approximately 1-1.5 hour, or 5.5KM track accessible from nearby Malanda in the Atherton Tablelands.
The Windin Falls car park is approximately 85 KM or 1.5 hours drive from Cairns CBD.
Is there An Organised Trip to Windin Falls?
Unfortunately, if you don’t have your own transport then you’re out of luck. There are no tour options or public transport services running to his remote section of the Atherton Tablelands.
However, if you find yourself in Cairns and you’re looking to experience the incredible nature of the rainforest and surrounding waterfalls, there are a few options for you. Below I’ve linked to what I believe is the best whole-day waterfall tour from Cairns. Again, while you’ll miss out on Windin Falls, you will get to experience some of the best Cairns/Atherton waterfalls and swimming spots, including Josephine Falls and Millaa Millaa Falls.
Book the best price: Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Tour From Cairns
How to Get to Windin Falls (Self-Drive)
I mentioned at the start of this article that there are two Windin Falls hiking tracks.
This guide will mainly focus on the new “official” Windin Falls trailhead, which is located beside a large car park at the end of “Gourka-Gourka Road“, just off the Old Cairns Track Road.
Since this car park and trailhead is relatively new, there isn’t an official pin on Google Maps yet. I’ve included the GPS coordinates and pinned the exact location on the map below if you’d prefer to just follow Google’s directions. These work well, so your best bet is to copy and paste the coordinates below into Google Maps.
If you’d prefer detailed directions to Windin Falls, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered below too.
Note: if you type in “Windin Falls Car Park” in Google Maps, you’ll get directions to the old hiking trail on the Old Cairns Track. While both tracks are still accessible, I’d recommend taking the official track on the GPS coordinates below. This avoids taking the logging road and you can park at the designated car park.
Directions to the Windin Falls Car Park from Cairns
Note: Either paste in the GPS coordinates below to Google Maps or try “Lamins Hill Lookout” which is the closest named pin.
To get to Windin Falls from Cairns, you’ll need to have a car. Drive south on the Bruce Highway (A1) towards Gordonvale, where you’ll turn right onto Riverstone Road (State Route 52). Go through the roundabout and follow the winding Gillies Range Road all the way up to the Tablelands.
Just near Lake Eacham, take a left onto Lake Barine Road and follow this for 6.4 KM, where you’ll need to turn left onto Topaz Road. This road is very narrow so take care to move aside for oncoming traffic.
After 9.5 KM, you’ll reach an intersection near “Lamins Hill Lookout“. Veer left here onto “Old Cairns Track”.
Finding the New Car Park from the Old Cairns Track
Just after the first bend on the Old Cairns Track, you’ll reach an intersection with an option of turning right or continuing straight ahead. If you continue straight, you’ll need to follow a 4.6 KM bumpy road to the old Windin Falls trailhead.
I’d recommend following the newly placed sign by turning right at this intersection instead. Now, continue on this road, passing scenic rainforest farmlands for roughly 6.6KM until you see a very obvious signpost that reads “WINDIN FALLS” next to a spacious car park.
Park your car here and continue on to the start of the Windin Falls hiking track straight ahead. If you continue on this road (Gourka-Gourka), you’ll reach the Mount Bartle Frere western trailhead (marked on the QLD Parks map below).
This car park is also the starting point for the West Mulgrave Falls Track (more difficult).
The road gets a bit bumpy from the turnoff near Lamins Hill Lookout, so make sure to take it slow. There is also no reception out here so you might want to bookmark or screenshot this blog just in case.
Windin Falls Hike – What to Expect
The details above are for the slightly longer “official” Windin Falls trail which I gave directions to above.
Both tracks are very easy to follow and can be attempted by anyone with an average level of fitness. However, following heavy rain, both tracks will be muddy and possibly flooded.
While both track options start from different car park locations, they both lead to the same point on top of Windin Falls where you’ll find the famous infinity pool.
Option 1: Official Trail
Alright, now that you’ve arrived at Windin Falls car park, it’s time to lace up and hit the trail. The official Windin Falls hike is approximately 11.5KM return and takes between 2.5-3 hours of walking for the return trip.
This track is very wide, at almost 2 metres for its entire length. It’s a permanent track that is always clear and impossible to miss. Much of the track is consists of red clay, which can get a little slippery in the wet. The new Windin Falls trailhead is actually about 200 metres higher than the waterfall itself, which means most of the track is a steady descent to the waterfall. Therefore, the return trip is a little bit more difficult since you’ll need to climb back up.
You’ll notice a fork in the track just past the half-way point. This is blocked off by a large log that has been purposely placed here. Avoid it, and continue straight instead (slight right).
After roughly 5.2 KM, you’ll reach a wide clearing with a signpost that reads “Windin Falls” as well as some mandatory warnings.
Follow the sign down the narrow track to the right. This final section is steep for about 300M before arriving at the top of Windin Falls.
Option 2: Old Waterfall Track
If you took the Google Maps pin to the old car park, then you can expect a slightly shorter hike of around 45 minutes to 1 hour. This trailhead picks up just up from the cleared parking area. Here, you’ll notice an unofficial sign on a tree and two steel gates. Jump over the right gate.
This old track is also wide but seems to have been made as a 4WD track.
This track is also a bit more bumpy and slippery in sections, but no more difficult. However, you’ll need to keep an eye out for a “Windin Falls” sign on a tree beside a fork, roughly 40 minutes in. Turn right and follow this track for 15 minutes down to Windin Falls.
Windin Falls Hike Map (GPX)
Below is a GPX map that shows the track that I took, recorded on my Garmin GPS watch. You can download the file by clicking the link below to upload it to your phone or GPS watch. However, the Windin Falls hiking track is very wide and easy to follow, so don’t worry too much.
GPX File: Download
My Strava: Visit
What to Expect at Windin Falls
Windin Falls has become very popular due to the epic view of the Jurassic valley looking downstream of Windin Creek.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get a scaled view of the waterfall unless you bring a drone since you’ll be sitting above the actual waterfall. However, trust me when I say that the views are absolutely worth it.
It’s definitely best to take care around the waterfall, creek and edge, as the rocks can be super slippery. Following heavy rain, Windin Falls can be absolutely thrashing itself down the edge of the cliff. Make sure to use your own judgment and probably avoid this one after heavy rain.
ALSO NEARBY: BIG MILLSTREAM AND LITTLE MILLSTREAM FALLS
How High is Windin Falls?
While there isn’t an officially recorded height of Windin Falls, using contour lines and a rough estimate, I’d say that Windin Falls is somewhere in the ballpark of 100 metres to 120 metres tall.
Windin Falls Infinity Pool
The infinity pool at the edge of the waterfall is one swim that’s sure to give you a bit of vertigo. The pool is deep enough to swim in, but when I visited the flow was way too strong to even consider getting in the water.
Update 2021: Tragically, there has recently been a death at Windin Falls. The individual was said to be a very experienced hiker, which is a reminder to many including myself that conditions can change and accidents can happen to anybody. Please be careful out there.
However, if you follow the bank roughly 100 metres upstream of the waterfall, there is a calm and wide swimming area that is usually pretty safe. It was fine when we visited for the first time but you will need to make your own judgements on where you swim at these remote waterfalls.
Tips for Visiting Windin Falls from Cairns
- Avoid visiting Windin Falls after heavy rainfall
- Screenshot or bookmark this blog because there isn’t any reception near the car park
- Fill up your tank before Gillies Range Road, it’s long and there are no service stations until Malanda
- Sunrise is better than sunset as the sun rises at the end of the valley
- Wear decent trail shoes/boots or runners
- Deet spray like Bushmans or Aerogard help prevent leeches and ticks
- Keep an eye out for cassowaries, who occasionally frequent the Windin Falls track
Discover More Waterfalls Around Cairns & the Tablelands
If you enjoyed this guide for hiking to Windin Falls Cairns, why not check out some of my other posts for more waterfalls below. I’d highly recommend Nandroya Falls and Josephine Falls, which are also in the Wooroonooran National Park.
Otherwise, for quick summaries and photos, check out this complete guide to the absolute best waterfalls in Cairns and its surrounds.
MY CAMERA AND PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT
- DSLR Camera: Canon R5
- Landscape Lens: Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L
- All-Round Lens: Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
- Action Camera: GoPro Hero 8
- Long GoPro Pole: GoPro El Grande
- Landscape Lens Filter: Hoya Circular Polarizer
- Camera Backpack: F-Stop Tilopa
- Favorite Photography Accessory: Peak Design Capture Clip
For a list of all my camera, hiking, and backpacking gear and where to find them at the best prices, visit my shop.
Why not save this guide to Windin Falls for later? While you’re at it, if you follow We Seek Travel on Pinterest, then you’ll be able to stay in the loop with all the new travel guides and blogs.