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Windin Falls Hike: Infinity Pool Waterfall Near Cairns

Windin Falls Hike: Infinity Pool Waterfall Near Cairns

Windin Falls is a scenic 1.5-hour hike near Cairns, famous for its epic sunrise lookout & infinity pool overlooking the Wooroonooran National Park.

Are you searching for one of the most impressive waterfalls near Cairns and perhaps in all of Far North Queensland? After hiking 30 different trails in Cairns and the surrounding region, the Windin Falls hike is up there with one of my personal favourites!

Following a roughly 1.5-hour hike through the incredible Wooroonooran National Park, I was rewarded with some of the most spectacular views atop the incredible waterfall infinity pool overlooking the ancient rainforest.

Update: Having now returned four times since my first visit, I’ve noticed it growing in popularity. However, the journey there remains unclear to many since there are 2 trailheads.

Windin falls infinity pool
Infinity Pool at Windin Falls
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.

Windin Falls Hike Overview

  • Location: Wooroonooran National Park, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland
  • Distance from Cairns: Approximately 86 km or 1.5 hours drive
  • Hike Distance: 11.5 km return for the official trail
  • Duration: 2.5-3 hours return
  • Elevation Gain: Approximately 350 m, mostly on the return
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: Famous for its natural infinity pool with panoramic views of the Wooroonooran National Park
  • Access Routes: Two options; recommended is the official trail from the Gourka Road car park, alternative is an old 4WD track from Old Cairns Track
  • Best Time to Visit: Dry season (May to October) for less slippery paths and safer swimming conditions
  • Facilities: Spacious car park at the official trailhead, no organized tours or public transport available
  • Safety Tips: Caution advised near the infinity pool, especially post-rain; sturdy footwear recommended; bring sufficient water

Where is Windin Falls?

Windin Falls is located in the Wooroonooran National Park within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area of Far North Queensland in the Atherton Tablelands.

There are two hiking tracks leading to this waterfall.

  • The first and recommended route is via the new "official" trailhead for the Windin Falls hike near the Gourka Road car park.
  • The second and old hiking trail to the waterfall is technically a 4WD track and the trailhead is near the end of the Old Cairns Track.

I've hiked both routes and recommend the first, official hiking trail as it is better maintained and more enjoyable. This blog post focuses on this first main, official route, but I will touch on the old track as well further on.

Waterfall GPS Coordinates: 17°19'28.0"S 145°44'56.9"E

Windin falls waterfall near cairns

How to Get to the Windin Falls Trailhead (Self-Drive)

The official Windin Falls car park is approximately 86 km or 1.5 hours drive from Cairns at the end of "Gourka Road", just off the Old Cairns Track Road.

To get to Windin Falls from Cairns, you'll need to have a car as there are no dedicated tours. Drive south on the Bruce Highway (A1) towards Gordonvale, where you'll turn right onto Riverstone Road (State Route 52) passing Walsh's Pyramid.

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 Barrine 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".

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 6.6 km until you see a very obvious signpost that reads "WINDIN FALLS" next to a spacious car park.

Map of windin falls from cairns
Windin falls cairns
A stream cascades at the top of the falls.

Windin Falls Car Park

The official Windin Falls car park is spacious enough for at least a dozen cars and is free. Once you arrive, you'll park your car here and continue on to the start of the Windin Falls hiking track straight ahead. I noticed recently that there are big QLD Parks signs here to make everything look nice and official.

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).

Travel tip: The road gets a bit bumpy from the turnoff near Lamins Hill Lookout, so make sure to take it slow. I also noticed that there is also no reception out here so you might want to save or screenshot this blog just in case.

Windin falls hike map, wooroonooran national park
Original source: QLD Parks

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 Australia and you're looking to experience the incredible nature of the rainforest and surrounding waterfalls, below are my top-rated waterfall tours in the region.

Josephine falls waterfall rock slide

1. Tablelands Waterfall Wilderness Tour Top Pick

Explore Atherton Tableland's majestic waterfalls & rainforest, visiting some of my favourites including Millaa Millaa & Josephine Falls.

Crystal cascades waterfall and swimming hole near cairns

2. Epic Waterfall Canyoning Trip

An epic canyoning & zip-line tour out of Cairns through Behana Gorge or the popular Crystal Canyons (Crystal Cascades).

Millaa millaa waterfall

3. Comprehensive Tablelands Waterfall Tour Budget

A comprehensive and cost-effective World Heritage Daintree Rainforest tour to Josephine Falls, Dinner Falls, and Millaa Millaa.

Windin Falls Hike - What to Expect

  • Hike Distance: 11.5 km return
  • Duration: 2.5-3 hours return
  • Elevation: ~350 m elevation gain (most on the return)
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Again, this hiking guide is for the slightly longer "official" Windin Falls trail which I gave directions to above.

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.

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.

For some reason, QLD Parks rates this as a Grade 4 hike, most likely because of how steep the waterfall drop is at the end.

Windin falls, cairns
Strong currents at the top of the falls
Windn falls cairns

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 11.5 km 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.

Windin falls trailhead
Lush rainforest at the beginning of the walk

After I set off, I noticed a fork in the track just past the halfway point. This is blocked off by a large log that has been purposely placed here. Avoid it, and continue straight instead, taking a slightly 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 leads down to the waterfall for about 300 meters and is very steep right at the last 50 metres before arriving at the top of Windin Falls.

Hiking trail to 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 walking 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 into what is a beautiful walk.

Take a right-hand turn here and follow this track for 15 minutes down to Windin Falls. Again, you'll end up at the top of Windin Falls, the same finishing point as the first option.

Wooroonooran national park hiking trail
This walking track is also often used by mountain bikers.

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, I'd say that this isn't really necessary.

Windin falls lookout in far north queensland

What to Expect at the Top of Windin Falls

Windin Falls has become very popular due to the unparalleled views of the Jurassic valley looking downstream of Windin Creek in the Mulgrave Valley.

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 from the top of the waterfall.

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.

Update: Experienced hikers have lost their lives at this waterfall. Remember, please be careful, the stream can change in force very quickly and you don't want to be caught in the infinity pool if it does!

Windin falls river and lookout

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 waterfall

Windin Falls Natural Infinity Pool

The natural infinity pool at the top of the falls is one swim that's sure to give you a bit of vertigo. The pool, situated at the very edge of the cliff is deep enough to swim in. But, as you can see from some of the photos, when I visited the first time the flow was way too strong to even consider getting in the water.

If visiting after a heavy downpour in the Wet Season, you'll want to take extreme caution. I've visited Windin Falls quite a few times and there's only been one occasion where it was safe enough to swim.

The last time I went I noticed that there's also been a new warning sign added recently following the accident.

Infinity pool waterfall in far north queensland

However, if you follow the bank roughly 100 metres upstream of the waterfall, there is a calm and wide swimming area that is generally pretty safe. It was fine when we visited for the first time even with stronger flow. But, you will need to make your own judgments on where you swim at these remote waterfalls.

Windin creek

Tips for Visiting Windin Waterfall

Below are some general tips to follow when visiting this amazing waterfall.

  • 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
Infinity pool at the top of windin falls in queensland

FAQ About Visiting Windin Falls

How do I get to Windin Falls?

To reach Windin Falls, you'll need to take a Grade 4 hike through the Wooroonooran National Park. The trail starts at the Windin Falls Car Park, and it's about a 90-minute hike each way. The path is well-marked but can be challenging.

What should I bring with me?

For your visit to Windin Falls, pack plenty of water, Grayl or filter bottle, snacks, sunscreen, a hat, and swimwear if you plan to take a dip in the natural pools. Don’t forget your camera – the views are unforgettable.

Is swimming at Windin Falls safe?

Swimming in the infinity pool at the top of Windin Falls can be safe under the right conditions. However, it's crucial to assess the current and weather before swimming and avoid the area after heavy rain due to strong currents and the potential for flash flooding. Remember, there have been bad accidents here.

What is the best time to visit Windin Falls?

The best time to visit Windin Falls is in the drier months, from May to October, when the paths are less slippery and the water flow is safer for swimming.

What is the closest town to Windin Falls?

The closest town to the waterfall trailhead is Malanda. You'll find many other hikes in this region, including the popular Millaa Millaa waterfall circuit.

Can you take dogs to Windin Falls?

No, the waterfall is within the Wooroonooran National Park, which does not allow dogs to enter.

Do you need a 4WD to get to Windin Falls?

No, the road out to the new car park is only unsealed at the end and I would say any car could manage it. You don't need a 4WD. However, in the wet season it might get a bit muddy. The dirt here is thick red mud and if it's been very wet, a 4WD might make it easier. That said, I wouldn't visit this waterfall after a lot of rain.

Are there leeches at Windin Falls?

Yes, you might want to bring some insect repellent, especially in the wet season. Leeches and ticks are pretty brutal out in this part of the rainforest.

Aerial photo of windin falls in the tablelands

Discover More Waterfalls Around Cairns & the Tablelands

If you enjoyed this guide for hiking to Windin Falls from Cairns, why not check out some of my other posts for more waterfall and adventure inspiration.

I'd highly recommend Nandroya Falls and Josephine Falls, which are also in the Wooroonooran National Park.

Windin falls hiking guide
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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