Zillie Falls is an impressive and very easily accessible waterfall on the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit in the Tablelands region near Cairns, Queensland.
Although not nearly as popular as the famous Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls is, in my opinion, one of the most picturesque waterfalls on the Theresa Creek Road Circuit.
Plunging steeply into the dense rainforest canopy below, Zillie Waterfall is an ideal waterfall for those looking to get a slice of the Cairns and Atherton Tableland’s incredible ancient forests on an easily accessible track. This waterfall offers a
While living in Far North Queensland, I visited over 30 waterfalls and have written thorough guides to all of them. In this guide, I’ll dive into everything you need to know to visit Zillie Falls, one of my favorite waterfalls on the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit. I’ll detail how to get to the viewing platform above the falls and fill you in on the “unofficial” dirt track that I discovered leading down to the base of the waterfall.
- Where is Zillie Falls?
- How to get to Zillie Falls
- What to Expect at Zillie Falls
- Best Time to Visit Zillie Falls
- More Zillie Falls Photos
- The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit
- FAQ About Visiting Zillie Falls
- More Cairns Waterfalls and Adventures
Millaa Millaa on a Waterfall Day Trip
Travelers looking to visit the absolute best waterfalls in the region surrounding Cairns, including Millaa Millaa, will want to check out this epic Atherton Tablelands waterfall tour.
I'm Olly, a full-time traveler for the past 5 years. I visit every destination I write about & handpick all recommendations.
Where is Zillie Falls?
Zillie Falls is located on the 17-kilometre Waterfall Circuit along Theresa Creek Road in the Atherton Tablelands region of Queensland near Millaa Millaa. This is the "middle" waterfall, so it's usually visited after Millaa Millaa Falls or Ellinjaa Falls, depending on the direction of travel.
You’ll find this waterfall tucked into a dense pocket of rainforest neighboring the Wooroonooran National Park just beside cleared farmland.
There are signs and even a large car park next to very the short track to the viewing platform. This one can be fairly easy to miss, so make sure to keep an eye out for the small sign on the side of the road.
Tip: I recommend making your way to Millaa Millaa Falls first to beat the crowds as Zillie Falls is usually much quieter at all times of the day.
How to get to Zillie Falls
I'll assume most of the people reading this guide are based somewhere near Cairns. Zillie Falls and the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit is located approximately 107 km (1 hour 40 minutes) drive from Cairns CBD.
There are two options to get here, either by driving yourself or booking a waterfall tour to Millaa Millaa.
Driving to Millaa Millaa from Cairns
I've said this a few times but I'm sure that I share the same opinion with many; the best way to travel the Tropical North is to have a car or camper.
For easy directions to Zillie Falls, you can use Google Maps to direct you to the pin above. The road directions are well-marked and accurate.
From Cairns, you’ll need to head south on the Bruce Highway towards Gordonvale. Once you approach the obvious Walsh’s Pyramid, look out for signs to Atherton Tablelands over Gillies Range Road.
Follow this winding road all the way up to the Tablelands, pass the Crater Lakes and continue following signs south to “Millaa Millaa“, just passed Malanda. Theresa Creek Road (the Waterfall Circuit Road) is just a minute or so from the small township.
There are very detailed signs for each waterfall on this road, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding Zillie Waterfall as long as you keep an eye out for the sign.
There is a large car park on the right side of the road (driving clockwise on the circuit from Millaa Millaa Falls). This is free and accommodates at least a dozen cars. The access track to Zillie Falls is across the road.
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.
Also Nearby: Tchupala & Wallicher Falls
What to Expect at Zillie Falls
- Zillie Falls Height: Approximately 30 metres
- Access: Viewing platform and trail to the base of the falls
Zillie Falls is a single-drop, plunging waterfall that jets off the edge of an eroded basalt column into dense, tropical rainforest. This waterfall is roughly 30 metres in height, making it the tallest waterfall on the circuit.
The plunging waters crash onto large boulders beneath the waterfall. As a result, I wouldn't say that Zillie Falls is the best place for swimming. However, we noticed that it was possible to walk behind the waterfall, navigating over and around the slippery rocks to get an awesome perspective.
Zillie Falls Viewing Platform Above the Falls
Once you get to Zillie Falls car park, leave your car and cross the road, following the small, weathered sign to the short track ahead.
After less than a minute of walking, you'll already arrive at the viewing platform above Zillie Falls.
Unfortunately, this platform is only really good for checking out the source flow and the top of the waterfall. If you want to get a better view and a better understanding of the scale, you'll have to take the short but steep, slippery track down to the base.
Walking to the base of Zillie Waterfall
I'm fairly certain that this track is not an official QLD Parks track, because there are no signposts or even ribbons in the tree. It's also hard to find, and I'm sure the majority of people miss it.
I found this track is on the bush side of the viewing platform, approximately in the middle. You'll see a slight clearing, which once passed reveals a wider track.
There are a few eroded tracks down to the base, so it can get a little confusing. But, either way, you'll get to the base of the waterfall in about 5-10 minutes regardless. Just be careful on the way down as it is fairly slippery.
My best advice is to just keep right if you see a fork or another eroded track. You'll know if you're on the right track to the base of Zillie Falls once you reach a section of old, carved stone steps.
This track is not well-maintained at all and can be very slippery and even steep in some sections. It's also important to consider recent rainfall and avoid it in floodwaters.
Best Time to Visit Zillie Falls
The best time to visit Zillie Falls, a hidden gem in Australia's tropical north, is during the cooler, drier months from May to September.
This period offers comfortable temperatures, clearer skies, and less humidity, making it ideal for hiking and waterfall chasing.
I've visited Zillie Falls in the dry season and the wet season, and would say you can visit all year round (this is a permanent waterfall that flows in the dry season as well). Visiting in July was the best time, with the falls being full but not too crazy, allowing for both stunning views and safe access to various vantage points.
More Zillie Falls Photos
Once I got to the base of the creek, I maneuvered around some large, slippery boulders to get some good vantage points of ZIllie Waterfall from below.
Here are a few more photos that I hope will inspire your adventures to this awesome waterfall in Queensland.
The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit
Zillie Falls is part of the Millaa Milla Waterfall Circuit trio. In terms of waterfalls in Cairns, the Tablelands, or perhaps Queensland in general, this circuit offers some of the best bang-for-buck you'll find.
What I mean by this is that these three waterfalls really are all pretty breathtaking and are very easily accessed. If you're "umming and ahhing" about visiting the rest of the waterfalls on the circuit, I'd highly recommend it, they're all so close and easy to get to!
Don't miss my guide to the entire Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit. I've also written individual blog posts for what to expect on both the other waterfalls including:
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!
FAQ About Visiting Zillie Falls
To get to Zillie Falls, drive along the Palmerston Highway towards Millaa Millaa. It's a well-signed route and the falls are easily accessible via a short walk from the parking area. I recommend renting a car for flexibility and ease of access.
Yes, there are several options. You can stay in Millaa Millaa or Malanda, where you'll find nice bed and breakfasts and guesthouses.
Swimming is not recommended at Zillie Falls due to the large rocks. However, the viewing platforms offer great photo opportunities. For swimming, head to nearby Millaa Millaa Falls or Ellinjaa Falls, which are both safe for swimming
Pack a camera, water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent and decent walking shoes. I always recommend bringing a Grayl bottle to filter and drink the natural rainforest water.
The walk to the lookout is just a few minutes from the car park. However, to get to the base you have to follow the unmarked trail I mentioned above for 5-10 minutes.
More Cairns Waterfalls and Adventures
Enjoy Zillie Falls Queensland and looking for some more epic waterfall adventures near Cairns? Don't miss more of my comprehensive adventure travel guides 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.