Zillie Falls is yet another impressive and very easily accessed waterfall on the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit in the Tablelands region behind Cairns, Queensland. Learn how to get here, what to expect and more.
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 boarded viewing platform above the falls, as well as an “unofficial” dirt track down to the base of the falls.
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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 neighbouring 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.
How to get to Zillie Falls Queensland
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.
Option 1: Drive 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 to each waterfall on this road, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding Zillie Waterfall as long as you keep an eye out.
There is a large car park on the right side of the road (driving clockwise on the circuit from Millaa Millaa Falls). The access track to Zillie Falls is across the road.
Option 2: Waterfall Tour From Cairns
Since Millaa Millaa seems to steal the show in the Atherton Tablelands, there are unfortunately not many tours that actually stop by at Zillie Falls.
However, I was able to find one tour that includes a stop at Ellinjaa Falls and Zillie Falls as well. However, this tour is booked in a group, which will be perfect for those with family or with friends.
For solo travelers and couples, you’ll either need to rent a car or consider some of these alternative waterfall tours that include stops at the equally impressive Dinner Falls, Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa Falls and more (listed below).
|Most-booked waterfall tour from Cairns||$115||Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa, Dinner Falls, Crater Lakes|
|Cheapest Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Tour||$107||Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa, Dinner Falls, Curtain Fig Tree|
|2D1N Waterfall and Atherton Camping||$251||Barron Falls, Lake Eacham, Overnight Camping, Peterson Creek (platypus viewing), Curtain Fig Tree, Josephine Falls|
DON’T MISS NEARBY: TCHUPALA AND WALLICHER FALLS
What to Expect at Zillie Falls
Zillie Falls is a single-drop, plunging waterfall which jets off the edge of an eroded basalt column into dense, tropical rainforest. I’d say that the height is approximately 15 metres, but this is just my best estimate since there’s not much information available on the exact height.
The plunging waters crash onto large boulders beneath the waterfall. As a result, Zillie Falls isn’t the best place for swimming. However, it is possible to walk behind the waterfall, navigating over and around the slippery rocks.
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 the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 area 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!
For a summary and quick guide to the entire circuit, click here. I’ve also written individual blog posts for what to expect on both the other waterfalls. You’ll find these below.
Cairns Accommodation Guide – Where to Stay
BEST BUDGET HOSTEL WITH A POOL FOR $19 A NIGHT – MAD MONKEY BACKPACKERS
The best budget backpacker option in Cairns is Mad Monkey Backpackers. This one has a swimming pool, AC, a complete kitchen and even free bike hire to take you around Cairns. There are also three locations, but we thought that the village was the best. They also organise plenty of things to do in Cairns straight form the hostel.
BUDGET HOSTEL CLOSEST TO THE ESPLANADE FOR $26 A NIGHT –YHA CAIRNS CENTRAL HOSTEL
If you’re looking to stay close to Cairns center, then you can’t beat YHA Central. It’s only a 5-minute walk to the esplanade and situated right near pubs and supermarkets. There’s also a pool and two spas, with a free breakfast included.
SLEEP ON A BOAT IN CAIRNS HARBOUR – BOATEL CAIRNS
If you’re looking for a unique stay in Cairns, then you can’t get much more unusual than staying at a “boatel”. It’s located 1 KM from Cairns and only a 6-minute walk from Cairns Rainforest Dome. The boat has free WiFi, AC, a bar and even a TV in the room.
More Cairns Waterfalls and Adventures
Enjoy Zillie Falls Queensland and looking for some more epic waterfall adventures near Cairns? Don’t miss this ultimate guide to Cairns’ Best Waterfalls.
Alternatively, check out the links below for separate posts that I’ve written on over 20 waterfalls in the area! Or, if you’d rather reef adventures, epic viewpoint hikes and other hidden gems, don’t miss: Best Things to do in Cairns, the Ultimate Guide.
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