Exploring the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit in Tropical North Queensland 

Exploring the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit in Tropical North Queensland (2023)

This post was updated on: January 1, 2023

If you’ve been dreaming of a tropical getaway, consider visiting the stunning waterfall circuit near Millaa Millaa in North Queensland.

This area around Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef is known for its lush rainforest, spectacular waterfalls, rock pools and pristine water, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers who want to explore somewhere off the beaten path.

If you are an adventure seeker, you’ll love exploring the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit. This area is accessed via a scenic drive and boasts three impressive waterfalls: Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls and Ellinjaa Falls. We have written independent blog posts about each of them, so check these articles out if you are looking for more detail and photos for each. 

Let’s explore this beautiful circuit and discover what makes it unique. 


Key Points

  • The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit is located on the Atherton Tablelands in tropical north Queensland.
  • The circuit is a 16km stretch of road near Millaa Millaa, 24km south of Malanda.
  • There are three waterfalls on the circuit: Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls and Ellinja

Where is The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit?

The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit is located on the Atherton Tablelands in tropical north Queensland.

Although the circuit is located around 105km from Cairns, it’s worth the drive! There are plenty of things to see and do in this region, so you won’t regret taking the trip.

The waterfall circuit is a 16km stretch of road near Millaa Millaa, 24km south of Malanda.

Enter the circuit by taking Theresa Creek Road, 1km east of Millaa Millaa on Palmerston Hwy.

Although Theresa Creek Road on the Waterfall Circuit is sealed and can be accessed by any vehicle, some sections of the road are narrow due to its location wrapping around neighbouring farmlands. So take it slow and enjoy the scenery while you drive.

How to get to The Waterfall Circuit from Cairns?

You have two ways to reach the Waterfalls Circuit: driving it yourself or with a tour. Unfortunately, there is no public transport heading that way.

Driving it yourself from Cairns

The best way to get to the Atherton Tablelands Waterfalls Circuit, in our opinion, is driving.

If you don’t have your own, we recommend renting one for the drive to Cairns. Renting a car allows you to plan your adventure and explore Wooroonooran National Park at your own pace.

From Cairns, you’ll go on an effortless journey. Start by heading south on the Bruce Highway towards Gordonvale. Once you see Walsh’s Pyramid, turn over to Gillies Range Road.

From there, continue down the road until you see Lake Barrine Road in Yungaburra. Make a turn onto Anderson Road, then another onto Lake Barrine Road.

Follow the south signs to Millaa Millaa and turn onto Theresa Creek Road when you pass Malanda—this road is where the Waterfall Circuit begins.

Booking a tour

If you don’t have your car, or can’t/don’t want to hire one, and want to visit the Tablelands from Cairns, then booking an Atherton Tablelands waterfall tour is your best next option.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a specific tour that will take you to see the Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Circuit, but you can find full-day or multiple-day tours from Cairns to Atherton Tablelands.

We have found two full-day tours with Get Your Guide (link below) that will take you to see the majestic Millaa Millaa Falls but not the other two waterfalls in the circuit: Ellinjaa Falls and Zillie Falls. However, they include another waterfall that is one of our favourites: Josephine Falls.

On these fantastic guided tours, you’ll explore beautiful waterfalls and places like Lake Eacham in Crater Lakes National Park, Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa Waterfall and more.

We have also found a five day-tour that will take you to see the whole Milla Milla Waterfall Circuit and much more.

Best time to visit the Waterfall Circuit

The Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit offers travellers an unforgettable experience regardless of when they visit; however, each season has its unique charm.

During the wet season, there are lush landscapes but possible closures due to heavy rainfall, whereas, during the dry season, there are clear skies but lower water levels in some areas.

All in all, though, no matter what time of year you choose to go, we highly recommend that you make a stop at this delightful destination – it’s an experience that will stay with you forever!

For the best photo opportunity without crowds, we recommend visiting early morning and during a weekday, if possible. These waterfalls, Milla Millaa Falls, in particular, are very popular and can get very busy.

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THE WATERFALLS ON THE MILLAA MILLAA WATERFALL CIRCUIT

Millaa Millaa Falls 

The most famous of the three waterfalls is easily the Millaa Millaa Falls—the first stop on our journey around the circuit.

This stunning waterfall stands 18 metres tall, making for one of Australia’s most picturesque views. It is also the largest of the three, and it has a swimming hole, change rooms and picnic tables, making it the perfect spot for a refreshing swim and an epic adventure.

Millaa Millaa Falls is the most photographed waterfall in Australia, and it is located next to a large car park with free parking spaces. Clear signs from the road point towards the falls, making it impossible to miss.


Tip

If you arrive early and want to take a picture with your van/car with the waterfall, drive down to the tour bus lane on the right-hand side of the road. It will take you to the bottom of the waterfall, where the viewing platform is.


Milla Milla Falls from inside a camper van

Zillie Falls 

The second stop on your tour of the waterfall circuit is Zillie Falls — a slightly smaller waterfall compared to its predecessor, with a 15-metre drop.

Like all other falls along this circuit, Zillie Falls has plenty of spots perfect for swimming and cooling off during those hot summer days.

Tucked away in the rainforest, this secluded waterfall is the perfect spot for some photos of the beautiful surroundings.

You can admire the falls from the lovely viewing platform, just a short walk from the car park, and watch Teresa Creek falling into the abyss or by taking the informal dirt track down to the base of the falls.

But watch out for slippery rocks, as they can be dangerous if not careful! 

Dani standing at the bottom of Zillie Falls

Ellinjaa Falls 

Our final stop is Ellinjaa Falls — the smallest of all three falls at 12 metres high.

The falls are easily accessible via a short walk from the nearby car park. The track is suitable for all fitness levels and takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

For the best views, you can walk to the waterfall’s base, where you will find smooth stones and rocks to stand on. An excellent spot for some fantastic photos. Just be sure to take caution, as these rocks can be slippery.

You can also swim in the pool at the base of the falls, but the waterhole is shallow, so you will likely not be fully submerged. Keep your eyes peeled as there is some wild platypus in the area.

Dani under Ellinjaa falls on rocks

Accommodation in Cairns

Cairns is a beautiful city in Australia that is known for its stunning beaches and fantastic weather. As you would have noticed by now, Cairns waterfalls are also popular to visit all year round. If you plan a trip to Cairns and the region, you need to know where to stay.

Your budget is the first thing you must consider when choosing accommodation in Cairns. Many accommodation options are available in Cairns, ranging from backpacker hostels to luxury hotels. Once you have decided on your budget, you can look at specific accommodation options.

If you are on a tight budget, your best bet is to stay in a backpacker hostel. Backpacker hostels are relatively cheap and offer basic amenities like beds and showers. You can also meet other travellers at backpacker hostels, which is excellent if you travel solo.

You might consider staying in a hotel or resort if you have more money. Many excellent hotels and resorts in Cairns offer stunning views of the city and its surroundings. Most hotels and resorts also have swimming pools and restaurants, so you can relax and enjoy your holiday without leaving the comfort of your accommodation.

Booking.com is excellent for finding the best accommodation for what you need.