Tully Gorge: The hidden gem of North Queensland

Tucked away in the wet tropics of North Queensland, Tully Gorge is one of the most scenic and untouched gorges in Australia.

Formed by the Tully River, the gorge is a haven for nature lovers and adventurers.

Situated in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, which is home to some of the world’s oldest rainforests, Tully Gorge is one of Far North Queensland’s most spectacular natural attractions. 

This blog post will tell you everything you need about Tully Falls and Tully Gorge, how to get there, what to expect and where to camp around the area.

Key Points

  • Tully Gorge is a hidden gem located in North Queensland, Australia T
  • Tucked away in the wet tropics of North Queensland, Tully Gorge is one of the most scenic and untouched gorges in Australia.
  • Formed by the Tully River, the gorge is a haven for nature lovers and adventurers.
  • The best way to experience the gorge is by swimming in its refreshing waters.

About Tully Gorge

The Tully River is one of Far North Queensland’s major rivers, and Tully Gorge is its most dramatic feature.

The river has carved a deep 293 meters long gorge through ancient volcanic rocks, creating a series of spectacular waterfalls and pools.

The Tully Gorge National Park is home to the spectacular Tully Gorge lookout. This Queensland destination was once an icon, but because the Tully River was dammed in the late 1950s for the Kareeya Hydro Power Station, Tully Falls is usually just a trickle, only flowing strongly after a hefty very heavy rain.

The best way to experience the gorge is by swimming in its refreshing waters. Tully Gorge is truly a natural wonder. So if you’re ever in Far North Queensland, add it to your list of places to visit!


How to get to Tully Gorge

Although Tully Gorge is commonly mistaken to be in the township of Tully, it is located on the Atherton Tablelands.

The Tully Falls National Park is located approximately 180km south of Cairns and 92km south of Innisfail and can be accessed via the Bruce Highway. From Innisfail, take the Bruce Highway south for 50km until you reach the turn-off for Tully Gorge Road. Follow the scenic Tully Falls Road for 37km until you reach the day-use area car park.

The roads are fully sealed to Tully Falls Lookout, so you will have no issues getting there in any vehicle.

We have pinned the Google Maps location for the spectacular Tully Gorge Lookout below:

MAP

Tip: If you don’t have a car, you can find great deals in FNQ by using RentalCars.com to compare prices before booking.

What to expect at Tully Gorge

As mentioned, the waterfall only runs during a big wet season; however, the 300-meter walls of rainforest and raw rock that drop down to the Tully River are still fantastic.

Tully Gorge Lookout

After you arrive at Tully Gorge Lookout and park in the clearing area, walk over to the fence to get a better view of the old Tully Gorge Falls lookout.

Although this vantage point is lovely, the scenic area is only a short walk away. Follow the 800-metre track that will take you to the Tully River above the falls.

Follow the path until it finishes, and you reach a sign that says it is the end of the trail and you should turn around. Walk back until you find a small clearance in the bushes where you can cross. Walk through the rocks until you can cross the creek.

Almost immediately after crossing the creek, you can see the breathtaking view in front of you. Keep walking until you reach the awe-inspiring sight and find the infinity pool, which is to the right (if looking at the view).

Although the views are gorgeous, note that if you come during the dry season, the water level in the pool might be too low and not ideal for swimming. This is precisely what happened to us when we visited. The only area where there was water was stagnant and dirty, so we didn’t go in.

Can you swim at Tully Gorge?

Yes, you can swim at Tully Gorge! And I am sure you have seen many pictures online of people swimming at some of the fantastic natural pools there.

Unfortunately, the main pool was disgusting and almost dry when we went because there hadn’t been much rain in that period. We did not go in but would have enjoyed a swim if the water was excellent and the weather was hot.

Be aware that swimming in natural bodies of water can be dangerous and Queensland Parks do not recommend people even getting close to the rock pools.


Camping at Tully Gorge

There is one paid campground in the area, which is at Tully Gorge National Park.

The campsite offers toilets, cold showers and swimming. The camping area is large, open, and grassy, with shady trees beside the Tully River.

Pets are not permitted since it is a national park, but the sites are accessible to RVs, camper trailers, caravans and big rigs. Camping is also allowed in tents.

You must book in advance through this link or by calling 13QGOV (13 74 68).