After picking our friend Rocky up from Townsville a bit earlier than planned, we restocked on food and then made the trip up to Wallaman Falls, part of Girringun National Park. Worth the detour, Australia’s longest single-drop waterfall measures 268m (879 ft). This was our first stop in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, which protects Australia's most extensive remaining area of wet tropical rainforest.
A 2 hour drive from Townsville, this a worthwhile detour if you're traveling north to Cairns. Fill up with fuel in Ingham, as there's nothing nearby the park.
Once you're off the A1, watch out for cows! Be warned that once you reach the park the road up is steep and fairly narrow in places. We saw quite a few caravans here, despite signs warning them away.
Stop at the picnic area on the way up for some great panoramic views of the forests and farmland below, and to give your engine a rest! There is large vehicle parking on the left, if needed.
Wallaman Falls camping area
There is a national park campground at the top, a short drive from the falls. Book online before you arrive, as there's no mobile reception here. The spaces are plenty big enough for any size van, trailer, or camper.
We found the campground to be lovely and quiet, except for some annoyingly bold bush turkeys who knocked dishes off the kitchen and stole whatever food was left unattended! There are fire rings and BBQs provided, a well-kept bathroom, and even a free (cold) shower.
Visiting Wallaman Falls
A 10 minute drive from the campground is the Wallaman Falls lookout. We appreciated the falls from above before hiking down to see them from below.
The falls themselves are worth a few hours, despite being a relatively short walk down. It took us about 40 minutes each way. There's a sign at the second platform with dire warnings... We're prepared, confident hikers so weren't too concerned, but the trail is narrow and rocky in places.
The walk quickly turns to thick rainforest, with glimpses of the falls in between the trees. You'll know once you reach the bottom!
Wallaman Falls is magnificent, and even being quite far away we could feel the misty spray of the hundreds of gallons of water thundering down. I'm not sure even these photos can illustrate the scale of this waterfall.
It took Rocky quite a while to pick her way down to the pool below the falls. The rocks here are slippery, and the water quite cold. None of us went for a swim, as the shadows were deepening toward sunset.
The hike back up was steep but not too painful. We returned to the trailer,
We made a fire at the campground, enjoying baked potatoes cooked in foil, with only one stolen by a bush turkey. We threatened to eat the roving turkeys, but they didn't seem to care!
Stony Creek hike
I could've stayed here for days, but the road was long and time was short. We did a short hike along Stony Creek, accessible from the campground. The hike offered some information about the flora with the highlight being this massive strangler fig!
Despite the beauty, we felt bad for the tree, as the fig will kill it slowly over many years.
An epiphytic fern (growing naturally in a totally soilless condition) up in the branches of the tree was also massive, and beautiful.
Stony Creek would've been a great swimming spot if the weather hadn't been turning. We snapped a few pics before the ominous rainclouds and high humidity chased us away.
We could feel a storm about to blow through, so we high-tailed it back to the truck to get back down the mountain.
I'd highly recommend a stop at Wallaman Falls if you can spare the time, even as a day trip from Townsville. I'm not often wowed by waterfalls after visiting such beauties as Havasu Falls in the States, but the sheer size of this gorge blew me away.