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Take A Walk In The Rainforest

a large waterfall over a body of water

The views are always a gratifying element of hiking, but combined with a refreshing dip under a flowing waterfall in a rock pool surrounded by rainforest, is an even more enticing reason to lace up your walking shoes and take a day trip to Kondalilla National Park. Located about 1-12 hours north of Brisbane near the lovely hamlet of Montville on the magnificent Blackall Range, is an ideal day trip location for families looking for adventure, fun and some great photo opportunities.

The park is part of the Gubbi Gubbi people’s ancestral territories, and Kondalilla is an Aboriginal term that means “rushing waters,” which is precisely what you can anticipate from the magnificent falls during the summer rainy season. Skene Creek collects in a rock pool with its own 4m waterfall before plunging 90m into the rainforest valley below, giving a peaceful location to cool down and unwind. If you love wild creek swimming – this is the place for you (but we do recommend taking care with the younger members of the family).

a river surrounded by trees

Kondalilla Falls Swimming Hole. QPWS

How to Get There?

Located just outside of Maleny, there’s a few ways you can get to Kondalilla – but jumping on a tour with Bums on Seats Brisbane is always a bonus (we make a stop at the Maleny Markets as well – or create your own tour and add in some local wineries).

Walk 100 metres downhill (with stairs) from the Kondalilla Falls parking park to a wide grassed picnic area with barbecues, picnic tables, and restrooms. Relax with a lunch before embarking on a beautiful walk. Take the Picnic Creek circuit, which takes you through rainforest and open woodland to a cold rock pool at the top of the falls. Continue on the Kondalilla Falls circuit, walking down into thick rainforest to the valley for the greatest waterfall vista at the base of the falls.

Look for emerging bunya trees with their characteristic symmetrical dome shapes, dense clumps of piccabeen palms, and fascinating pink ash formations as you approach the ridge. The Kondalilla Falls circuit has about 300 stairs, so you should be moderately fit and give enough time to appreciate this difficult hike. Allow enough time for your stroll to be completed during daylight hours. This is a Grade 3 trail (formed track, may have short steep hills and many steps, some experience recommended).

a large waterfall over a body of water

Kondalilla Falls Circuit. Trail Hiking Australia

What to Expect on the Kondalilla Falls Circuit?

Picnic Creek circuit descends the cliff, through rock pools and a viewpoint with views of Kondalilla Falls. Picnic Creek is a beautiful little cascade that flows into a refreshing natural swimming hole. From this place, you can enter the bushy rainforest before coming out on the other side of the park where you can see views of the pristine valley below.

Continue up the ridge after walking through the jungle to the foot of the waterfall. Look for emerging bunya pines with their characteristic symmetrical dome shapes, dense clumps of piccabeen palms, and fascinating pink ash, Alphitonia petriei formations.

Kondalilla National Park is home to over 100 species of birds, as well as a variety of reptiles and frogs, some of which are endangered and on the verge of extinction, such as the pouched frog (Assa darlingtoni) and the bopple nut (Macadamia ternifolia). The falls are best visited during the rainy season, which runs from January to March, however the water still flows throughout the dry months and the park is open during daylight hours all year.

a path in the forest

Kondalilla National Park. Traveller

Ready to explore? Book at Maleny Markets and Kondalilla Falls tour or create your own tour and include a stop at Kondalilla Falls before heading home.