West Mulgrave Falls – FNQ’s Best-Kept Secret

West Mulgrave Falls is one among Far North Queensland’s most epic waterfalls! This hidden gem is situated deep throughout the Wooronooran Nationwide Park and requires a difficult, but ultra-rewarding hike to achieve.

Are you searching for an epic, off-the-beaten-path waterfall with a very wild rainforest hike? West Mulgrave Falls is well one among my favorite waterfalls and hikes in Far North Queensland.

This megalithic cascade is discovered on the base of a deep gorge throughout the Wooroonooran Nationwide Park. The hike down is pretty strenuous and requires a little bit of bush-knowledge and navigation abilities to finish. Nonetheless, when you resolve you need to give it a go, then it’ll positively be value your whereas! The waterfall is without doubt one of the most spectacular close to Cairns and features a deep, aqua-blue waterhole for swimming.

Word: This hike, whereas not extraordinarily troublesome, isn’t appropriate for folks with out loads of expertise mountaineering within the Australian bush. The monitor is wild, typically overgrown and you’ll anticipate loads of leeches any time of yr. There are additionally creek crossings concerned that I wouldn’t try following heavy rainfall.

The place is West Mulgrave Falls?

West Mulgrave Falls is situated throughout the Moist Tropics, within the unbelievable Wooroonooran Nationwide Park. This park is house to Queensland’s tallest mountain; Mount Bartle Frere. The entry automotive park to the path is roughly 85 kilometres from Cairns.

The waterfall itself is situated on the base of a steep gorge, accessed from the Tablelands facet of the Bellenden Ker Vary. Since West Mulgrave Falls may be very little identified, there isn’t a lot data on-line or a Google Maps pin for its location. Nonetheless, when you comply with this mountaineering information, you then shouldn’t have an excessive amount of hassle discovering it, assuming you might be properly ready, skilled and the circumstances allow.

Get to the Trailhead Automotive Park

The West Mulgrave Falls hike picks up from the identical new automotive park because the Windin Falls hike. To get right here, you’ll must drive as much as the Tablelands, after which down a reasonably lengthy unsealed street. Nonetheless, the street is well-graded and in good circumstances, a daily 2WD will make it simply.

Fast Navigation to Previous Cairns Monitor: Both paste within the GPS coordinates under to navigate all the best way to the trailhead or strive “Lamins Hill Lookout” which is the closest named pin.

To get to the West Mulgrave Falls trailhead from Cairns, drive south on the Bruce Freeway (A1) in direction of Gordonvale, the place you’ll flip proper onto Riverstone Highway (State Route 52). Go via the roundabout and comply with the winding Gillies Vary Highway all the best way as much as the Tablelands.

Simply close to Lake Eacham, take a left onto Lake Barrine Highway and comply with this for six.4 KM, the place you’ll want to show left once more onto Topaz Highway. This street may be very slender so take care to maneuver apart for oncoming visitors.

After 9.5 KM, you’ll attain an intersection close to “Lamins Hill Lookout”. Veer left right here onto “Previous Cairns Monitor“. Subsequent, just some hundred metres up the street, you’ll come to an apparent fork. Take the precise fork and comply with this unsealed street for six.6 KM earlier than arriving at a really apparent automotive par with an indication: “Windin Falls”.

RELATED POST: Cairns Hikes: 36 Finest Hikes

Discovering the Monitor

The trailhead to West Mulgrave Falls begins about 100 metres up the Windin Falls monitor however is unmarked and fairly troublesome to identify initially. My finest recommendation is to simply comply with the extensive Windin Falls Monitor whereas maintaining a watch out for a monitor within the bush to your proper. This monitor is usually overgrown with grass so it may be troublesome to identify. Beneath, you’ll discover the GPS coordinates for the West Mulgrave Falls trailhead, and when you hold scrolling, a GPX file that you may comply with that can assist you navigate.

Automotive Park GPS Coordinates: 17°21’50.6″S 145°44’59.6″E
West Mulgrave Falls Trailhead: 17°21’49.3″S 145°45’05.9″E

The West Mulgrave Falls Hike

Period: 4-5 hours return

Elevation: 535M whole achieve (most on the best way again)

The West Mulgrave Falls hike is taken into account troublesome, each by way of navigation and bodily effort. You’ll positively must have bush expertise and a respectable stage of health to achieve this waterfall.

The monitor is overgrown in sections and is extra of a basic “route” than a worn mountaineering path. Nonetheless, there are well-marked pink and orange ribbons on the bushes which can be an important navigation instrument. My recommendation is to obtain this weblog submit for offline use (there isn’t any reception on the monitor) or obtain the GPX file under to complement the ribbons for navigation. This GPX monitor is the one which I recorded on my journey to the falls. Tracks and circumstances typically change within the Moist Tropics, so do not forget that it ought to solely be used as a basic support and never a major technique of navigation.

The route right down to West Mulgrave Falls crosses via dense tropical rainforest earlier than descending steeply down the gorge. As soon as on the base, hikers will comply with a creek all the best way to the waterfall. There are two knee-height creek crossing sections which can be pretty straightforward to handle, assuming common circumstances (can change quickly). Please don’t try and cross any rivers following heavy rainfall or any that you just aren’t snug with and solely accomplish that at your individual danger and judgement.

Mountain climbing Information

Beneath I’ll element a route primarily based on expertise on the West Mulgrave Falls hike. This may show to be a useful support so that you can full the stroll safely.

First Part: Flat However Difficult to Navigate

Start the West Mulgrave Falls hike by selecting up the overgrown, grassy path in your proper, just some hundred metres from the beginning of the Windin Falls monitor. Traverse via the lengthy grass because the monitor follows the sting of a fenced cattle property.

This primary part is without doubt one of the most troublesome to navigate because of the lack of ribbons. Additionally, the monitor just about disappears after getting into the rainforest, so the GPX map under could be helpful right here. In the event you wrestle with navigating this part, then it’s signal that you just’re ill-prepared for the hike.


Proceed following the route via the rainforest on comfortable and root-filled undergrowth. Maintain a watch out for ribbons as you go. This part is pretty dense however you received’t must do a lot bush bashing. Finally, the ribbons lead you to a wider, apparent monitor after which again into the bush.

This primary, flat part earlier than the descent may be very serene and can provide what I consider to be an actual slice of Tropical Far North Queensland’s historical rainforests. After roughly 3 kilometres, you’ll start the very steep descent right down to the bottom of the gorge.

Observe the pink ribbons

The Descent

Put together your legs up as you make your manner down the steep and slippery 40-degree gradient for nearly a kilometer as you descend roughly 250 metres to the bottom of the creek.

This half is simple to comply with however there are pink ribbons each 5 metres or so. In case you are as much as it, proceed down and push ideas of the return climb to the again of your thoughts, for now.


Following the Creek to West Mulgrave Falls

When you arrive on the base of the creek, the monitor opens as much as a broad and really scenic rainforest oasis. You possibly can fill your water bottle right here (take into account filtering) and there may be even a small waterfall just some hundred metres upstream.

Subsequent, comply with the pink ribbons to the opposite facet of the creek. There are a number of spots that have been appropriate for crossing throughout my go to. Nonetheless, we needed to take our sneakers off because the rocks have been too slippery to leap throughout. Once more, it has been raining closely, or if the creek is flowing too exhausting, don’t try and cross.

My water filtration system: Grayl Geopress Water Air purifier


As soon as on the opposite facet of this primary creek crossing, comply with the ribbons into the bush as soon as once more. This last push to the waterfall is full of heavy treefall and wait-a-whiles hanging off seemingly each department, fern and palm.

Not too lengthy after the primary crossing, you’ll attain the second. This creek flows immediately from West Mulgrave Falls and is unquestionably extra highly effective than the primary, so take care and don’t cross if you’re not snug with the circumstances.

Lastly, when you’ve crossed, proceed to comply with the pink ribbons, traversing a slippery boulder discipline with heavy treefall till you lastly see the large, West Mulgrave Falls on the fringe of a spacious clearing.


Hike Information & GPX File

Beneath is a GPX map recorded by my Garmin watch and exhibits the route that I took right down to West Mulgrave Falls. You possibly can obtain the file by clicking the hyperlink under.

This useful resource can be very useful in case you lose monitor of the ribbon path markers. Nonetheless, don’t depend on it as a major technique of navigation. Additionally, tracks change and the creek crossing sections that I took won’t be appropriate whenever you go. So, use your individual judgment and don’t blindly comply with what you discover on-line.

GPX File: Obtain

My Strava: Go to

What to Anticipate at West Mulgrave Falls

As quickly as I arrived at West Mulgrave Falls, I used to be blown away. Having not seen an excessive amount of data on-line and even photos of the waterfall earlier than, the reward was positively well worth the stroll!

It’s troublesome to say how tall the West Mulgrave waterfall is, however I’d say it’s at the least 60 metres tall. The waterfall crashes violently down the virtually vertical cliff face right into a deep, aqua-green pool under. There’s additionally a big boulder on the left facet of the waterfall that makes an awesome vantage level. The waterfall pool extends round this boulder in a piece that was at the least 3 metres deep after I checked the depth. I found that it was doable to leap off this boulder into the pool under, however I made certain to do depth checks first as all the time.


The waterfall pool is the right place to swim and funky off earlier than making ready for the steep climb again to the automotive park. To return, comply with the identical route as you took on the best way in.


Cairns Waterfall Excursions

Tour What’s Included
Waterfall, Wildlife and Rainforest Tour Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa, Dinner Falls, Platypus At Yungaburra, Lake Eacham
Most cost-effective Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Tour Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa, Dinner Falls, Curtain Fig Tree
Atherton Tablelands Waterfalls and Rainforest Day Tour Departing Cairns Crystal Cascades, Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa, Babinda Boulders, Lake Eacham,

Cairns Lodging Information – The place to Keep

Planning a visit to Cairns and questioning the place to base your self? Beneath I’ve listed among the finest choices close to Cairns Esplanade. I’ve additionally written a complete lodging information to Cairns, in addition to a complete Port Douglas Lodging information too.

Crystalbrook Riley – If luxurious and placement are what you’re after, you may’t beat the Crystalrbook Riley. That is the perfect 5-star resort in Cairns and options completely every part you’d anticipate from a Crystalbrook resort.

Tip: Make certain to go as much as Rocco’s Bar on the prime of the Crystalbrook Riley for nice views over Cairns!

girl sunbathing at Crystalbrook Riley resort in Cairns

Rydges Resort – This resort affords glorious bang-for-buck by way of an epic keep for a good value! The situation is ideal, near the esplanade and options embrace three swimming swimming pools, two tennis courts, a jacuzzi, a health centre and even an award-winning restaurant.


Fitzroy Island Resort – In the event you’d slightly sleep out on one of many picturesque Nice Barrier Reef Islands, look no additional than the Fitzroy Island Resort. Whereas you will get out right here on a day journey, I extremely suggest spending the evening so that you get extra time to discover the reef, coral seashores and rainforest strolling trails.


Gilligan’s Backpackers – The very best backpacker possibility for an awesome vibe in Cairns is Gilligan’s Backpackers. That’s as a result of this one has a swimming pool, AC, a whole kitchen and an awesome frequent space to fulfill different travellers.


Extra Hikes and Waterfalls in Cairns & The Tablelands

I hope you discovered this mountaineering information to West Mulgrave Falls helpful in planning your adventures within the Wooroonooran. For extra journey guides, hikes and waterfalls round Cairns, take a look at the checklist under.

In any other case, why not take a look at this mega-guide to the perfect waterfalls in Cairns, or my journey information to visiting Cairns.


For an inventory of all my really useful images gear (together with what I take advantage of and why) take a look at my information to digicam gear for journey.

In the event you’d like to make use of any of the images on this web site, please go to my licensing web page to learn how. I additionally promote skilled fine-art prints, go to my Print Retailer or contact me immediately for customs prints of any pictures on We Search Journey.


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Why not save this information to West Mulgrave Falls for later? Whilst you’re at it, when you comply with We Search Journey on Pinterest, you then’ll be capable to keep within the loop with all the brand new journey guides and blogs.

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