Being 268 meters high, Wallaman Falls is the tallest single-drop waterfall in Australia. Though we were roadtripping along the coastline, some places were worth a detour from time to time, and Wallaman Falls is definitely one of them.
It’s not just the waterfall itself that’s special here. Girringun National Park is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, home to the oldest rainforest on the planet, and also to many ancient plants and rare animals. It’s an untouched, mysterious world.
Three lookouts, fabulous views
Having a view of Wallaman Falls doesn’t even require a hike. Two lookouts are located right by the day use area accessible from Wallaman Falls Lookout Road. Both the main lookout and the Herbert River Valley lookout provide stunning views of the large waterfall and the gorge.
Does it mean there’s no hiking trail here? Nooo. Of course, you can hike. Djyinda track is a short, but somewhat steep way down to the third lookout at the bottom of Wallaman Falls. We liked this one the best. First of all, we hiked in the rainforest to reach it – and it was our very first hike in the Wet Tropics. But also, looking up at Wallaman Falls from the bottom lookout made us appreciate its true size. And it was the best spot to gaze at the ever-changing rainbows in the mist.
|Hiking info: Djyinda track|
The Turtle Walk, a nice addition
After seeing Wallaman Falls from every possible angle, we stopped at a nearby campground to do the nice and short Banggurru Walk. Banggurru actually means turtle, and this track follows Stony Creek upstream. It’s about 0.8 kilometres, and the most exciting thing here is the rock pool where you can see turtles or sometimes catch a glimpse of a platypus. If you’re lucky. We haven’t seen a platypus in the wild anywhere in Australia – but we did see one in a sanctuary.
Respect the rainforest
We got somewhat intimidated right at the beginning of our hike down to the falls. Though we should have gotten used to the warning signs about why exactly we could die or get injured at a certain place by then (just kidding… but I mean, warning signs are really properly displayed everywhere where it’s appropriate), we still haven’t expected plants to be harmful.
Now at the beginning of Djyinda track we were warned not to touch a plant named X (you bet, we don’t remember its name) that is recognizable by its heart-shaped green leaves, because it can cause headache and bad skin irritation for weeks. Uhm, suddenly all the green leaves – and there are some in a rainforest – started to look heart-shaped. 😛
Needless to say, we returned to our car unharmed. Actually, what we really wanted to tell you with this short episode is that you shouldn’t touch (least eat) any plant you are not familiar with. Of course, you shouldn’t do it anyway, but especially not in a rainforest.
Useful information before you visit
Girringun National Park is about 2 hours drive from Townsville. There’s no entry free, and the day use area is really nice with toilets and picnic tables. It’s worth checking the official website of the national park for current weather conditions and park maps before you go.
Which is the tallest waterfall you’ve seen?
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