Do an internet search for 'Cedar Creek Brisbane' and you will find two different Cedar Creeks - one in the Samford Valley area north west of Brisbane, and the other to the south of Beenleigh, near Mt Tamborine (there may even be other Cedar Creeks out there that we haven't found yet!). From the search, both would seem equally inviting and interesting to explore and so it was essentially a coin-toss moment for us to decide which one we went to. For this expedition we decided to visit the southern Cedar Creek. We knew from the fact that this creek is at Tamborine - which we know is a beautiful spot - that we would be in for a treat!
About an hour's drive south of Brisbane and up some really nice, winding roads - just through the village of Tamborine - you will find Cedar Creek Falls, part of the Tamborine National Park. Along Tamborine Mountain Road you will need to turn off into Cedar Creek Falls Road to get to the falls area. There is a fully sealed access road and car park right next to the picnic area. We arrived reasonably early, around 8:30am and had no troubles finding a park, however the parking spaces are limited and it did fill up quite quickly. The parking area is close to residential properties so there are signs to advise to keep noise to a minimum. There is also a gate which restricts access after dark.
There are toilets at the car park area and as I am sure all parents understand, it is best to make use of these before heading off as there are no other toilets along the way. The car park leads directly into the picnic area which has lots of open grassed area, tables and chairs and barbeques. A path runs through the picnic area through to the track to the falls. Along the track to the falls there is a lookout with some impressive views and is a great vantage point for photos. You can get to the lookout with a pram without any trouble.
The falls themselves are at the end of a moderate walk further along the path and down some stairs (I think around 35 stairs in total?). The total walk time from the picnic area is about 15 minutes. The path is in good condition, however you should note that the stairs to get down to the falls pretty much rules prams out past the first lookout. We did see one family carry there pram down, but seriously, I really doubt that it is worth the trouble. As with any little trek away from your car with kids, you will need to be a little prepared. In this case, it is simply not convenient to race back to the car or the toilet. We packed as light as we could, which meant towels, water, sunscreen, nappy change, hats and some snacks. We also like to take insect repellent wherever we go just to be safe, although we didn't have any real trouble with insects on this visit.
Once you get down to the falls and waterholes, you will need to leave the path if you want to get your feet wet. The access is rocky and reasonably steep and definitely not for everyone - you really do need to take a bit of care in getting down, especially with kids. Once you are down at the water there is a good mix of shallow areas, deep waterholes and cascading water - you will need to keep a close eye on the little kids but there are some definite areas where they can get in the water and explore! Be aware that there can be restrictions on access to the water - check with National Parks prior to setting off on your adventure!
We visited on a warm day and this area’s popularity showed - the number of people coming down for a swim really picked up as the temperature increased, and who could blame them! The water is nice and cool and its a great spot to visit! On the downside, this really is a beautiful and scenic area, so it was a little disappointing that when we visited there was a bit of rubbish around the swimming holes - I really don't know why can't people take their rubbish away with them? The little kids didn't seem to notice, and it wasn't to the point that it felt unhygienic or unsafe (we didn't see any broken glass), but it was noticeable compared to other parks we have visited.
Amenities: Toilets and picnic area with tables at the car park area, nothing down at the falls 👍👍👍
Cost: No entrance fee so only transport costs and your picnic! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: As it is a very popular spot, parking could be challenging on a nice summer's day - you will need to get in early! 👍👍
Access: The access is good, the track well sealed and handrails along the way. You can take a pram to the lookout, but not down to the falls due to the stairs. 👍👍👍
Entertainment: The falls are really nice to look at, great waterholes and a nice grassy picnic area as well! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: A bit much for toddlers 👍👍, but for bigger kids 👍👍👍👍
Wildlife: Nothing much to report here, some kookaburras around the picnic area and some lizards on the track, but then again we weren’t looking too hard! 👍👍
Summary: This is a really picturesque area, however might be a bit of a challenge for some if your aim is to get into the water. Definitely worth a visit and certainly more attractive for older kids! With our little kids we give it 3 thumbs up 👍👍👍
Hints: Make the most of your visit by checking out some of Tamborine's other attractions!
Brisbane Family Explorers