Where is it: Obi Sth Lane, Maleny, Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Why we love it: A creek, waterfalls and swimming hole in the beautiful location of Maleny - whats not to love?
Tell me more: Gardner's Falls are a nice set of small cascading waterfalls and waterholes along the Obi Obi Creek at Maleny. Very easy to access - you park right on the edge of the creek - and situated really close to the picturesque village of Maleny, this is a really popular spot for a swim or just for a bit of sightseeing! Upon parking at the small carpark, it’s only a couple of minutes’ walk to the gently cascading falls. Above the falls there are lots of large, exposed rocks that you can wander over and explore – however take care as these can get quite slippery as well! The water falls into a large-ish waterhole which is great for swimming. It has a rocky base (which again, can be a little slippery) and at the downstream end of the waterhole it is reasonably shallow so the kids can play around in this area. Closer to the actual waterfall, the water is deep and you will see lots of people either jumping off the top of the falls (it’s only a couple of metres) or even swinging out of trees! It’s a lovely spot to visit – easy to get to (no hiking through kilometres of bushland) and the water is generally cool and clear! As it seems to be with a lot of popular, public areas, you will find a little bit of rubbish around although the locals do a great job of trying to stay on top of this! Well worth a visit!
Amenities: There's a long-drop toilet at the carpark area, but hold your breath! 👍👍
Parking: A small gravel carpark that fills up quickly! Some parking along the access road as well! 👍👍
Access: A gravel track leads to the waterfalls and waterhole, but once you get to the waterfalls area the track gets a little rough! Overall it's a very accessible waterhole! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: Everyone can enjoy this, however we think that kids 5 and over would have the most fun! 👍👍👍
Summary: A beautiful waterhole in a beautiful location! It's great for sightseeing or for swimming - however it's popularity is it's only downside as there is a bit of rubbish around and can get crowded at times! 👍👍👍
Hints: Plan to spend some time in the area - Maleny really is a beautiful location! And if heading up on a weekend, expect it to be busy!
Where is it: Kondalilla Falls Road, Montville
Why we love it: A walk through beautiful rainforest that leads to a really nice waterhole and impressive waterfall!
Tell me more: About 1 and a half - 2 hours’ drive north from Brisbane, up in the crisp air of the beautiful little village of Montville, you will find Kondalilla National Park and within the park, it's swimming hole and waterfall. It's a sealed road directly to the carpark so it's really easy to get this far, but as with most swimming spots around Brisbane, it can get a little crowded in the summer months. Be aware that it is a little bit of a walk to get to the falls and due to a number of stairs, it's certainly not a walk suitable for prams or strollers. As you start your walk (the walk starts with a stairs) you will be led straight to the pleasantly relaxing picnic area with tables and chairs and plenty of lush grass. As tempting as it may be to pull up stumps here, you'd be missing out on one of the more rewarding short bush walks that we have done in the area! The walk takes around half an hour to get to the falls, but it is a relatively easy and enjoyable walk through the forest.
There are sections of boardwalk and a couple of different paths on the circuit so that you can have some alternative scenery on the way back. There's also a really nice lookout on the way with is a great spot to stop for a photo (and a breather!)! This walk will lead you to the top of Kondalila Falls, where there is a large waterhole fed by a smaller waterfall. The water was nice and crisp (bordering on cold!) when we visited in the middle of summer, so it's an awesome reward after a bit of exercise! Keep in mind that it's a reasonably deep waterhole and with no shallow areas so it's probably not the best place for the younger kids or anyone with limited swimming abilities. Nonetheless, it's still a really picturesque spot and worth the visit regardless of whether you wish to swim or not. When we visited, the stairs running down to the base of the falls were damaged and not opened so we could not get down to see the falls proper, which based on the pictures that we have seen of the falls, was disappointing (although we were glad not to have to return up the 100+ stairs!) as it looks very impressive! Overall, our visit to Kondalila National Park was very rewarding and certainly worthwhile.
Amenities: There is a toilet block at the picnic area but not at the falls! 👍👍
Parking: A sealed parking area, that filled quickly on the day that we visited! 👍👍👍
Access: A reasonable but very rewarding walk from the carpark. A number of stairs mean that prams may not be an option! 👍👍
Best for: If you intend on swimming, probably best for those 7 and over! 👍👍👍
Summary: A beautiful walk and forest and a great (but cold!) swimming hole! Throw in some more than impressive views and it makes for a great day out bushwalking! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: Make use of the picnic area to recover after walking back from the falls!
Brisbane Family Explorers