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24 December, 2022

The ultimate guide to swimming spots this summer

It’s warming up in the Far North and nothing beats the heat quite like a swim at your favourite local spot. Mareeba and the Atherton Tablelands have some of the best swimming spots in the state and The Express has complied the ultimate waterfall circuit to follow this summer.

By Ellie Fink


Check out our map to see the location of all these landmarks @ 

Emerald Creek Falls

One of Mareeba’s most photographed at-tractions – Emerald Creek is one of the most popular spots for families to take a dip on a summery hot day.

Although the iconic waterfall is the best place for a swim, there are several spots along the walking track that are perfect to sit back and relax at.

Emerald Creek is a place for the whole family to enjoy with a spot that caters to every need from the car park to the waterfall.

The walk to the major waterfall is uphill and requires visitors to jump over streams and walk on slippery rocks but the river from the car park is easy to access.

Lake Eacham


Lake Eacham is a classic swimming spot for all the ages and is one of the Atherton Table-land’s greatest treasures.

The giant crystal blue crater is a quick 10 minute drive east of Yungaburra and is the perfect spot for a cool dip.

There is more to explore with an easy 3km nature walk around the lake with arching fig trees, windows to the water and unique ani-mals around every corner.

From the viewing platforms, visitors can spot the resident freshwater turtles, the doz-ens of species of fish or maybe even the resi-dent freshwater crocodile.

Lake Eacham is national park, so domestic animals and fishing are not permitted.

Dinner Falls


Located on the walk to the Mt Hypipamee Crater, Dinner Falls is a refreshing dip with a spectacular view.

A freshwater paradise, Dinner Falls is just a short walk from the Hypipamee car park and is great for swimmers of all abilities.

The swimming hole is dammed off, allow-ing a deeper swim and more space to set up a picnic “dinner” next to the water.

Dinner Falls is the starting point for the Barron River, with the three waterfalls cas-cading down to connect the lower Tablelands with the ocean beyond.

The track is made of gravel and can be slippery, but it is an easy walk from the car park.

Halls Falls


One of the Tablelands best secret spots, Halls Fall is located on the mountainside in the Herberton Range National Park.

The rocks pools amongst the waterfalls are some of the most refreshing on the Table-lands according to reviews online, especially after the hike to get there.

It is 15 minutes from the car park, locates on East Hill Road in Upper Barron, on a “relatively easy but beaten track” and is mostly shaded along the way.

There is limited mobile service on the track so make sure to plan ahead and keep to the track.

Davies Creek Falls

Nothing is more magical then relaxing in the infinity pool at Davies Creek Falls and taking in the beautiful scenery.

Davies Creek is located 10 minutes from Mareeba on the way to Cairns and has a vari-ety of swimming spots heading up the infinity pool.

This wonderful cool spot caters to every-one in the family, with rocks to slide down, sandy banks to lounge on and shady trees to relax under.

The track to Davies Creek is rocky and wouldn’t suit a small car.

Nandroya falls


An iconic single streamed waterfall located near the Palmerston Highway – Nandroya Falls is worth the hike to see.

Visitors can explore the thick heritage-listed rainforest on the way to the falls as well as other little falls along the way.

Hikers can park their car at the Henrietta Campground before they hit one of two walk-ing tracks to the falls.

The overall hike should take 40 minutes each way but take your time to explore Silver Falls and the lower falls along the way.

Explorers should be aware the hike to the falls can be tricky and the path is narrow.

Millaa Millaa Falls



Millaa Millaa Falls has been dubbed one of the most photographed falls in Australia and it is easy to see why!

Swimming in the waterhole is like swim-ming in fairyland, with the falls above glistening in the sunlight, turtles lounging on the logs nearby and the native birds and insects chirping.

Located on Theresa Creek Road, getting to the iconic attraction is simple and easy. Further up the road are also two other won-derful waterfalls to explore.

The falls are easy to access from the car park and are great for young kids to explore and has facilities available to use.

Ellinjaa Falls


Just up the road from its iconic sister Millaa Millaa Falls is the magical Ellinjaa Falls.

This waterfall is just as spectacular as the rest, with the sound of water rushing over a series of lava columns and a hidden cave be-hind the falls for strong swimmers to discover.

This falls as little room to set up a picnic but is perfect for a family day out with shallow and deep spots.

Ellinjaa Falls is on the same road as Millaa Millaa Falls and is accessible to everyone.

Zillie Falls


Another sister of Millaa Millaa Falls is Zillie Falls.

This waterfall can be seen from a viewing platform across the road from the car park with only locals and curious visitors finding the steep track down to the base of the falls for a swim.

At the bottom of the track, there is a small swimming hole under the falls for strong swimmers to enjoy a cool off.

This track is definitely not recommended to anyone who aren’t experiences with steep slopes and avoiding waitawhile plants.

The view from the balcony is one hard to forget as the water rushes to the river below with such beauty.

Malanda Falls


Located at the western entrance to the small town, Malanda Falls is a picturesque spot for everyone to enjoy.

The falls is easy to access from the infor-mation centre car park and great for parents with excitable kids.

Picnic tables and other facilities as well as a café are available at the attraction to cater to every swimmer.

If you look carefully in the water, you might be able to spot a turtle or two walking along the bottom of the swimming hole.

Innot Hot Springs

Innot Hot Springs is located just outside Mount Garnett and is home to a natural volcanic hot spring for people to sit back and relax in.

The volcanic minerals will help relax the muscles of visitors and help you feel re-freshed and revitalised.

Located on Nettle Creek, it doesn’t look like it when you approach it but it is actually a naturally-heated geothermic pool.

Lake Tinaroo


There are plenty of spots around Lake Tinaroo that are perfect for a dip on a warm summer’s day.

Whilst Tinaroo is well-known for its water-skiing and fishing culture, it is great to jump in for a swim so long as you are wary of your surroundings.

One of the best spots to jump in is across from the caravan park. The day use area has a playground, picnic area and plenty of shade


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