10 waterfalls to photograph in South East Queensland

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Ever since I picked up my DSLR camera three years ago I’ve become obsessed with capturing the beauty and power of waterfalls. There’s nothing more exhilarating, and at the same time calming, than being deep in the heart of a lush rainforest with your camera, freezing in time the cascading movement of a waterfall.

Here are my 10 favourite waterfalls to photograph in South East Queensland.

(Ed’s note: Check out our Top 10 waterfalls in Queensland list here.)

Kondalilla Falls – Kondalilla National Park, Sunshine Coast

Kondalilla Falls, Sunshine Coast by @swaller4

Situated in the scenic hinterland behind the Sunshine Coast, Kondalilla National Park is the perfect sub-tropical hideaway.

Just outside Montville, the park is named after the spectacular Kondalilla Falls, where Skene Creek drops 90 metres into a rainforest valley. Kondalilla, an Aboriginal word meaning ‘rushing waters’, describes this park’s waterfall during the summer wet season.

One of the highlights of the park is these cascades along the Picnic Creek Circuit.

Serenity Falls – Buderim Forest Park, Sunshine Coast

Serenity Falls, Sunshine Coast by @swaller4

Buderim Forest Park is a secluded oasis only a short drive from the centre of the Buderim Village. The jewel of this subtropical paradise is the aptly named Serenity Falls. Plunging into a gorgeous rock pool, Serenity Falls is one of the prettiest and most easily accessible waterfalls on this list. Serenity Bridge, which spans the lower part of the pool, allows views of the falls and the cave behind.

Plunging into a gorgeous rock pool, Serenity Falls is one of the prettiest and most easily accessible waterfalls on this list. Serenity Bridge, which spans the lower part of the pool, allows views of the falls and the cave behind.

JC Slaughter Falls and Simpson Falls – Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane

Simpson Falls

How about two for the price of one! A 10-minute drive from Brisbane’s CBD is Mt Coot-tha Reserve and tucked away in the beautiful surrounds of the eucalypt forest, you’ll find two waterfalls that come to life during the summer’s wet season.

Located not far from each other along Sir Samuel Griffith Drive, JC Slaughter Falls and Simpson Falls are popular spots for barbeques and picnics – there’s even enough room for a game of cricket. But remember, the best time to see the falls in all their splendour is after a decent amount of rain.

Curtis Falls – Mt Tamborine, Gold Coast

Curtis Falls, Mt Tamborine, Gold Coast by @swaller4

Located in the heart of Tamborine Mountain National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland, is the spectacular Curtis Falls.

The Curtis Falls track is a 1.1-kilometre enchanting walk through a wet eucalypt forest, which merges into lush rainforest. The walking track ends at a viewing platform overlooking a large rock pool, with great views of the falls and the surrounding columnar basalt rock face.

Twin Falls – Springbrook National Park, Gold Coast

Twin Falls, Springbrook National Park, Gold Coast by @swaller4

Perched high in the Gold Coast hinterland is Springbrook National Park, a World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia Park, dominated by spectacular waterfalls, cascades and tumbling creeks.

None is more breathtaking and photo-worthy than Twin Falls!

Chalahn, Box Log and Elabana Falls – Lamington National Park, Gold Coast

Chalahn Falls, Lamington National Park by @swaller4

Elabana Falls, Lamington National Park by @swaller4

Rugged mountain scenery, tumbling waterfalls, sub-tropical rainforest, a menagerie of wildlife and some of the best bush walking in Queensland is what makes the Green Mountain section of Lamington National Park one my favourite places in the world. And it’s here you’ll find three of my top 11 waterfalls in South East Queensland.

The Green Mountains section is located on the western side of the Lamington Plateau in an area called O’Reilly. Access to all of these waterfalls starts at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, a privately-owned resort, located at the end of Lamington National Park Road.

Elabana Falls (above) is easily the most photographed in the park and it’s not hard to see why. For the more adventurous, follow the stunning Tooloona Creek Circuit up the gorge alongside Toolona Creek to the breathtaking Chalahn Falls. Perhaps my favourite falls to photograph in the park. Just downstream and equally spectacular is Box Log Falls. See if you can spot the Lamington Spiny Crayfish in the picture below!

Box Log Falls, Lamington National Park by @swaller4

Brown’s Falls – Main Range National Park, Southern Queensland Country

Brown's Falls, Main Range National Park by @swaller4

Two hours south-west of Brisbane or half an hour from Warwick is Main Range National Park, home to my favourite waterfall in South East Queensland, Brown Falls.

Just outside the township of Killarney along the aptly named Falls Drive you’ll discover four beautiful waterfalls – Queen Mary, Daggs, Teviot and Browns Falls.

Access to the falls is possible by walking the (sometimes tricky) 600 metres up the creek from the Browns Picnic Area. But believe me, you will be rewarded with the stunning sight of water plunging 15 metres over basalt columns into the valley below.

Now it’s your turn to tell us your favourite waterfall in Queensland! Let us know in the comments below.

  • Kaylah Buckman

    We always tend to end up at Natural Bridge or Purlingbrook Falls in Springbrook National Park or Gardeners Falls on the Sunshine Coast when we chase waterfalls. Definitely need to widen our range!

    • Nikolas Zane

      Purling Brook and Natural Arch are definitely well worth visiting. Natural Arch is magical at dusk when the glow worms come out. Certainly a few in this post I need to visit!

  • Carolyn Shaw

    Absolutely enthralled with the images you have captured. Capturing beauty in the every day, in nature. Very inspiring works. Love the Twin Falls walk with my young lads, year after year. One of those special family places we visit now and again, and brings us back to a core of what is truly amazing, and what we should have gratitude for in our lives. Always shifts one’s perspectives.

  • Kate McAuliffe

    If you have teen and tween kids who are adventurous and love climbing rocks, Purlingbrook falls at Springbrook National Park is great, and you can take some magical portrait photographs with truly breathtaking backdrops

  • Tharindu Rathnayake

    Thanks for all the beautiful pictures. We are planning for a trip to Queensland probably in November and was wondering whether it is a good time of the year to visit these beauties. Could you please give me some details on it.

    • Hi Tharindu we hope you have an amazing trip in November! The waterfalls in South East Queensland are best seen after a summer rain between November and February. Just be sure to check the National Parks website after any particularly heavy rain to check for path closures etc. That being said, some are excellent year ’round! It just depends on rainfall.

      • Tharindu Rathnayake

        Thanks a lot for the information provided. Hopefully it’ll be a great trip 🙂