9 places to fall in love under the falls this Valentine’s Day
In Queensland, Valentine’s Day is at the end of summer. Coincidentally, that may be why the term “having the hots for someone” was invented. But we digress.
While the weather may be perfect for beach dates, romantic road trips (with the top down) and all things adventure, it can get stinking hot. We’re talking upwards of 40 degrees in some places. Ouch!
You’re probably thinking “screw being outdoors this V-Day”, and we don’t blame you. But, before you rush off to book a poorly lit restaurant or a movie that both of you agree isn’t cinema-worthy, imagine cooling off under cascading falls, floating weightlessly and swimming in rejuvenating fresh water.
That’s right, you can still have an outdoor adventure and keep cool at the same time.
So, ditch the rose for the great outdoors and treat your valentine to a date under these falls.
Millaa Millaa Falls, Tropical North Queensland
Channel your inner Peter Andre and woo your date by dancing in front of the flowing falls of Millaa Millaa in Tropical North Queensland. Just a 1.5hr drive from Cairns, you’ll find Millaa Millaa in the Atherton Tablelands.
Warning: you will pass other fresh water holes and waterfalls on the way (because hey, this region is riddled with them). However, hold out to see your date’s eyes light up when Millaa Milla’s movie-quality falls transports them to exotic Thailand.
Wallaman Falls, Townsville North Queensland
Profess your never-ending love under Wallaman’s never-ending falls. This beauty is Australia’s highest permanent single drop waterfall and it runs all year round, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. And just like the complexities of love, Wallaman Falls isn’t a walk in the park. In fact, it’s a hike and a-bit-of-bouldering to reach the pool at the bottom. So, help your date lace up their boots and trek the 4 km course together.
For the not-so-keen hikers, see the falls (and its 268m drop) from the lookout near the car park instead. To get to Wallaman Falls, it’s a 2.5hr drive north-west from Townsville or a 1hr drive west from Ingham.
Josephine Falls, Tropical North Queensland
Slide down a natural water slide and into each other’s arms (aww), what could be more romantic? The boulders at Josephine Falls are a natural waterpark where you and your valentine can be big kids and swing on thick vines, splash in the pool and enjoy each other’s company. You’ll find Jo about an hour south of Cairns, in the Wooroonooran National Park.
Morans Falls, Lamington National Park
If you’re looking for the perfect spot to exhale and reflect on an amazing Valentine’s Day, head to Morans Falls in the afternoon. It’s just a 1.5hr drive from the Gold Coast, or a 2hr road trip from Brisbane.
Babinda Boulders, Tropical North Queensland
A tale of forbidden love makes Babinda Boulders a very special spot to spend V-Day. Legend has it that a young Aboriginal woman named Oolana was forced to marry an older man, whom she had no feelings for. And, when a wandering tribe arrived, she found love at first sight with a handsome man named Dyga. They met every night until their tribes uncovered their secret. Disappointed, Dyga’s tribe took him far away. In pain and anguish, Oolana threw herself into the water creating an upheaval. Huge boulders emerged from the earth and she disappeared.
When you visit Babinda Boulders with your date, please refrain from swimming in Devil’s Pool. Stick to the main swimming area, it’s close to the car park and is very accessible.
Because the water runs straight from the tablelands, it’s fresh and slightly chilly, but on a balmy Valentine’s Day, all you’ll want to do is dive in.
Ellinjaa Falls, Tropical North Queensland
Beautiful from every angle, Ellinjaa Falls is arguably one of the best falls along the Atherton Tablelands waterfall circuit. Complete with natural props for stunning photos (like the large log directly in front of the falls), it’s perfect for professional and budding photographers to get creative. Capture moments from your Valentine’s Day that you’ll cherish for years to come and don’t forget to take a romantic selfie on the hidden ledge under the falls.
You’ll find Ellinjaa Falls about a 1.5hr drive from Cairns and at the bottom of a lush rainforest staircase.
Cedar Creek Falls, Airlie Beach
Gift your date a giant
teddy inflatable swan and then drive 30minutes inland from Airlie Beach. Take a left on Conway Beach Road and drive about 7km into the Whitsunday Coast hinterland (you can’t miss it). Here you’ll find the oasis that is Cedar Creek Falls. Complete with resident turtles and fish, this natural rock amphitheatre is a cool spot to chill and float-it-like-it’s-hot.
Stoney Creek Falls, Fairy Falls or Crystal Cascades, Tropical North Queensland
If you’re planning an itinerary for the big day and are pulling out all the stops, you need a waterfall on that schedule. And, the best place to go is Stoney Creek Falls, Fairy Falls or Crystal Cascades. These three local faves are only 15minutes from Cairns city and they’re perfect for a quick dip and hot Insta photos.
Mena Creek Falls at Paronella Park, Tropical North Queensland
Swoon your valentine and set a high bar for all Valentine’s Days to come with a day trip to Paronella Park, just a 1.5hr drive from Cairns.
The romantic history behind Paronella is a tear jerker (the happy kind) and you can learn all about it arm-in-arm with your #bae on a tour. Or, you can read about it here.
In short, after arriving in 1913, Spanish cane farmer Jose Paronella had a dream to build a large house on a five-hectare virgin plot of land in Tropical North Queensland. Before getting started, Jose returned to Catalonia and married his wife Margarita. Together they returned to Queensland where Jose brought his vision to life.
For anyone who’s read or watched The Notebook, Jose and Margarita are basically the real-life Noah and Allie. And, instead of a big white house with blue shutters, Jose built his wife a Spanish castle surrounded by a tropical rainforest and an accompanying waterfall. How’s that for an act of love?
Psst! If you’re planning to go all the way and pop the big question (hint hint), Paronella Park is the perfect place to do it.
Need more waterfall options? Check these out:
- Here’s a list of Queensland’s best waterfalls
- Here are the top 10 waterfalls in Tropical North Queensland
- Here are the best waterfalls and water holes near Brisbane
- Here are the top 5 waterfalls on the Sunshine Coast