10 waterfalls to photograph in South East Queensland
There’s something incredibly soothing about waterfalls. The heavy, assuring sound of litre after litre cascading in a never ending deluge is a special gift from nature – perfect for swimming, snapping and spotting from a distance.
Whether you’re looking for a good swimming hole with lush rainforest, a waterfall to photograph up close, or the most photogenic ‘fall of all, we’ll show you some breathtaking waterfalls in South East Queensland to call your own.
Grab your phone, DSLR or film rolls (plus a tripod) and come waterfall chasing with us.
Kondalilla Falls – Kondalilla National Park, Sunshine Coast
This waterfall on the Sunshine Coast has you covered if you’re wanting a little warm-up before submerging yourself in its refreshing rockpool. To reach it you need to walk about 100m downhill with steps – and for the more adventurous, there’s the Kondalilla Falls walking circuit totalling a round trip of 4.7km, so sensible shoes are a given.
The 90 metre drop into the rainforest valley below (or above) is definitely worth the extra steps, so whether you’re looking out or looking up, there’s a jaw-dropping moment from both angles.
Photo opps: No matter which way you’re looking at it, the falls from above or below are the money shot. Why not try and snap both?
Bonus nature shot: Try to spot one of the 107 bird species that call the park home, or the rare Pouched Frog.
Serenity Falls – Buderim Forest Park, Sunshine Coast
Ah, the serenity. Tranquil by name (and by nature), Serenity Falls is the jewel of the subtropical paradise of Buderim Forest Park.
Plunging into a gorgeous rock pool, this fall is one of the prettiest and most accessible.
Photo opps: Be sure to journey down Serenity Bridge which spans the lower part of the pool and a panoramic view of the falls and the cave behind.
JC Slaughter Falls and Simpson Falls – Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane
For those travelling from Brisbane who don’t want to venture too far for one of the top waterfalls in South East Queensland to snap, we’ve got you covered. JC Slaughter Falls and Simpson Falls are both located in Mt Coot-tha Reserve, nestled in a eucalyptus forest.
Photo opps: Try to time your photography session after a downpour for an ultra-lush wet rainforest feel in your photos.
Curtis Falls – Mt Tamborine, Gold Coast
Seemingly taken from deep in Cambodian jungle with its winding steps and concrete bridges over water, the Curtis Falls circuit covers off nature’s wonders like a shopping list: canopy rainforests, the grand falls themselves, and a viewing platform from which to stare in awe and set up the perfect shot.
Although swimming in the rock isn’t permitted due to the protected platypus and glow worms in the area (a night walk is a must to see them), you can watch the local turtles, fish and eels enjoying themselves and practice your macro photo skills.
Photo opps: From the viewing platform, get the rockpool and cascading water all in one shot.
Twin Falls – Springbrook National Park, Gold Coast
As far as waterfalls in South East Queensland go, you’ve got your pick of the bunch. Nestled in Springbrook National Park, Twin Falls offers twice the beauty to behold. Part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, this site is as extra special as it gets.
Photo opps: Photograph from the middle of the falls for a perfectly symmetrical shot.
Chalahn and Elabana Falls – Lamington National Park, Gold Coast
Elabana Falls (above) is easily the most photographed in the park and it’s not hard to see why.
A visual oasis of breathtaking bushwalks, mountainous ranges, subtropical rainforest for good measure and of course some spectacular waterfalls.
To see four falls in one go, take the Toolona Creek circuit which covers Chalahn Falls, Elabana Falls, Toolona Falls and Toolona Creek Cascades – all 17.4 kilometres of them, about 6 hours walking time. Take it at a stroll if you’d like to stop to indulge in all the eye candy, but start clicking immediately because you’re going to want to capture everything.
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.
Photo opps: Perch your tripod at a lower angle to capture the sweeping view from mossy rocks to plunge pool to rainforest to waterfall cascade. To capture the smooth flowing water as mist, set your shutter speed to the lowest ISO, then an aperture number between f11 and f18 to get all that luscious rainforest light in.