THE AMAZING ZILLIE FALLS IN QUEENSLAND – TRAVEL GUIDE

zillie falls, waterfall circuit cairns

Zillie Falls is up there with one of the best waterfalls in Australia. These spectacular falls form part of the Waterfall Circuit along with Millaa Millaa Falls and Ellinjaa Falls in Wooroonooran National Park, Queensland.

Less than 2 hours drive from Cairns, Zillie Falls is surrounded by lush bush life, offers picnic areas for lunch, and boasts epic views of these cascading falls. A spot that is absolutely not to be missed on your East Coast Australia itinerary!

I have put together this extensive guide of Zillie Falls including how to get there, everything to see and do whilst you’re there, tips on the best time to visit, and a bit about the Zille Falls Trail.

 

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WHERE IS ZILLIE FALLS

Zillie Falls can be found near the town of Millaa Millaa in Atherton Tablelands in Queensland, Australia.

→ Click here to see the location on Google Maps

Zillie Falls is approximately a 100km drive southwest of Cairns, taking around 1 hour 45 minutes.

When you reach Wooroonooran National Park, the falls are located just east of the Bluff Forest Reserve and it’s the middle set of falls along the Waterfall Circuit. 

El Van 24On the way to Zillie Falls

 

HOW TO GET TO ZILLIE FALLS

There are a couple of options when searching for how to get to Zillie Falls and they are DIY or with a tour.

OPTION 1 – DIY

My main recommendation for getting to Zillie Falls will be to drive. It’s pretty remote from other towns so I would definitely recommend hiring a car or making the drive out in your own vehicle.

If you’re staying in Cairns, Zillie Falls and the Waterfall Circuit is the perfect day out. From Cairns, it’s pretty much three roads all the way to Zillie Falls. The A1, Highway 52 then Highway 25.

Head for Millaa Millaa because as I mentioned, Zillie Falls is on the Waterfall Circuit – you can’t miss it.

There is plenty of free parking spaces at the falls so you’ll have somewhere safe to park your car for an hour or so while you’re off exploring these incredible falls.

Search All → Car Rentals in Cairns

 

OPTION 2 – ZILLIE FALLS TOUR

If you decide to take a tour, there isn’t one specific to Zillie Falls but there is a tour that you can book on Get Your Guide which is a full-day tour from Cairns to Atherton Tablelands.

This guided tour includes return transfers from your accommodation in Cairns and a visit to a number of awesome locations such as Lake Eacham, Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa Falls, and Zillie Falls.

You will get a comprehensive tour of Atherton Tablelands and time to swim at the waterfalls, explore the beautiful rainforest, and get a taste of what Tropical North Queensland has to offer!

 

 

zillie falls, waterfall circuit cairnsZillie Falls Cairns

 

BEST TIME TO VISIT ZILLIE FALLS

Zillie Falls is a permanent waterfall, open all year round. The best months to visit are between December and March which is the wet season in North Queensland.

The middle of the day is usually the busiest time to visit so if you’re wanting to avoid the crowds, head out either early morning or later on in the afternoon.

Also, keep in mind that if you’re heading out early morning or later in the day, the roads might be slightly harder to navigate with the lack of light.

 

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ARRIVING AT ZILLIE FALLS

When arriving at the car park to Zillie Falls, there is a short walk which is signposted across the road from the car park. It will lead you to the lookout area, providing you with an epic view from the top of the waterfall.

This is as far as the main track will take you, however, keep reading to hear about the Zillie Falls Trail. When wet, this pathway can be pretty muddy and quite slippy. So if it’s been raining, I would suggest taking your boots… especially if you plan on trying to get to the base of the waterfall.

zillie falls, waterfall circuit cairnsThe parking lot

zillie falls, waterfall circuit cairnsClear signage at the falls

zillie falls, waterfall circuit cairnsThe lookout at the top of the falls

 

ZILLIE FALLS TRAIL

As I previously mentioned, the main tourist track of Zillie Falls stops at the top of the waterfall, opposite the car park.

However, to get down to the base of the falls you’ll see there is a slight opening, which once passed reveals a wider track. This isn’t an official QLD Parks Track as there seem to be no signposting or ribbons in the trees and it’s pretty hard to spot.

If you’re wanting to escape the crowds and view Zillie Falls from a different perspective, I would definitely head down here. Due to the trail being a bit harder to find, most people actually miss it.

The trail itself will get you to the base of the waterfall in around 10 minutes, depending on your capability.

Keep an eye out for the local Australian wildlife that might be lurking. There will also be a lot of low-hanging vines and when wet it’s quite a muddy, slippery track. Not to put you off or anything but just something to be cautious of.

RELATED ARTICLE → JOSEPHINE FALLS QUEENSLAND

zillie falls, waterfall circuit cairnsPhoto: Matthew Littlewood

 

This is definitely the epitome of ‘off the beaten track’ and a way to actually get to the base of the falls, where not many people dare to venture.

A little advice for navigating the trail – you will reach a fork in the track, keep right and you’ll soon know you’re heading in the right direction when you reach a section of old, carved stepping stones. Keep on from here and you’ll reach the base of the falls.

If your main reason for heading down the Zillie Falls Trail is to swim, I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high. Due to the nature of the shallow water hole and how it’s lined with quite large rocks, Zillie Falls doesn’t make for a great waterfall to swim in.

There are a few shallow rock pools if you just need to cool off from the hike down but swimming at Zillie Falls definitely isn’t the main focal attraction. If you’re looking to swim in a waterfall, head to the neighboring Millaa Millaa Falls or Ellinjaa Falls, which are both parts of the Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Circuit.

zillie falls, waterfall circuit cairnsZillie Falls Trail

 

WHAT TO EXPECT AT ZILLIE FALLS

Overall, Zillie Falls is an epic waterfall and one that is absolutely not to be missed. From the picnic area which is perfect for families, to the cascading falls themselves.

Whether it’s the Zillie Falls Trail that interests you or simply experiencing a top-down view of the waterfalls, Zillie Falls caters to everyone.

If you’re deciding to stay up at the top, you can capture some epic photos of the waterfall and the surrounding bushland. Try to send the drone up to get some birds-eye shots or simply chill in the picnic area and experience some downtime with your friends and family, enjoying some quality food with the acoustics of falling water in the background.

zillie falls, waterfall circuit cairnsZillie Falls – Photo: Matthew Littlewood

 

If you’re looking for more of an adventure, head down the Zillie Falls Trail, keeping an eye out for the extensive Australian wildlife. Keep an eye underfoot, for the muddy slippery tracks and be led by your ears, to the base of the waterfall.

Take a dip in the shallow rock pools to cool off or climb around, behind the falls and explore the depths of the cave. Keep an eye out for the slippery rocks that will no doubt, line your track.

Zillie Falls is a photographer’s heaven. From the nature surrounding the falls, the rock pools, the textures of the rocks, and of course, the main attraction itself. You really could lose so many hours down here at Zillie Falls, experimenting with your camera and really capturing the moment in full.

I really can’t recommend Zillie Falls enough and would highly encourage every one of you to give it a go. See away a day, exploring Zillie Falls and the surrounding area, soaking up the sun, and really enjoy this lesser-explored part of Australia.

When you’re done, hit the road and head back to your accommodation, stopping at The Falls Treehouse Cafe for some road trip snacks and a great coffee to see you through the drive home.

 

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zillie falls, waterfall circuit cairnsThe shallow rockpool for swimming

zillie falls, waterfall circuit cairnsAnother perspective of Zillie Falls

 

MAP OF ZILLIE FALLS

 

MORE AUSTRALIA TRAVEL GUIDES

The coastline and hinterland areas along the east coast of Australia boast countless beaches, lakes, waterfalls, hikes and many more fun-fuelled adventures waiting to be had!

This is what Australia is all about and what I love to share with you in my detailed destination guides.

Click on the links below to see more related posts:

 

LONELY PLANET – AUSTRALIA

One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Australia Travel Guide!

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JOIN MY FACEBOOK TRAVEL TRIBE

Do you have any questions about Zillie Falls Cairns?

Join my Facebook Travel Tribe and send a message at any time for a quick response!

 

WHAT TO PACK FOR AUSTRALIA

 

nomatic

Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables,  drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.

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power adapter

Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.

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Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!

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phone case

Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.

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Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.

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Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.

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Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.

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Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions. 

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Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.

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Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.

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MY CAMERA GEAR

 

sony a7ii

Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included. 

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Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.

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gopro8

GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!

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lowepro bag

Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket. 

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selfie stick

Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!

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tripod

Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.

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GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!

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Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.

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External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.

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MY SHOP

Before you go, don’t forget to check out My Online Shop!

I’ve got a wide range of digital products for sale and I’m sure you’ll find something that will come in handy during your travels!

SEE MORE → MY SHOP

 

FINAL THOUGHTS OF ZILLIE FALLS AUSTRALIA

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can!

Happy Adventuring!

Jonny Melon
Jonny Melon

Hey, I’m Jonny – surfer, skater, photographer, and coffee-lover from Australia!

With a burning passion for travel and the outdoors, I launched this Adventure Travel Blog in 2017, and I’ve been exploring the world ever since!

My little corner of the interwebs is a space where I love to share all of my epic adventures, cultural experiences, and captivating photos from around the globe with the ultimate goal to inspire and motivate other like-minded travelers to explore this wonderful earth too!

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook

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