Friday, January 8, 2010

Waterfall Way

We continued our journey inland towards Millaa Millaa, which is renowned for an abundance of waterfalls nearby. What is amazing is that these giant waterfalls come from a small creek with a slight flow, then suddenly drop up a large rock, forming a great waterfall. This creates a pool, which soon narrows back down to a small creek with not much water flowing through.

We visited three different waterfalls on what is known as the "waterfall circuit". The first was Ellinja Falls, which is in the picture. This was probably the most impressive of the three, especially considering the small creek it came from. Just a short drive down the road, on an entirely different creek we came to Zillie Falls. These ones you could only see from the top, which was quite a drop down.

The view is just not the same however, when you look down over a waterfall as opposed to looking at it crashing down in front of you. Our last stop on the circuit was Millaa Millaa falls, the most famous of the trio. This can be seen by the fact that there is room for bus parking, as opposed to a small dirt patch at the other places.

I don't have any photos to do it justice, but there is a great swimming hole in front of the waterfall, which we took advantage of, along with a large bunch of other people. We seemed to have timed it well though, as a large group left just as we got into the water, then others were a bit more hesitant to get in.

We travelled on to Malanda, home of another falls. After the previous trio it was really less than impressive. It drains down into what I think I read was called a "natural swimming pool". Although it's natural river water, I don't think there's much natural about concrete blocks.

Apparently on the weekends the vistor centre offers tours with one of the local Aboriginal elders. Unfortunately it wasn't the weekend, and the centre was ready to close, so they wanted us in and out as quickly as possible. Francisca was keen to find out more about the aboriginal population, but we found it was hard to do anything without either handing over a large pile of cash, or booking a long time in advance, neither of which we had the chance to do.

This post is all about waterfalls, so I will leave it at that for the moment, and continue our journey into the tablelands in the next post.


Unknown said...

Hi ... sorry you were disappointed in the Malanda Falls. I remember having the same reaction myself some 20 years ago, although I have now come to appreciate the area a lot more as a local. The falls are more of a great picnic spot (with excellent short forest walks), than a scenic waterfall stop. It is an important heritage site for the Tablelands ... the concrete is a legacy of the days when it was the area's swim training and competition site, complete with diving platform and starter blocks. Even more important the Falls area is one of the best places to see the amazing tree kangaroo. As for the aboriginal history ... there are great displays in the visitor centre (at no charge) - unfortunately it is run by volunteers and is only open from 9.30 - 4.30. There is a very good guided tour on the weekends with aboriginal elder Ernie Raymont; and some weekdays by his 'nephew' Drew (who is excellent at spotting tree kangaroos). There are varied rates but I think it is about $15. There are self guided walks on both sides of the roads with viewing platforms and some information. There are lots of interesting fauna and flora to see, besides your chance to spot a tree kangaroo (including platypus, padymelons, water dragons, saw-shelled turtles, boyd's forest dragon and I have once even seen an echidna). The visitor centre also has displays on the local forest, european history and the geology of the area.

Daniel Boyle said...

Hey there, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately we didn't get to see any tree kangaroos in our travels, or a cassowary either. We only got to the falls very close to 4.30 after an already long day of driving.

I really would have liked to do the tour with the elder, but unfortunately Tuesday is not part of the weekend!

Daniel is now living in Santiago de Chile. You can find some more writing at I Love Chile

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