Forming part of the Sunshine Coast Great Walk, Baxter Falls is situated north from Kondalilla Falls and due south of Mapleton Falls; as the crow flies. There are two well-signed access points to hike down to these beautiful falls — the northern Great Walks Entrance on Flaxton Mill Road or the southern entrance on Suses Pocket Road. Convenient parking is available at Flaxton Mill Road, but at Suses Road, you’ll need to park on nearby Obi Obi Road. Hiking from Suses Road is the shorter option taking around 45-minutes either way on the 4 kilometre out-and-back trail. The Flaxton Mill Road hike is longer at over 6 kilometres return and taking approximately 2.5-hours, total. Both tracks can be a little challenging and steep in parts, muddy too if it has been raining, so be prepared for an elevated heart rate on the way back up and wear good hiking shoes — not an ideal exercise for younger kids and older folk. Down at the falls you can rock hop to a little pool that’s suitable for swimming but not the biggest in the “Sunny Coast” waterfall scene so the best time to visit for good water flow is during the wetter months (Dec-Feb); otherwise, it can run a bit dry at times. When it’s on though, it’s totally refreshing with local wildlife like frogs, dragons, geckos and skinks regularly spotted around this delightful eco pool. Also, check out the raised suspension bridge over Baxter Creek which is a superb viewing platform for bird watching and feeling at flight under the surrounding canopy.
Where: Baxter Creek Road, Obi Obi QLD 4574
MAPLETON FALLS — Mapleton
Mapleton Falls is situated in the awe-inspiring Mapleton National Park and dramatically drops away at a majestic 120 metres down the sheer rockface below. Simply pull up to the carpark and stroll 50 metres across the lawn area to the Mapleton Falls Lookout where you’ll be met with a striking vista of the Obi Obi Valley and free-flowing falls when on tap. Unfortunately, you can’t access the base of the waterfall to go swimming here, but if you’d like more of a sticky beak around, try the quick and easy 1.6-kilometre Wompoo Circuit that winds through the rainforest taking approximately 30 minutes to complete. Onsite amenities are fantastic including picnic tables, toilets and wheelchair access to the main lookout. And of course! Keep your eyes and ears open for the cute, little Wompoo fruit-doves with their bright plumage and distinct bird call.
Where: Mapleton Falls Road, Mapleton QLD 4560
GHEERULLA FALLS — Gheerulla
Mapleton National Park continues to deliver with another gushing beauty in Gheerulla Falls situated 9 kilometres north-west of Mapleton Falls via Obi Obi Road and Delicia Road. This route is walkable by trail too but quite some more distance to cover so the short, out-and-back option may be more your speed being a leisurely 2.7-kilometre round hike starting at the signposted Delicia Road entry — generous parking available onsite. After significant rainfall, charming Gheerulla Creek meanders its way to the falls with the waterhole below not being a huge one to swim in, but nonetheless, still a beautiful cascade to enjoy when the water’s doing its dazzling best in wet season. It can get busy on weekends due to its easy access so if you can get there during the week you might get lucky and nab it all to yourself! To top it off, there are plenty of comfy spots to unpack the picnic and cool down under the shade of the flourishing blackbutt forest and old scribbly gums.
Where: Delicia Road, Gheerulla QLD 4574
And heading further west…
Heading deeper west into the dense Sunshine Coast Hinterland lie even more enchanting waterfalls adding another crop of freshwater stunners to the region. The legendary town of Kenilworth is just 50-minutes’ drive inland from the coast nestled alongside the Mary River and adjacent to Conondale National Park and Imbil State Forest. It’s within these protected parks that the natural collection of hidden treasure troves flow with wild freedom offering self-reflecting solitude for keen nature lovers. We’re talking spectacular Sunshine Coast waterfalls, cascades and creeks all within KOOEEE!!! of each other — here's a quick rundown of some popular one’s below.
ARTISTS CASCADES | BOOLOUMBA FALLS | PETERS CREEK CASCADES