Situated on the outskirts of Cairns, Millaa Milaa Falls is an impressive plunge waterfall that can be found on the side of Theresa Creek Road. The site is now heritage listed after it was added to the register in 2005.
The region surrounding Cairns is packed full of magical waterfalls, and Millaa Millaa Falls is no different. Making up part of the expansive Atherton Tableland, the site was named after the Aboriginal phrase for the rainforest vine that appears in the area. Today, visitors flock to the area to marvel at the 18.3-metre-high waterfall and to swim in the refreshing pool at its base.
The History of Millaa Millaa Falls
The falls were thought to be discovered during the expansive exploration of the regions around the Herberton mining fields. It was originally thought that Millaa Millaa meant “water fall”, but that has since been overthrown after the findings that it is in fact an Aboriginal word.
Inspector Alexander Douglas and Christie Palmerston hiked through the rainforest close to the falls in 1882, carving tracks as they went. Palmerston also mapped another, easier route in 1884 which is now known as the Palmerston track and can still be explored by visitors.
Around the Millaa Millaa Falls, there is a clearing that was once used as a rest stop for travellers that were passing through with horses and mule packs. They were exploring the Palmerston track and travelling to the nearby Herberton mining field. The clearing was also put to use as a camp for workers who spent their time putting up and maintaining the railway line that travelled between Malanda and the Millaa Millaa township in the early 1900s.
Millaa Millaa Falls Today
The Falls remains an iconic part of Australia, bringing in thousands of visitors every year who want to see its impressive cascading water and enjoy the cool pool at its base. The falls has a lot of cultural relevance, too, having been featured in a number of movies, documentaries, and television ads.
Throughout the year, Millaa Millaa Falls is the site of many community events, celebrating its natural surroundings and the vast, rich history that imbues the area.
Today, you can take a hike along the Palmerston track, explore the base of the waterfall, and dip into the pool to cool off in the Australian sun. If you find yourself in Cairns, be sure to make a pitstop at this fascinating and beautiful spot.