Explore the Breathtaking Waterfalls of the  Sunshine Coast

waterfalls sunshine coast

There’s something special about the waterfalls on Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Some are readily accessible, while others are delightfully secluded, including hidden waterfalls nestled in the rainforests and suburban areas. 

These hidden waterfalls provide a sense of escapism and natural beauty, offering visitors a unique and unexpected experience within a relatively urban environment. And now’s the time to visit these gorgeous gems!


Venture into the Sunshine Coast Hinterland’s Hidden Secrets

Sunshine Coast adventures wait in the fertile hinterland. Trek to discover the region’s scenic waterfalls, which make for an ideal way to escape the pressures of everyday life.

Plus, the green countryside is a pretty sight to soak up as you make your way around the region, with one of the scenic spots to explore in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland being the Mapleton Falls National Park.


Verdant Green Forests and Waterfall Cascades

The hinterland is a nature lover’s playground. Explore the towering canopies, vibrant leafy green colours and flowing sounds of water. These Instagram-worthy waterfalls are soothing to listen to and connect with nature.

This is a photographer’s paradise with plenty of quirky waterfalls. From trickling falls to thundering cascades, there’s plenty to capture on camera. Prepare for spectacular shots in this gorgeous corner of the Sunshine Coast.


When to Visit the Waterfalls

There’s a right time to visit for a breathtaking experience. Head during the wet season when the waterfalls look their most impressive during this time. And prepare for a stunning sight with plenty of water to flow through.

MonthAverage Rainfall (mm)Waterfall Flow
January170Very High
February180Very High
May – November50 – 90Low

But outside the wet season, there may be less water flowing down the waterfalls. They look pretty, but not as impressive. When you visit, check the local conditions to catch them at their best.


Buderim Forest Park: Where Serenity Falls

Serenity Falls or Buderim Falls is nestled in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. The region is a beautiful subtropical haven perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Take the walking trail to find this gorgeous waterfall cascading down through dense rainforests, a mesmerising sight.

The park is situated near a busy Buderim township, so you can escape to nature in an instant.


Two Entrances to Reach the Waterfall

Serenity Falls has two entrances to reach the waterfall. There’s Harry’s Lane, off Lindsay Road. You’ll pass on a raised wooden boardwalk. It winds its way through towering trees and little waterfalls.

The second entrance is Quorn Close, off Lindsay Road. It’s a shorter but steeper path.


Magnificent Vantage Point from the Arch Bridge

While you’re in Buderim Forest Park, check out the arch bridge. It offers a good vantage point to look down on Serenity Falls. And there’s a deep swimming hole below. It’s a lovely spot to relax and take photos, allowing you to take in the beauty and soothing tones of the falls.

For nature lovers, hikers, or peace seekers, Buderim Forest Park is a must. Serenity Falls is a gem worth the adventure. It promises an unforgettable experience. Check out the beauty of this subtropical haven and the Sunshine Coast hinterland’s hidden secrets.


Gardners Falls Family-Friendly Waterfall Experience

Gardners Falls is a hidden local favourite in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. If you’re looking for a family-friendly waterfall adventure, this is it. The spot offers everything. It’s easily reachable by car. Plus, there’s gentle flowing water and pretty picnic spots along the Obi Obi Creek.


Simple Entry and Shallow Rock Pools

Gardners Falls is easy to get to. Park your car and walk along Obi Obi Creek for 300 metres to reach the falls. The trail is lined with shallow rock pools and small rock pools, providing a scenic and refreshing experience for visitors. Kids will love splashing around in the water.

There are even rope swings for the adventurous, while Gardners Falls is also a popular destination for swimmers and non-swimmers alike. Cool off in the water, or sit back and soak in the natural beauty.


Pretty Picnic Spots along Obi Obi Creek

Apart from the waterfall, the area is ideal for picnics. Its pretty banks are inviting, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your food. Listen to the soothing sound of water. Feel the gentle breeze rustling through the trees. It’s a tranquil experience.

While you’re here, try some local cheese. Near the waterfall, pick some local dairy delights, which you can also enjoy through a guided tour. Handpick some treats and take them back to your picnic to embrace and sample local fares.

Distance from car park300 metres
Walking track difficultyFlat and easy
Swimming spotsShallow rock pools and big swimming hole at the base of the falls
Picnic facilitiesPretty spots on Obi Obi Creek banks
Nearby attractionsLocal cheese factories and dairy farms


Kondalilla Falls: A 90-Metre Thundering Waterfall

Kondalilla Falls is a spectacular waterfall in the heart of Kondalilla National Park near Montville. Its breathtaking natural beauty makes Sunshine Coast tours truly unforgettable. 

The falls stand on traditional lands of the Gubbi Gubbi people. ‘Kondalilla’ in their language means ‘rushing water’. Visiting Sunshine Coast waterfalls offers an incredible experience of discovering and enjoying these natural landmarks.

A trek through rainforest and open forests leads you to the majestic falls. When you’ve had enough of the view at the rockpool, take the Kondalilla Falls Circuit. It leads you to the base of the falls. From here, you get an incredible vantage point of water cascading 90 metres down.

Kondalilla Falls Circuit4.7 km2-3 hoursModerate to Difficult
Picnic Creek Circuit1.7 km45 min – 1 hourEasy

The Kondalilla Falls Circuit trail is a 4.7 km walk that takes 2 to 3 hours to finish. It’s worth it but there are plenty of steps along the way. So get ready to exercise, especially to climb up from the falls.

Insider Tip: Kondalilla Falls is a delight in the summer season. So pack some water, snacks, sunscreen, and sturdy hiking shoes. This will ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure.


Baxter Falls: Scenic Sunshine Coast Great Walk Hike

Baxter Falls is a hidden gem in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. It’s a special place tucked away for nature lovers to discover, with part of the the popular Sunshine Coast Great Wal also located here.

Expect lush rainforest surrounding this hidden waterfall, with the trek being truly mesmerising whether you’re an avid hiker or a nature fan.


Two Clearly Signed Hiking Entry Points

There are two entry points for your Baxter Falls hiking adventure: 

  1. You can begin from the north at Flaxton Mill Road. This starts at the Great Walks Entrance. 
  2. Or use the southern entry point on Suses Pocket Road. Both trails are well-signposted for easy navigation.

Note that the trail to Baxter Falls is challenging and has some steep sections that can also be quite muddy. For this reason, we recommend wearing sturdy hiking shoes to ensure a safe and enjoyable hike. But the challenge to reach the falls makes the sight worthwhile!


Cool Swimming Hole and Wildlings

One of the best features of this attraction is that you can hear the water roaring as you near Baxter Falls. The falls cascade into a swimming hole, making it a lovely spot to relax and soak in the tranquil atmosphere. 

Baxter Creek, near the falls, is even good for swimming. It’s right at the base of the waterfall, so you only need to walk down the rocks, and you’ll reach the clear water.

While you relax, keep an eye out for the wildlife around the area. You may catch a glimpse of frogs, geckos, or other reptile inhabitants. 

Baxter Falls is a must-see for anyone in or touring the Sunshine Coast and boasts one of the most stunning views in the region. And you can’t help but feel the serenity of being one with nature.


Mapleton Falls: A 120-Metre Dramatic Plunge

Mapleton Falls in Mapleton National Park are some of the most spectacular waterfalls on the Sunshine Coast. They cascade 120 metres into the valley below. It’s a dramatic plunge that’s truly unforgettable. Although, it’s difficult to get a clear view of the falls, but the journey to Mapleton Falls Lookout is still worth it for the experience alone.


Simple Lookout Access with Gorgeous Valley Views

The lookout offers gorgeous views of pretty Obi Obi Valley and is easily reachable by car. Then take a short stroll from the parking area. You may be lucky to catch the falls in full torrent. It’s a magnificent sight.

Swimming is not possible at the base of the falls. But there’s plenty more to enjoy here. Take the Wompoo Circuit walk. It’s an easy 1.6-kilometre trail that showcases the park’s natural beauty. It takes about 30 minutes to finish.

Mapleton Falls120 metresMapleton National ParkMapleton Falls Lookout
Kondalilla Falls90 metresKondalilla National ParkKondalilla Falls Circuit
Gardners Falls5 metresMaleny300m walk from car park

Mapleton Falls Sunshine Coast is a breathtaking place to visit. It’s gorgeous to relax and soak in the natural surroundings, whether you’re here to take photos, enjoy a walk, or meditate in peace, Mapleton Falls won’t disappoint.


Waterfalls Sunshine Coast: A Few More Hidden Gems to Discover

Beyond Kondalilla and Mapleton, there are plenty of waterfalls on the Sunshine Coast hinterland. 

  • Wappa Falls is another hidden beauty away from it all. Located near Yandina, the South Maroochy River tumbles over rocks and through pretty pools, making an incredible mini-gorge. The falls are supplemented by Wappa Dam. It’s a tranquil spot to enjoy the best of nature.
  • For a secluded spot, visit Gheerulla Falls in Mapleton. Take a short walk through the forest to reach the swimming hole below the falls. It’s easily reachable by car. It’s a perfect getaway from a busy life. So sit back and soak in the calmness of the bush listening to the sound of water.
  • Robinson Falls is another short drive from Nambour. It’s a brief walk through Cliento Bushland Conservation Reserve to reach Tuckers Creek and the falls. This hidden paradise is ideal for a quiet getaway. Listen to the water as it cascades down. It will carry you away from the busy urban life.


Key Takeaways

  • Sunshine Coast, Queensland, has accessible and secluded waterfalls, providing a unique experience within an urban environment.
  • The hinterland of Sunshine Coast offers scenic waterfalls, including Mapleton Falls National Park, making it ideal for nature lovers and photographers.
  • The best time to visit the waterfalls is during the wet season when the flow is at its most impressive.
  • Serenity Falls or Buderim Falls, located in Buderim Forest Park, offers a serene and picturesque experience.
  • Gardners Falls provides a family-friendly waterfall adventure with easy access, shallow rock pools, and picnic spots along the Obi Obi Creek.



Which are the best waterfalls to visit on Sunshine Coast?

A few of the best waterfalls on the Sunshine Coast are Buderim Falls, Gardners Falls and Kondalilla Falls. Also, visit Baxter Falls and Mapleton Falls. You’ll enjoy scenic beauty, lovely walks and swimming holes.


When is the best time to visit waterfalls on Sunshine Coast?

It’s during the wet season, from December to February when the waterfalls are at their most impressive. But be aware that some trails can become muddy and slippery.


Are there easy waterfalls to visit on the Sunshine Coast?

Yes, some are super easy to reach. Gardners Falls is a 300-metre walk from the car park. It’s family-friendly. Mapleton Falls is a lookout. It’s only 50 metres from the car lot.


Is swimming allowed at waterfalls on the Sunshine Coast?

You can swim at Buderim Falls, Gardners Falls, and Baxter Falls. But take care and check the water before jumping in. Note that the rocks can be slippery, and the area may flood.


Are there hiking trails with waterfalls on the Sunshine Coast?

There are plenty of hiking trails with falls around here. The Kondalilla Falls Circuit is a popular trail. It offers a view of the 90-metre fall. The Sunshine Coast Great Walk, which leads to Baxter Falls, is a lovely hike.

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