You won’t find Ethel Creek Falls listed on any of the National Park websites, nor will you find it on any of the signs in the area. I’m sure that hasn’t always been the case though.


Quick Overview

Ethel Creek Falls is a waterfall, located in Queensland’s Paluma Range National Park. Driving from Townsville, it should take around 1.5 hours to reach.


We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Country on which this adventure takes place who have occupied and cared for this land and water for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


  • A hidden gem in the middle of Paluma Range National Park
  • You’re very likely to be the only ones there
  • 1.5 hours drive from Townsville

The Lowdown

The track to Ethel Creek Falls starts at Cloudy Creek Falls, which can be reached via a trail starting from McClellands Lookout at the eastern edge of Paluma Township, around a 1.5 hour drive from Townsville.

Once you reach Cloudy Creek Falls, you’ll notice two steel poles concreted into the ground for no apparent reason, a keen observer will see two more poles on the other side of the creek.

Apparently, these are the remains of an old suspension bridge, if you pick your way carefully across the creek you’ll see the start of a track right where the two poles are.

Read more: Climbing And Caving Mount Beerwah – Glass House Mountains (QLD)


Finding Ethel Creek Falls // Paluma Range National Park (QLD) Tom Shane Ethel Creek Falls Queensland QLD


The track to Ethel Creek is much less defined than the Cloudy Creek track, but anyone with reasonable experience should have no trouble following it. There are also pink trail markers tied to tree trunks along the route if you’re at all unsure and there are numbered markers at the major intersections as part of a larger walks network.

Once you reach Ethel Creek, you’ll find yourself at the top of the falls, if you cross the creek and follow the track to the right you’ll find a steep climb down to the bottom of the falls, there’s also a rope tied as a handrail most of the way down.


Finding Ethel Creek Falls // Paluma Range National Park (QLD) Tom Shane Ethel Creek Falls Queensland QLD


The water hole at the bottom is big enough to swim in if you need to cool off before the return journey.

Read more: Staying Safe Around Swimming Holes


Finding Ethel Creek Falls // Paluma Range National Park (QLD) Tom Shane Ethel Creek Falls Queensland QLD


Always take care when crossing creeks or climbing rocks in the rainforest, Paluma is one of those places that never really dries out and the rocks will always be wet and slippery.

Whenever the undergrowth is wet, there will be leeches after you, apply some bug spray before you head off and after you swim.

Read more: Leeches – How to Remove, Avoid, & Appreciate Them

Essential Gear

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Grippy walking shoes
  • Swimmers
  • Bug spray

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

How To Get There

The Cloudy Creek Falls track is accessed through McClellands Lookout at the very start of the Paluma Village Township, a 1.5 hour drive from Townsville.

Skill Level


Distance Covered

8km return

McClelland Lookout to Cloudy Creek: 2km each way

Cloudy Creek to Ethel Creek: 2km each way