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

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.


Highlights

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

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.

Once you reach Cloudy Creek Falls, you will 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.

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

Please remember:

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.

Essential Gear

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Swimmers
  • Bug Spray

How To Get There

The Cloudy Creek Falls track is accessed through McClellands Lookout at the very start of the Paluma Village Township.


Activities

  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Photography

Skill Level

Intermediate

Distance covered

8km return

(McClelland Lookout to Cloudy Creek – 2km each way and Cloudy Creek to Ethel Creek – 2km each way).


Check out some more Queensland adventures…

HIGHEST PEAK IN SOUTH EAST QLD – MOUNT SUPERBUS (QLD)

CLIMBING AND CAVING MOUNT BEERWAH – GLASS HOUSE MOUNTAINS (QLD)

LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK – MICROADVENTURE COMBO (QLD)

ADVENTURE UP NEGLECTED MOUNTAIN (QLD)