Whatever your sense of adventure – you can find a waterfall to match it on the Sunshine Coast.

Waterfalls on the Sunshine Coast range from small cascades to long drops that disappear into the gorge below. You can walk through rainforests, hike forested trails, or just get out of your car and walk right up to a lookout.

We’ve put together this list of waterfalls, cascades, and river rock pools so can choose your adventure in the Hinterland. At just 90 minutes drive from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast is a great day trip or perfect for a long weekend. You might even want to try the region’s Great Walk – a four day traverse of the Blackall Range which includes many of the waterfalls, rock pools, and National Parks on this list.

Visiting Sunshine Coast Waterfalls – Safety Tips

When visiting these Sunshine Coast waterfalls, be sure to follow all safety advice – including where areas are marked No Swimming.

Keep to the designated pathways and lookouts to ensure you Leave No Trace.

11 Best Waterfalls On The Sunshine Coast to Visit

The first six waterfalls on this list are well known and if you manage to visit without seeing anyone else, pat yourself on the back for a job well done! If you’re after the inside scoop on some lesser-known Sunshine Coast waterfalls, jump down the list to numbers seven through to eleven.

1. Kondalilla Falls

Location: 74 Kondalilla Falls Rd, Montville
Distance: 4.7km circuit
Duration: 2 hours
Grade: 3
Facilities: There’s a picnic area and toilets next to the carpark.
Swimming: There are freshwater pools above and below the falls, and swimming is allowed in both.
Camping: there’s no access for day visitors wanting to camp by their vehicle in the National Park. There’s only the Flaxton walkers camp – for use by hikers completing the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk.

Head to the Kondalilla National Park (sometimes called Kondalilla Falls National Park) to visit one of the region’s most scenic waterfalls. Kondalilla Falls has swimming holes below and above the waterfalls – the perfect spot for a freshwater dip!

A visit to the falls is best paired with a hike of the Kondalilla Falls Circuit. It’s just a 4.8km loop but includes around 300 stairs – a good thing to note before setting out!

This is a popular waterfall so you’re unlikely to have it to yourself, but there’s plenty of space in and around the rock pools and out on the trail.

How to Get to Kondalilla Falls

From Montville, drive north along Flaxton Drive before turning onto Kondalilla Falls Road. Continue driving about 800 metres to reach the car park and, from there, set out on foot following the trail signs to the waterfall.


11 Scenic Waterfalls On The Sunshine Coast (Including Hidden Gems), Leah Furey, Kondalilla National Park, Waterfall, Mandatory credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

2. Gardners Falls

Location: Obi Lane South, Maleny
Distance: 600m return
Duration: 10 minutes
Grade: 1
Facilities: There’s a picnic area and toilets next to the car park.
Swimming: You’ll be happy to know that swimming is allowed – there are some shallow pools in the creek and a large pool beneath the falls.
Camping: Unfortunately camping is not allowed in the area, but there’s accommodation in Maleny.

Another popular waterfall in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is Gardners Falls. Pack a picnic and some sunscreen for your visit – you’ll likely want to spend the whole day here.

You can sit in the cascades for a freshwater massage, float around the large swimming hole, or even Tarzan your way out of the trees and into the water on the rope swings. Plus, there’s plenty of grassy areas and rocks to stretch out on and soak up the sun afterwards.

It’s just a short walk alongside the Obi Obi Creek to get to Gardners Falls, however parking is limited so you might find you need to park further up the road. This is a popular spot – so don’t expect a secluded swimming hole all to yourself.

How to Get to Gardners Falls

From Maleny, drive along Landsborough Maleny Road then turn off onto Obi Obi Lane South. The carpark is at the very of the road and from there it’s a short walk along the well-marked trail to the falls.


11 Scenic Waterfalls On The Sunshine Coast (Including Hidden Gems), Leah Furey, Gardners Falls, Waterfall, Mandatory credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

3. Buderim/Serenity Falls

Location: Buderim Forest Park, Quorn Close, Buderim
Distance: 750m return
Duration: 30 minutes
Grade: 3
Facilities: There’s a picnic area and toilets next to carpark.
Swimming: Unfortunately swimming is not allowed here.
Camping: You cannot camp here, but there’s accomodation in nearby Buderim.

This waterfall has earned the nickname Serenity Falls – and with good reason! Buderim Falls cascades over a large rock face before free-falling into the small rock pools below, all in a lush rainforest setting.

Just a short drive from Buderim Village, it’s an easy walk to the falls through lush green ferns. The waterfall can be viewed from a wooden bridge across the river and beside the rock pool.

Swimming is not allowed at Buderim/Serenity Falls, but it’s a great photography spot, and the walk through the rainforest will leave you feeling refreshed.

How to Get to Buderim/Serenity Falls

Driving from Buderim’s town centre, take Lindsay Road and turn off onto Quorn Close. Follow it to the car park at the end of the road and then follow trail signs on foot to the waterfall.


11 Scenic Waterfalls On The Sunshine Coast (Including Hidden Gems), Leah Furey, Buderim Falls, Serenity Falls, Mandatory credit: Tourism and Events Queensland. Yoga

4. Mapleton Falls

Location: 78 Mapleton Falls Road, Mapleton Falls National Park
Distance: 50m return
Duration: 5 minutes
Grade: 2
Facilities: There’s a picnic area and toilets next to carpark.
Swimming: Unfortunately swimming is not allowed.
Camping: There are no camping options in the area, but there are accommodation options in Mapleton.

Mapleton Falls is the tallest waterfall on our list, and one of the easiest to access. A short – and wheelchair-friendly – path takes you from the carpark right up to the stunning Mapleton Falls Lookout. You won’t be able to get a close up of the waterfall like most of the other locations on our list, but this is a great place to stop in and enjoy the views.

From the lookout you can see over the rainforest-filled Obi Obi valley and the waterfall which drops 120 metres into the gorge below. There’s also the chance to spot peregrine falcons soaring by the cliff-edges in nesting season (August/September).

How to Get to Mapleton Falls

Driving from Mapleton, take Obi Obi Road and turn off onto Mapleton Falls Road. You’ll find a carpark at the end, and a short well-marked path to the lookout.


5. Booloumba Falls

Location: Booloumba Falls Carpark, Conondale National Park, Kenilworth
Distance: 3km return
Duration: 2 hours
Grade: 3
Facilities: There are toilets at campgrounds, but not at the trailhead.
Swimming: There are plenty of places to swim along the creek and below the waterfall – swimming is allowed here.
Camping: There are a couple of campgrounds in the national park – permits are required and fees apply.

In the Conondale National Park – where all roads require a high clearance 4WD – Booloumba Creek is the perfect place to explore. There are cascades, waterfalls, and rock pools, and even an impressive rock formation called the Breadknife.

It’s only a short walk to Booloumba Falls, but with plenty to see along the way it’s worth allowing extra time to explore. There are a few creek crossings on the drive in, which not only add to the adventure but also help keep this spot crowd-free.

How to Get to Booloumba Falls

From Kenilworth, drive the Maleny-Kenilworth Road then turn off into the National Park on Booloumba Creek Road. Follow signs to the Booloumba Falls Carpark before setting out on foot alongside the creek to the waterfall.


11 Scenic Waterfalls On The Sunshine Coast (Including Hidden Gems), Leah Furey, Booloumba Falls, Mandatory credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

6. Wappa Falls

Location: Wappa Falls Carpark, Pump Station Road, Kiamba
Distance: 200m return
Duration: 15 minutes
Grade: 1
Facilities: There are toilets, a picnic area, and a playground.
Swimming: Due to dangerous conditions, swimming is not advised at Wappa Falls.
Camping: Unfortunately camping is not allowed at Wappa Falls, but there are accomodation options nearby in Yandina.

Plan a family day out to visit Wappa Falls – there are plenty of family-friendly activities nearby the falls. You can enjoy a short walk to the pretty Wappa Falls – where two small falls drop into the deep pool below. This bottom pool is surrounded by rocky walls, making it feel quite secluded.

Swimming is not advised here due to dangerous conditions. But back at the trailhead there is the scenic Jack Harrison Park with a playground and multiple BBQs. The Wappa Dam is also nearby.

How to Get to Wappa Falls

From Kiamba, drive south on Kiamba Road before turning onto Wappa Dam Road. Turn off again onto Pump Station Road and park in the Wappa Falls carpark before talking the short walk to the falls.


11 Scenic Waterfalls On The Sunshine Coast (Including Hidden Gems), Leah Furey, Wappa Falls, Mandatory credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Sunshine Coast Waterfalls: Hidden Gems

To find the Sunshine Coast’s hidden gem waterfalls you might need to pull on the hiking boots, rally a friend with a 4WD, or just stroll through a bushland park in the middle of the suburbs! Whichever way you get there, you can expect less crowds and the sense of adventure you get from chasing hidden waterfalls.

7. Baxter Falls

Location: Flaxton Mill Road, opposite Old Mill Lane, Flaxton
Distance: 4km return
Duration: 90 minutes

Follow a section of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk to discover this lesser-known – and much less-crowded waterfall. Baxter Falls is a large waterfall that flows into a deep rock pool below. It’s the perfect place to cool off after the hike in to the falls.

You can choose to walk the trail as a return hike from either the northern end (4km) or southern end (7.5km). Both trails are well-marked and signposted, with a metal suspension bridge adding some adventure to the walk before you arrive at the waterfall.


8. Artists Cascades

Location: Booloumba Creek Day Use Area, Conondale National Park, Kenilworth
Distance: 11.5km return
Duration: 3-4 hours

Located in the Conondale National Park, you’ll need a 4WD drive to access these pretty cascades in the Booloumba Creek Gorge. There’s a decent hike (11.5km return) to get to the Artists Cascades, where cool, flowing water and a small freshwater pool provide the perfect oasis amongst the rainforest. A fun part of this hike is exploring the side tracks along the way. These take you to a 100 year old abandoned mine and the almost-4m-high Strangler Cairn sculpture – an impressive piece of artwork hidden amongst the forest.


9. Robinson Falls

Location: Waterfall Road, Cliento Bushland Conservation Reserve, Nambour
Distance: 700m return
Duration: 15 minutes

Robinson Falls is in such an unexpected area that some Sunny Coast locals don’t even know about it. It’s tucked away in the Cilento Bushland Conservation Reserve, which is in the middle of a suburban area. Once you arrive at the reserve, a short walk through beautiful bushland and tall trees takes you to the falls. It’s not ideal for swimming, but there’s viewing spots above and below the falls where you can watch Tuckers Creek as it cascades into the waterhole below.


10. Kureelpa Falls

Location: Waterfall Road, Cliento Bushland Conservation Reserve, Nambour
Distance: 9.3km return
Duration: 2.5 hours

A visit to Kureelpa Falls is best done via the Kureelpa Falls Circuit. The loop trail (8.5km) ventures down through open forest with an additional 400m return walk to see Kureelpa Falls. The distance seems to be just enough to keep the crowds away and give you space to enjoy the trail and waterfall.

In the gorge the South Maroochy River cascades over boulders before falling 30m into the pool below. Keep an eye out for wildlife and native birdlife as you continue your walk, looping back up to the trailhead.


11. Gheerulla Falls

Location: Delicia Road, Mapleton National Park, Gheerulla
Distance: 2.4km return
Duration: 45-60 minutes

Gheerulla Falls is a great spot for photography and the perfect place to enjoy a short but scenic rainforest walk. This lesser-known waterfall is in the Mapleton National Park and has a walkers camp nearby that is part of the Sunshine Coast Great Walk.

You’ll enjoy the seclusion and serenity of this area, with the sound of water rushing over rocks to keep you company. Swimming is allowed in the small rainforest pool below the waterfall. You can also visit this waterfall on the two-day Gheerulla Falls Circuit.


Keen to go hiking through the Hinterland to some of these waterfalls? Check out the multi-day Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk.

Have you visited any of the Sunshine Coast waterfalls – or all of them? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!


Supporting photos thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland.