I spent a delightful afternoon there recently with my family. It was the perfect destination for us. My partner likes to wander, I like to take photographs, and my three and five year old boys like to run, stop, explore, run, stop, explore.
Kondalilla Falls National Park is situated just inland from the Sunshine Coast in the beautiful Blackall Range. It’s approximately 100kms from Brisbane and 4kms from Montville.
It never ceases to amaze me that within 30 minutes you can replace a fresh ocean breeze for a humid, earthy rainforest atmosphere.
The falls are nestled in a valley, a gentle walk from the car park. The pathways are easy to navigate for almost anyone and there are a number of walking options to suit your ability.
As soon as you step out of your vehicle, you are greeted by the call of birds and the sight and smell of the rainforest – ferns, moss and wildflowers at your feet, and dark green eucalypts overhead.
The path descends down through a grassy picnic area, over a footbridge (spanning a picturesque creek) then continues to meander gently down to the falls, with groups of stairs from time to time, aiding the descent.
The walk to the falls takes around 20 minutes direct – but in practice probably a little longer as you’ll want to stop to admire the panoramic view through the trees of the canopy and valley below.
Kondalilla is an aboriginal word meaning “rushing water”. On a warm summer’s day during the wet season, when the falls are at their peak, it’s a popular swimming hole. And teenagers enjoy jumping off the top of the falls, despite the signage!
I saw a couple of eels in the water, so I was happy to admire the water from the edge!
The day we visited, we took the track directly to the falls, which was an easy distance for us all, including my three year old who often likes to be carried. I wandered the path slowly with a photographer’s eye taking snaps of wildflowers, lichen, fungi and ferns.
If you’re a hiker you can easily step it up a notch, as there are a variety of walking options. It’s also the first section of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk.
As for us, the falls walk was perfect. Afterwards we enjoyed lunch in the picnic area just down from the car park. It’s a large grassy clearing in the middle of the rainforest with BBQs, picnic tables and toilets.
The gorgeous town of Montville is only a couple of kilometers down the road if you need a delicious coffee or something sweet afterwards.
And the drive to and from the falls is magic. From up on the ‘range’ as us locals call it, you have a breathtaking 180degree view over the whole coastline.
For more information visit:
Sunshine Coast Great Walk: http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/great-walks-sunshine-coast/index.html
Leonie Orton is a passionate traveller and freelance writer. If you would like her to write for your business, contact her at:
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