6 se­cluded wa­ter­falls on the Sun­shine Coast

Ev­ery­one loves cas­cad­ing wa­ter but not the crowds that flock there. Here’s where to get away from it all

Life & Style Weekend - - LOCAL SECRETS -

CHANCES are you have vis­ited Kon­dalilla Falls, Gar­den­ers Falls or Maple­ton Falls. They are must-see sights of the Sun­shine Coast – and for good rea­son. They are gems of the Coast. But what about the other wa­ter­falls trick­ling into hid­den streams and gorges tucked away in quiet rain­forests with am­ple park­ing and few peo­ple? We re­veal the se­crets only a lo­cal would know ex­clu­sively to Life&Style Week­end read­ers. Here’s where to find six Coast wa­ter­falls which seem to have fallen off

the radar.

Gheerulla Falls

Gheerulla where? The lit­tle known Gheerulla Falls is an easy 1.5km walk to one of the most peace­ful, crys­tal-clear wa­ter creeks on the Range. If the se­cluded set­ting and crisp wa­ter couldn’t get any more beau­ti­ful, the falls are spec­tac­u­lar af­ter heavy rain­fall. Drive about 5km out of Maple­ton along Deli­cia Rd and find a park at a dip in the road near the Gheerulla Falls sign. This wa­ter­fall is so lit­tle known it doesn’t even have a des­ig­nated car park.

Baxter Falls

Tucked between Flax­ton and Maple­ton is a wind­ing track lead­ing to a se­cluded par­adise. Part of the Sun­shine Coast Hin­ter­land Great Walk, the Baxter Falls walk is just a 6.2km re­turn snip­pet of the spec­tac­u­lar sights on of­fer in the lush hin­ter­land. Be­gin­ning as a pleas­ant stroll, the path turns down­hill quickly with a series of steep stairs and switch­backs. Once you reach the trick­ling sounds of Baxter Creek, fol­low the signs to the right to dis­cover Baxter Falls plum­met­ing into a se­cluded swim­ming hole. Make sure you cross the sus­pen­sion bridge over Baxter Creek to add to the Baxter ex­pe­ri­ence. Start at the Flax­ton Mill Rd en­trance to the Sun­shine Coast Hin­ter­land Great Walk and fol­low the signs to Baxter Creek.

Peters Falls

When em­bark­ing on the short 500m re­turn Peters Creek cir­cuit part of the Conon­dale Range Great Walk, don’t set­tle for just creek views. The pic­turesque boul­der-strewn creek with crisp wa­ter trick­ling along the rock pools has more in store. Fol­low the sound of cas­cad­ing wa­ter by tak­ing the nar­row spur track to­wards Peters Falls. Start from Forest Dr and al­low 15 to 20 min­utes’ walk­ing time.

Sum­mer Falls

If the short walk to Peters Falls was a breeze, hike on to

dis­cover yet an­other spec­tac­u­lar wa­ter­fall – Sum­mer Falls. The path crosses Sun­day Creek Rd so be wary of pass­ing traf­fic. It then de­scends through more open rain­for­est blos­som­ing with brush box, tal­low­wood and white mahogany be­fore reach­ing the placid Sum­mer Creek which gives way to dra­matic Sum­mer Falls.

Seren­ity Falls

With the Sun­shine Coast hin­ter­land so vast and lush there is lit­tle won­der many wa­ter­falls fly un­der the radar. But did you know one of the Coast’s most spec­tac­u­lar falls is tucked away amidst the bustling vil­lage of Bud­erim? From sub­ur­bia to sanc­tu­ary, the un­of­fi­cially named Seren­ity Falls is a 45-hectare rain­for­est world burst­ing with trick­ling streams, tow­er­ing trees, a wooden bridge and of course the main event, the wa­ter­fall. All this can be found less than a kilo­me­tre away from Bud­erim Vil­lage. There are two en­try points – the lower car park at Harry’s Lane, off Lind­say Rd, and the up­per car park at Quorn Close.

Mt Coolum

While Mt Coolum is no se­cret, the nat­u­ral wa­ter­falls cas­cad­ing down its cliffs af­ter heavy rain­fall are some­thing only a lo­cal would know about. You don’t have to put on the hik­ing boots to see this spec­ta­cle. View the im­pres­sive wa­ter­fall from the com­fort of your own car from Sun­coast Beach Dr, Jar­nahill Dr or any other road with views of the moun­tain.

PHOTO: CADE MOONEY

Wa­ter rush­ing down Mount Coolum creates a wa­ter­fall af­ter heavy rain. STAY THE NIGHT: The camp­site near pic­turesque Sum­mer Falls of­fers sim­ple fa­cil­i­ties for a max­i­mum of 24 campers. Boil or treat the wa­ter be­fore drink­ing and bring a gas/fuel stove,...

PHOTO: LOU O'BRIEN

Seren­ity Falls in Bud­erim Forest Park.

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