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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,...
Serenity Falls in Buderim Forest Park.