I love chasing waterfalls. Sometimes, I go a bit crazy and only do that for a few weekends in a row. I’ve visited many waterfalls nearby, and here’s a list of what I think are the best waterfalls near Brisbane.
You’ll find a map at the end of the article.
1. Natural Bridge (Springbrook National Park)
Natural Bridge waterfall in Springbrook National Park breaks into a cave where you can see a colony of rare glow worms if you visit it at night.
It’s often too busy to my taste during the weekend, but if you manage to get there outside the peak season, the place has some kind of magic.
The walk to the falls is an easy one-kilometre circuit. It takes about one hour and a half to drive there from Brisbane.
2. Elabana Falls (Lamington National Park)
The Elabana Falls are in Lamington National Park, about two hours away from Brisbane. You’ll have to walk a bit to get to see these falls. I feel like the effort and the feeling to be somewhere remote always create something special.
If you’re a real waterfall lover keen on a longer walk, don’t just stop at Elabana Falls. Go all the way along the Tooloona Creek Circuit. It will take you to a few more falls that are lovely and intimate.
3. Serenity Falls (Buderim Forest)
Located in the Buderim Forest, Serenity Falls are just over one hour from Brisbane City.
They have a dreamy name that attracts many visitors along the short path leading to the falls. Although they aren’t the most impressive waterfalls near Brisbane, I like that we get the option to see them from many angles. It’s inspiring for photographers. The two small cascades just before the falls are lovely too.
As they are located close to the coast, so you can prolonge the visit with some time along the water.
4. Curtis Falls (Mount Tamborine)
Curtis Falls are one of the closest waterfalls near Brisbane, only 50 kilometres away from the city centre.
The short walk leads to a platform to admire the falls, but also the rock pool and lush vegetation that surround them. They’re my favourite waterfalls in Mount Tamborine. But you cannot swim in the rock pool. The nearby Cedar Creek Falls looks amazing too and are a more popular destination in summer. If you’re looking for a day trip combining waterfalls, wineries and short rainforest walks, Mount Tamborine is a good destination to explore.
5. Twin Falls (Springbrook National Park)
This is probably my favourite walk in Springbrook National Park. It takes 1.5hrs to drive from Brisbane to the start of the four-kilometre circuit. You don’t often get the chance to walk behind beautiful falls, and that’s what makes Twin Falls very special.
If you’re in this area, you may want to also check out Purling Brook Falls. It’s a stunning waterfall that didn’t make it to the list of my favourite waterfalls near Brisbane only because it’s too often overcrowded. But if you manage to visit it after a rainy week and when there’s no one there (check out my tips here), you may find it is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in South East Queensland and Australia.
6. Queen Mary Falls
The walk down to Queen Mary Falls is easy and rewarding. The falls are lovely and you’ll get to see them from different angles without too much effort. It takes just over two hours to drive there from Brisbane, but the drive through the Scenic Rim before arriving at Queen Mary Falls is lovely.
7. Kondalilla Falls (Sunshine Coast Hinterland)
Kondalilla Falls are about 1.5hrs away from Brisbane, in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The five-kilometre walk in the rainforest is lovely but there are a lot of stairs to reach the bottom of Kondalilla Falls, but it’s worth it to see the powerful 80m drop. I also love the nearby Kondalilla Falls Eco-Resort* to spend a cozy night in the rainforest.
Not too far, you’ll also find the Gheerulla Falls and Gardner’s Falls.
8. Cedar Creek Waterfall (Samford)
Cedar Creek Waterfall is not the most impressive waterfall near Brisbane. However, it’s very close to the city (only 50 minutes by car from the CBD) and it’s a lovely short walk (1 km) rock hopping along the creek to reach the falls.
9. J C Slaughter Falls (Mount Coo-Tha)
Most of the time, these falls – that are best seen from the Aboriginal Art Trail – are dry. So why are they on this list? If it has rained a lot, they are worth the very short drive from Brisbane: they’re only 15 minutes away from the CBD!