Girl standing in front of waterfall at Windin Falls

At my mind’s dreaming place

Windin Falls in the Atherton Tablelands is a beautiful location, fast becoming Instagram famous around Australia.

While most waterfalls that are explored are explored from the bottom, what makes Windin Falls so special is the view over the surrounding valley from above.

How to Get to Windin Falls

While this waterfall may give the impression that the hike to get here is up, up and more up, climbing the mountain the waterfall crashes over, this is not the case. The hike is actually relatively easy, and for the most part straight.

I’ve been to Windin Falls twice. First in March 2018 shortly after a lot of rain (hence why the water was moving so fast and it was not safe to swim) and again in December 2018 (after a period of no rain for several months hence why we were floating right on top of the waterfall).

The first time I went there was no direction. My friend Jo and I had to rely on one blog we found online, and thankfully it had pictures so we could match the blog pictures with our surroundings… When I went back in December someone has now put in sign posts that even include little maps so it is a lot easier.

Set your Google Maps to “Old Cairns Track.” This will take you up through the Gillies Highway and along the Atherton Tablelands. Keep an eye out for a few friends along the way.

Sunrise at Gillies Range Lookout
Cows crossing the road at sunrise
Rolling hills of Atherton Tablelands

You can drive until you can’t drive anymore or you see the sign for the carpark. The carpark is just a grassy patch on the side, not an actual car park. The road at the end of Old Cairns Track is not sealed and you have to be careful. In wet weather it can be highly likely that you will get bogged so be sure to know what you are doing, go in a larger car or only go in dry weather.

Once you have parked, walk down the same road until you come to a set of gates. Climb over them and continue walking down this track.

This track is a 4WD track so don’t be surprised by it’s rough terrain and how muddy it can be.

Walk for about 50 minutes until you come to a sign with a turn off. I find it is much easier to turn right at this first sign, rather than continue onto the second turn off later on.

Sign direction to Windin Falls attached to a tree
Trail through the bush marked by a colourful marker tied to a tree

Turn right and follow this path (which is quite steep heading down) for about 20 minutes. You will hear the waterfall before you see it.

Wet Weather Windin Falls

While we went both times to Windin Falls when it wasn’t raining, it had been raining quite significantly for the weeks preceding this. My understanding is that it doesn’t take more than a few days of heavy rain (which we get quite frequently in the wet season in Cairns) for Windin Falls to fill up and be so strong you can’t swim at the top. I would still go to Windin Falls if you don’t have the time to wait a few weeks because the view is worth it.

Girl sitting on edge of top of Windin Falls overlooking valley below
Feet hanging over the side of Windin Falls

girl sitting on the edge of the top of Windin Falls waterfall looking out over valley
Girl sitting overlooking the top of Windin Falls waterfall

Dry Weather Windin Falls

As I had been only when the falls were pumping, after a period of extensively dry weather I was itching to go back. Glad that I did although even though it was practically impossible to be swept by the waterfall over the edge, floating at the top with your eyes closed really gets the heart pumping…

Girl sitting on top of Windin Falls waterfall overlooking the valley below
Girl floating at the top of Windin Falls waterfall overlooking the valley below
three people taking photos of each other at the top of Windin Falls
There are a lot of photo ops
Girl sitting at the top of a Windin Falls waterfall over looking the valley below
Two girls taking a selfie at the top of Windin Falls waterfall
Two girls standing at the top of Windin Falls waterfall overlooking the valley below

I would leave about 2 hours each way to drive to Windin Falls plus 70 minutes each way for the walk and however long you want to spend at Windin Falls.

Take your rubbish with you when you leave it’s really disheartening as this place becomes increasingly popular to see drinks and food wrappers left behind.