Next time the sun peeks over the horizon, bringing with it the humid promise of another hot summer’s day, forget about making the routine trip to the beach, local pool or water park. Instead, steer your family-filled car toward Cedar Creek Falls at Tamborine Mountain.
Not only will you spend less time in traffic and avoid returning with two buckets of sand sprinkled generously throughout your car, but your entire family is bound to fall in love with the gorgeous scenery this natural attraction offers.
One of the most delightful walks in the Tamborine area is the Cedar Creek Falls Track (1.1 km return), which explores the creek’s various cascades, rock pools, flora and fauna.
This park section is easily reached via Tamborine Mountain Road, with the turn-off to Cedar Creek Falls Road just past the information map stopping bay on the left. From here, it is only a short drive down a narrow road and across a tiny creek before coming to the Cedar Creek Falls section and the small car park at its entrance.
This carpark is small and fills up quickly, so you will need to get there early or be prepared for a bit of a walk from where you park the car to the start of the trail. The trip up the mountain and to the falls entrance is stunning in itself, though the best is still yet to be discovered!
A Picturesque Picnic Spot
Whether you head straight to the falls or stop and eat something first, you will definitely want to pack a picnic lunch for your day trip to Cedar Creek Falls.
Right at the start of the walking trail are two spectacular picnic spots, with toilets nearby. Nestled amongst a canopy of trees is a sprinkling of picnic tables and barbeques, with plenty of large, flat grassy areas perfect for throwing down a blanket or kicking a footy around with the kids. Some people opt to pack light and picnic beside the falls themselves, though, for families with little ones, the picnic spots will be less stressful and easier to access.
Once all bellies are full, it’s a good idea to take all the picnic gear back to the car before heading off on the walk to the falls. Although it is not a very long (15 minutes) walk, the main place to rest once you reach the falls is on the rocky boulders surrounding them, so it’s best if you don’t have to carry a great deal with you. Just make sure you have your swimmers and sturdy shoes for the walk!
The Cedar Creek Trail and Lookouts
The first section of the track is a quick walk along a flat bitumen path to the first Cedar Creek Falls Lookout point (roughly 500m). The even path that crosses over a small wooden bridge is stroller and wheelchair-friendly and easy for the young or elderly to navigate. Upon reaching the lookout, you are rewarded with views over waterfalls, rock pools and cascades from a high vantage point – it’s a wonderful view for very little effort.
The final 900m of walking track from the lookout to the actual rock pools is not as easy, so it is advisable to do this on foot. Unfortunately, wheelchairs and strollers will not be able to access this part.
Even though it’s slightly more arduous and an uphill climb on the way back, it is still a relatively easy trail. The track is sealed, though patchy in places, and can get a bit muddy after heavy rain (one of the best times to visit the falls!).
As you walk the trail, the track forks and you can choose to go either left or right (with both tracks meeting up again further on). If you head down the stairs to the left, you will reach another lookout with fantastic views of the three upper waterfalls and rock pools. Once the tracks rejoin, follow the path as it zigzags down the canyon and through the open forest before finally arriving at the rock pools below.
Cedar Creek Falls & Rock Pools
At first glance, you will know exactly why the falls are one of the most popular things to do at Tamborine Mountain.
These breathtaking natural, freshwater pools are surrounded by an impressive amphitheatre of rock formations and lined by lush tropical rainforests filled with strangler figs and towering cedar trees. The air comes alive with the natural orchestra of rushing waterfalls, trickling streams and the gentle birdsong that filters down from the canopies above.
Access to the Cedar Creek Rock Pools is easy, scrambling over sloped rock shelves, though care does need to be taken as they are often slippery. Feel free to immerse yourself and explore the different pools and waterfalls as they flow steadily down the canyon, trickling over rocks and weaving amongst boulders. Be warned, though – the water is often chilly, even in the peak of summer, and jumping from the higher areas is prohibited due to submerged rocks.
Take note of the signs on your visit to ensure you are accessing areas deemed safe, as accidents can and have happened here in the past.
A natural waterfall that runs all year round fills the large rock pool at the base of the falls, but this is especially spectacular in the wet season. When the rains have been, the falls are thunderous in their descent, and it’s magical to sit behind them as it falls magnificently around you.
Best time to visit Cedar Creek Falls Tamborine Mountain
The best months to view the falls are between December and April each year, though even the dryer months can provide clean mountain water into the lagoons. Sunny Queensland winters provide some truly spectacular views.
You can make it a full day visit to Cedar Creek Falls too, as the park is open until 8pm in October to March and until 6pm from April to September. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as it is quite exposed all year ’round.
It would be an experience missed if you didn’t visit Cedar Creek Falls next time you are in the Tamborine Mountain area, or when you are looking for a fun way to spend a day with your family. With its enchanting falls, magnificent gorge, gentle trek and delightful picnic grounds, it is easy to lose some hours and gain some memories with your loved ones. Better still, its sheer beauty and refreshing pools will ensure you leave with a carload of tired, happy bodies with no grain of sand in sight!
For families looking for more swimming holes in this area, there is also the Cedar Creek Conservation Park which has smaller rock pools, located downstream on Cedar Creek Falls Road. A large swimming spot on the corner of Beaudesert-Beenleigh Road and Stanmore Road is better suited to older children or more competent swimmers. However, this location has no toilet or picnic facilities.
Cedar Creek Falls Rock Pools are located in Tamborine National Park, off Cedar Creek Falls Road in Cedar Creek.