Tucked up in the Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Maleny is Gardner’s Falls, a fantastic spot for families to spend some time together in the great outdoors. There’s something therapeutic about dipping your toes in water and Gardner’s Falls is suited to all ages, from toddlers to teenagers and mum and dad. Nobody will be left on the sidelines.
Nature has provided a simply fantastic place for families to enjoy. With a rocky bottom, the creek has a large shallow area suitable for toddlers to splash about freely. Owing to the width of this section the water flow generally is rather slow.
This then leads to the larger falls which plummets into a deeper waterhole for teenagers and adults to swim. The cool mountain water is refreshing and invigorating, especially on a hot day. Pack a picnic blanket and set up in the grass under the trees, or on the warm rocks surrounding the waterhole. Wander across the shallow water to the other side and explore the rainforest. Just be mindful that a rocky bottom can be rather slippery and uneven.
For the adventurous types, there are some unofficial rope swings at the deeper waterhole, and it is known for people to jump from the rocky ledges into the water. Caution is advised as it is very difficult to gauge water depth, it does vary, and is equally difficult to identify submerged dangers. Beyond the larger waterhole, the creek narrows and a small path has been beaten which follows the creek to shallow waterholes. There is a bit of rock hopping and ducking and dodging vegetation involved which adds to the adventure.
The Gardner’s Falls track
This is one of those outdoor activities that suits almost everyone. The track from the carpark to the falls is a flat 800 meters return, meaning it isn’t too far for little legs or legs that simply don’t want to walk too far. Following Obi Obi Creek, the path is dotted with picnic tables shaded by mature trees and the water is easily accessed along the path. Although not terribly long, it is a beautiful little walk and a great area for bird spotting.
While the main attraction may be the falls, there are other areas along the pathway to swim and splash. It is a sealed path, the bitumen may be a little rough, however, it is suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. The last 10 meters is compacted soil which can get a little muddy owing to people getting in and out of the water.
Carparking can be an issue on a hot day as there is a very small bitumen car park and limited parking on the side of the road. It is popular on a hot summer’s day and during school holidays. There is a singular composting toilet in the carpark, which is accessed by a ramp and doubles as the wheelchair accessible bathroom. Access to the tables and chairs located along the track are up steep embankments, which aren’t wheelchair nor stroller friendly. Don’t forget to pack the insect repellent, sunscreen, hat and drinking water. The creek water is not considered safe to drink and there aren’t water bubblers are available to refill water bottles.
How To Get There
Located at the end of Obi Lane at Maleny it takes roughly 90 minutes from Brisbane to Gardner’s Falls. Follow the Bruce Highway north, taking the Roy’s Road exit. Once on Roy’s Road turn right onto Steve Irwin Way at the first set of traffic lights, follow this until you get to Landsborough-Maleny Road where you need to turn left. Follow the Landsborough-Maleny Road to the top of the range, turning right into Obi Lane. There is a large brown Gardner’s Falls tourist sign. The carpark is at the end of the road. Obi Lane is a typical country road with dirt shoulders which you may need to use as the bitumen is not wide enough for two vehicles. Driving slowly along this road would be recommended.
Other things to do in Maleny
You might be interested in our rounds up of the best things to do in Maleny. As a general guide, after a refreshing dip, why not stop in at Maleny for a bite to eat at one of the many cafes along Maple Street or browse through the many unique stores. Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is also a popular stop-off as it has spectacular views of the Glasshouse Mountains and a fantastic multi-million dollar Rainforest Discovery Centre. It is located at 148 Mountain View Road, Maleny.