Conondale National Park, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Queensland, Australia.
Tucked away in the incredible Conondale National park, the top section of the beautiful two-part waterfall at Booloumba Falls provides a paradisiacal backdrop to a series of crystal clear pools. The main pool is deep and around 15m wide allowing for a few laps. You can tread water under the falls for a natural shower alternative and the water is very clear so bring a pair of goggles or a snorkel when there hasn’t been rain for a while. There is also a waist-deep plunge pool with a pebbly bottom and a heavenly view, just above the top section of falls. A (careful) scramble up and down the rocks is required to access this and another pool off to one side of the lower part of the falls.
How To Get There: From Brisbane, go north on the Bruce Highway and turn off at the Landsborough exit. Continue on through Maleny, following signs for Kenilworth. Before reaching Kenilworth, you will pass through a small town called Conondale. The turn-off to Booloumba Creek Road is about 13 km past Conondale. Continue along this road and you will come to the day use area and campgrounds, which are well signposted. The Booloumba Creek Day Use Area 1 swimming hole is easily accessible from here. From the Booloumba Creek day use area drive 9.8km to the falls car park. The track to the falls lookout is well signposted. There is a deep, largish pool around 1km along the trail and there are some steps at the end of the trail, just before the falls lookout, leading down to the main pool at the bottom of the top section of the falls.
Alternative access is via the Eumundi–Kenilworth Road, off the Bruce Highway. Kenilworth is about 28 km from the highway. The turn-off to Booloumba Creek Road is about 7.5 km past Kenilworth.
Difficulty of access: 4/10 – The road in is unpaved but gravel-covered and there are three river crossings. A high-clearance 4WD vehicle is recommended to access this spot. Getting to the falls involves a fairly easy 3km round trip hike along a clear, fairly flat but uneven trail and down a handful of steps to the pool.
Opening Times/Seasons: All Day/All Year although road closures may occur due to extreme weather. Check the current park alerts for Conondale National Park.
Entrance Fee: Free
Facilities Nearby: There are really clean flush toilets at the camping and day-use areas. Water is pumped from the river and so should be well boiled or treated before use.
Other Activities: The day-use area is the start and end point of the Conondale Range Great Walk which is a 56km, four day hike through the Conondale Range. There are several shorter walks which can be accessed from here. There is also a very beautiful lookout halfway along the road between the day-use area and the parking for the falls. This is a popular area for both mountain biking and horse-riding and there are designated tracks for both.
Other Places of Interest Nearby: The town of Maleny is known for its slightly hippie feel and high concentration of artists, writers and craftspeople which makes it an interesting place to experience, with many small bookshops and boutique giftshops selling locally made crafts.
Wildlife: The whole area is bushland and is a habitat for animals such as kangaroos, platypus, tiny bats, kookaburras and tree frogs.
Places to Eat: The Kenilworth Bakery offers more than your average country bakery with freshly and carefully prepared food and very friendly service. Alternatively, drop into Cedar Street Cheeserie in Maleny to stock up on some incredible buffalo mozzarella for your picnic basket and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch Trevor playing his trumpet.
Where to Camp: At Booloumba Creek there are several pre-bookable camping areas, some of which are only suitable for tents with others more suited to campers or caravans. Camping Area 1, which is right by the creek, is suitable for tents with a small walk from your car. You will need 4WD to access all the campsites and the swimming hole. There is 2WD accessible free camping in the Charlie Moreland camping area in the nearby Imbil State Forest where there is also a swimming hole.
Other places to Stay: There are a whole host of cottages and B&Bs near Kenilworth and in the surrounding area. Artisan Spa Views B&B offers excellent hospitality, amazing views and rooms with spa baths to warm up after your outdoor swims. Alternatively Pomodoras on Obi offers cabins right on Obi Obi Creek.
Nearby Towns: Brisbane, Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Maleny, Kenilworth, Montville, Cambroon
Other Swimming Spots Nearby: Booloumba Falls, Fairy Pools, Obi Lane, Obi Obi Creek River Crossing Number 2, Summer Falls, Mapleton Falls, Kondalilla Falls.
Comments: A beautiful, out of the way spot which is still fairly easy to access.