Writer, sometimes adventurer and wrangler to little people and pets. Visit readyforpets.com/ for more articles.
Published November 5th 2012
Water so fresh it should be bottled
There is something truly magical about freshwater swimming. The cool water is refreshing, the surroundings are peaceful and somehow the whole experience is more special and secluded than your average dip in the ocean.
Freshwater swimming spots are like hidden treasures. Gardener's Falls at Maleny is like a little jewel in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, just waiting to be discovered.
To get to Gardener's Falls, turn off of Landsborough-Maleny Rd onto Obi Creek Road. Follow Obi Creek Road to the car parking area. From here, there is a sealed path that follows the Obi Obi river for the short stroll to the falls. This is a nice gentle bush walk and is level in most areas. There are rock pools that are perfect for younger children to explore and splash about. For the more adventurous, there is a large rock pool (with rope swings). On our last stop there were several boys taking the plunge off the rope swings but caution is advised as the water levels are hard to gauge.
There are several picnic tables along the way or you can spread your rug on one of the large rock formations and enjoy a picnic right by the water's edge. Toilets are also available near the carpark.
You can visit Gardener's Falls year round to enjoy the rock pools and rainforest setting. Access may be limited after heavy rains due to potential flooding.
What to bring hiking boots are not required as it is a short, level walk towels and swimmers if you are keen for a dip. Or you can roll up the pants and enjoy a splash in a little rock pool. lunch - this is a great spot for a family picnic Insect repellent - the mozzies can get a bit active after the rain
It is a great spot for a swim and will be perfect after the recent rains. Very popular with teenagers and young 20s but also with families. You can jump in from the edges or go around to the shallow side but take thongs or sandals if you're going to do the latter because the path is a bit muddy. Kondalilla Falls pool is nicer. Both quieter on a weekday than weekends.
I wouldnt bottle the water, my son had a fall there and cracked head open, it became infected days later with bacteria from the water there, it has cow manure traces and other ecoli type bacterias like any natural water hole. Jumping off the highest point should also be cautioned against, many people have slipped and fallen onto the shallow water below and landed on the rocks slightly submeged beneath the water. It is also advised that you take a bag to put your rubbish in. As a local I am always discusted and angry at the rubbish left bhind by tourists and teens. If you want to visit for the natural beauty of the place then actively try to keep it that way.