Emerald Creek in the Dinden Forest Reserve is a site full of natural wonders, its highlight being the waterfall. The journey there was extremely bumpy as all 8km of Emerald Falls Road is a dirt road in poor condition. We don't recommend caravans attempt this road, you'd be best off in a 4WD vehicle although we did see non-4WD's had made it to the Emerald Creek carpark.
To get there, look for the Tinaroo Creek Road turn off on the Kennedy Highway just outside Mareeba. Cobra Road is on the left, and this road eventually becomes the Emerald Falls Road, ending at Emerald Creek.
There are BBQ and composting toilet amenities at the site, but no rubbish bins so you are responsible for your own rubbish. Another attractive feature of Emerald Creek is that dogs are allowed provided they are on leashes. Not everyone abides by this, so if you have small children or a dog, be aware of other people visiting with dogs.
We tied some tyres onto trees overhanging the creek for the kids to play on, then we went exploring. There were heaps of unique water features, with water cascading over granite boulders into pools. It was starting to get really chilly by around 5pm so we packed up and decided to go check out the Emerald Falls.
The walking track is 1.9km long, return. It took us about a hour and half at a leisurely pace for the 2 year old that was determined to walk most of it herself.
Along the way one of the kids had an unfortunate mishap with skinned knees while racing back down the path. Apparently she came across a large snake lingering on the path and they both got a fright. The snake slithered off quick smart into the scrub once the shrieking started, and we didn't see it again.
We lingered at the top of the track, taking photos of Emerald Falls before heading back down for a quick splash off in Emerald Creek in the dark. There was a beautiful orangey pink sunset as we drove off.