To see Highfields Falls in action, wait for rainy weather. If you go in the warmer, dry months, you will have your ears stunned by thousands of cicadas doing a Mexican wave from one end of the bush to the other and back again. It's very enjoyable and the walk is a good spot for aerobics if you find there's no water flowing.
The upper, main portion of Highfields Falls.
The falls are located in Highfields about 15 minutes drive from Toowoomba. Turn off the New England Highway at Dau Road and keep going to the end of the road. The walk is about 300 metres from the top of the track to the bottom of the falls. If you head off the main track to the right at the beginning of the walk, it's about 200 metres to the top of the falls, then about 220 metres from there to its lower section.
The main track is rocky and wide S-bends down to a gully, then meanders down some stairs to the falls. In two places, the path forks off to the right, one at the top and one further down. The first right takes you to a beautiful vista at the top of the falls, where you can clamber down the boulders for a closer view. It's possible to rock-hop across the top of the falls for a look down. At this point, however, I was suddenly inundated by a swarm of bees attracted to some vegetation.
There is one main fall and smaller falls near the bottom. At the top of the falls, the creek widens out and is quite picturesque, comparable to many rainforest views. Whipbirds, dragonflies, wildflowers and butterflies accompany your hike. A few impressively tall trees will watch over your progress. Plus there are a rainforest ferns and patches of lantana. At the falls themselves, there is a beautiful sweep of tree-covered slopes down to the gully. The main track peters out onto a grassed area, the end marked by an arched tree trunk.
Tourist information lists the fitness level required for the walk as 'moderate'. I'd say my fitness is lower than moderate and it was no trouble, with a few rest breaks. There is limited street parking and there are no facilities in the parkland.
The Highfields Falls, fed from a flowing creek, are a refreshing outing for the family, without having to go far out of town. For the region, it's one of the best nature walks, boasting a waterfall, dense bushland, delightful views and bird-song. It's also not high in human traffic, especially on weekdays. Take a bottle of water and wear a hat and sunscreen.
Pooling water where you can rock-hop for a better view down.