Hike Tchupala Falls, Wallicher Falls and Nandroya Falls in Wooroonooran National Park Adventures in the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland
Experience More - Subscribe to Our Weekly Events Newsletter
Hike Tchupala Falls, Wallicher Falls and Nandroya Falls in Wooroonooran National Park Adventures in the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland.
Wooroonooran National Park is located in Far North Queensland, in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. It contains some of the most ancient rainforests, the descendants of the plants of the Gondwana Continent. Wooroonooran is the Aboriginal word for “Black Rock”. The park protects forests with precious trees, rivers, waterfalls, majestic mountains and rare wildlife.
Wooroonooran National Park is one of Queensland’s largest national parks. It has mountains, including Mount Bartle Frere, 1622 metres above sea level and Mount Bellenden Ker, 1592 metres above sea level.
Wooroonooran comprises a few sections: Walshs Pyramid, Goldsborough Valley, Josephine Falls and Palmerston.
The mountains of the park are able to seize the moisture carried by the winds blowing from the ocean, causing the moisture to fall in the form of rain. In summer the tropical monsoon causes heavy downpours. For these reasons the region is wet and the annual average of rain is always very high, about 8,000 mm every year.
The mountains in Wooroonooran are largely made up of granite, but basalt from relatively recent volcanic activity is present and it produces fertile soil. The rich soil and the regular rainfalls contribute to making a particularly fertile rainforest.
Tchupala Falls are formed by Henrietta Creek.
Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls Hike.
Trail on Mount Bartle Frere, Wooroonooran National Park.
Wooroonooran National Park has many areas not accessible, but there are trails, along the Palmerston Highway, that allow hikers to explore the amazing forest: Tchupala Falls, Wallicher Falls and Nandroya Falls trails.
Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls have the first 200 metres of trail in common. At the junction, they have a distinctive track.
Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls trails can be walked separately or walked as one hike.
The trailhead starts at the sign of the hikes just off Palmerston Hwy. It is very easy to miss the sign since it is obscured by the vegetation of the forest and it is placed inside the small parking area.
The beginning of the trail.
About 200 metres from the start, the trail splits: the right track leads to Tchupala Falls and the left track leads to Wallicher Falls.
After about 200 metres, the trail splitsinton two distinctive trails.
From the junction, the trail to Tchupala Falls is 400 metres, making it 1.2km return; allow about 40 minutes, the trail is classified Grade 2, and it is very easy and suitable for most people.
Tchupala Falls are formed by Henrietta Creek tumbling over basalt rocks that have been formed by past volcanic activity.
Along the trail, there are many forest trees, including milky pine, water gums, black beans, red tulip oaks and strangler figs.
There are many interesting trees along the trail.
When you return from Tchupala Falls and you arrive at the junction, take the trail to Wallicher Falls. The trail is easy, it is classified Grade 2, suitable for most of people.
From where the trail splits, the trail to Wallicher Falls is 800 metres long, allow 20 minutes.
On Wallicher Falls, there is an area where it is possible to stop and admire the falls and take photos. There is also a small trail that descends to the base of the fall, but when I hiked, I noticed that it was very steep, slippery, badly formed and eroded. For those reasons, I decided not to explore further the falls.
Please note that Wallicher Fallsise also called Wallacha Falls.
Hiking both the trail is a total of 2.8km return, allow about one hour.
Since the trails are short and easy, they can be hiked by bushwalkers with little experience and only a small amount of fitness is required.
Take time to hear the sounds of the forest and the sounds made by the rushing of the water. Be mindful of what your body perceives in those moments when you are in close contact with nature.
The place is always humid, supporting the growth of the long moss on the trees.
From Wallicher Falls, the trail continues to Gooligans picnic area and from there it is possible to reach Nandroya Falls and Silver Creek Falls, making a much longer hike.
Sketch of the trail along Palmerston Hwy, on Wooroonooran National Park.
After hiking Tchupala Falls and Wallicher Falls trails, drive to the trailhead of Nandroya Falls. The trail starts at Henrietta Creek camping area; it is a short 2 minutes drive on Palmerston Hwy, 2.6km.
From Henrietta Creek camping area, cross the footbridge over Henrietta Creek.
The sign marks the start of the walk.
Keep following the trail and when you see the intersection, just take the left branch of the trail. The trail leads to Nandroya Falls, which is about 1.7km long.
Walking the trail in a clockwise direction, on your right you can see the Nandroya trail, just follow the left branch.
Before arriving at Nandroya Falls, you pass Silver Creek Falls, 10 metres drop waterfall.
Nandroya Falls is formed by Douglas Creek which drops in a narrow 50 metres fall from the basalt rocks.
What to Bring.
Bring plenty of water, 1.5 litres and healthy snacks.
Hiking gear: a medium hiking backpack, hiking clothes: long trousers and shirt with long sleeves are preferable; hiking ankle supportive boots; gaiters; first aid kit; insect repellent, preferably in the form of cream; hat, sunscreen, gloves; light raincoat; tissues; mobile phone; walking poles if you like to use them.
The root system of a tree in the rainforest on Nandroya Falls trail.
Hiking in the surviving rainforests in Wooroonooran National Park which have international importance and value. Therefore, the Gondwana Rainforests are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage.
Good to Know.
A fungi in the rainforest resembles the shape of a sea coral.
The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia are situated on the east coast, along the Great Escarpment. The remarkable ancient shield volcanic craters, and the high number of rare plants and animals, have international value for science and conservation.
Australia was part of a great land mass called Gondwana which later broke up and formed the continents. The Gondwana Rainforests still today contain unique plants and animals that are descendants from the oldest lineage. For these reasons, the Gondwana Rainforest is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage.
Australia has twenty World Heritage Sites in the UNESCO World Heritage List, including the Great Barrier Reef, Shark Bay in Western Australia, Fraser Island, Australia Convict Sites and Lord Howe Island.
On the trail to the summit of Bartle Frere.
From Cairns is about 1 hour and half, 113km drive travelling on the Bruce Hwy. Near Innisfail, take Palmerstone Hwy and travel for about 20 minutes, 30km to the head trail of Tchupala and Wallicher Falls.
There is a small area just off Palmerston Hwy, probably is better to drive a bit further and park the car on the dirt road on the left.
Then keep driving for about two minutes to Henrietta Creek camping area. The hike to Nandroya Falls starts after crossing the footbridge.
The starting of the tail is just off Palmerstone Hwy, it can be easily missed.
]LINK https://www.dcceew.gov.au/parks-heritage/heritage/about/world-heritage#:~:text=Australia%20has%2020%20sites%20inscribed,to%20the%20cultural%2C%20social%20and/ https://www.dcceew.gov.au/parks-heritage/heritage/about/world-heritage#:~:text=Australia%20has%2020%20sites%20inscribed,to%20the%20cultural%2C%20social%20and]
More Articles by the Author.
Explore the Atherton Tablelands in a Week
Josephine Falls, Wooroonooran National Park
Hike to Big Rock Camp, Mount Bartle Frere
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
262396 - 2023-09-06 10:01:28