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Three Waterfalls You Can Swim In On The Sunshine Coast

Home > Sunshine Coast > Camping | Swimming Pools | Unusual Things to do | Walks | Lists
by Elaine (subscribe)
Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published January 8th 2017
Think: Clear, Crisp, Mountain-Fresh Pools
Waterfalls you can swim in, rock pools, picnics, walks, camping, mountain-fresh water, Booloumba Falls, Conondale National Park, Gardener's Falls, Maleny, Kondadilla Falls, Kondadilla National Park
Waterfalls you can swim in - Image: Pixabay CCO Public Domain


With the jelly fish (including the Irukandji) rapidly approaching the Sunshine Coast — according to the authorities, they've reached Fraser Island already — we might all be looking for different, safer spots to swim. Whilst out and about adventuring, we have found three waterfalls with rock pools ideal for that clear, crisp mountain-fresh water, outdoor swim.

Booloumba Falls, Conondale National Park

Waterfalls you can swim in, rock pools, picnics, walks, camping, mountain-fresh water, Booloumba Falls, Conondale National Park, Gardener's Falls, Maleny, Kondadilla Falls, Kondadilla National Park
Stunning Conondale National Park - Image: Elaine de Wet


The Booloumba Falls tucked away in the Conondale National Park is a bit further afield than one might be keen to venture and entails an approximate one and a half kilometre walk to reach the pristine waterfalls and swimming spots.

The top section of the stunning two-part waterfall at Booloumba Falls provides a heavenly backdrop to a series of crystal clear pools. The main pool is fairly deep and about fifteen metres wide allowing for a few laps. Perhaps you'd fancy a natural shower? You can tread water under the falls with water so clear, it would be worth it to bring along a pair of goggles and a snorkel.

Just above the top section of the Falls is a waist-deep plunge pool with a pebbly bottom and views forever. To access this pool, a bit of rock scrambling is required.

Waterfalls you can swim in, rock pools, picnics, walks, camping, mountain-fresh water, Booloumba Falls, Conondale National Park, Gardener's Falls, Maleny, Kondadilla Falls, Kondadilla National Park
Rock scrambling, sun-baking - Image: Elaine de Wet


A day trip to the Booloumba Falls is quite do-able, but a high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle is essential. Alternatively, one can take a few days off and pre-book a camping spot in this very beautiful region of the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Just imagine relaxing back in the water and being able to immerse yourself in the stunning surrounds of the natural beauty of the Conondale National Park.

Gardner's Falls

Waterfalls you can swim in, rock pools, picnics, walks, camping, mountain-fresh water, Booloumba Falls, Conondale National Park, Gardener's Falls, Maleny, Kondadilla Falls, Kondadilla National Park
Obi Obi Creek at Gardner's Falls - Image: Elaine de Wet


You'll find Gardner's Falls on the banks of the Obi Obi Creek in the Maleny area. A short eight hundred metre level walk from the car park downstream will get you to the falls — a picturesque pool surrounded by rock ledges. With the natural Australian bush all around the waterhole, one could be forgiven for thinking you've discovered a little slice of heaven smack bang in the middle of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Feeling brave and agile? Why not try out the rope swing?

If you're not into swimming in the rock pools, Gardner's Falls is still perfect to spend a lazy day, dipping your toes into the water while the littlies can splash around in the shallow rock pools.

Waterfalls you can swim in, rock pools, picnics, walks, camping, mountain-fresh water, Booloumba Falls, Conondale National Park, Gardener's Falls, Maleny, Kondadilla Falls, Kondadilla National Park
Natural beauty - Image: Elaine de Wet


Gardner's Falls is open all year round - remember to check the Sunshine Coast Council website after heavy rainfalls to make sure roads are accessible.

This is a stunning area to walk, picnic, swim and immerse yourself in the sounds of nature.

Kondadilla Falls, Kondadilla National Park

Waterfalls you can swim in, rock pools, picnics, walks, camping, mountain-fresh water, Booloumba Falls, Conondale National Park, Gardener's Falls, Maleny, Kondadilla Falls, Kondadilla National Park
Mother Nature at her pristine best - Image: Elaine de Wet


Mother Nature is definitely at her best at the Kondadilla Falls in the Kondadilla National Park. To access the rock pools at the base of the Kondadilla Falls, one takes the scenic 4.7km return walking trail down the escarpment to the picnic area. This trail is through breathtaking rainforests, and is serene and cool on a hot day, with the sounds of water in the distance enticing you to reach the swimming hole.

To access the Kondadilla Falls, enter the National Park on Kondadilla Falls Road in Flaxton from a well-maintained picnic area with lawns and toilet facilities for the day tripper.

Waterfalls you can swim in, rock pools, picnics, walks, camping, mountain-fresh water, Booloumba Falls, Conondale National Park, Gardener's Falls, Maleny, Kondadilla Falls, Kondadilla National Park
Grab your togs and have a swim in clear mountain-fresh water - Image: Elaine de Wet


Get the family together, pack a picnic lunch and your togs and make a day of it. There's nothing quite like fresh, crisp mountain water to clear the head, and I know you'll agree with me, all three of these falls are definite 'must-do's'.

Where's your favourite waterfall swimming spot - please feel free to add any to the comments box.
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Why? To enjoy the natural beauty of mountain-fresh rock pools
When: Any day of the week
Where: Sunshine Coast surrounds
Cost: Free to swim and picnic
Your Comment
I'm assuming there will be sign posts to warn the public if the pools are rocky.
by Barry (score: 2|403) 222 days ago
Nice article
by Irenke Forsyth (score: 3|1080) 221 days ago
Nice photos in their, well done :)
by RC (score: 3|1215) 209 days ago
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