Gardners Falls; an easy and amazing swimming hole

On a scorching hot day, after exploring some of the Glasshouse Mountains 4WD tracks we were keen to find somewhere to swim. Despite having visited dozens of Queensland Waterfalls, we’re still not tired of them, and Gardners Falls was going to keep the record going on.

This is a beautiful waterfall that is hugely popular, easy to get to and absolutely worth a look.

Gardners Falls is fantastic
Gardners Falls was a surprise in many ways

Where is Gardners Falls?

This beautiful place is only minutes out of Malanda township, and its easy enough to find and get to.

No vehicles over 4500kg GVM

Interestingly, there’s a sign at the start of the road to Gardners falls that says no vehicles over 4500kg GVM, which would rule out most trucks, and even a number of the American Pickups that are becoming quite popular.

The reasoning behind this is quite clear when you arrive; it’s a tiny area to turn around and the parking is even more limited.

Gardners Falls are fantastic
You can’t take a vehicle over 4.5 tonne GVM here

The parking is very limited

Going on from the above, the parking options here are quite limited. There’s about 14 car parks in the main parking area, and then enough to squeeze 3 or 4 cars in down the bottom (just don’t block the emergency access; adhere to the no standing signs), and then there’s a few sections up the hill on the edge of the road where you can park. Beware of the soft sand/gravel if you aren’t in a 4WD vehicle.

Parking at Gardners Falls
The parking here is pretty limited

Amenities at Gardners Falls

There’s a toilet at the start of the walk trail, along with a nice grassy area, a few picnic tables and some shade to sit in.

It gets very busy

We visited on a normal Monday, and the car park was full when we arrived, in the middle of the day. Granted, it was a warm day, but I’d be surprised if parking was easy to find on any weekend when its swimming weather, so bear that in mind when planning a trip!

How long is the walk to Gardners Falls?

It’s literally 300 metres from the car park to the falls, along a virtually flat, and bitumen walking trail. Once you’re at the falls, you have the option of swimming in a few different water holes, or climbing down towards the creek.

The walk to Gardners Falls is super easy
The walk is short and easy to get to the falls

Swimming at Gardners Falls

In summer, the primary place people swim is just above the falls in the large pool, or in the main pool under the falls. The water on the way to the falls was fairly stagnant with algae growing, and is not where you’d want to swim.

That said, even in mid October, the main pool was incredibly deep and big, with plenty of room for you to access at numerous points and have a really good swim.

Swimming at Gardners Falls
There’s plenty of room to swim

Rope swings

It’s not that common to see rope swings at waterholes anymore, but we counted at least 3 when we arrived, and then there’s plenty of places where people are jumping off the rocks. One of the rope swings was very small, another was about 3 metres off the water, and the other around 5 metres.

There is huge potential for something to go wrong using these, and we saw a number of people with very red parts of their bodies from landing badly. That said, they’re a lot of fun, and if you take responsibility for your actions in using them, then they might even stay there.

A huge rope swing into Gardners Falls
The big rope swing into the falls was pretty substantial
Swinging into Gardners Falls
It’d be a good 5 – 6 metre drop

Does the water stop flowing?

There was still a bit of water flowing down the falls in mid October, and I reckon it would probably stop when limited rain hits. That said, the main pool is well and truly deep enough to be able to swim in year round, and it’s a beautiful, refreshing place to be.

Above Gardners Falls
The water at the top slows a lot, but the pool at the bottom is very deep

Would we recommend a visit?

I didn’t have huge expectations for this falls. Its right next to a major town, is easy to get to and isn’t talked about too much, but I found it fantastic. It was absolutely perfect for a cool off, and being so easy to get to its well and truly worth a visit.

We’ve seen far more spectacular waterfalls (like Blencoe Falls, or even Wallaman Falls), but Gardners Falls is absolutely worth a stop.

Gardners Falls views
Gardners Falls are absolutely worth a visit

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