Looking to find one of the best waterfalls in the Sunshine Coast? Welcome to Kondalilla Falls! It’s a famous waterfall with its own brown tourist sign on the highway from Brisbane to Sunshine Coast!
If you’ve ever wondered how much of a mission it is to reach the Kondalilla Falls rock pools, we’re about to tell you everything you need to know about getting there.
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Firstly, Where Is Kondalilla Falls?
Kondalilla Falls is situated in Kondalilla National Park near the touristy town of Montville on the unsurprisingly named Kondalilla Falls Road. It takes around 1h30m to drive to one of the best National Parks in Sunshine Coast, but it makes a fab day trip from Brisbane!
Why Is It Popular?
Kondalilla Falls in Montville is really popular because it’s the biggest waterfall in Sunshine Coast. It’s not too difficult to reach, and there’s a stunning safe swimming hole at the top of the falls as well. Come here on a hot day for a dip, and you won’t be disappointed!
Which One Should You Visit: Kondalilla Falls or Gardeners Falls?
If you’re unsure which Sunshine Coast swimming hole to visit, we preferred Kondalilla Falls simply because it makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the Hinterland.
While Gardners Falls is easier to get to (it’s just a 5-minute stroll from the car park), it was really busy when visiting and didn’t have the same unique feel to it as Kondalilla Falls has. Many people think it’s pretty far to get to, which is why it’s not as busy as you’d expect it to be.
Even if you’re not bothered to walk down to Kondalilla Falls, there’s a lovely picnic area near to the car park, complete with picnic tables and toilet facilities. There are no toilets at the Kondalilla rock pools as it’s in the middle of the bush.
There’s a couple of places to eat near the Kondalilla Falls car park, Elements Tea House and the vegetarian and seafood restaurant at the beautiful Kondalilla Eco Resort, which sits above the car park. We have both on our list to visit next time we’re in the area!
Kondalilla Falls Circuit: What To Expect
Wondering what to expect on the Kondalilla Falls Circuit? Here’s our low down on everything you need to know about tackling this Sunshine Coast walk.
How Long Is The Kondalilla Falls Walk?
I know the first thing I always search for when researching walks is how long it will take me? The truth is, it takes around 20 minutes to walk to the rock pool, then about 20 minutes to continue down to the bottom of the falls. The track is 4.7km and takes roughly 1h20m to walk to the falls, continue down to the bottom and back up to the car park again.
I would leave a good 2 hours to do this hike in Kondalilla National Park because you’ll want to stay much longer at the rock pools than you think.
How Easy Is the Track To Follow?
The walking track in Kondalilla National Park is straightforward to follow. The only point you’ll have to wonder about is when you reach the stairs, about five minutes into the walk. Two paths lead off the stairs, one to the left and one to the right. Take the right path on the way to the rock pool as you’ll end up walking downhill to the falls with a beautiful lookout to enjoy the views on the way.
Then on the way back, you’ll be able to take the other track, which is flat on the way back. The first time I went to Kondalilla Falls, I took the right track, then recently, we took the left track both ways, but it’s still a beautiful walk regardless.
When you reach the rock pool, you can then go back on yourself slightly and continue down the 100 steps to the bottom of Kondalilla Falls. It then loops back in a circuit and will bring you back to the rock pool again.
Swimming At Kondalilla Falls: What To Expect
I have swum at Kondalilla Falls both times I have visited in February and recently in September. In February, I nearly didn’t go in, but I’m glad I did. Do you know why? There is something quite magical about swimming in this rock pool that you won’t understand until you do it. You can swim right up to the waterfall if you like and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of it. Some people do jump off the top of the rock pool, but if you do this, be super careful because accidents do happen.
When I swam in the rock pool in September, it was freezing. I don’t think I have ever been that cold before, but I felt amazing afterwards. I suppose that’s why cold water swimming has become a thing back in Europe now!
The water isn’t crystal clear, but that doesn’t really matter, to be honest. I think you’ll appreciate the pure beauty of this place and the views out to the Hinterland from there too.
Is It Worth Walking Down To The Bottom Of Kondalilla Falls?
When I did this walk in Sunshine Coast Hinterland, it was busy at the rock pool. As I started to walk down to the bottom of the waterfall, I didn’t see another person in sight at all. While the walk was nice to have some time to myself, the base of the falls wasn’t inspiring. I would recommend visiting after it’s been raining in the Summer wet season to see the water flowing personally.
Things To Know Before You Go
There are a couple of things you should know before you do the beautiful walk!
Wear mossie spray – we were getting bitten even in September!
Be careful of snakes – we spotted a black snake next to the path on the way down!
The whole family will be able to walk down to the falls – it’s not a challenging walk, but there are steps involved down to the rock pool. Just be careful of the wildlife on the trail and only visit in daylight hours. It’s a lovely walk with stunning views, but make sure you bring loads of water in the Summer heat because it does get sweltering in Sunshine Coast in Summer.
Other Walks To Consider In Kondalilla National Park
There are other Kondalilla National Park walks to consider if you’re staying in the area for a couple of days.
Picnic Creek Circuit
Picnic Creek Circuit is an easy 1.7km return walk which takes just 45 minutes and is popular with families. It’s shared with the Kondalilla Falls Circuit too.
Baroon Pocket to Kondalilla Falls
Want to do a longer hike from Kondalilla Falls? You might consider the Baroon Pocket to Kondalilla Falls walk, which takes around 5 hours to complete the 20km walk. It’s a spectacular walk and one to put on your bucket list!
Baxter Falls Walk
There are two walks to get to the Baxter Falls in Kondalilla National Park. You can either take the Southern end, which is a 7.6km return walk and around 3 hours. Or, you can take the northern end walk, which is 6.6km return and about 3 hours return.
The Baroon Lookout walk takes around 2 hours to complete 4.9km walk. You’ll pass by the Obi Obi Creek and into the Blackall Range.
Obi Obi Gorge
The Obi Obi Gorge is a 14km one way, 8.5hrs walk, including rock hopping and swimming through the beautiful gorge. Alternatively, you can follow the Sunshine Coast Great Walk path instead.
Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk
The famous Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is a 58km, 4-day hike which takes you right through Kondalilla National Park!
How to spend a day trip from Brisbane at Kondalilla Falls
We recommend spending the morning at Kondalilla Falls before wandering around the nearby touristy town of Montville and Maleny.
Montville has some epic views from the Hinterland and out to the ocean. It’s also near to the beautiful Lake Baroon, which we just love! Visit the Secrets On The Lake for lunch, which has views overlooking it, and you won’t be disappointed!
If you’re heading on to Maleny, we recommend going to Mountain View Road to see an epic view of the Glass House Mountains. Read our guide for Things To Do In Maleny and if you time it right and visit on the third Saturday of the month, make sure you make an effort to visit Witta Markets. It’s a gorgeous market, just 10 minutes out of Maleny.
If you’ve got more time up your hands, make sure you visit the stunning Kenilworth and Conondale National Park. You won’t be disappointed! You can check out our guide for the Best Things To Do In Kenilworth here!
Everything You Need To Know About Kondalilla Falls Sunshine Coast