Location - Paluma State Forest / Paluma Range National Park, North Queensland, Australia
Difficulty - Grade 4
Distance - 5-11 km return, depending on the route you take
Time - Allow 1-2 hour return, depending on the route you take
UPDATE 2020: An access track to Forgotten Falls and Platypus Lagoon (Williams Creek) can be hiked via the K-Traverse from Paluma Dam Road - details below.
Forgotten Falls, also known as Surprise Falls, is located near the boundary of Paluma State Forest and Paluma Range National Park.
Forgotten Falls is accessed via the state forest on the west side or via the national park from the east, and so permission from private property owners is not required. However, the continuation of Chicks Road is not a gazetted road; therefore, unauthorised vehicles beyond this point are restricted to emergency services. As such, it is recommended to access Forgotten Falls and Platypus Lagoon from the K-Traverse via Paluma Dam Road.
- Forgotten Falls was often hiked yearly by the Townsville Bushwalking Club.
- In 2019, one of the nearby private property owners put a quad bike track in.
- In 2020, Hidden Valley residents were getting upset with the popularity of the falls. National Park volunteers (Wanderstories, Wilfred Karnoll, and company), as well as the Let's Walk Townsville group, recut part of the K Traverse and a track to Forgotten Falls as an alternative access point.
What to bring
- Food for the day
- 1L of water (refill from the creek, and bring supplies to sterilise your water)
- Hat, sunscreen, insect repellant, long-sleeved shirt, and trousers or shorts with gaiters to protect you from the sun and vegetation
- A change of clothes for the trip home
How to get there
There are two ways to access this area, via the K-Traverse from Paluma Dam Road (recommended) or via Hidden Valley. A car shuttle is required if you are planning on a through-walk.
Forgotten Falls via the K-Traverse (Paluma Dam Road)
Once you turn off onto Mount Spec Road, which you can access via the Bruce Highway, follow Mount Spec Road until you can turn onto Paluma Dam Road. After about 3.5 kilometres, you can park your car at the old rusty gate (-18.992904, 146.165886). Then, you can start this hike by walking along the K-Traverse, which used to be an old logging road.
Walk for about 4 kilometres until you reach the fork in the path (-18.989004, 146.137701). If you were to turn right, you'd remain on the K-Traverse. But, instead, continue toward the left side of the fork, which will take you down into William's Creek where, after about 600 metres or so, you will arrive at Platypus Lagoon.
From Platypus Lagoon, continue along the trail for another 700 or so metres to reach the base of Forgotten Falls. Scramble up the right-hand side of the falls to the top.
K-Traverse to Forgotten Falls