Location - Paluma State Forest / Paluma Range National Park, North Queensland, Australia
Difficulty - Grade 4
Distance - 5 km return
Time - Allow 1 hour return
Forgotten Falls in located near the boundary of Paluma State Forest and Paluma Range National Park. The nearby property is owned by the Charlie family, and sometimes these are called Charlie Falls and Charlie Creek. Because you can access this area via the state forest, permission from private property owners is not required.
How to get there
Allow 1 hour and 15 minutes (non-stop) to drive to Paluma. From Paluma, head toward Hidden Valley, and then turn right onto Chicks Road. Drive for a couple hundred metres before arriving at a gate. Park on the side of the road, and walk along the easy logging road north west. The track takes you past an old saw mill where the sawdust is piled so high and thick that it smothers the ground such that nothing grows; it will take many years for the sawdust to breakdown. From there, the trail continues to narrow, just barely accommodating quad bikes. You will then cross a small, intermittent stream and then descend the slopes to the top of Forgotten Falls.
Note that access is also possible via the K traverse.
Once at top of the falls, you can relax and take in the view or continue to scramble down the rock face to the pool at the bottom. There, you can relax a bit more and even enjoy a refreshing swim. If you are feeling more adventurous, continue downstream, rock hopping to the junction with Williams Creek where a large and deep waterhole awaits you. Along the way, you will encounter a couple more swimming areas.
When compared to other creek walks around Townsville and the surrounding areas, this is not a hard bushwalk. However, the weather can be hot and humid. Be mindful of slippery rocks and the scrubby bushland if you are going off-track.
What to bring
- A change of clothes for trip home
- Food for the day
- 1 L of water (refill from creek, and bring supplies to sterilise your water)
- Hat, sunscreen, insect repellant, long-sleeved shirt, and trousers or shorts with gaiters