Location - Macalister Range National Park, Far North Queensland, Australia
Duration - approximately 2 hours return
Distance - ~8 km return
Difficulty - Grade 4, easy
Elevation gain - 290 m total gain (undulating)
Main waterfall height - ~15 metres
Water depth - ~ 3 metres in the deeper parts
North of Cairns, close to Wangetti, is where Hartleys Creek Falls, a cascading waterfall, may be found. Although somewhat of a "local secret," this waterfall has gained popularity since COVID. Hidden near the well-known Hartley's Crocodile Adventures at the back of Wangetti. You can swim, relax, and take in the nature at Hartleys Creek Falls.
Just along the Captain Cook Highway in Wangetti, Hartleys Creek Falls is only 15 km from Palm Cove and 43 km from Cairns. Located right off the highway is a broad and simple walking path that leads to Hartley's Creek Falls.
How to get to Hartley's Creek Falls
To get to the Hartley's Creek trailhead, head north on the Captain Cook Highway from Cairns towards Wangetti. The trailhead is located 500 meters past Hartleys Crocodile Adventures, near the "Hartleys Creek Retreat." Use Google maps to navigate to the retreat and park in the large clearing in front of it. The trailhead is signposted to the left of the retreat's front gate.
The hike is a gentle 1.5 km climb along the banks of Hartleys Creek, with a scenic rest stop at a waterhole halfway through. The trail ends at Hartleys Creek Falls, a ~15-meter waterfall with a great swimming hole. The hike is easy and enjoyable, and don't worry about crocodiles, there are no sightings of them here.
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