Location - Paluma State Forest, Queensland, Australia
Difficulty - Moderate, off-track creek rock hopping
Distance - 5 kilometres
Time - 1-2 hours
Grade - 4/5
Located within Paluma State Forest in North Queensland, Hermit Creek Falls is just northeast of Hidden Valley. Access to these areas is via the Hidden Valley side of Paluma State Forest or by following Hermit Creek downstream from Benham Falls.
The area around Hermit Falls is full of large, open, granite slabs, allowing easy walking alongside the creek. The she-oak forest and woodlands are stunning.
Hermit Falls is a spectacular sight to see and offers refreshing swimming areas.
Take note of the numerous cow pads around the area and seriously consider sterilising your water before drinking if collecting from the creek.
How to get there
Drive out to Hidden Valley and continue through Hidden Valley onto Mt Fox Road.
You have two options: walk up the creek until you reach the falls or continue along the road until you reach the National Park's signage – "No vehicle entry without permit." and bushwalk down to the creek.
If choosing the latter of the two, park the vehicle at the sign. You can also find a nice spot on the banks of upper Running River where you can swim and have a picnic. Walk along the dirt road (Benham's Track) for about 20 minutes, and then take a slight left uphill to the QPWS gate. From here, it is only 300 metres walk down to the creek, a gentle stroll downhill through open woodland, and then down to the creek. At this point, the creek is flat and bit scrubby, but it then opens up with rocks and walking becomes much easier.
Continue around the bend to see a great waterfall system, Hermit Falls. When there is a bit of water flow, it truly is an outstanding sight! This multi-tiered waterfall system also offers some good rock scrambling and swimming opportunities.
Best time of year to go?
Just after the wet season is the best time because it has already started to cool down. Furthermore, the falls look beautiful with a large volume of water flowing through them.
What to bring
- Water for the day (or refill via the creek, as long as you sterilise your water)
- Food and snacks
- Mossie spray
- Dry bag
- First Aid Kit & PLB (Personal Locator Beacon)
- Navigation gear - map & compass and/or GPS unit
Here's an interactive map of the area.