Murray Falls

Murray Falls
Cover photo by @ourwhittleadventure

Location - Jumgun, Far North Queensland, Australia

Murray Falls in the foothills of the Kirrama Range is a picturesque spot where crystal clear water cascades over water-sculpted boulders into rock pools, 10 metres below. The falls can be admired from a boardwalk and viewing platform and the day-use area is a great spot for a picnic. Murray Falls forms part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. It is a special place where rainforest-covered mountains meet tropical lowlands in the scenic hills of the Kirrama Range.

Are you looking for a relaxing weekend away where you can explore the tropical rainforests and swim in crystal clear water. Situated in Girramay National Park, about two-and-a-half hours north of Townsville, Murray Falls is one of Queensland's prettiest waterfalls and, when you stay the night, you get to go to sleep and wake up to the sound of the cascading waterfall.

The Girramay Aboriginal people welcome you to their country. They hope you enjoy your visit and respect this special place.

murray falls girramay
Photo credit @bvaskar_gallery

Walking

There are two walks available at Murray Falls.

River boardwalk

Distance: 300 m return (allow 10 mins)
Grade: easy
Enjoy a short, return stroll along the Murray River. The river boardwalk begins at the top end of the camping area and provides a safe way to view and photograph Murray Falls from several angles. Most of the boardwalk is wheelchair accessible. Please note that there is no swimming in this area at the base of the falls (too dangerous).

Yalgay Ginja Bulumi walk

Distance: 1.8 km return (allow 1.5 hrs)
Grade: moderate
This walk passes through open forest and rainforest before reaching the lookout above Murray Falls. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Kirrama Range and Murray Valley and falls, including downstream rock pools. Learn about the unique culture of the Girramay Aboriginal people from signposts along the way. The walk starts near the entrance to the camping area. Aglie wallaby Macropus agills Sections of the walk are steep, rough and rocky.  If you have a reasonable level of fitness, it only takes about ~40 minutes.

Aboriginal Story

The Girramay people, like Aboriginal groups all over Australia, have stories of the past. They call it the 'dreaming'. According to our people, this is one of several sites along the Murray River where the Seven Sisters brought all the snakes of the area. The Seven Sisters ground down the teeth of the snakes to remove their venom. They started with the Maguy 'mag-ooy' (amethystine pythons). Many of the other snakes got hot and tired of waiting, and moved away. That is why today the python can bite you but not poison you.

Flora and Fauna

Along the riverbank, the distinctive rad flowers of the weeping bottlebrush overhang the water's edge and are renowned for luring the brilliant-blue Ulysses butterfly. Spangled drongos dart from the foliage of watergums and golden pendas, lining the banks of the Murray. River, in pursuit of insects to feed on. Peaceful doves, laughing kookaburras and agile wallabies can also be seen.

In the dry rainforest, look for orange-footed scrubfowl and Australian brush-turkeys scratching in the leaf litter as they search for their next meal. Listen for the distinct machine-gun-like call of the Lewin's honeyeater penetrating down from the canopy above.

River access

There are a number of access points to the Murray that are adjacent to the day-use area. Both have spectacular water-sculpted rocks and crystal clear pools, but the one furthest from the falls has a particularly tall and curved rock that resembles a natural water slide.

Be aware the water is often fast flowing and the rocks slippery. For your safety, access to the falls is prohibited. Slippery rocks make it dangerous and serious injuries and deaths have occurred. Please observe the signposted prohibited area.

Facilities

Picnic tables are provided in both the camping and day-use areas. A gas barbecue is located in the day-use area. Toilets, a cold water shower and fire rings are provided at the camping area. A short path links the day-use area to the camping area.

Camping is available but only to those with a camping permit. Fires are permitted in the enclosed fire pits and there is an outside shower. You need to book online before you arrive. The road in is suitable for camper trailers, motorhomes, caravans, etc. Further information is available at the camping area.

How to get there

On the Bruce Highway between the towns of Cardwell and Tully is the turnoff to the town of Jumgun and Girramay National Park.

When to go

In summer, daytime temperatures can exceed 40°C, so the cooler months — from April to September — are the best times to visit. Check the weather before you go. Spring is a great time to enjoy colourful wildflower displays.

Mountain Biking

While there are no mountain biking tracks, you could still bring your bikes and head out on the dirt road and return for a refreshing swim.

For your safety

  • Take care at lookouts, and around steep slopes and rock faces along the tracks.
  • Stay on the tracks and boardwalk and take care of uneven surfaces, especially in wet conditions.
  • Supervise children closely.
    Never jump or dive into the water.
  • Take care when walking near the river-the rocks can be slippery.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.

Caring for the park

  • Camp only in the designated camping area.
  • Use toilets provided.
  • Do not chase, scare or feed animals.
  • Leave pets at home. Domestic animals are not permitted.
  • Use rubbish bins provided.
  • Light campfires responsibly using the fire rings provided and do not collect firewood within the park.
  • As this is a national park, fishing is not allowed.

Remember this is a national park-everything is protected.


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