Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Before you start
Distance: 2 km
How to get there: To find the trail, drive North from Townsville along the Bruce Highway to the Balgal beach turnoff (approx. 50 km). Instead of turning right (East) at the intersection to go to Balgal Beach, turn left (West) on to Pace Rd, and head towards the mountains. The turnoff has a a World War II site sign (See photo below). If you find this sign, you know you are on the right road.
Facilities: No facilities.
On the trail to Mount Halifax, Paluma Range National Park.
What a great adventure we had the other day during the May long weekend. Our neighbour told us about a trail near Balgal beach a while ago, and we finally went. This is our post about Gorge Falls, and the amazing trail we found.
Road, Map with trails and login notebook
Drive along the gravel road and your driving journey will end when you find a gate with a parking spot which states no entry to cars. The trail starts just inside the gate to the right on private property. At the carpark there is a logbook inside a metal box where you should state your intended plans ("log in"), and write a message on your return. This is important as there is no mobile phone coverage along a lot of the trail (Your going off grid....)
There was a sign on the metal box from the owners of the property about their friendly dog, named Dutch, that likes coming to the creek. Apparently people think its a stray and attempt to find its owners. We never saw it and my girls kept asking about the dog the whole time.
The trail to Gorge Falls is easy to follow. Take the path and just follow the yellow and orange square symbols posted on the trees. It starts with a gravel road surrounded by dry country/ farm land and gum trees. After ten minutes, you will come to the entrance to the magic rainforest of Paluma Range National Park. There is a sign on one of the trees indicating the different options (The trail continues for 40+ km into the Paluma range...for the super adventurous). The trail goes through the forest, across a hill, across a creek after which it soon reaches a 4WD road.
Follow the road up (to the right), until it ends at the entrance to another forest.This forest is rainforest, with taller trees, low light and dense vegetation, and a total contrast to the vegetation at the trail start and middle. The trail follows along the same creek crossed earlier (Rollingstone creek). You then start hearing waterfalls and the path leads you to a steep down to the Fall (Caution here with kids, it was a steep and slippery decline).
We arrived to the Fall and we couldn't believe or eyes and the beauty of the scenery of this wonderful hidden spot so close to Townsville. It was as if i walked in into the a magical land of a fairy tale, like one of those amazing photos out of a tourist magazine. I let myself in the moment and screamed out loud 'This place is amazing' while i was standing on top of the Fall. We stayed there for a while enjoying the cool fresh water of the creek. The entire trip (walking, swimming, stopping) took around three hours. The walking time would have totalled about 1.5 - 2 hours (At slow hobbit pace).
We will definitely go back and explore further up the trail where more waterfalls, adventures and excitement await.
Notes from the hobbits
No garbage bin provided
No public toilets around
High grass, make sure your kids have long pants. Laila got scratches on her little legs.
Remember to take your rubbish with you.
Enjoy this trail!
Mamma hobbit (Sofia)