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Australia

Aussies flock to the incredible waterfalls of Queensland hidden away in ‘ancient’ rainforests

Australians are flocking to breathtaking 17km waterfall circuit tucked away in stunning ‘ancient rainforests’ for the ultimate adventurous daytrip. 

Atherton Tablelands, in north Queensland, is a ‘diverse’ area spanning across vibrant green land offering ancient rainforests, hiking trails and stunning waterfalls within the national parks.

The holiday destination, which is a 1.5 hour drive from Cairns, is known to maintain a comfortable climate, free of coastal humidity. 

Atherton Tablelands , located in north Queensland, is a 'diverse' area offering ancient rainforests, hiking trails and stunning waterfalls within the national park

Atherton Tablelands , located in north Queensland, is a 'diverse' area offering ancient rainforests, hiking trails and stunning waterfalls within the national park

Atherton Tablelands , located in north Queensland, is a ‘diverse’ area offering ancient rainforests, hiking trails and stunning waterfalls within the national park 

The Tchupala Falls (pictured) is a popular destination as the water cascades over two major falls, which can be viewed from above at the lookout or at the bottom closer to the rock pool

The Tchupala Falls (pictured) is a popular destination as the water cascades over two major falls, which can be viewed from above at the lookout or at the bottom closer to the rock pool

The Tchupala Falls (pictured) is a popular destination as the water cascades over two major falls, which can be viewed from above at the lookout or at the bottom closer to the rock pool

The various waterfalls can be reached by venturing through the forest via the walking tracks and hikes, each of various lengths.

The Tchupala Falls of Atherton Tablelands is a popular destination as the water cascades over two major falls, which can be viewed from above at the lookout or at the bottom closer to the rock pools.

Venture further into the rainforest to reach Nandroya Falls – a beautiful scenic area with long, narrow waterfalls dropping from 60m high to the pools below. 

The wet tropic rainforest areas of the region are home to countless Australian animals, including tree kangaroos, platypus, rock wallabies, bandicoot and bird life.

Where to find the stunning waterfalls:  

Atherton Tablelands in north Queensland is located 90km, or an hour and a half drive, away from Cairns 

Popular waterfall locations include: 

  • Pepina Falls
  • Elinjaa Falls, Millaa Millaa
  • Zillie Falls, Millaa Millaa
  • Nandroya Falls
  • Millaa Millaa Falls
  • Waterfalls & Waterways Trail
  • Little Millstream Falls, Ravenshoe
  • Millstream Falls, Ravenshoe
  • Malanda Falls
  • Blencoe Falls 
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The incredible waterfalls and scenic views are perfect for those who enjoy a sense of adventure without having to travel overseas

The incredible waterfalls and scenic views are perfect for those who enjoy a sense of adventure without having to travel overseas

The incredible waterfalls and scenic views are perfect for those who enjoy a sense of adventure without having to travel overseas

The various waterfalls can be reached by venturing through the forest via the walking tracks and hikes, each of various lengths

The various waterfalls can be reached by venturing through the forest via the walking tracks and hikes, each of various lengths

The various waterfalls can be reached by venturing through the forest via the walking tracks and hikes, each of various lengths

Once inside the park, there is also a wide variety of craft shops, antique stores and art galleries.

In the north, be sure to visit the Golden Pride Winery that focuses on using mangoes for their massive plantation.

There’s also a warbird Adventures Aviation Museum, historical goldmine and coffee shops.    

Once inside the park, there is also a wide variety of craft shops, antique stores and art galleries

Once inside the park, there is also a wide variety of craft shops, antique stores and art galleries

Once inside the park, there is also a wide variety of craft shops, antique stores and art galleries

Australians in search of the perfect Instagram photo have also been flocking to an abandoned Spanish castle hidden in a rainforest in north Queensland that boasts glistening waterfalls, lush ponds and stunning stone staircases.

Paronella Park, situated on 13 acres of tropical Queensland scrub about 90 minutes’ drive south of Cairns, was the brainchild of husband and wife duo Mr José Paronella and his wife Margarita in 1929. 

The couple painstakingly created the stunning gardens and concrete castle with clay and cement by hand, and to this day visitors can still see their fingerprints on the structures.  

Their aim was to build a Spanish castle in Australia surrounded by 7,500 tropical plants and trees.

Australians in search of the perfect Instagram photo are flocking to an abandoned Spanish castle hidden in a rainforest in north Queensland (Paronella Park pictured)

Australians in search of the perfect Instagram photo are flocking to an abandoned Spanish castle hidden in a rainforest in north Queensland (Paronella Park pictured)

Australians in search of the perfect Instagram photo are flocking to an abandoned Spanish castle hidden in a rainforest in north Queensland (Paronella Park pictured)

The stunning site boasts glistening waterfalls (pictured), lush ponds and stunning stone staircases

The stunning site boasts glistening waterfalls (pictured), lush ponds and stunning stone staircases

The stunning site boasts glistening waterfalls (pictured), lush ponds and stunning stone staircases

Paronella Park (pictured), situated on 13 acres of tropical Queensland scrub, was the brainchild of husband and wife duo Mr Jose Paronella and his wife Margarita in 1929

Paronella Park (pictured), situated on 13 acres of tropical Queensland scrub, was the brainchild of husband and wife duo Mr Jose Paronella and his wife Margarita in 1929

Paronella Park (pictured), situated on 13 acres of tropical Queensland scrub, was the brainchild of husband and wife duo Mr Jose Paronella and his wife Margarita in 1929 

Travellers have been flocking to the castle to quench their thirst for different travel experiences as Australia’s international borders remain closed until the Trans-Tasman bubble with New Zealand launches on April 19. 

Entry costs $50 for adults, while children cost $28 and a family ticket (two adults and two children) ranges between $146 and $156. 

Once inside Paronella Park, there is plenty to see and do.

Highlights include a 45-minute storytelling tour of the highlights of the park, a fountain, wildlife and fish feeding, café, wishing well, tennis courts and the Spanish castle itself.

Highlights include a 45-minute storytelling tour of the highlights of the park, a fountain, wildlife and fish feeding, cafe, wishing well, tennis courts and the Spanish castle (pictured)

Highlights include a 45-minute storytelling tour of the highlights of the park, a fountain, wildlife and fish feeding, cafe, wishing well, tennis courts and the Spanish castle (pictured)

Highlights include a 45-minute storytelling tour of the highlights of the park, a fountain, wildlife and fish feeding, cafe, wishing well, tennis courts and the Spanish castle (pictured)

There are an array of experiences on offer, including the Darkness Falls Tour which happens at night (Paronella Park pictured at night)

There are an array of experiences on offer, including the Darkness Falls Tour which happens at night (Paronella Park pictured at night)

There are an array of experiences on offer, including the Darkness Falls Tour which happens at night (Paronella Park pictured at night)

The castle features an outdoor stairway, ground floor, upper balcony and green shutters (pictured from the side)

The castle features an outdoor stairway, ground floor, upper balcony and green shutters (pictured from the side)

The castle features an outdoor stairway, ground floor, upper balcony and green shutters (pictured from the side)

The castle features an outdoor stairway, ground floor, upper balcony and green shutters.

While it was sold out of the Paronella family in 1977, it remains a public park for visitors to see and enjoy.

It has won multiple Regional and State Tourism Awards from 1998 onwards including the People’s Choice at the Tourism Awards.

It has won multiple Regional and State Tourism Awards from 1998 onwards including the People's Choice at the Tourism Awards (traveller pictured at Paronella Park)

It has won multiple Regional and State Tourism Awards from 1998 onwards including the People's Choice at the Tourism Awards (traveller pictured at Paronella Park)

It has won multiple Regional and State Tourism Awards from 1998 onwards including the People’s Choice at the Tourism Awards (traveller pictured at Paronella Park)

Social media is littered with rave reviews and photos from travellers, with many branding it one of Queensland's 'must-see' attractions and a 'hidden gem' in Australia (one snap pictured)

Social media is littered with rave reviews and photos from travellers, with many branding it one of Queensland's 'must-see' attractions and a 'hidden gem' in Australia (one snap pictured)

Social media is littered with rave reviews and photos from travellers, with many branding it one of Queensland’s ‘must-see’ attractions and a ‘hidden gem’ in Australia (one snap pictured)

Many have said the site 'has to be seen to be believed' as it is that incredible (Paronella Park pictured)

Many have said the site 'has to be seen to be believed' as it is that incredible (Paronella Park pictured)

Many have said the site ‘has to be seen to be believed’ as it is that incredible (Paronella Park pictured)

Social media is littered with rave reviews and photos from travellers, with many branding it one of Queensland’s ‘must-see’ attractions and a ‘hidden gem’ in Australia.

‘Paronella Park is amazing, there is so much to see and do here,’ one reviewer posted.

‘There is so much history here, and to be able to walk around the stunning gardens is worth a visit in and of itself.’

Another said: ‘This was the highlight of my trip to Cairns. My fiancé wasn’t keen on going but by the first ten minutes he was glad he’d made the effort.’

A third added: ‘This must be seen to be believed.’ 

Paronella Park also offers wedding services, as well as night-time experiences including the Darkness Falls Tour.  

For more information about the park, please visit the website here

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