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You could dedicate your entire life to visiting each waterfall in Tropical North Queensland and still run out of time. That’s not to say there’s an unlimited amount but you know, things get in the way, you might get lazy then bam – you’re old and the idea of travelling further than the letterbox sounds like torture.

So, while we can’t cram every waterfall Tropical North Queensland has to offer into a single trip, it is possible to tick off a solid 6 in the space of a day (if you don’t sleep in).

As you can see here, a handful of waterfalls almost perfectly form an easy-to-follow trail, so all you need to do is organise a ride and half the work’s already done.

Don’t let the number of pins fool you – that’s only a small collection of the waterfalls on display. Probably 20%, if I had to give a poorly educated guess.

Out of these locations, I’ve put together some must-see waterfalls that are all relatively close to one another. Assuming you’re kicking off your waterfall tour from Cairns, you’ll be able to smash these out in a single day if you’re efficient and rarely take a wrong turn.

Josephine Falls – 1.5-hour drive from Cairns

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Let’s ease into this with a peaceful little waterfall/swimming hole combo, found at the glorious Josephine Falls.

As the ancient belief goes, you will, without a doubt, find the love of your life if you venture to Josephine. You’ll meet at the waterfall (maybe) and fall madly in love (you can’t prove otherwise) and get married two months later (I have no idea what I’m talking about), so you know there must be something in the water.

Tchupala Falls – 40-min drive from Josephine Falls

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40 minutes away from Josephine Falls, you’ll stumble across the three-in-one waterfall that is Tchupala.

Located in Wooroonooran National Park and part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Tchupala is a mammoth waterfall split into two tiers – upper and lower – and you can view the upper section after a wee hike from the car park.

I dunno why, but it kinda reminds me of something you would’ve seen in Lost – minus that weird polar bear sighting.

Wallicher Falls – a short walk from Tchupala Falls

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We’ve officially entered Waterfall City™, as the next few spots are so close to one another, you could essentially do a pub crawl, if by pub you mean waterfall.

After Tchupala Falls, casually stroll along Henrietta Creek until you reach Wallicher Falls. The walk is splendid and it was quite the drive from Josephine so you may as well stretch your legs.

Pro tip: keep an eye or two out for a cassowary having a stroll alongside you.

Nandroya Falls – 2-min drive from Wallicher Falls

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The pub/waterfall crawl doesn’t end at Wallicher Falls, mind you. From there, you can take a short drive to Nandroya.

If you’re wanting to tick off a walk through the jungle from your bucket list, the hike to Nandroya 100% counts. Obviously, there’s a convenient trail (either a 2.2km one-way walk or a 4.2km one-way walk depending which fork you take) but you’re surrounded by thick greenery the entire stroll there.

Once you’re at Nandroya Falls, gaze at the 50m waterfall while you snack on a pre-packed lunch that I definitely suggest you do before your trip because travelling with hungry people is by far the most annoying situation to be in.

Ellinjaa Falls – 18-min drive from Nandroya Falls

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Now we’re getting into the big boy waterfalls.

Ellinjaa Falls has the makings of everything you want in a destination. You can swim there, set up a picnic, suss out platypi and turtles and inspect the lava columns that the water runs down. All in one neat little package.

I’ve never really considered swimming with a platypus as a life goal but now it’s the only life goal I care about. I can love thy neighbour some other lifetime, this lifetime is reserved solely for platypus swimming.

Millaa Millaa Falls – 7-min drive from Ellinjaa Falls

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Some consider Millaa Millaa as the pièce de résistance of waterfalls, for obvious reasons. Look at it.

Forget what I said about the earlier waterfall looking like a scene out of Lost. This takes the cake. Are you in Hawaii? Are you in Queensland? Who knows at this point.

There are plenty more waterfalls in the area too but you can gauge how exhausted you are before deciding. Add on an hour-and-a-half to drive back to Cairns and, depending on how long you spend at each waterfall, you could theoretically smash out six waterfalls in 12 hours.

That’s insane. It takes you two hours to find one waterfall in Victoria and even then it’s pretty slim pickings.

Image: Tourism Tropical North Queensland