Mungali Falls in Brief
Mungali Falls, just 1.5 hours drive south-west of Cairns is just a magical place. Tucked away in a secluded area in the misty mountains of Atherton Tablelands with beautiful Mungali waterfalls. Mungali, set against a background of tropical rainforest and green hills for dairy farmlands is a place for recreational getaways that suits all from FIT (Free Independent Travellers) to families. Away from major tourist attractions and sightseeings, you will find this quiet and secluded tiny location where time seemingly come to a stand still.
There is no better time to get away and explore the tropical haven located in my very own backyard. With stunning green hills, dairy farmlands and teeming bird life, it is easy to see why Mungali area is known as Far North Queensland’s ultimate tropical paradise. Secluded and untouched by mass tourism, Mungali is a place where I wanted wake up by the sounds of birds singing and away from the noises of bustling traffic. Here, I wanted to still feel the sense of real quietness and be surrounded by greenery nature of Atherton Tablelands. The Mungali landscape is a diverse mixture of rainforest, green hills and dairy farmlands. It is quite, isolated with sleepy towns nearby and neighbourhoods with some of the most beautiful landscapes, waterfall and lookouts you will ever laid your eyes on.
At just under two-hours drive from Cairns, there is not a whole of travel time required in getting to Mungali Falls. Leaving Cairns, located in the heart of Great Barrier Reef, I headed south with few great places along the route to explore. The drive was perfect for me to stop at Babinda Boulders, Innisfail township and Mamu Canopy walk. I drove up the Palmerston Highway just before Innisfail township. I stopped for short time looking at Waterfalls and Lookouts along the way before reaching Mungali Falls before midday.
What to do?
Arriving before midday in Mungali Falls was perfect time of the day for me to unpack and unwind before wandering down to the Waterfall Cafe and the surroundings. Knowning that the only cafe is closed before 5pm, I had my early dinner in my cabin before spending my first slient night under the stars, except musical chirping sounds of crickets and noctural wildlife. Mungali Falls is a tiny place for Outdoor Education Centre and is away from bustle and hustle of shops, cafes and all major attractions. My two nights in this beautiful secluded countryside brought me away from the rest of the world to immerse myself with plenty of space to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere in a very peaceful setting.
On my last day, wondering how best to spend my time in this bucolic corner of Atherton Tablelands, I wandered off exploring some of the regions attractions without any strenenous long drives.
Mungali Cheese Factory
Mungali Falls is home to Mungali cheese factory. This is only a very tiny place but was worth a visit. Surprisingly, it supplies some of the best cheese in the Far north Queensland region. This was a great place to start my day. This tiny place located on the hills, looks quirky at first from the distance but onces I got closer, I was wrong. The beauty and the peacefulness of the area with stunning views looking out to the green hills and the dairyfarm lands gave me a great sense of complete pleasure. Here, I get to enjoy a cheese platter, condiments and off course, a glass of Riesling. Leaving this place was hard and wish I had more time.
From a filling platter of cheese and drinks to stunning waterfall. Just 20 minutes short drive from the cheese factory is MillaMilla Falls, an iconic symbol of the Atherton Tablelands. Millamilla Falls located in the picturesque town of Millamilla is one of the most pictured waterfall in Atherton Tablelands.
After spending an hour enjoying this waterfall, I continue my waterfall circuit run within few minutes from each other before heading back to Mungali Falls. I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the waterfall before taking a short hike around the area as the sun began to slowly disappear over the hills and mountains.
The following day, I took a scenic drive around Atherton Tablelands, exploring some of the small and eccentric country towns before heading back to Cairns. It is entirely possible to get around Atherton Tablelands and visit many rural towns in the area: MillaMilla, Malanda, Yungaburra, Atherton, Ravenshoe, Herberton, Tolga and Innisfail. Driving in the area is straightforward as long as you keep your wits about you and don’t mind the locals who drive much faster than wary tourists. When visiting this old towns, it is easier to park anywhere and walk around the towns – Yes wander the old towns and see if you can find the same street twice!!
Atherton Tablelands list of attractions is endless. It has some of the most iconic landmarks from waterfalls, unique trees to old buildings. Some of these towns with old buildings will bring you back in time what was life back then. Some of the attractions on what to see and do below will help you in planning your next trip to Far North Queensland.
- Visit Malanda falls
- Sample the locally made cheese and chocolates – Gallo cheese factory
- Curtain fig tree
- Tinaroo dam and recreational area
- Yungaburra museum and recreational area
- Herberton OldTown
- Lake Barrine
- Lake Eacham
- Outdoor farm markets – depending on which town is hosting the Market Day – wise to check the local guides
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