One of the most popular bushwalks on Tamborine Mountain, Witches Falls contains all the magic the mountain has to offer. If you only have time for a couple of bushwalks on Tamborine Mt, this needs to be one of them.
Location: 132-138 Main Western Rd, Tamborine Mountain, QLD, 4272, or a 2nd access point is from Beacon Rd
Walking Distance: 3-10km: Witches Falls circuit 3.1km, Witches Falls circuit plus Beacon Rd entrance return 5km, Witches Falls circuit plus Beacon Lookout return 10km.
Elevation: Numerous stairs zig zag down the side of the mountain
Time: Allow 1 – 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate, due to the rocky path in one section (approx 100m) and zig zaging stairs
Costs/Permit: No cost, no permit required
Opening Times: Only closed occasionally for maintenance
Facilities: Gas BBQs, toilets, picnic tables, lookout, seasonal lagoon
What to take: Camera, water, shoes with lots of grip, insect repellent
Located on the western side of Tamborine Mountain, Witches Falls National Park is a slightly more strenuous bushwalk than Joalah National Park. Witches Falls was named by an 8 year old girl who used to round up cows at dusk in the area. Witches Falls circuit is a 3.1km track that can be traversed in either direction. The top of the falls are viewed from a platform that deviates from the circuit. The waterfall, even though it was viewed during a rainy week, wasn’t much more than a trickle—it was however a very lovely trickle. Witches Falls can be viewed from the left hand side of the Rotary Lookout platform.
The Witches Falls track makes use of the naturally occuring rock to line much of its path. The track can be very muddy in places, and the leaf litter is very good at consealing the mud—you have been warned! Traversing through different forest types, the walk is an interesting blend of bush and rainforest.
From the bottom of the zig zag descent, the Seasonal lagoon is a left turn at the T junction (turning right takes you to Witches Falls). It is only a few hundred metres detour along flat terrain and is worth a look see. The Seasonal Lagoon wasn’t in season when I visited in winter after a week of rain (it’s unknown when it is in season), but was still interesting to see. This path didn’t seem to be a circuit so some backtracking was needed to get back onto the main path.
Many interesting sights await you along the path; uprooted tree roots and overhanging rocks that have created a cave. There is an approximately 100m section of the path that will require some rock scrambling as it is strewn with jagged basketball sized rocks (thongs are not a good idea). Some of the rocks are wobbly and in the wet, slippery.
Between Witches Falls and the Beacon Rd entrance, views for miles to the west can be glimpsed. If you are keen for a longer walk, when the Beacon Rd entrance is reached, continue along Beacon Rd to its northern end where you will find Beacon Lookout. This adds around 4km to the walk. Be sure to look out for unique scarecrows in the front yards of Beacon Rd.
As one of the longer bushwalks on Tamborine Mt, Witches falls provides you with an immersive experience. With toilets, BBQ and picnic facilities it makes for an ideal place to refuel. If you enjoy exploring old cemetries, the carpark is right next to the Tamborine Mt cemetry and provides a facinating glimpse into the history of the mountain.