Booloumba Creek in Conondale National Park, accessible only by four wheel drive, is a showcase of stunning scenery in the rugged Conondale Range. It is filled with lush rainforests, boulder-strewn creeks, and the highlight, the Booloumba Falls.
Booloumba Creek is accessible from Maleny Kenilworth Rd, a short way from the Fig Tree Walk and the turnoff for the nearby Charlie Moreland Campgrounds. We had previously tried to get to Booloumba Falls when visiting Charlie Moreland when we discovered the bridge closed that connected the scenic drive from Charlie Moreland to Booloumba Falls.
Entering Conondale National Park, you quickly find out why it is only for four-wheel drive access with a water crossing over Booloumba Creek. The bottom is rocky and not too deep but take care, especially after heavy rain. It is best to be cautious than be later regretful.
There are three camping areas and a day-use area for Booloumba Creek. The first is called Camping Area 1 with designated campsites. These are suitable for tent camping only with no room for a caravan or camper trailer. Each campsite has a fire ring with a flip-down BBQ plate. You will need to bring your own firewood if you want to use the fire rings. Camping Area 1 is the only camping area with showers and phone reception.
Camping Area 3 is similar, having only tent camping sites. For camping with an off-road caravan or camper trailer, Camping Area 4 is open camping sites (there are no designated sites). Fire rings are scattered around Camping Area 4. Camping area 3 and 4 are close to each other, basically across the other side of the road.
Between Camping Area 1 and the other camping areas is the day-use area, called Area 2. Area 2 is mainly a parking area for accessing some of the longer walks in the Booloumba Creek area of Conondale National Park, although there are some picnic tables and toilets at the day-use area.
After Camping Area 4, continue on the track as it climbs up the hillside. After about 1.5km or so you will reach a lookout that looks over the valley carved out by Booloumba Creek and across to the peak with Mt Allan Firetower. The track is easy to drive on, the creek crossings to reach the campgrounds are the hardest part of the drive.
Continue along the track to head towards Booloumba Creek Falls, roughly 6 or 7 kilometres further on. The falls are the highlight of the Booloumba Creek section of Conondale National Park, so while the track is a little slow to drive along, it is worth taking the time to get there.
There are no facilities here, so ensure you visit the day-use area or camping area before heading to the falls. The only thing at the parking area for the walk to Booloumba Creek Falls is an information board.
From the parking area, the Booloumba Creek Falls walk heads towards Booloumba Creek through stunning rainforest. Wet ground with fungus growing on logs on the ground are plentiful, as are the thick green vegetation. The track is well marked and easy to walk along, although you do need to watch your footing with some uneven items such as rocks and roots along the way.
We reached the creek and found quite a few people were there, which wasn’t surprising because the parking area was overflowing with some vehicles parked on the side of the track.
There isn’t a lot of room around the waterhole but we made do without any problems. The waterhole has a small stony beach leading into it which made it easier to get into the icy-cold water, slowly inching in to it.
Upstream is a waterfall flowing into the waterhole and another waterfall immediately after the waterhole. You can scramble down along the side to view the bottom waterfall better which also made for some great photos of the waterhole above the lower waterfall.
You can also scramble above the higher waterfall with small waterholes on the rock surface. There is a calm waterhole further upstream but it is not very accessible and we decided not to venture further.
Satisfied we had experienced Booloumba Creek Falls for the day, we started to prepare to head back to the Jeep when we found out we hadn’t yet made it to the actual falls. We were happy with what we had already seen so this was like getting a free bonus.
The track from here was fairly easy, however, it was a lot muddier and much more slippery underfoot. It had been raining the day before so we couldn’t say if this is normal or because of the recent rain but we can say it was much muddier than the first part of the walk.
When you are near the end of the track, a fence and railing come up on one side of it. The surface of the track becomes bitumen and starts to descend down to Booloumba Creek Falls. A set of stairs heads off the side of the track which leads down to the falls themselves.
The falls are beautiful, made up of a wide rock face the water flows over into a deep and calm waterhole. The water feels colder than it was further upstream and as it was now later in the afternoon and the falls cast in shade, we didn’t go into the water.
There are a few spots to wander around the waterhole to get different perspectives of the falls to take photos.
Heading back up the stairs and further down the track leads to a viewing platform. From here you can see what I believe is called the Breadknife Rock where two creeks merge together, Booloumba Creek and a smaller creek opposite that I’m unaware of the name of.
Booloumba Creek in Conondale National Park is a wonderful and beautiful piece of the Sunshine Coast. Whether to spend a day or a weekend up there, you won’t be disappointed with the area. We would love to go back and try some of the longer walks when we have more time.
To get there:
If coming from the Bruce Hwy, take the exit for Kenilworth, near Eumundi. Coming from the south, go straight through the roundabout and the road follows beside the Bruce Hwy for nearly 3km to Eumundi Kenilworth Rd. From the north, go right at the roundabout and you will be on the Eumundi Kenilworth Rd. Follow Eumundi Kenilworth Rd for 28.9km. The road turns to the left at Kenilworth as Elizabeth St. Continue along Elizabeth St, through the Kenilworth township, for 7.4km and turn right into Booloumba Creek road at the brown sign for Booloumba Creek. Follow Booloumba Creek Rd for about 4.1km to reach the first creek crossing over Booloumba Creek and enter Conondale National Park.
From Mapleton, head west from on Obi Obi Rd to the end, 19.8km from the start of Obi Obi Rd in Mapleton. Turn left into Eumundi Kenilworth Rd and follow for 1km. The road turns to the left at Kenilworth as Elizabeth St. Continue along Elizabeth St, through the Kenilworth township, for 7.4km and turn right into Booloumba Creek road at the brown sign for Booloumba Creek. Follow Booloumba Creek Rd for about 4.1km to reach the first creek crossing over Booloumba Creek and enter Conondale National Park.
Cost: Free, camping fees
Toilets: Yes, at day-use area and camping areas
Tables: Yes, at day-use area
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
BBQ: Yes, at Little Yabba Creek Park