Relaxing on the rock ledge above these falls, if you close your eyes you can hear the regular sound of human gannets, launching themselves off the
multiple rope swings to drop from great height into the water. On a busy day there will be a deep "thood" about once every couple of minutes, as another set of toes
breaks the surface and a long streak disappears under the water.
Above: Catching some sun between swims at Gardners Falls in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
(Order this image)
If you are thinking about using the rope swings, make sure you read the safety information below, and take the time to digest the various warning signs
on site about the dangers and risks involved. At the time of my visit, the managing authority prohibited diving into the pool, but use of the rope swings was
still permissable. Many people were enjoying the swings when I visited, but because the water is often murky, you won't know what
is under the water just by looking at it.
The two main rope swings are next to each other on the western side of the pool. The short path to the swings that skirts
around the side of the pool can get very muddy and slippery. The t-bars are out of reach, so look around for a very long stick to be able to draw the rope closer to you.
It's about a 2 to 3 metre drop into the water, and after
you hit the water, float downstream for an easier way to climb back up to the launch spot. There is also a much higher swing, I'm guessing about a 4 to 5 metre drop, on the
opposite side close to the falls.
Above: Bathing around the edge of the pool at Gardners Falls
(Order this image)
If you are just coming for a swim, there are several options. The easiest entry to the waterfall pool is at the downstream end, where you can step into the water and
wade in gradually, before swimming upstream into deeper water. Some people also scaled the rocks beside the waterfall to push off directly into deep water. The pool is about
25 metres in diameter and very deep, so there is plenty of room to get some exercise in, as long as you stay clear of the jumpers. Upstream of
the waterfall there is a little cascade, about half a metre high, with a shallow pool that was popular with younger kids, but it was not deep enough for a proper swim.
Here is a video of swimming at this spot including some of the action on the rope swings.
Other Information Before You Go:
At the end of Obi Lane South in Maleny.
From Steve Irwin Way at Landsborough, head up Maleny St which becomes the Landsborough Maleny Road (Route 23) and follow it
for 12 km until you see the sign for Gardners Falls at Obi Lane South. The car park is at the end of Obi Lane South, about 1 km from Route 23. To
reach the swimming spot, walk about 300 metres along the path to the falls. The drive up to this spot from Landsborough is quite impressive, with
panoramic views on both sides of the road.
Public toilets, picnic tables, car park, rubbish bins
Maximum water depth:
Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required:
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog:
No diving, no caravans, no fires, no overnight stays (RVs), no camping, no dogs.
Shade available in and out of the water.
There are wheelchair accessible paths to the open area upstream of the falls, but no access to the
falls or the pool at the base of the falls.
Camping is not permitted at Gardners Falls. If you want to stay overnight in the area near this swim,
you can try the following options. All distances below to the Gardners Falls car park are by road, not as the crow flies.
Sunshine Coast Council
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, 3 km south of the falls
Before you head out, make sure to read the
swimming safety information
and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions. Specific to this site, the managing authority warns swimmers to beware of submerged rocks and
broken glass, and to swim with caution. Diving into the water is prohibited. The managing authority also recommends that you do not leave any valuables in
The marker indicates the approximate location of the waterfall pool.
If you would like to leave a comment about this swimming spot, please fill in the comment box below.
I am particularly interested in your experiences after visiting, and any changes in conditions, etc.
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