Millaa Millaa is a small town on the southern edge of the Atherton Tablelands. It is characterised by a wide main street, bedecked by vivid displays of flowering trees and bushes. The town's main attraction is the 17 km Waterfalls Circuit which passes three impressive, and very different, waterfalls.
Millaa Millaa is located 98 km south of Cairns, 821 m above sea-level and 1,648 km north of Brisbane via the Bruce Highway.
Origin of Name
The name Millaa Millaa is said to mean 'waterfalls' in the language of the local Aborigines. Like so many Aboriginal names there is some argument with other sources claiming it is 'a fruit-bearing plant'. Some sources specifically state that it is the fruit of the rainforest vine (Elaeagnus triflora) and it is a word used by the local Mamu people.
Things to See and Do
A Walk Around Millaa Millaa
This short walk, which takes about an hour, starts at the Pioneer Statue of a cow and a dairy farmer at the northern end of Main Street, makes its way down to the Lions Park with Burkies Place (a quiet tropical garden) and the 800 year old Giant Kauri Pine Logs (the tree was destroyed by a cyclone), moves on to the Eacham Historical Museum then continues on the Harold West Walk through the parkland which lies between Palm Avenue and the Palmerston Highway (this is along St Patrick's Creek) before ending up at the Botanical Walk at the southern end of Palm Avenue.
Eacham Historical Museum
Located at 10 Main street is the Eacham Historical Museum. It is open most mornings from 9.00 am - noon but can be opened on request, tel: (07) 4097 2725. The museum's collection includes interesting local Aboriginal artefacts, an extensive collection photographs and historic equipment from the local area including unusual pieces of equipment from the local butter factory. Check out https://eachamhistorical.org/ for additional details.
The Statues of Christie Palmerston and Pompo
Located in the Lions Park, just beyond the Eacham Historical Museum, is the statue of Christie Palmerston and his Aboriginal companion, Pompo, which was designed by Bryan Newell and the Millaa Millaa Artists Group and funded by the local Lions group. The sign at the sculpture explains that "Christie Palmerston in 1882 was the first European to find and make a feasible track through the 90 km of continuous rainforest between Herberton and what is now Innisfail. The present Palmerston Highway, named in his honour, closely follows the original track. He was the first European to scale Bartle Frere and with others to find payable gold on the Upper Russell River in 1886.
"He did several earlier exploratory trips through virgin rainforest country in North Queensland including marking of the track from the Hodgkinson Goldfields to the coast near Port Douglas and searching the mountains behind Cairns for a possible rail route to the Tablelands.
"He was accompanied as close companion for over five years by an Aboriginal boy in his teens whom he called Pompo. Palmerston had an amazing ability not only to find his way through rainforest but also to work with the Rainforest Aborginals. His writings on the subject have proved a valuable resource for anthropologists as his explorations were at the time."
Sutties Gap, K-tree, Maple Creek, Bora Ground and Maalan roads are all unsealed. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended for Sutties Gap, Maple Creek, Bora Ground and Maalan roads. All roads are unsuitable for caravans, motor homes or buses. Roads may be slippery when wet. Gates at the entrance to these roads may be locked to stop access during times of extremely wet weather or for road works—check for park alerts.
These roads are shared with walkers and mountain bikers—be courteous and careful.
See driving for more information.
The Misty Mountains wilderness tracks are not wheelchair accessible.
Navigation skills required
The Misty Mountain wilderness tracks are intended for visitors with advanced bushwalking/mountain-biking and navigation skills. Visitors should carry maps and navigation equipment as they may be required to find their way along indistinct tracks in remote locations.
Many of the Misty Mountains wilderness tracks follow disused logging roads with an open forest canopy. This disturbed and well-lit environment encourages growth of weeds such as guinea grass, lantana and giant bramble. These, along with stinging trees, lawyer vine and other abrasive plants, can cause serious injury. Protective clothing is recommended.
General safety guidelines
This area is isolated and help can be hours away. You must be well prepared and responsible for your own safety.
Be aware that stinging trees are found alongside the tracks. They grow to 4m high and have large, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges. Do not touch these plants as it will almost certainly result in a very painful sting. If you are stung and symptoms are severe, seek medical advice.
Watch out for lawyer vine (wait-a-while) which may encroach on tracks, particularly if mountain biking—its sharp hooks can cause serious injury.
Carry at least one form of communication equipment. Satellite phones and personal locator beacons (PLBs) are the most effective. Mobile phone coverage is very limited.
Inform a responsible person of your plans and check in with that person on your return.
Wear appropriate safety gear and be realistic about your abilities when choosing a track.
Ensure you carry adequate food and plenty of drinking water.
Plan to reach your camping area or pick-up point before dark—do not underestimate walking or riding times.
Stay on the marked tracks and away from cliff edges.
Walkers and particularly riders should be very alert for unexpected track hazards. Fallen trees are common—even small logs can be slip hazards.
Flash floods may occur at some creeks at any time of the year. Caution should be taken at creek crossings.
Wear protective clothing and insect repellent for protection against stings, scratches and insect bites, especially bites from leeches, ticks and scorpions.
Stay well back from snakes, cassowaries and feral pigs—they are potentially dangerous.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Before you visit
Essentials to bring
Equipment recommended for day trips includes:
hat and sunscreen
suitable clothing and safety gear including wet weather gear
sufficient non-perishable food and plenty of drinking water
bags for rubbish
maps and navigation equipment
at least one form of communication equipment. Satellite phones and personal locator beacons (PLBs) are highly recommended.
Additional equipment recommended for overnight trips includes:
waterproof tent, poles and pegs
cooking utensils, fuel stove, fuel supply and waterproof matches (open fires are prohibited and collecting firewood is not allowed)
equipment for treating water
Offered on the Host's property or nearby.
Natural features you'll find at Millaa Millaa in Millaa Millaa QLD, Australia.