Waterfalling in love with Cassowary Falls. We thought we knew all the waterfalls up here – we were wrong. Cassowary Falls in the Daintree Rainforest is a single drop waterfall that cascades down into a cool, pool of freshwater. Bring your towels, there’s no crocs here, so you can just dive right in on a 90 minute guided tour of the Gateway Cassowary Falls private property. This offroad adventure promises big views, interesting facts and quality time at a simply stunning waterfall.
This tour showcases a stunning property combining cattle pastures and Daintree Rainforest.
The Daintree Rainforest is the world’s oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest, home to flora and fauna which has evolved with this unique ecosystem, over hundreds of thousands of years. It’s well known for its towering mountains and winding rivers, many of which are home to Saltwater Crocodiles, so while they look beautiful, looking is about all you can do. Not so at Cassowary Falls. Here is a place to kick off the shoes and dive right in, to what is seriously a hidden gem in the forest.
“How had I never heard of Cassowary Falls? We all know and love Millaa Millaa on the Atherton Tablelands, it’s probably one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the region. Well, there’s a ‘new’ contender – and it’s Cassowary Falls. Access is on an exclusive adventure tour, through a Jurassic-type landscape, guided by property owner Andrew Garrity. Highlights for me are going ‘backstage’ on to someone’s private property and entering a landscape I had never seen before. Rolling pastures rising up to rainforest mountains, crossing rivers and waterways, before rounding a corner and coming face to face with the falls. Just beautiful. This experience is like nothing else and nowhere else I have been or done, around Cairns and the Daintree before.” – Julie Johnston
Cool, fresh clear water, tumbling over a granite rockface into a deep pool below, which is surrounded by mossy rocks, native grasses and ferns, including one of the biggest ferns in the world, a King Fern. It’s like a postcard; but is a living landscape you get to explore. The pool is home to a very healthy population of freshwater turtles, fish and even eels. The water is cool and refreshing. You can easily and comfortably walk in to around knee depth, before launching off to the waterfall on the other side. Here there’s submerged rocks you can stand on, or climb up and dive in. Suitable for anyone who can swim confidently in open water, including kids. Our son is nearly 10 and he loves it!
The Daintree waterfall tour allows plenty of time at Cassowary Falls, to swim, relax and explore. It’s just you and your group here, with a maximum of 12 guests on tour, and an abundance of things to see and do. Swimming in the falls, I floated on my back, gazing upwards through the tunnel of trees that surround it. A vertical wall of leaves, a patchwork of green, complete with hanging vines, birds and butterflies. As the sunlight flickered down, I had an overwhelming feeling of connection to the earth and environment that surrounded me, and gratitude for knowing such beautiful places remain untouched up here.
The 160 acre Gateway to Cassowary Falls property is privately owned by the Garrity family, who purchased it in 2015. It’s been an active cattle station for over 110 years. The property itself is a combination of undulating hills, towering mountains, rainforest rivers, grassy pastures and of course, Cassowary Falls. It’s the way these elements blend together that is astounding, so make sure you bring your camera, your drone and your Go Pro. The tour itself is the perfect combination of scenery, commentary and time to just stop and enjoy the waterfall and surroundings.
Your tour guide and host is Andrew Garrity, whose enthusiasm for the Daintree Rainforest and its many unique plants and animals is infectious. He stops at several places during the journey to the falls, to point out flowers, fruits and fungi. We saw Cassowary Plums and Quandongs, favourite fruits of the Cassowary, as well as figs, river cherries and more. We did not see any Cassowary, and they are rarely spotted during the tour, but Andrew finds evidence of their passing in the form of nutrient dense droppings, all over his property. I can just imagine them at twilight heading down to the falls for a cool drink and maybe a splash themselves.
There is so much to see here. It’s absolutely got to be added to your Daintree Rainforest to do list.
The Gateway to Cassowary Falls property is in the Stewart Valley, approximately a 5-minute drive from Daintree Village. They currently run 2 x 90 minute tours daily, departing at 10.15am and 12.30pm (and are planning to possibly add some more later in 2022). Access to the falls is by tour only. The tour starts at the front gates of the Gateway to Cassowary Falls property; you can get there in any conventional 2WD or 4WD vehicle. You then transfer to a tour vehicle, to cross the rivers and visit Cassowary Falls, with excellent commentary along the way. Be dressed in your swimming clothes, as there are no changing / toilet facilities on site. Bring insect repellent and sunblock.
© I Love Cairns 2023