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The Cascades is a wide rock lava flow of around 200 metres in length, over which a local stream trickles. There are several small pools for swimming in, most of which are around half a metre deep. There are also various cascades and rock slides to play in as you wander up and down the site.
Reaching The Cascades is more difficult than many other swimming holes in Litchfield National Park, which means that it is less crowded than its more famous neighbours.
The first 20 minutes of the walk from the car park is across flat, open ground with little shade. The heat across this section can be sapping, so wear a hat and bring some water.
There is a junction, where you can choose to walk via the lower cascades (the most popular route), or straight to the Upper. Taking the route to the Lower Cascades, the track narrows, becomes undulating and the rock underneath is orientated at awkward angles for human feet to tread upon. The best advice is to wear sturdy footwear. You will cross the creek in a couple of places, over small footbridges, before arriving at the Lower Cascades also known as Curtain Falls. You can enjoy a shady, cool swim here before climbing above the waterfall to the Upper Cascades. If you are heading via this route The Cascades are not well signposted but you’ll recognize them when you arrive. You can then return to the carpark via the pper Cascades route, which will take you down the hill via a couple of lookout points over the park below.
Please note that access to the Lower Cascades is closed in the wet season and can often take a while for the water level to recede for the path and crossings to re-open after rain. Check access reports here -
Alternatively, at the junction you can head straight to the Upper Cascades (if the Lower Cascades are closed, this will be your only option). Most of the walk is uphill when walking this direction. There are stop off points on the way and a couple of lookouts, but make sure you wear sturdy shoes and take water. The swim at the Upper Cascades at the top is definitely worth the walk!