Tully Gorge Falls, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland

 

Tully Falls Drop off zone in sepia, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Tully Falls Drop off zone in sepia, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The Tully River starts its long journey from Koombaloomba Dam in the southwestern corner of the Atherton Tablelands.

Streaming towards Tully Gorge at Atherton Tablelands, far North Queensland, Australia

Streaming towards Tully Gorge at Atherton Tablelands, far North Queensland, Australia

It follows Tully Gorge northwards from the dam before U-turning south again to pass Tully township and cycle into the pacific.

Visual diversity at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Visual diversity at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Tully Falls used to be an extraordinary natural sight and classified as one of Australia’s most spectacular waterfalls. Thunderous waters dropped 293 meters from the cliff face into Tully River below, which carved out an oversized Tully Gorge.

Tull Falls today, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Tull Falls today, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Nowadays, only a mere trickle of water drops over the edge, if any. After World War ll, the electricity needs of North Queensland increased and the Tully River was selected to provide hydro-electric power. Not only once, but twice. Koombalooma Dam was constructed in the 1950’s and after completion, another hydro-electric power station was built on the bottom of Tully Falls. The water gets diverted shortly before the natural drop-off zone for an ecological power source. As green as this power is, it left Tully Falls to extinction.

Creeks cascading the escarpment, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Creeks cascading the escarpment, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

A little creek next to the carpark cascades gradually to the valley below. Again, the diversity of flora around this creek is plentiful on either side of the bridge.

Fern reflections at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Fern reflections at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Ferns reflect in calm waters, moss is clinging on to granite rocks and subtropical trees flourish all along.

Gentle cascades at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Gentle cascades at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

I have seen similar creeks many times.

Similar but different all the time at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Similar but different all the time at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

But it’s always different, yet spectacular.

Full of life at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Full of life at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Just so much colour and life.

Well maintained hiking trail at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Well maintained hiking trail at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The walking track leads to Tully Falls upper ridges.

Flourish Greens at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Flourish Greens at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

I was fascinated by the variety of trees and scrubs along this gentle walk. Different greens in different shapes.

Moss covered logs at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Moss covered logs at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Moss covered logs gave bizarre statues. Let your imagination run wild.

Wooden face painting at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Wooden face painting at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Even the wood had a face painting. 

Stagnant algae pools at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Stagnant algae pools at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The trail ends on what used to be the Tully Riverbank. Stagnant pools covered in algae are dotted all along the dry river bed. Walking along the smooth drop-off zone, one can only feel and imagine the force these falls used to have.

Cloud Reflections over Tully Gorge at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Cloud Reflections over Tully Gorge at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Carved out holes filled with stagnant waters reflect clouds and sky over the very impressive Tully Gorge Escarpment.

A fraction of water still drops off at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

A fraction of water still drops off at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The tiniest amount of water still flows through a narrow channel. It was a sad look comparing what it used to be. Well, hydro-electric won this power struggle. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be standing here, enjoying this peaceful moment.

Polished granite rocks at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Polished granite rocks at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The various colours of iron and other metallic segments lighting up this slippery area.

Slippery slope at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Slippery slope at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

This is not where you want to slip and fall. Lucky I didn’t.

View over Tully Gorge at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

View over Tully Gorge at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The view over the escarpment was gorgeous. It takes a lot of force to carve through granite this deep. And it shows up here as well.

The Alien at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The Alien at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

It looks like an angry alien with its mouth wide open. 

Green sprouts at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Green sprouts at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

The trail back was just as enjoyable as it was earlier. The shadows casted by the setting sun added more depth. And imaginations.

A fluffy dog at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

A fluffy dog at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

I can make out a ’fluffy dog’s head’ on this print. 

Amazingly varied combination in sepia at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Amazingly varied combination in sepia at Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Plants were growing in all sizes, colours and even directions. I felt like my friend ‘atten-pro’!

Unspoiled creeks at Atherton Tablelands, far North Queensland, Australia

Unspoiled creeks at Atherton Tablelands, far North Queensland, Australia

This side of the Atherton Tablelands is little populated.

Little human impact, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

Little human impact, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland, Australia

With the falls withdrawn from the ‘sightseeing’ circuit, not many visitors come this way anymore.

Pristine nature Atherton Tablelands, far North Queensland, Australia

Pristine nature Atherton Tablelands, far North Queensland, Australia

But this shows how little impact from humans makes a big difference in nature. All along this scenic drive were pristine mountain creeks, covered in lush flora.

50 Shades of green at Atherton Tablelands, far North Queensland, Australia

50 Shades of green at Atherton Tablelands, far North Queensland, Australia

The green is almost fluorescence. One can see how this forest flourishes. 

View under the bridge at Atherton Tablelands, far North Queensland, Australia

View under the bridge at Atherton Tablelands, far North Queensland, Australia

Even from under the bridge.

Tall ferns at Atherton Tablelands, far North Queensland, Australia

Tall ferns at Atherton Tablelands, far North Queensland, Australia

Over the bridge, some tall ferns grew comfortably. And that’s how I felt. 

 

2 thoughts on “Tully Gorge Falls, Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland

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