Largest Water Drop in Australia: Wallaman Falls
The Wallaman Falls are located in Girringun National Park, and is home of the largest single drop waterfall in Australia, that drops 879 feet, while the entire waterfall measures 1,109 feet tall. This is considered to be a tiered waterfall, featuring two main drops as it falls into 32 foot deep by 65 foot wide lagoon.
The falls are fed from Stony Creek, which is a tributary of the Herbert River. The water fall actually plunges over an escarpment in the cliffs call the Seaview Range. The Herbert Peninsula, over 50 million years ago, shifted its course creating a gorge from wearing the river bed down. As a result Stony Creek was literally left hanging over the gorge, so it just spilled down the cliff wall.
The falls is encompassed in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, created in 1989, spanning 5586 square miles of land. This area is considered to have a cultural and natural importance to the heritage of humans. This is a special location, having both the falls, and the oldest surviving rain forest in the world.
The park is home to many unusual animals. The platypus lives here, one of the few marsupial species on the planet. The Eastern Water Dragon also lives here; this lizard has strong forearms and tails designed for swimming. The Saw-Shell turtle also swims in the Herbert River and its tributaries. This turtle is only found in the eastern part of Australia.
Plant life around the falls included Casuarinas, which are Australian pines, beefwood or She Oaks that can thrive in nutrient poor soil. There is also eucalyptus and Grass Tree in the area around the falls. The lush vegetation more common with rain forests exists deeper into the gorge. There are over 700 species of Eucalyptus trees. There are many different varieties of mosses and lichens found in this area as well.
Depending on the season, the waterfall will appear as a gushing torrential downfall of water or a thin stream, falling over a light tan cliff. The wettest part of the rainy season is when the falls reach their maximum volume.
The Wallaman fountain was a part of the natural home of the Warrgamaygan Aboriginal People. There remains a spiritual connection to the land of their ancestors, a place they called home and gathered food and found resources!