With cities that continue to grow and traffic that won’t relinquish its grip, the old-school nature lover must travel beyond freeway-mapped routes. They must trek where cars can’t reach and people rarely venture.
Sure five star hotels and luxury spas are nice. I love them. I really do. But there’s something about immersing yourself in the wild – in the preserved and pristine countryside where the air tastes like glacier water and the animals roam free.
Carved into the Sunshine Coast, at the head of Princess Louisa Inlet, Chatterbox Falls might steal your heart. It stole a bit of mine.
Here, old-growth forests tower among magnificent granite walls. The placid waters are mirror-like. And, sounds of water tumbling 120 feet into a glorious mist echoes throughout the canyon.
It’s hard to narrow down why Chatterbox Falls should be on your bucket list. To sum it up into just a few bullet points is tough. It seems almost criminal. Because it’s not just one or a few things that make this place a sliver of paradise. It’s the all of them and more. Still, I had to try. Here are the top seven reasons:
Epic Flight In
There are two ways to reach Chatterbox Falls: boat and seaplane. Each is unique and beautiful in its own right. However, one has the added perks of a bird’s eye view and a less than three-hour travel time. Flying into the canyon lets you get up close and personal with the glacier-capped mountains that rest above and the rugged cliffs that fall straight-faced into the water.
Waterfalls a Plenty
The frothing base of Chatterbox Falls is easily the star attraction. With a storybook-like presence, its tumbling waters are mere yards from the small, rocky beaches at the inlet’s head. However, until mid-June its stunning display is accented by more than sixty additional waterfalls. The cascading streams are fed by the melting snow-pack from the mountains above.
Why should savoring Mother Nature end when the sun goes down? Bring a lawn chair, some firewood, and your favorite drink. At the Chatterbox Falls marine park, you’ll find a communal fire pit – the perfect spot for sipping a libation (or two).
(To preserve the park’s natural beauty, this is the only spot you are allowed to build a fire.)
Swimming in the Mountains
While the waters of Princess Louisa Inlet rise and fall with the tide, currents are practically nonexistent. The result is water temperatures that range between 70 – 78 degrees in the summer. So go ahead. Take a salt-water dip.
Hikes Worth the Effort
There are 800 meters of trails and boardwalks throughout Chatterbox Falls park. They traverse beneath the old-growth forests and beside the misty shrouded rocks. Beyond the park’s border are a series of longer and significantly more difficult hikes. These include Trappers Cabin, approximately a two-hour trek; an alpine excursion, roughly seven hours; and an “ice field” climb to the glaciers, about an additional half-day. Each of these trails is recommend for experienced mountaineers only. But if you’re up for the challenge, they’re worth the effort.
Throughout park you’ll find benches tucked along the path. They are positioned to take advantage of the views, offering spots perfect for a lingering picnic or a quiet moment of reflection.
Standing in the Mist
From the deafening roar to the cooling spray, standing in the mist of Chatterbox Falls is like dipping your toe into Mother Nature’s power. The climb into the mist is a heart pounding, laugh-inducing dance. It’s one you must be careful making. The rocks are VERY slippery. But, it is one you’ll never forget.