Chasing Waterfalls on a Road Trip from SydneyJanuary 14, 2023
Looking for a summer adventure with family or friends? What better way to enjoy some time off, than to be chasing waterfalls on a road trip from Sydney!
For those who love nature and discovering hidden beauties, then we recommend exploring hidden waterfalls around New South Wales.
If you are looking for the best way to get to these natural attractions, you will almost certainly need a vehicle to access the National Parks. Car or campervan hire from Sydney, is easily available, and the latter will provide you with both accommodation and transport.
Enjoy walking tracks leading to ethereal and majestic scenes, as well as picturesque views of stunning waterfalls, rock formations, and valley views. There may be the opportunity to swim at the foot of some falls too, enjoy the refreshing water and cool off in the wilderness.
Ebor Falls- Guy Fawkes River National Park
Take a trip to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Australia, the Ebor Falls. Located closest to Armidale and 7 hours from Sydney, the waterfall cascades over 100 meters down tiered columns of graphite-coloured rock surrounded by ferns and rainforests. Meet where the Guy Fawkes River plunges more than 10 meters deep into the Gorge via two impressive waterfalls. The landscape was created by lava spewed by the Ebor volcano millions of years ago and up close you can see the lava rock formations. Surrounding the falls are several picnic areas, lookout points, and walking tracks. One lookout is the upper falls lookout and another is the lower falls lookout. The top lookout brings you close to the falls and the lower a bit further away. With exquisite views, these falls have cultural and historical influence and are worth the visit.
Maddens Falls – Dharawal National Park
Maddens Falls is a hidden gem located in the Dharawal National Park, just 50 km out of Sydney. It’s a stunning cascade waterfall that can be reached by taking a short and easy 1km bushwalk through upland swamp communities. The walk will bring you to a scenic viewing platform where you can take in the breathtaking views of the falls. The whole journey, including the return trip, takes about 45 minutes and is graded as easy, making it a great option for people of all ages and fitness levels.
When you arrive, you can park at the apple shack, where you can buy fresh apples straight from the local farms before or after visiting the waterfall. The falls can be reached via short and easy trails that are clearly signposted. The trail forms a narrow walkway through upland swamp communities and features a raised walkway to protect the swamp. Keep an eye out for tree frogs, swamp rats, and wallabies on the way and from the viewing platform.
The waterfall itself cascades over large sandstone boulders, and from there, the creek continues its path until it flows into the beautiful Bounty bay. The falls are located in the eastern section of the national park, an unspoiled protected area in the Illawarra region just south of Sydney that is characterized by creeks, swamps, and lush vegetation. It’s a great place to discover hidden beauties that nature has to offer.
Red Cedar Falls – Dorrigo National Park
Imagine seeing the highest waterfall in a national park filled with lush scenery and having the opportunity to swim in it. The Red Cedar Falls in the Dorrigo National Park offers everything you need for a splendid day out, with many hidden gems along the way. It’s one of the top locations for waterfalls that we highly recommend. The falls is located just 6 hours from Sydney and it’s worth the travel, whether you’re planning a camping trip or just a couple of days’ exploration.
To get to the falls, you’ll start at the Never Never picnic area, which is a 25-minute drive from Dorrigo. The easiest choice is a 6.8km return walk. For those who love to hike, the Rosewood Creek circuit, which is 8.9km, is slightly longer and offers the chance to enjoy beautiful rainforest and visit another waterfall and several extra exquisite wild swimming holes filled with turquoise water. Whichever route you choose, the most challenging part will be the climb up from the falls to the junction around 1.5m and 210m in elevation. The swimming hole is accessible by the rocks, which hide the pool from view but can be seen from the viewing area. The water is refreshing and not deep, simply lovely.
Gloucester Falls- Barrington Tops National Park
If you find yourself in the town of Gloucester Tops, then a trip to the Gloucester Falls on this grade 3 track is worth the time with family and friends. The views are priceless, and the walk to the falls is easy from the main picnic area. You will walk through open snow gum woodland to the Andrew Laurie lookout on the edge of the escarpment and on to the falls lookout. Join the river walking track and wander amongst the sub-alpine woodland, keeping an eye out for swamp wallabies and grey kangaroos. Additionally, walk amidst the bluebells, rice flowers, and bellybuttons and meet the Antarctica beech forest walking track, experiencing the cool temperate rainforest canopy accompanied by the damp carpets of moss on the forest floor. As you head to the second lookout, the beautiful view offers a great 360-degree view of the falls. If you take an unmarked trail 250m to the left, you will have an even better view of the falls. Listen out for the whip birds and other songs as the bird song is splendid, as you continue the river trail and find the three-tiered waterfall with huge tree ferns and the most lush greenery. The trail ends with a steep uphill climb, but it’s not very long before you complete your beautiful waterfall experience.
Minyon Falls – Nightcap National park
The Minyon Falls is a unique and exhilarating adventure that you won’t want to miss. Located in the Nightcap National Park, not far from the famous Byron Bay, the falls offer a powerful display as they plummet over 100 meters into the deep gorge. The 7.5 km loop walk through the subtropical rainforest will lead you to a natural swimming pool, perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot day. The 8000-hectare area is a world heritage listed site, characterized by stunning rainforests, volcanic remnants, ridges, gorges, creeks, and several walking tracks. The falls themselves are mesmerizing, with cliffs that are truly breathtaking to gaze upon. There are also several picnic areas and excellent barbecue facilities available, making it the perfect spot for a full day out with friends or family.
Fitzroy Falls – Morton National Park
The Fitzroy falls is a must-see destination for nature lovers. As you take the short trail from the visitors centre to the lookout, you will be greeted by breathtaking views of the waterfall and the Yarrunga valley. The area is surrounded by exciting bushwalking tracks and beautiful rainforests, home to a variety of bird and animal species. The waterfall is part of the Meadow Creek that flows into the Yarrunga Creek and eventually connects with the Kangaroo River further south. A boardwalk guides you to the lookout point, where you can take in the stunning view of the waterfall and valley. If you’re feeling adventurous, continue on to the Jersey Lookout along the West Rim Track for even more spectacular views and great photo opportunities. Or, take the East Walking Track, a 7km return walk that offers a glimpse of the wildlife and lush vegetation, all while enjoying the continuous beautiful views of the falls.
Wollomombi Falls – Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
If you’re looking for an adventure that will take your breath away, look no further than Wollomombi falls. Just east of Armidale, this waterfall is one of the largest in the area and offers a truly breathtaking view. As you trek along the trail, you’ll be able to see the cascading waters and mists of the waterfall plunging into the wild gorge system beneath. The name Wollomombi, which derives from an aboriginal word meaning the “meeting of two waters,” is fitting, as you’ll be able to see two incredible waterfalls on your journey. Not only will you be able to take in the beauty of nature all around, but you’ll also get a glimpse into the ecology, colonial history, and traditional stories embedded into the landscape. After heavy rain, the views are especially splendid and offer fantastic photo opportunities. The falls can be viewed from the Chandler walk, a 3km return which is 200 meters from the car park, you don’t have to do the entire walk as the view of the falls becomes more obscure but you can still enjoy the rich landscape and undergrowth on the trial. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the area.