17 March 2016
From Byron Bay to the South Coast, NSW is fortunate enough to enjoy a number of breathtaking natural waterfalls. Here’s everything you need to know about the state’s best hidden waterfalls, including how to reach them.
Situated within Dorrigo National Park, Crystal Shower Falls is a waterfall surrounded by lush rainforest. Offering more than just great scenery, Crystal Shower Falls also provides adventurers with the opportunity to make their way behind its cascading waters and experience the falls from a different angle. Taking between 1 and 2 hours to complete, the 3.5km return journey sets off along the Satinbird Stroll before joining the Wonga Walk near The Glade picnic area. After reaching the falls, follow the nearby suspension bridge and short side track to discover the rocky cavern located behind the waterfall
Fairy Bower Falls can be found within Southern Highlands‘ Morton National Park in Bundanoon. This quaint spot is accessible via a one hour walking loop from Gambells Rest picnic area or Fairy Bower car park. The trail is not long but occasionally very steep; take extra care during the downhill sections. Once you’ve arrived and soaked up the surrounds from the viewing platform, you can also take a small stairwell down to the base of the waterfall.
The Minnamurra Rainforest, within South Coast’s Budderoo National Park, is a lush subtropical haven. An elevated boardwalk known as The Loop extends all the way from the information centre to Carrington Falls, a popular waterfall. However, halfway along this path is the opportunity to turn onto The Falls Walk, a 2.6km trail which leads to a viewing platform near Upper Minnamurra Falls. Although this path is more strenuous than The Loop, the oasis at the base of Upper Minnamurra Falls will make the two-hour round trip worth your while.
The town of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains is synonymous with waterfalls, with Katoomba Falls and Wentworth Falls featuring among its major tourist attractions. However, the popularity of these sites has allowed Minnehaha Falls, a lesser-known waterfall of twenty metres, to remain relatively untouched. Minnehaha Falls is accessible by following Yosemite Creek up to a lookout with views over the canyon, before taking a walking track down to the base of the waterfall.
Minyon Falls is located within Nightcap National Park in the Byron Bay hinterland. A wheelchair-accessible lookout offers sweeping views of Minyon Falls as well as the surrounding rainforest and, on clear days, the coastline of Byron Bay. Reaching the actual waterfall, however, is not such a simple task. Getting to the base of this spectacular waterfall will require setting aside about four hours to complete a 7.5km loop. Though this is no small feat, seeing this incredible 100m waterfall up close is a reward like no other.
Although it might not fit your traditional definition of a waterfall, New England National Park’s Weeping Rock is just as worthy of a visit. Once you arrive in the park’s Point Lookout precinct, a 30 minute walk through its heritage-listed rainforest will lead you to this sombre-sounding attraction. Weeping Rock is the name given to a basalt cliff face which, thanks to its position beneath a natural spring, enjoys lush, widespread moss growth and a steady trickle of water across its surface. In winter, these rivulets transform into striking icicles as Weeping Rock gets frozen in time.