Maybe it's the serene backdrop that accompanies them. Perhaps it's that mesmerising sound that helps drown out the everyday grind. Or it could be the visuals of that never-ending flow of water, whether gentle or thunderous. Whatever the reason, there's fewer finer natural sights than a waterfall in all its glory.
Luckily for you and other outdoor enthusiasts, NSW is home to an amazing collection of these natural beauties. If you're heading up and down the coast or ready to venture inland, there are plenty of spectacular scenes dotting the entire state. Ready to make a splash when it comes to outdoor fun and adventure? Let the best waterfalls in NSW wash over you.
It's pretty tough to pick just one of the amazing waterfalls in and around the Blue Mountains. But your best bet is to head for Katoomba, home to an amazing network of hiking and walking trails. Here you’ll find the Blue Mountains National Park, where you can stroll your way to Wentworth Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls in the state.
Take the appropriately named 1.4km Wentworth Falls Track to get there. It’s steep, but anybody that can handle a couple hundred stairs will be fine with this well-maintained path, which takes about an hour round trip. Park for free in the Wentworth Falls picnic area at the end of Falls Road, which has bathrooms, picnic tables and water refilling stations. It's a great base between walks. Head out to Jamison Lookout and go left. Stop off at Fletcher's Point for a look at all 100m of falling water before carrying on to the top of the falls.
But that's just the start of the amazing waterfall action in the area. Katoomba is also home to Minnehaha Falls, one of the best hidden waterfalls in NSW. If you're driving, make sure to leave time for a pitstop in the lovely town of Leura, where you can grab a pie with a view at Leura Gourmet Deli.
Don't forget your swimsuit when you take a trip to Winifred Falls. Not only will you get the beauty and serene sounds you've come to expect from the best waterfalls in NSW, but you'll also have a chance to take a dip at the foot of these gently tiered falls. Even better, you don't have to be an experienced hiker to get there.
The 1km, 30min walk (each way) on the Winifred Falls Fire Trail will guide you through some lovely bush before opening up at Winifred. There are some steep areas, but that's about as hectic as it gets. Once inside Royal National Park, find your way to Sir Bertram Stevens Drive. Turn onto Warumbul Road (it'll be a left if you're coming from the north and a right if coming from the south), and within a few hundred metres you'll see the Winifred Falls Firetrail on your right. Hop in for a swim or enjoy a bite in the sun on one of the many picnic-friendly ledges surrounding the pool.
Parking? Yes, near the head of the Winifred Falls Firetrail ($12 park entry fee per car)
While Belmore Falls is a star in its own right, what makes it such an excellent option for fun-seekers is its proximity to not only other falls, but two of the greatest regions in New South Wales. Nestled in the beautiful Southern Highlands, Belmore Falls is a picturesque, long-drop waterfall that is relatively easy to access on foot. Located in Morton National Park, you can drive up to and park at the Hindmarsh lookout point off Belmore Falls Road. From there, it's a bit under 2km return walk on a well-maintained Grade 3 track that will take you 45min to an hour to complete.
If you have the time, stop in wonderfully quaint Berry on your way to or from the waterfall. Refuel with a visit to the Famous Berry Donut Van for some sugary sweet treats or at Il Locale for gelato and coffee that locals love.
Not too far from the aforementioned Belmore Falls sits 81m Fitzroy Falls, giving you a chance to pair the two for an amazing double feature. Also found in Morton National Park, the easy, level paths around this absolute stunner are suitable for a range of walkers. While not paved, they are well maintained. Keep your eyes peeled for amazing native animals and listen for a collection of buzzing bird life on your walk through serene forest.
Before you set out, stop by the excellent Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre to get the lay of the land from the experts. From there you're only a few minutes' walk from multiple viewing angles, but they can help you figure out which of the other fantastic trails to check out during your visit.
Parking? Yes, for $4 per car per day at Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre
Whether you live up in beautiful Northern NSW or are simply spending some time exploring Nimbin or Byron Bay, the epic 100m Minyon Falls is not to be missed.
You know you're in for something good when you're travelling along a road called the Waterfall Way. Ebor Falls has multi-tiered majesty and sensational, sprawling scenery for falls fans of all ages. While the big-picture view is breathtaking, you can also get close to the upper falls and the lower falls via multiple viewing platforms.
As with many of the attractions on Waterfall Way, Ebor Falls is quite well signposted and maintained, so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding it. Located about 80km/one-hour drive from either endsof the route (Armidale to the west and Bellingen to the east), Ebor Falls sits in Guy Fawkes River National Park. It's that titular waterway from which Ebor Falls flows. Simply turn off (right if coming from Bellingen, left if from Armidale) onto Ebor Falls Road and take it until you find the Lower Ebor Falls car park. With its central location on Waterfall Way, this is a great place to have a bit of lunch and use the toilet before getting back on the road and continuing on your journey.
You really can't go wrong with any stop along the appropriately named Waterfall Way. West of Ebor Falls, toward Armidale, is the powerful Wollomombi Falls, the highest waterfall in NSW at 220m. But why stop at two? Plan a Waterfall Way road trip to get your fill of falls and idyllic country towns.
Parking? Yes, at Ebor Falls Visitors' Car Park and Lower Ebor Falls car park
What Somersby Falls lacks in size, it makes up for in family appeal. This Central Coast favourite is a great spot for an afternoon of BBQs and swimming. Then walk it all off on the quick, easy 500m-return Somersby Falls walking track. You'll be surrounded by gorgeous rain forest and the moderately sized but no less beautiful falls.
To get there, make your way to the junction of Somersby Falls Road and the Hawkesbury Track. Then just follow the former into the bushland area.
If you want to tick another waterfall off your Central Coast to-do list, you can drive about 30min south to Kariong Brook Falls in Woy Woy. Similar to Somersby Falls, it features a short, easy path in and is a great spot for swimming.
Parking? Yes, for $8 per car per day at Somersby Falls Picnic Area