We found the Waterfall Way while planning a trip to South West Rocks. As we already went down the East Coast, I wanted to take an alternative to the Pacific Motorway to go back to Brisbane. It is more exciting to explore as much of Australia as possible! The Waterfall Way was a perfect inland detour. For waterfall lovers, I think it even deserves a spot on the Australian bucket list!
In the afternoon, after diving with sharks at Fish Rock Cave, we drove to the Waterfall Way to the Wollomombi Falls campsite.
Lookouts and short walks on the Waterfall Way
The Waterfall Way has many beautiful lookouts and leisurely walks to some of the best waterfalls in New South Wales.
On the way, we stopped at the lovely Dangar Falls, the massive Ebor Falls lookouts and Point Lookout. All are close to the car park, so no efforts were needed, which was something to consider as we were in altitude after diving (Point Lookout is 1,500m above sea level).
The short 3-kilometre walk to Cristal Shower Falls is also really nice if you have time. It only took us 15 minutes each way, but it’s steep so some people may take longer. Down there, you can walk to a rocky cave behind the waterfall. The most direct walk starts just after Dorrigo Rainforest Centre.
Gorges on the Waterfall Way: Wollombi Falls & Chandler Viewpoint Hikes
The hike to Wollomombi Falls took us just under 1.5h return. The path is clear, and the only difficulty is going up and down. It is a bit more challenging to Chandler Viewpoint (1h return). Make sure you at least walk the very easy 700m in that direction: there are two lookouts very easy to access from the car park.
The gorges are stunning, and the place is also reputed for bird watching.
We only spotted three lyrebirds on the path and the usual birds we see while hiking in the region. No eagle as we were hoping. But it wasn’t a disappointment as the gorge are wonderful, even during the dry season.
On our way to Armidale, we made a small detour to check out Baker Creek Falls and Metz Gorge.
Aspley and Tia are also recommended spots in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, but it requires going more south. With only one day left to go back up to Brisbane, it was not possible to fit them in.
Where to stay on the Waterfall Way?
Wollomombi Falls campground was perfect: a large site with a barbecue pit and a place to collect wood for free. During Spring, it was 3 degrees at night up there (we left Brisbane at 35 degrees!), so the fire made our evening a lot more comfortable. We even had a cute friend who joined us for the night.
Where is the Waterfall Way?
The Waterfall Way is a 185-kilometre drive between Coffs Harbour and Armidale. It winds through five different national parks. It takes almost 6 hours to drive from the end of the Waterfall Way (Armidale) to Brisbane. If you want to find great spots where to stop on the way, have a look at this itinerary.
It’s one of the stops on my Australia’s East Coast road trip guide that you can download for free here.
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Eloise lives in Brisbane (Australia), but you won’t find her often in the city. When she is not disconnected underwater or in a national park, she loves sharing her travel tips and inspiring her readers to take care of our beautiful planet. She considers every weekend as a two-day holiday break. Her approach: you don’t always need to go far to travel. Still, she also enjoys exploring the world and discovering new cultures. Eloise is originally from France and, before moving to Brisbane, she lived in Sydney, Istanbul and England.