There’s train spotting, storm chasing and then there’s waterfall chasing. Australia is home to some absolutely amazing waterfalls and the Northern Rivers region of Australia features some of the most impressive in the country.
I’m an outdoor gal and love nothing more that taking the family on a new adventure to explore the natural beauty of our great land. Luckily for me, we live on the outskirts of the NSW Hinterland and can go to any or all of these gorgeous waterfalls in the Northern Rivers anytime we like.
Let me share a few of my favourites with you.
Minyon Falls is located on the outskirts of Nightcap National Park and is perfect for a day trip or quick visit to take in the sights. There are picnic areas, walking tracks and BBQ’s perfect for families and a lookout that embraces a simply stunning view of untouched rain forests as far as the eye can see.
ACCESS: Easy – accessible via car.
While you’re at Nightcap National Park, it’s worth jumping across to check out Protestors Falls. It’s a lovely opportunity to hop out of the car and go for a bit of a bush walk on a track that is considered fairly easy to navigate, so ideal for families looking for a bit of fun. The track is a pleasant 1.4km round trip which will take you through some serene forests leading to the falls.
ACCESS: Easy. Moderate fitness level is required for the walking track.
Located about 20 minutes from Ballina, Killen Falls are a must see if you are in the region. Surrounded by lush green foliage, you will feel like you have escaped to your own hidden little piece of paradise.
ACCESS: Easy – accessible via car. Parking is limited.
Located in the Queensland region of Mt Tamborine is the Curtis Falls walking track which will take you to a picturesque waterfall and rock pools. Curtis Falls are very popular and a great family day out where a bit of adventure can be had. Kids can be on the look out for the resident lyrebirds, turtles and fish in the rock pools while you enjoy the peaceful walk in the mountain fresh air. Oh, and did we mention the region famous tea houses and cafes located at the start of the tracks to top off the trip?
ACCESS: Easy access via car. Moderate fitness level required as track bush walking is required to access the falls with some stepping stones over rock pools. Track is approximately 2km round trip.
If you’re looking for a secret hideaway that is perfect for cooling off on a warm summer’s day, then Whian Whian Falls are worth a look. Tucked away off Whian Whian Road you will find an oasis of rock pools and a waterfall that is perfect for swimming or relaxing with a good book.
If it’s another swimming spot that’s a little quieter and less known that you’re looking for then Denham Scenic Reserve is a good choice. The swimming hole is located along Back Creek and is around a 3km round trip walk. There are some tricky areas to navigate as you get down into the gully, but seclusion is almost guaranteed. It is a great spot for families, but young kids need to be supervised as some paths take you along the gorge itself.
ACCESS: Moderate – Some walking involved.
After a bit of a challenge? The Hell Hole Falls is for you, if you can find the track to get there! Located in Mt Jerusalem National Park just near the little town if Uki, Hell Hole Falls (ironically named) is an ancient wonder that gives new meaning to a secret swim. The walk is around 5km round trip through hilly terrain, so it’s not the easiest of walks, but the reward at the end is well worth it. Oh, and apparently the water is a super hair conditioner that last for weeks, so might just be worth the trek for that alone!
ACCESS: Moderate – not overly easy to find, this blogger gives a great description.
Another popular swimming hole with the locals, Dalwood Falls is spectacular in every sense of the word. The refreshing water of the cascading waterfall will every bit quench the summer heat. The easy 15 minute walk to get to the falls makes it family friendly as well. A little point to note, there is a ‘No Entry’ sign along the road leading to the walking track, this is for legal reasons as there have been accidents from people jumping into the hole. The falls are also located on private property.
OTHER NOTABLE MENTIONS IN AND AROUND ALSTONVILLE AND UKI
Tosha Falls: Popular with the locals and thanks to work put in by Ballina council, Tosha falls can be viewed and swum in. Just 5 mins from the Alstonville CBD and a short 5 minute walk and you’re at the waterhole and falls.
Marom Falls: This one is a bit different in that you walk through a paddock that is actually private property to access the falls. The walk will take you about 15 minutes, but the waterhole is perfect for swimming with the falls cascading down from the ledge. Marom Falls are located in the small town of Rous.
Elabana Falls: Located in Lamington National Park, Elabana Falls is popular with photographers with it’s multitude of falls all gathering in the one place. The walk is about 3.5km each way, and while it is lengthy, it’s not too difficult. But looking at that picture, it’s well worth the trek.
Do you have any waterfalls in the Northern Rivers Hinterland region that we’ve missed in our list? We’d love you to share them in the comments.