Sydney Waterfalls

Top 10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Sydney

Sydney is the capital of Australia and home to some beautiful waterfalls. So whether you’re a tourist looking for a new adventure or an Aussie who’s never tried this before, there are plenty of waterfalls in Sydney that can be enjoyed by anyone.

If you’re looking for a day trip around Sydney, we recommend trying to find the most beautiful waterfalls in Sydney. There are so many options, and they all have their own unique features.  One of the favourites is Wentworth Falls because it’s absolutely stunning with its crystal clear waterfall and lush green surroundings that make it easy to lose yourself in nature. 

Sydney has a lot to offer when it comes to beautiful natural scenery. The coastline, the beaches, the mountains, the valleys, as a Sydney-sider, you have an endless amount of options for great day trips to undertake.

But if there is one thing we all love watching when out and about, it has to be waterfalls. The water plunges into a valley or into a natural water hole, the beautiful noise they often generate, waterfalls are a true gift from Mother Nature. 

Load up the picnic basket and take a road trip to find these cascading falls around Sydney. You’ll discover plunge pools you can swim in, waterfalls you can walk over, and mountain walks so awe-inspiring they’ll make you feel small.

Chasing waterfalls is a fun way to go out and about and discover the beauty and variety of Sydney’s national parks. To help you get inspired, we have selected 10 of the prettiest waterfalls in and around Sydney that you can get very close to.

Sydney Waterfall

1. Carrington Falls

Located in Budderoo National Park, Carrington Falls is a spectacular waterfall that drops 50 metres down into a deep gorge.

The Carrington Falls walking track is supremely popular, but Budderoo National Park has another gem up its sleeve: Nellie’s Glen

The lesser-known picnic spot connects the top of Carrington Falls with a secluded rock pool and smaller waterfall that you can swim to, shower in, and take a seat under. Please park your car and first take a look at Carrington Falls from its flat top. 

You can walk over the mossy bedrock and sit in the plunge pool or stand in the small slipstreams and look out at the treetops of the Southern Highlands. There are warning signs, but it’s worryingly easy to walk to the edge of the waterfall and peer over the edge – don’t. Instead, walk round to Nellie’s Glen – around 100 metres up the hill. 

There’s a natural rock pool that’s deep enough for laps, and people take turns in the shower, including young kids. Bring towels and settle in for the afternoon, watching the dragonflies and butterflies that skim the water.

If you are on a short trip and are looking for a must-visit waterfall while there, then the Barrington Falls over on the South Coast’s stunning Kangaroo Valley is where you should be. 

This 50-meter waterfall will fill you with wonder and fascination, which will only be propounded upon witnessing the sheer number of waterholes, Cascades and rock poles in here. All of it comes together to create just hours upon hours of fun.

A car park is located close to the waterfall, where you can make an easy circuit trail with three leading viewing platforms to enjoy great views of the waterfall and its beautiful surroundings.

Also worth visiting is Nellies Glen, which has a great picnic area and a small but scenic waterfall. It’s only a short drive away from Carrington Falls and is a starting point for a couple of great bushwalking tracks.

2. Winifred Falls

Are you vacationing with family? Then this is the perfect spot to bring them to. The water is beautifully bright blue and warm, which bodes well for the little ones in your troop. While the fall isn’t as high as Wattamolla, it’s just the right height for kids to be safe in while also finding it enjoyable.

A short yet scenic bush walk starting from Warumbul Road in the Royal National Park brings visitors to Winifred Falls, a small but impressive waterfall on South West Arm Creek.

Winifred and Anice Falls: The closest falls to Audley are Winifred and Anice Falls. The stepped, 7 metres high Winifred Falls is a 4 km hike from Audley along a steep walking trail. Cut down through the bush to the pool below the falls for the best view.

Often overlooked for the larger Wattamolla falls, Winifred Falls is the ideal spot for a peaceful afternoon of swimming during the warmer months. Located within the Royal National Park, the falls are a four-kilometre walk (it’s worth it, we promise) along the Winifred Falls Fire Trail, which can at times be quite steep, so make sure to pack sturdy boots. 

It’s an excellent spot for a picnic, as you can relax and settle in on one of the many rock platforms surrounding the waterfall.

The secluded area makes it ideal for sunbathing on the rocks, picnics and, of course, taking a dip in the calm waters of the creek. If you visit during the week or late afternoon, there’s every chance you could have this place to yourself.

To complete the whole nature experience, there are also plenty of native animals to witness on the trek downhill. All of this will enrich your day at this natural waterhole for sure.

Although the trail to Winifred Falls is only 1km, there are some challenging steep sections. The surface is also covered with loose rocks and tree roots, so it’s recommended to wear appropriate hiking shoes.

If you’re feeling energetic, the walk can be extended along the creek to visit the South West Arm Pool and Anice Falls.

Sydney Waterfall

3. Wentworth Falls

A short drive from Katoomba is the National Pass walking trail, where you’ll find Princes Lookout and Wentworth Falls. Here you need to make a choice: if you want to see the falls and nothing further, have a picnic near the conservation hut and be on your way after 15 minutes. 

The name Wentworth Falls refers to the famous 3-tiered, almost 200m high waterfall, but it is also the name of the town where the waterfall is located. It is one of the most popular bushwalking destinations in the Blue Mountains region.

Wentworth Falls is by far the most impressive and highest waterfall in the Blue Mountains, especially after a period of heavy rainfall when large amounts of water drop into Jamison Valley.

If you came for adventure, prepare for a three-hour walk through the eucalypt forest to see Wentworth Falls up close, as well as Empress, Silvia and Lodore Falls. The looped track is just over five kilometres; however, it’s a challenging trek, and you’ll want to pack a bag with water, sunscreen and snacks for the route. 

The mountain track hugs the cliffs overlooking the Jamison Valley and ends with a thigh-burning Giant Staircase.

There are various walking tracks to choose from in the Wentworth Falls area, some very short and others quite long and challenging. In addition, several lookout points offer spectacular views of the waterfall and the valley.

4. Somersby Falls

Brisbane Water National Park is a relatively small protected national park in the Central Coast region, just north of the Hawkesbury River.

Fifteen minutes from Gosford is a peaceful hideaway found on the eastern edge of Brisbane Water National Park. You’ll find brush turkeys wandering around the car park, where there are picnic tables and clear signs about the waterfalls and short walking tracks at Somersby Falls

One of the many highlights in this national park is Somersby Falls, a series of small waterfalls with a 500m walking path following Floods Creek to the bottom of the falls.

There is also a nice picnic area at the start of the walk, next to the parking area, with excellent facilities, such as barbeques, picnic tables, toilets, garbage bins and information signs.

You can walk at the top, middle and bottom of this waterfall – which is a steady stream of water on our visit, filling up sinkholes and cracks in the rock. 

At the top, the surface is smooth and flat, and people are walking their dogs over the mossy surface. 

At the middle, around ten minutes’ walk down a paved pathway, is a cascade of water that you can walk right up to and get as wet as you like. After that, it’s 30 minutes to the bottom of the fall, where the path gets rocky and sandier underfoot. 

You can dip your toes into the pools of water, but it’s not deep enough to swim in, nor is the stagnant water all that appealing (even on a humid day). So instead, take a seat on the boulders or at the edge of the dry section of the fall and enjoy the treetop views (at the top) and tropical habitat (at the bottom).

Conveniently located close to the freeway, the Somersby Falls picnic area is a popular rest stop along the NSW Central Coast route.

Sydney Waterfall

5. Mermaid Pools

Sure, picnics with families are fun, but they also get boring soon and presumably, you are here with your buddies for having some spiked adrenaline fun. So if that’s your goal, then you have stumbled in the right place. 

Don’t get fooled by the name; Mermaid pools aren’t for the light-hearted. Here the only way you will reach the water is if you dive off a 15-meter high rock platform. If you don’t think that’s high enough for your skillset, then there’s something higher still- a 25-meter option for those who keep their hearts in their pockets.

The Mermaid Pools are on crown land, which means you won’t find any of the facilities you’d expect in a National Park, including clear signage. 

The trail to get to this site is signalled by a small blue and yellow markers attached to trees, and it’s relatively easy to get lost, so make sure you bring a friend and provisions. 

This spot is where the first recorded European koala sighting took place, so keep your eyes peeled for the sleepy marsupials. Two walking tracks will get you to the pools, one high and one low. 

The walk to get to the pools is about five kilometres, and the track is not looped. Once you arrive, you’ll see a stunning green basin wrapped by cliffs, with the Bargo River flowing into it from above. The site is a sacred space for the local Aboriginal community, the Tharawal people. 

We must warn you, though, don’t get carried away in all the thrill and fun as you have to be careful to not slip off the rope. It’s your only way out; there’s just no other option.

“You can feel the energy of the place when you go down there,” says Wollondilly Environmental Education Officer Damion Stirling. Though the Mermaid Pools are sometimes described as a swimming hole, Stirling advises that swimming is not only disrespectful of the site’s religious significance, it’s also downright dangerous. “There’s no real easy way to get down into the pool,” he says. 

The only way in is to jump, and there are often submerged logs hiding below the surface. “There’ve been a few incidents down there,” he says, referring to the 2014 death of Campbelltown local Megan Moody. “We advise people to take care when walking down the trail and stick to [the marked path]. 

There are a lot of cliffs around that are disguised by shrubbery and that sort of stuff.” Stirling says the best view of the pool is when you head down the main trail past the pool towards Turmoil Gorge and then look back up the river at the pool. “You get a sense of what the whole pool is like and why it is… a sacred place.”

It does get hot in the west, so if you do feel like swimming, Stirling suggests heading to the carpark on the corner of Rockford Road and Charlie’s Point Road. The river gets wide and deep, and a great swimming spot is easily visible and accessible straight from the road.  

The river is downstream from a coal mine, so Stirling suggests you don’t drink the water and only swim ” after there’s been a flush of rain.”  “People always need to take caution when swimming in rivers… Swim, but take it easy, you know?”

6. Belmore Falls

One of the highlights in Morton National Park is Belmore Falls, a stunning plunge waterfall with two drops on the Barrengarry Creek.

It’s an adventurous drive to reach Belmore Falls in Wildes Meadow. However, it’s a 20-30 minute drive from Carrington Falls, so it’s possible to visit both in one day.

Perhaps not as famous as the Royal National Park or the Blue Mountains, Morton National Park in the Southern Highlands deserves more attention. 

You’ll drive up a dusty, gravel road up to the lookout, eventually reaching a creek that you need to drive over to access the car park. If it’s too wet to cross, you’ll need to turn back (so check the weather before you go). 

The falls are located in Morton National Park, and there is limited parking, toilets and a small picnic table at the top of the falls. There’s a brief walk between Hindmarsh Lookout, which gives you a photo opportunity of the dramatic Southern Highlands landscape below, and the sandy, eucalypt path to the Belmore Falls lookout. 

Remote wilderness, steep gorges, scenic waterfalls, exciting walking tracks and panoramic lookouts, this national park has something for everyone.

It’s an easy walk – a little too easy, which is why visitors are so intrigued to see people swimming and sunbathing at the midpoint of the waterfall at Barrengarry Creek. 

But how to get there is a mystery! It is possible to follow a fire trail – which is not part of the official track and not signposted – down to the pool. There are, however, warning signs about venturing off track, and the drop is hazardous.

A short walking track takes in several lookout points, including the Hindmarsh Lookout, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Kangaroo Valley.

Interestingly enough, it never really gets hectic at Belmore Falls, so that you will have plenty of great photo opportunities.

Sydney Waterfall

7. Fitzroy Falls

Fitzroy Falls is one of the most accessible waterfalls in the Southern Highlands – and it’s also one of the most impressive water cascades in the area.

The second major waterfall in Morton National Park is Fitzroy Falls, a spectacular waterfall on the Wildes Meadow Creek that drops 80m into the Yarrunga Valley. 

Found about 20 minutes from Bowral at the top of the descent to Kangaroo Valley, Fitzroy Falls has a large visitors centre, car park and café on-site, which makes it a popular pitstop for tourists to the area. 

The main attraction – the elevated walkway that sits to the top-right of the waterfall (so close you can feel the mist) – is fully accessible for wheelchairs and very close to the car park if you’re travelling with kids and need to be in-and-out of the park quickly. 

Follow the boardwalk from the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre to a lookout with spectacular views of the waterfall and the valley below.

Got time to spare? Take one of the walking tracks through Morton National Park, and you’ll find yourself walking over less drastic but equally impressive drops and falls as you climb and descend through seven kilometres of bushland. The East Rim walk includes eight lookout points and three smaller waterfalls to find and photograph.

Fitzroy Falls is also the village’s name where the waterfall is located, with a population of just over 200 people.

The waterfall and the village were named after Sir Charles Fitzroy, Governor of New South Wales, who visited the area in 1850.

8. Curracurrong Falls

Curracurrong Falls in the Royal National Park is a unique waterfall, as it’s one of the very few waterfalls in the world that drop straight into the ocean.

When the winds are strong, the water can often be seen being pushed back up, which makes for a pretty spectacular sight.

A scenic coastal walk starting at Wattamolla not only leads to this waterfall but also to Eagle Rock, an iconic landmark that strongly resembles an eagle’s beak.

These two waterfalls in Royal National Park would have to be the most spectacular falls in the Sydney region. Two creeks plunge straight off the edge of a cliff face into the ocean 80 metres below. 

On a windy day, the strong winds at the foot of the cliffs below the water back up again are quite a memorable sight. After the rain, the view is quite different but equally dramatic. The only access is via walking tracks (40 minutes each way) from Wattamolla, Garie or Sir Bertram Stevens Drive.

This 8km return hike to Eagle Rock and Curracurrong Falls starts at Wattamolla Beach and is part of the 26km long Coast Track between Bundeena in the north and Otford in the south.

Sydney Waterfalls

9. Wattamolla Falls

If you want to see paradise, then here it is. This is an absolute beauty that will make you feel like you are on top of the world.

Set atop a lagoon just by the sandy stretch of Wattamolla Beach in the Royal National Park, the Wattamolla waterfall is one of the most picturesque natural beauties around. 

You can see the ocean from the top of the falls, and it is a fantastic scene to behold. The mist from the falls combined with the sunlight hitting the sea far off creates something truly magical. 

Wattamolla is a popular picnic spot with a lagoon and a pretty waterfall which is a gentle trickle most of the time but a raging torrent after a downpour. 

Accessed on foot via the Coastal Walk or by car, Wattamolla has a clean, sheltered beach with picnic and barbecue facilities. Behind the beach is a lagoon into which Coote Creek tumbles over the cliff face.

The paradise isn’t just at the top; it’s below too with the sand and the swimming spaces. So just make sure that you head over there early in the morning before it gets too crowded because that’s the only way you will get a decent spot to admire the beauty that is this fall.

It’s not without its fans either – on a warm day, the falls and the nearby picnic area are buzzing with visitors in search of an excellent spot to wind down, laze in the lagoon, or firing up the barbecues for a picnic lunch. 

Once you’ve had a dip, set off on one of the hiking trails that leaves from the area – the Coast Track passes right through Wattamolla, or you can hike to Marley Beach via the Marley trail.

10. Maddens Falls

Located near Darkes Forest, Maddens Falls is genuinely magnificent and quite spectacular after heavy rain. On the way to the falls, walkers encounter native scrub and swampy wetlands.

Maddens Falls is a stunning cascade waterfall in the rural locality of Darkes Forest in Dharawal National Park, located 50km south of Sydney.

A short and easy 1km bushwalk through upland swamp communities brings visitors to a scenic viewing platform with beautiful views of the waterfall and the surrounding landscape.

Dharawal National Park is a relatively unknown protected national park in the Illawarra region of New South Wales near Helensburgh. The park is characterised by an extensive network of creeks, swamp areas and heath vegetation.

A visit to Maddens Falls is not complete without visiting the Appleshack at Glenbernie Orchard, a small farm shop where you can taste and buy fresh produce.

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