Connecting the beaches and rainforests of the Coffs Coast with the Great Dividing Range, Waterfall Way is one of the most picturesque touring routes in NSW.
You don’t have to be a genius to figure out there are lots of impressive waterfalls along Waterfall Way. The name simply says it all.
Linking Armidale and the beautiful New England tablelands with the NSW Mid North Coast, Waterfall Way stretches for 190km.
The scenic route traverses five national parks and winds through lush rainforest, waterfalls, river valleys, open woodlands and farmland.
With the car loaded up for a family road trip we start our journey from Armidale. It’s not long before we arrive at the first waterfall stop-off. The Wollomombi Falls are one of the highest falls in Australia and the main lookout provides breath-taking views where the Wollomombi and Chandler Rivers plunge into an enormous ravine.
Several camp grounds and walking tracks are located adjacent to the falls.
Wollomombi comes from the aboriginal word ‘Wollumbi, meaning ‘meeting of the water’. After heavy rain, the thunderous waterfalls cascade 220m over the dramatic cliffs to the valley below and fill the gorge with mist and the occasional rainbow. It really is a sight to see.
The surrounding Oxley Wild Rivers National Park protects the largest section of dry rainforest in Australia and is a world heritage listed wilderness area. It’s perfect for walking, fishing, canoeing and camping. Explorer John Oxley was the first European to navigate this area when he passed through in 1818 while looking for a route from the tablelands to the coast.
Not far down Waterfall Way is the Cathedral Rock National Park which is great bushwalking and rock-climbing territory. Weathering and erosion of the region’s ancient granite has shaped a rugged, undulating landscape peppered by giant boulders, massive tors and peculiar rock formations. The domed peak of Round Mountain, at 1584 metres, is the highest point.
Walking tracks crisscross the park. Cathedral Rock Track (5.8-km loop, 2–3 hours, medium difficulty) leaves from the Barokee rest area. Woolpack Rocks Walk (7.4 km return, 3 hours, medium difﬁculty) from Native Dog Creek through stringybark forest is also popular. It’s hard to believe these rocks are around 270 million years old!