Where wonder runs deep
An exciting journey of discovery linking Armidale to Coffs Coast
weaving through national parks, epic waterfalls, gorges and magical forests.
The 185 km Waterfall Way is one of the world’s most breathtaking drives.
The Waterfall Way will take you on a journey of wonder and amazement as you follow the path of the water as it travels from the historic city of Armidale through five national parks, waterfalls, rivers and gorge country until it arrives at the pristine beaches of the Coffs Coast.
Start by exploring the picturesque city of Armidale in New England High Country, before winding your way to the bohemian village of Bellingen via World Heritage-listed National Parks, sweeping valleys, dramatic gorges and of course, lots of waterfalls.
West of Armidale, on the way to Dorrigo and Bellingen, you can watch the Guy Fawkes River plunge 100m over two waterfalls at Ebor Falls. Three lookout platforms along the edge of the escarpment offer spectacular views out into the gorge country. Nearby, along the Waterfall Way you can also hike through sub-alpine woodlands to the towering granite formations of Cathedral Rocks which are reached after climbing 400 metres over boulders.
The Waterfall Way offers further natural attractions to explore including NSW’s highest drops at the incredible Wollomombi Falls and gorge, where waters plunge 220m into the valley. Enjoy the walking tracks and picnic areas in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.
The 30 minute descent from Dorrigo to Bellingen is a truly memorable experience as the Dorrigo rainforest opens to reveal the Bellinger Valley vista. With picturesque waterfalls to delight you as you slowly meander down the mountain, take your time to enjoy the journey and the view at the dedicated lookouts.
Highlights to discover on Waterfall Way
- 4 World Heritage-listed National Parks
- Wollomombi Falls – the 2nd highest waterfall in Australia
- Granite boulders in Cathedral Rock National Park
- Point Lookout – New England National Park
- Picturesque towns & villages of Ebor, Dorrigo and Bellingen
- Skywalk Lookout at Dorrigo National Park
- Dangar Falls – Dorrigo
- The Bellingen River
- Urunga Boardwalk
- The famous World Heritage Gondwana Rainforests
Feel the sense of adventure as you leave the rush of the motorway behind, slow down to explore the twists and turns of these country roads, and stop for a while in friendly villages and towns.
This scenic drive offers road trippers a diverse range of spectacular natural landscapes complemented by heritage villages and cultural experiences. The 185km journey traverses five national parks and winds through lush rainforest, spectacular gorges and many waterfalls.
Your journey starts in the picturesque city of Armidale, in New England High Country. This graceful city famed for its grand architecture and four-season climate offers a slice of buzzing cosmopolitan life in a picturesque rural setting. At around 1000m, Armidale offers visitors a truly evocative and unique experience. Where else can you experience World Heritage wilderness in the morning and indulge in the sophistication of world-class galleries in the afternoon?
At the cusp of the Great Dividing Range, the small rural town of Dorrigo is the gateway to the ancient rainforest and dramatic waterfalls of the World-Heritage Dorrigo National Park. Take a moment to enjoy the beauty of this land from Griffiths Lookout and a short 5 minutes from town you will discover Dangar Falls that cascades into a fabulous swimming hole.
The 30-minute drive from Dorrigo to Bellingen is a truly amazing experience as you meander down through the rainforest and along the Bellinger River. With the windows down you will immerse yourself in the rainforest; experience the birdlife and feel the spray from Newell and Sherrard Falls as you drive slowly past. The vibrant and bohemian town of Bellingen is a delight to explore. Packed full of funky eateries, boutiques, bakeries and art galleries within its heritage streetscape.
Explore hundreds of thousands of hectares of national parks and state forests.
Dorrigo National Park
Guy Fawkes River National Park
New England National Park
Wollomombi Gorge and Falls Picnic Area
Gara Gorge lookout
And be inspired by some of ours.
Armidale foodies seeking fare with a French twist head along Rusden Street to find Café Patisserie. This cosy café buzzes with activity as locals stop by for a warm buttery croissant to go with their morning coffee, in rustic surrounds of painted brick, recycled timber, trailing greenery and Edison bulb…Read story titled Cafe Patisserie
Tattersalls Hotel Armidale
The Tattersalls Hotel is now your premier destination in the New England, a major renovation and revitalisation project has been completed. With blended minimalist geometric forms, rich timber detailing inside the hotel, punchy jewel tones and elegant drapery to evoke the mood of a bygone age. The hotel provides you…Read story titled Tattersalls Hotel Armidale
Loloma Bed & Breakfast, Armidale
There are some places where attention to detail really sets them apart. Loloma Bed and Breakfast in Armidale, is certainly one of those places. Rhonda Morris has been running the boutique accommodation since the beginning of 2017 and the moment she greets you at the front door and you glimpse…Read story titled Loloma Bed & Breakfast, Armidale
Looking for a beautiful spot to cool off after exploring the national parks along the Waterfall Way? Well these picturesque swimming locations are sure to be worthy of an Instagram post or two? First stop Gara Gorge, or otherwise referred to by the locals as the Blue Hole. Gara Gorge…Read story titled Wild Swimming
Exploring the Arts
Both classical and contemporary music contribute enormously to Armidale’s cultural vibrancy. The old Teachers College is home to the New England Conservatorium which nurtures the Armidale Symphony Orchestra, Armidale Youth Orchestra, Fiori Musicali and many other choral and musical groups. The New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) in Armidale is…Read story titled Exploring the Arts
Exploring National Parks around Armidale
In the depths of winter, mist can drape New England National Park like a chiffon veil, settling silently in the valleys and lingering for hours. Moss-covered Antarctic beech, which have thrived on the Great Dividing Range for aeons, assume a ghostly appearance on such mornings – and deep within the…Read story titled Exploring National Parks around Armidale