DiscoverWaterfall Way

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
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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.

Experience naturalwonders

Explore hundreds of thousands of hectares of national parks and state forests.

Dorrigo National Park

Dorrigo National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, offers stunning scenery that’s been millions of years in the making. The park has a range of forest environments that protect an enormous variety of animals and birds. You might spot red-necked pademelons, the vibrantly coloured wompoo fruit-dove, or the spectacular regent bowerbird.A great day trip from Coffs Harbour, you can go birdwatching, relax at scenic picnic and barbecue spots, explore secret waterfalls and rainforest walks, and be amazed by the views from the elevated walk which looks all the way from the forest to the sea. Be sure to stop in at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and Canopy Cafe.
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Guy Fawkes River National Park

Guy Fawkes River National Park is a wilderness paradise popular for bushwalking and birdwatching. You can also enjoy fishing, swimming and canoeing along the Boyd River.Halfway between Armidale, Grafton and Dorrigo, Guy Fawkes River National Park is a rugged wilderness paradise that’s perfect for peaceful camping and hiking away from the crowds.The park is popular with experienced bushwalkers who want to explore the Guy Fawkes River Valley, but there are lots of great activities to enjoy among the peaceful gorges and slow-flowing rivers.Enjoy a picnic among the spring wildflowers alongside Ebor Falls, where you can watch the river tumbling from the plateau in two dramatic waterfalls. Be sure to pack your binoculars if you’re a birdwatcher, as among the many species you might spot are wedge-tailed eagles and glossy black cockatoos.
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New England National Park

Located in the Northern Tablelands of NSW, New England National Park is a place of spectacular beauty and pristine wilderness. Part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, it offers visitors an unforgettable holiday experience or a peaceful weekend getaway.Discover the ancient world sealed in Gondwana rainforest, wander through snow gum forests dotted with crimson rosellas, and see breathtaking views from the Great Escarpment on one of the many walking tracks. Walks range from an easy 200m stroll to multi-day hikes through remote wilderness.Experience sensational sunrises and breathtaking views stretching over forested valleys all the way to the coast from Point lookout. Pack a picnic and spend a few hours admiring the spectacular view before you.Visit for the day, or take advantage of the various accommodation and camping options and stay a few days while immersing yourself in this magical world.
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Cathedral Rock National Park

Camp, walk, birdwatch and enjoy scenic views with great picnic spots at Cathedral Rock National Park, just east of Armidale and west of Dorrigo on the New England Tablelands.Rock-hopping isn’t just for the wallaroos at Cathedral Rock National Park. Hike to the park’s main boulder piles of Woolpack Rocks and Cathedral Rock and scramble to their summits. Then enjoy the superb views across the wilderness landscape of dry eucalypt forest and granite outcrops. The park’s rock formations are particularly photogenic in late-afternoon light or mist.Take short walks from the campgrounds, or do a long hike between them. For an exhilarating challenge, you can carry your pack for the 10.4km Barokee to Native Dog Creek walk, camp at the other end, and retrace your steps later.Whether you’re visiting the park for a picnic lunch or camping for a few days, there are plenty of birdwatching opportunities. The screech of the glossy black cockatoo lets you know there’s a flock overhead. You may be fortunate and spot the endangered turquoise parrot or wedge-tailed eagle circling the granite tors.
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Wollomombi Gorge and Falls Picnic Area

If you love the raw power and beauty of rugged wilderness, then a visit to Wollomombi Falls campground and picnic area in New England is your idea of heaven. After heavy rain the waterfall cascades 220 metres over the dramatic cliffs to the valley below and a great way to introduce the kids to the might of the natural elements.Make your way to the nearby lookout and gaze over the highest waterfall in NSW. If it’s been raining, you’ll soak up more than just the scenic views as the massive gorge fills with mist and the occasional rainbow.When the force of nature gives way to hunger, unpack the picnic basket and barbecue up a feast under the shade of the red gum and yellow box. If you’re after action, there’s a range of walks that show off the rugged beauty of this beautiful area.
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Gara Gorge lookout

If you like to combine an easy walk with a spectacular view then it’s time to pack the car and head to Gara Gorge lookout, accessed along Threlfall walking track. You’ll be rewarded with scenic views down the rugged gorge.From the lookout, you’ll see gum-lined valleys and steep ravines that continue to the coast. Look for brush-tailed rock wallabies sunning themselves on the outlying stone as you breathe in clean, crisp mountain air. Bring your binoculars for birdwatching as peregrine falcons and wedge-tailed eagles can sometimes be seen in the skies above.After all that fresh air and scenery, you’ll be ready for lunch, so head back to either Threlfall picnic area or the popular Blue Hole picnic area for a bush picnic or barbecue.
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