- Scenic waterfall
- Beautiful heath and woodland teeming with birdlife
- A lower grade walk that is reasonably flat with mostly boardwalks, suitable for families
IMPORTANT: This area contains sensitive vegetation, please remain on trails at all times. Exercise extreme caution around water and cliffs - safety first, always. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more safety tips.
What to expect
As part of the Dharawal National Park, this walk starts on Darkes Forest Road in Darkes Forest. There is a small car park and information board that marks the trail head.
Before you set off, Bushwalk the Gong highly recommends a stop across the road at Glen Bernie Orchard to pick up some fresh produce for your walk – support local! (The orchard is also offering free raw honey – see Bushwalk the Gong’s exclusive offer on Facebook).
The walk starts on a wide, gently sloping maintenance trail, before a boardwalk branches off to the right after about 200-odd metres. You’ll land right in the thick of a heath here, with abundant birdlife – and possibly snake-life too!
The walk alternates between dirt path and boardwalk and weaves throughout the heath and swamp until you reach the viewing platform. This is a great child-friendly location to look at the view of the falls and down the valley, as well as have a seat and a snack.
For walkers who need more of a challenge, don’t worry, this is not the end of the trail. Backtrack slightly from the viewing platform to take the well-worn sidetrack leading to the falls. Stay a good distance back from the edge here, walk slowly across the iron-stained sandstone and head across to the other side of the falls. Depending on the water levels, you can walk back upstream here to explore a little, but if you walk to the other side of the falls you can pick up the trail that takes you downhill through the banksias, Gymeas and rocks.
The trail leads you to the mid-falls point to a wonderful natural viewing platform. From here you can set up a camera tripod or simply watch the view. It’s not suitable for swimming, but you get a close up to the falls. Use sensible judgement here and don’t get too close.
The trail from here is not as clear and easy to get off track. Due to the sensitive vegetation in this area, don’t proceed any further than the mid-falls platform and stick to the trail.
Once you’re ready to return, follow the same path back to the top of the falls, then the path back to the main boardwalk. Continue on your way back out and enjoy taking a few little trails off to the right that lead to the weir - this is a good spot for the kids to see if they can spot or hear any local frogs – but don’t touch, give the wildlife a wide berth.
Parents should keep a good watch on your kids here - be mindful of water levels and remember the flat, seemingly harmless creek leads to a big drop-off further downstream.
Essential gear required:
- Warm clothes and sun protection, it can be very windy and exposed in places
- Insect and leech protection
- Basic first aid kit
- Sneakers are fine
- A snack/lunch to enjoy
How to get to the trail:
- Trail running (a perfect little beginner trail run, wide and long trails to the viewing platform)
- Grade 1: Low gradient walk if you stick to the designated track. Some rocky sections might be loose underfoot so be mindful of ankle sprains. Track is in reasonable condition, low risk of slipping or tripping. Be extra cautious near water sections and cliffs.
- Grade 2: if you continue the trail to the mid section of the falls.
Approximate distance 1.5km return trail a flat trail taking about 45min depending on how long you enjoy the surroundings and if you take a picnic stop.
All pets (other than assistance dogs) and smoking.
Visit the Bushwalk the Gong Facebook page for more information.
Bushwalking safety advice from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Plan your walk
- Research your walk and make sure everyone is comfortable with the planned route
- Go at the pace of the slowest person and don’t overestimate your abilities
- Walk in groups of 3 or more people – in an emergency one of you might need to wait with the injured person while the other gets help.
- Check the difficulty – some walks require rock scrambling and abseiling skills. If you’re note sure of the difficulty, contact the local NPWS park office.
- Check weather forecasts and park conditions and be aware that weather conditions can change.
- Give route details to your friends and family or the NSW Police. Tell them about any medical conditions and when to expect you back
Check in when you return
- The NSW Police Force and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service provide bushwalkers and adventurers in the Greater Blue Mountains and Kosciuszko National Park with a free loaned Personal Locator Beacon. Find out more about the Think Before You Trek initiative and how to complete a trip intention form before your wilderness adventure in these areas.
Stay on track
- Walking tracks in NSW national parks parks are not always signposted or maintained, so be sure take care.
- To protect our landscapes for generations to come, please ensure that native plant and animal communities are disturbed as little as possible.
What to bring
- You may not have mobile phone service; if you’re really heading bush, consider taking a locator beacon which can be used as a last resort.
- For longer walks take plenty of water, snacks and a first aid kit
- Wear or take appropriate clothing and closed-toe footwear and always take a windproof and waterproof jacket
- Take a topographic map and compass and be confident with how to use them
- If you're camping take a good tent, sleeping bag, insect repellent and a torch.
- In a natural environment there is sometimes no escape from pests including mosquitoes, ticks and insects. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing to prevent bites, spray clothing and exposed skin with an insect repellent and reapply as directed, particularly if camping – and be sure to close that tent flap at night. More information is available at NSW Health
Staying safe near water
- Beware of fast-flowing water, submerged objects and deep water.
- Check the conditions – ask someone who is familiar with the area.
- Beware of slippery banks or paths near waterfalls
- Never swim alone – ensure that someone else is there to provide or get help.
- If you are caught in a rip or current, float on your back and travel downstream.
- If you get into trouble in the water, stay calm. Signal for help, then float and wait for help. Float with a current or undertow if in a river.
- Always check the water depth before entering
- If you feel cold in the water, get out as quickly as you can.
- If someone needs help in the water, stay dry and reach out to them with a stick or throw a rope.
- In some parks, high levels of blue-green algae can occur in lake systems under certain conditions. Please avoid direct contact with blue-green algae in the water and as surface scum. Warning signs will be displayed when algae levels in the lakes are high. Algae can exist in the shallow muddy bays and sediment disturbance in these areas should be avoided at all times.