A popular beginners’ walk which is especially good for those with young children or reduced fitness levels or mobility. A great walk anytime of year for plenty of wildlife and a short walk to one of Wollongong’s most gorgeous cascade sites.
This trail has a water element so it’s important to be cautious, especially with children. Be mindful of rainfall; heavy rains may cause unstable embankments and dangerous water levels. Care should be taken near the waterfall and creek as slippery rocks pose a danger.
Taking risks in times of high-water levels is dangerous and comes with the risk of serious injury or death.
This walk is part of a suite of walks in the Macquarie Pass National Park, found easily at the base of the Macquarie Pass winding road to Robertson.
A reasonable-sized car park and clearly marked National Parks signage makes the trail especially suitable for beginners, providing the comfort of knowing you are on the right track.
The trail starts as you cross the grassy area from the car park. Take a moment to stop and read the informational signage, before entering the pathway that is clearly marked. The trail follows a tributary creek (Cascades Stream) up to the cascades where you follow an easy path with minimal steps and mostly flat sections. You can’t miss the gorgeous strangler fig that majestically sits like a well-placed piece of art. There are also little side trails that take you to the stream where you can paddle with the kids, meditate or simple enjoy the scenery – which I might add is spectacular! At the end of the trail there are metal stairs and ramps assisting with the descent to the bottom of the waterfall. Here is your destination - a beautiful spot for a picnic, photography or to just relax.
Macquarie Pass National Park is spectacular, showing off a diverse range of flora and fauna. Your path is often crossed by a curious lyrebird or two, and lazy dragons can often be seen on a sunny rock closer to the creek. It’s rumored to even be the home of the platypus, though I’m yet to spot one! The forest on the Cascades trail has beautiful tall eucalypts, fungi and epiphytes including the magnificent asplenium australasicum (birds’ nest fern). Although only a short walk, this trail should be taken slowly, quietly and with all of your senses in order to really take in all of the surrounds and the treasures it provides. This is why it is especially exciting for children - the sensory journey it provides is exceptional, whilst the small time it takes keeps them focused and interested.
Parking and transport:
There is no public transport, but the carpark is good and signage is very visible from the road.
This trail is completely suitable for all children, naturally with a close eye, and even for toddlers. This trail follows a creek bed, which means you have a high water hazard. Ensure safety at all times. There is a high chance of leeches in this area, being a typical wet forest, so take adequate protection. The rocks can also be very slippery around the creek and there is a risk of spraining ankles or falling, so take your time and check your footing before you put your weight down. In the warmer months, be cautious of snake danger on the open sections of the trail.
Wear your old sneakers on this walk as there is a chance you will get them wet or muddy!
Signage and track condition:
The trail has good signage and the track is well formed. Very unlikely you could get lost, making it ideal for first time walkers.
Data and cellular coverage:
There is limited coverage on this walk, however due to the creek and easy trail it is easy to navigate. Always carry a basic first aid kit in case of an emergency.
This track is great fun for younger families and people of all ages, there is plenty of interest along the way for those that are less agile so you get the full bushwalk experience without needing to be fit or experienced. Suitable for everyone.
This is an easy walk for all fitness levels, highly recommended for beginners.
Hiking grade: 1
A short walk that is mostly flat with some smaller wooden steps and stairs down to the waterfall.
Distance and time:
The track is a round trip, roughly a ½ hour to one-hour walk.
Pollution/rubbish grade: 3
Generally this trail is fairly clean.
Please ensure you take a garbage bag to collect rubbish, and don’t forget to take a photo of your collection and tag us in #bushwalkthegong #cleanupgongsbushland – let’s spread the word that littering in or around our bushland areas is NOT OK!
All dogs (except for assistance dogs), bikes, fires, camping and smoking – and especially alcohol.