The Waterfall Way stretches from Armidale in the west to Bellingen in the east. Along the B78 highway in the north of NSW – not too far from the Queensland border. There are several national parks along the way and plenty of waterfalls. Here are some of the main ones on a trip from Armidale as far east as Dorrigo.
Bakers Creek Falls
NSW National Parks produce a Waterfall Way pamphlet. It is more about the National Parks in the area but also mentions and show locations of the main waterfalls. Yet there was no mention of the Bakers Creek Falls. About 25km east of Armidale there is one of those brown (tourist attraction) signs for the falls, pointing off the main road, so I thought it must be worth a look. And it was…
The creek flows through the Metz Gorge which, oddly, does not appear to be part of any national park.
About 43km drive east of Armidale there is a turn off for Wollomombi Falls. The falls are in the aptly named Oxley Wild Rivers National Park which extends from south of Armidale eastwards (sort of). The Wollomombi and Chander rivers plunge in to the Wollomombi gorge. The Wollomombi falls are said to be the 2nd highest in NSW.
The above photo doesn’t really give a sense of scale but trust me the gorge is impressive. The walks in this area take you through the famous Dog Fence. The 5,600km fence that was built along the Queensland/NSW border (and much of South Australian border) to keep dingos out of the NSW farmlands. It was originally known as the ‘dingo fence’ but is now called the ‘Dog’ fence as it is as much for keeping out feral dogs as dingos. Which reminds me I picked up a book about the ‘Dog Fence’ a while back and still need to read it. I wasn’t expecting to see the fence so far south but there it was…
The Ebor Falls are more or less half way between Armidale and Dorrigo. This is the southerly end of the Guy Fawkes River National Park. An odd name for a river and national park eh? – especially if you are British. Guy Fawkes was the man who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament (aka The Gunpowder Plot) in London way back in November 5th, 1605. November 5th has long been celebrated in the UK as Guy Fawkes Day with bonfires and fireworks. The river is named after Guy Fawkes Day because a bloke called Major Edward Parke made camp on the river on Guy Fawkes Day, 5th November 1845. So he named it the Guy Fawkes River. The national park name was a natural follow on…
The falls at Ebor are perhaps the most photogenic on this route. There are the upper falls which spread out in a veil type formation. These tend to be the waterfall you most see in publications on the Waterfall Way. The lower falls – just a short run downstream – is a single narrow and more powerful fall, plunging some 50 metres.
Dangar and Dangars
There are two falls with almost identical names. Yet both sit at opposite ends of the Waterfall Way. The Dangars gorge is close to Armidale at the western end of the Waterfall Way. The impressive gorge is the setting for the Dangars fall (aka Dangarsleigh Falls). A single fast flowing fall that drops some 130 metres into the bottom of the valley.
Here too, on the walks around the canyon you pass through the famous Dog Fence.
The Dangar falls (no “s“) are just outside the small town of Dorrigo at the eastern end of the Waterfall Way. Not as tall as the Dangars but certainly wider so just as impressive. Easy to reach and the little town of Dorrigo is a pleasant spot to have a break and maybe have something to eat. A little further east is the Dorrigo National Park which is home to the Crystal Falls waterfall. We had already visited that area on another road-trip – see here.
For a sense of scale a tourist or two can be seen bottom left (more or less) swimming in the pool at the bottom of the falls.