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The 5 BEST Things to Do at Carrington Falls (Updated 2024)

The 5 BEST Things to Do at Carrington Falls (Updated 2024)

Carrington Falls is a majestic waterfall located in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. To help you plan your adventure at Carrington Falls, we’re going to talk about the five best things to do during a visit.

With this in mind, this guide will detail the short yet impressive Carrington Falls Walk and reveal all of the best lookouts (including a secret lookout). We’ll then look at the best walks, wild swimming spots and other waterfalls to explore near Carrington Falls. To inspire your waterfall-chasing endeavours, we’ve included plenty of photos of Carrington Falls and other waterfalls in the area.

Read about Gerringong Falls, Belmore Falls and Fitzroy Falls

About Carrington Falls, Budderoo National Park

The spectacular Carrington Falls is a 90 metre plunge waterfall that drops into the mighty Kangaroo Valley. Generated from the Kangaroo River, the waterfall is one of the most popular to visit in New South Wales. Located in Budderoo National Park, the waterfall is around two hours south of Sydney. So, chasing this waterfall is more than doable as a day trip.

Other than exploring Carrington Falls itself, there are plenty of awesome natural attractions to explore in the area immediately surrounding the waterfall. We’ll reveal all of the best things to do during a visit to the area, so you can enjoy an action-packed day out, rather than just a fly-in visit.

Carrington Falls

Where Is Carrington Falls?

The waterfall is located in the Carrington Falls precinct in the Southern Highlands region of New South Wales, Australia. To help you get your bearings, click on the image below to access an interactive map of the area.

A map showing the location of Carrington Falls
Carrington Falls map

Accommodation Near Carrington Falls

5 Things to Do at Carrington Falls

Let’s look at all of the must-do activities and must-see places at Carrington Falls. First, we’ll talk about the obvious things to do – the Carrington Falls Walk and its lookouts. We’ll then cover details about a secret lookout found away from the main walk near Nellies Glen. Afterwards, we’ll detail all of the best things to do in the surrounding area.

1. Do the Carrington Falls Walk

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 570 metres
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 35m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Carrington Falls Picnic Area
  • Map: Google Maps

Of course, doing the Carrington Falls Walk (AKA the Carrington Falls Walking Track, Carrington Falls Loop Track and Carrington Falls Hike) is a no-brainer. By doing the walk, you’ll get to visit several excellent lookouts, which provide outstanding views of the waterfall and Kangaroo Valley.

The walk starts from the car park at the Carrington Falls Picnic Area and can be walked in either direction.

Carrington Falls sign

2. Visit Carrington Falls Lookouts

Below, we’ll look at the three outstanding lookouts found along the walk. We’ll then talk about the secret lookout, which isn’t found on this main walk.

Falls View Lookout

If you do the Carrington Falls Walk in a clockwise direction, the Falls View Lookout is the first lookout you’ll reach. The lookout provides some of the best views of the waterfall. From a fair distance, you’ll enjoy unimpeded views as it plunges into the deep gully below.

Certainly, that’s one of the best features of this lookout – you can see the entire waterfall from top to bottom. None of the other lookouts provide uninterrupted views of the waterfall. But, that’s not to say the other lookouts lack a wow factor!

Valley View Lookout

The other main lookout is called the Valley View Lookout. This lookout is positioned much closer to the waterfall and provides an almost birds-eye view. You won’t be able to see the base of the waterfall from this lookout. But, its closer proximity to the waterfall helps you appreciate its scale and power.

Kangaroo River: Top of Carrington Falls

The third and final lookout along the Carrington Falls Walk is the vantage point from the Kangaroo River at the top of the falls. Admittedly, the area is partially fenced to discourage access to the top of the falls. But, this doesn’t stop people from wandering around the top of the waterfall.

Of course, from the top of the falls, you won’t enjoy any views of the waterfall itself. Rather, getting to this point of the walk is more about appreciating the cascading streams of the Kangaroo River near the top of the waterfall.

Secret Carrington Falls Lookout

As mentioned, you won’t be able to get to this lesser-known viewpoint during the Carrington Falls Walk. To access this unofficial vantage point, it’s best to make your way to the Nellies Glen Picnic Area Car Park.

From there, you can follow a faint trail to reach a large rocky platform near the top of the falls, which faces opposite the Falls View Lookout. Beck and I really enjoyed the unique perspective of the waterfall from this lesser-known viewpoint. Of course, accessing this vantage point is off the beaten track, so take care as you navigate the area, especially near the edge of cliffs.

Carrington Falls

3. Do Other Walks Near Carrington Falls

Most people will simply do the Carrington Falls Walk and then be on their merry way. But, there are loads of other great walks to do in the area. Below, we’ll look at four other walks you should consider doing during a visit.

Izzards Lookout Track

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 1km
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 50m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Carrington Falls Picnic Area
  • Map: Google Maps

The Izzards Lookout Track is another short walk starting from the car park at the Carrington Falls Picnic Area. During this walk, you won’t be able to see Carrington Falls. Rather, you’ll enjoy splendid views of Kangaroo Valley. Indeed, from Izzards Lookout, you’ll enjoy one of the best views of the immense valley. Personally, Beck and I combined Izzards Lookout Track with the Carrington Falls Walk.

Warris Chair Lookout Track

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 1.1km
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 30m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Nellies Glen Picnic Area Car Park
  • Map: AllTrails

The Warris Chair Lookout Track is a great walk, which starts near Nellies Glen. The short out and back walk leads you through dense eucalyptus forest to a superb viewpoint overlooking Kangaroo Valley. Although, the lookout is even more well-known for its incredible rock formation known as Warris Chair. Just so you know, you won’t be able to see Carrington Falls at any stage during this walk.

Dan at Warris Chair Lookout

Missingham Lookout Track

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 4km
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 115m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Nellies Glen Picnic Area Car Park
  • Map: AllTrails

Also starting from the Nellies Glen Picnic Area, the Missingham Lookout Track is another superb walk in the area. At the end of this bushwalk, you’ll reach two magnificent lookouts – the Missingham East and Missingham West Lookouts. Both lookouts provide excellent views of Kangaroo Valley.

Similar to the Warris Chair Lookout Track, you won’t have any views of Carrington Falls during this walk. But, you’ll enjoy an awesome view of the side of Carrington Falls Gorge.

Dan at Missingham East Lookout
The Missingham East Lookout
Dan at Missingham West Lookout near Carrington Falls
The Missingham West Lookout

Missingham Steps and Stevo’s Track

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 6.8km
  • Time: 4–6 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 35m
  • Difficulty: Very Hard (Grade 5)
  • Trailhead: Carrington Falls or Nellies Glen Picnic Area
  • Map: AllTrails

If you’re an experienced bushwalker, you may want to consider this challenging Grade 5 walk. Using a combination of the Missingham Steps and Stevo’s Track, it’s possible to descend into Kangaroo Valley. Personally, Beck and I didn’t complete this walk as we didn’t quite have enough time.

Please note, that this walk doesn’t actually access the base of Carrington Falls. For more information about getting to the base of the waterfall, please read How Do You Get to the Bottom of Carrington Falls?

A warning sign

4. Wild Swimming Near Carrington Falls

Other than doing walks and visiting lookouts, there are great opportunities for wild swimming near Carrington Falls. Below, we’ll look at the two best places for wild swimming near the waterfall.

Nellies Glen

Found along Missingham Creek, Nellies Glen is one of the most popular wild swimming spots near Sydney. The seasonal waterfall at Nellies Glen provides a truly beautiful spot for a dip. Best of all, reaching Nellies Glen involves only a short 200 metre walk from the Nellies Glen Picnic Area Car Park.

Read more: Nellies Glen – Everything You Need to Know About Visiting

Nellies Glen

Blue Pool

Also found along Missingham Creek, Blue Pool is another sensational spot for wild swimming. Unfortunately, when Beck and I visited, the pool didn’t have its typical turquoise colour as it was an overcast day. Certainly, if you want to swim at Blue Pool when it’s looking its finest, you’ll want to visit on a sunny day.

FYI – it’s possible to do a circular walk that visits both Nellies Glen and the Blue Pool. You can find details for this walk here. Personally, we did this walk and highly recommend it. Bear in mind, during this walk, there is some scrambling involved to pass by Nellies Glen to get to the top of the waterfall.

Blue Pool near Nellies Glen

5. Chase Other Waterfalls Near Carrington Falls

So, that’s all of the best things to do in the Carrington Falls precinct. Of course, there are many brilliant waterfalls in the Southern Highlands to see other than just Carrington Falls. Below, we’ll look at the other most well-known waterfalls in the area that are worth visiting too.

Gerringong Falls

Also located in Budderoo National Park, Gerringong Falls is an astonishing 180 metre two-tier waterfall. To reach the top of the falls, you can either hike or cycle. Near the top of the falls, you’ll find a superb lookout, which provides unparalleled views of the waterfall.

Read more: Gerringong Falls – Find the Epic Lookout (Access to Base Prohibited)

Gerringong Falls

DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S

Capture breathtaking aerial photography and videography with the DJI Air 2S. The DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo comes with all of the necessary accessories such as the remote controller, spare batteries and battery charger.

Belmore Falls

Belmore Falls is one of the most well-known waterfalls in the Southern Highlands. Located in Morton National Park, the three-tier plunge waterfall drops majestically from Barrengarry Creek into the northern end of Kangaroo Valley.

Read more: Belmore Falls – How to Visit Despite Prohibited Trails & Access

Belmore Falls

Fitzroy Falls

Also located in Morton National Park, Fitzroy Falls is perhaps one of the most well-known waterfalls in New South Wales. The 80 metre single-drop waterfall, which is fed by Wildes Meadow Creek, dramatically pours into Yarrunga Valley.

Read more: Fitzroy Falls Guide – Discover 3 Walks, 4 Waterfalls & 14 Lookouts

Fitzroy Falls

Read about the 23 Best Southern Highlands Waterfalls

Things to Know Before You Go

Now you all about the best things to do at Carrington Falls, let’s look at some other useful things to know before you go.

How to Get to Carrington Falls

There is no public transport to Carrington Falls (or any of the waterfalls in the Southern Highlands for that matter). So, you’ll have no choice but to drive there. If you don’t have a car, we recommend hiring one. Indeed, to explore the Southern Highlands and all of its outstanding waterfalls, you’ll need your own set of wheels.

When it comes to Carrington Falls parking, you can park for free at the moderately-sized car park next to the picnic area.

Car Hire

DiscoverCars.com

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

Accommodation Near Carrington Falls

There are so many great accommodation options in the Southern Highlands. If you’re looking for accommodation near Carrington Falls, you’ll find a variety of options in nearby Robertson, which is a charming town. For your convenience, we’ve handpicked the best accommodation in Robertson.

Best Hotel: The Robertson Hotel

A room inside The Robertson Hotel

If you’re looking for the best hotel option in Robertson, look no further than the superb Robertson Hotel

Best Holiday Home: Wallaby Cottage

A room inside the Wallaby Cottage

The Wallaby Cottage is an excellent choice if you want to stay in a holiday home

Best B&B: Greengate Bed and Breakfast

A room inside the Greengate Bed and Breakfast

For a romantic weekend getaway not too far from Sydney, book yourself a room at the Greengate B&B

Best Motel: Robertson Country Motel

A room inside Roberton Country Motel

One of the most budget-friendly non-camping options is the Robertson Country Motel

Carrington Falls Campground

It’s possible to camp near the waterfall in the Carrington Falls precinct. The Carrington Falls Campground is a basic campground run by NSW National Parks that’s beautifully set in Budderoo National Park. You’ll find the Carrington Falls camping area is located near Blue Pool. We recommend heading to the official website for further details and to book.

Carrington Falls campground sign

Hiking Gear For the Carrington Falls Walk

These are some hiking gear essentials for exploring the area.

Osprey Skarab 30
Osprey Skarab 30

The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.

Osprey Ultralight Raincover
Osprey Ultralight Raincover

A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.

GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle

The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.

BUFF Original Ecostretch
BUFF Original Ecostretch

The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII
Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Capture epic photos and videos with the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. This is hands-down the best compact camera. We love using this simple point-and-shoot camera when we’re hiking as it’s lightweight and durable.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Carrington Falls FAQs

Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about Carrington Falls.

How Tall Is Carrington Falls?

It’s approx. 90 metres high.

How Long Is the Carrington Falls Walk?

The walk is only around 570 metres.

Can You Swim at Carrington Falls?

Swimming at Carrington Falls isn’t really possible (unless you hike to the bottom of the waterfall). Although it’s possible to paddle in the Kangaroo River cascades at the top of the waterfall, it’s certainly not deep enough to swim, and accessing the area is generally discouraged. By far, the best places to swim in the area are Nellies Glen and Blue Pool.

Are Dogs Allowed at Carrington Falls?

No pets are allowed in NSW National Parks.

Is Carrington Falls Open?

Check the local alerts for Morton National Park on the NSW National Parks website to ensure it’s open before you visit.

How Do You Get to the Bottom of Carrington Falls?

Getting to the base of the waterfall isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it’s possible. Bear in mind, that only experienced bushwalkers with proper equipment should attempt getting to the base of the falls.

It’s possible to get to the bottom of the falls via the Missingham Steps, Stevo’s Track or Izzards Lookout. Essentially, once you reach the river down in the valley from either of these tracks, you’ll need to follow along the Kangaroo River to reach the base of the waterfall. Personally, Beck and I haven’t been to the bottom of the falls. We’ve heard all trails down into the valley are undefined and extremely difficult to navigate. On top of that, navigating the Kangaroo River to reach the base of the falls is yet another difficulty on this long and arduous adventure.

Want to chase other epic waterfalls near Sydney? Read our Blue Mountains Waterfalls Article (coming soon).

We acknowledge and respect the First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the land/water that we visited and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Daniel Piggott

Physiotherapist turned travel blogger, Dan is a keen hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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