The Southern Highlands of New South Wales is jam-packed with stunning waterfalls. You’ll find many of these waterfalls are located near the breathtaking Kangaroo Valley.
In this guide, we’re going to talk about the 23 best Southern Highlands waterfalls, most of which, are located near Kangaroo Valley. So, whether you’re day trippin’ from Sydney or spending the weekend in Kangaroo Valley or elsewhere in the Southern Highlands, you can start visiting and ticking off these amazing waterfalls.
Discover the best waterfalls in Sydney (updated article coming soon)
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The Top 23 Waterfalls in the Southern Highlands
One of the key natural attractions in the Southern Highlands is its countless wondrous waterfalls. Similar to the Blue Mountains, the Southern Highlands is an area densely populated with terrific waterfalls, especially around Upper Kangaroo Valley.
So, if you’re one for chasing waterfalls, we’re sure you’ve already explored many of the best falls in the Southern Highlands and Upper Kangaroo Valley. But, have you seen all 23 of the best Southern Highlands waterfalls?
Beyond the popular waterfalls in Upper Kangaroo Valley, such as Belmore Falls, Fitzroy Falls and Carrington Falls, there are so many other underrated yet impressive cascades and falls to see in the Southern Highlands. After chasing waterfalls in the Southern Highlands for over 10 years, we’ve put together this list, to ensure you can see as many of these incredible waterfalls as possible (no FOMO).
Southern Highlands Waterfalls Map
Without further ado, let’s look at where each of these 23 brilliant waterfalls in the Southern Highlands are located. As you can see, most of the waterfalls are spread throughout Upper Kangaroo Valley. You’ll also find a concentration of waterfalls in Macquarie Pass, Mittagong, Bundanoon, the Bargo area, and the South Coast.
To help plan your waterfall-seeking adventures, feel free to use the Southern Highlands Waterfalls interactive map below. Also, for your convenience, in this guide, we’ve listed the waterfalls under areas in the Southern Highlands. To get the ball rolling, we’ll look at the best waterfalls in Upper Kangaroo Valley.
Upper Kangaroo Valley Waterfalls
When it comes to waterfalls in the Southern Highlands, the most well-known and impressive ones are undoubtedly located in Upper Kangaroo Valley. We’ll start with the highest and possibly the best waterfall in the Southern Highlands – Gerringong Falls.
1. Gerringong Falls
Located in Budderoo National Park, Gerringong Falls is an incredible 180 metre two-tier waterfall. To reach the top of the falls, you can either hike or cycle 9km along the Budderoo Track and Hersey Fire Trail. Near the top of the falls, you’ll find a fantastic lookout, which provides unparalleled views of the waterfall.
Although it’s possible to get to the bottom of Gerringong Falls, it’s one hell of a sketchy descent. And, in late 2023, NSW National Parks prohibited access to the base of the falls due to safety concerns. So, you’ll just have to enjoy views from the lookout near the top of the waterfall.
DJI Air 2S
2. Belmore Falls
Located in Morton National Park in Upper Kangaroo Valley, Belmore Falls is one of the most well-known waterfalls in the Southern Highlands. Along the Belmore Falls Walking Track, you’ll enjoy views of the falls from two main lookouts. Also, there is an epic lookout located near the top of the falls.
From most of the lookouts, you’ll swear that the waterfall is a two-drop waterfall. But, it’s actually a three-drop waterfall. The first and main tier is around 100 metres, the second tier is approx. 35 metres and the third tier, which is hidden from sight, is around 10 metres.
Similar to Gerringong Falls, it used to be possible to hike to the bottom of Belmore Falls. But, this was prohibited by NSW National Parks in 2017.
3. Fitzroy Falls
Also located in Morton National Park, Fitzroy Falls is perhaps the most famous waterfall in the Southern Highlands. The 80 metre single-drop waterfall, which is fed by Wildes Meadow Creek, dramatically pours into the spectacular Yarrunga Valley.
By doing the West Rim and East Rim Walking Tracks, you’ll enjoy numerous viewpoints overlooking Fitzroy Falls and Yarrunga Valley. In particular, you’ll enjoy the best views of the waterfall along the West Rim Walking Track, which is one of the best walks in the Southern Highlands.
One of the best parts of visiting this waterfall is checking out the award-winning Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre. Located next to a large car park, you can learn about the region’s Aboriginal culture, flora and fauna.
4. Twin Falls
During a visit to Fitzroy Falls, you can visit another three waterfalls along the West Rim Walking Track. Located near Fitzroy Falls, you’ll find Twin Falls, which is a seasonal waterfall. So, you’ll want to visit this waterfall after a decent bout of rain. Hopefully, when you arrive at Twin Falls Lookout, you’ll see the waterfall in action! During the walk along the West Rim Walking Track, you’ll get to walk on a track over the top of the waterfall.
5. The Grotto
Located near Twin Falls on the West Rim Walking Track, The Grotto is a small yet picturesque waterfall. Sure, The Grotto isn’t the biggest and best waterfall in Upper Kangaroo Valley, but watching the falls flow over the small rock overhang is mesmerising. Similar to Twin Falls, it’s best to visit The Grotto after rainfall to see it at its finest.
6. Lady Hordern Falls
Lady Hordern Falls is a magnificent waterfall that runs along the same creek as Fitzroy Falls. Dropping 75 metres into the Yarrunga Valley, you’ll see Lady Hordern Falls further downstream from Fitzroy Falls. From both Starkeys Lookout and Renown Lookout, on the West Rim Walking Track, you’ll enjoy views of Lady Hordern Falls.
7. Carrington Falls
Alongside Belmore Falls and Fitzroy Falls, Carrington Falls is one of the most well-known waterfalls in Upper Kangaroo Valley. To enjoy the best views of the waterfall, you’ll need to do the Carrington Falls Walk, which is one of the easiest Southern Highlands waterfall walks. During the walk, you’ll enjoy superb views of the 90-metre waterfall, dropping into Kangaroo Valley.
It’s possible to get to the bottom of Carrington Falls, but it’s an adventure that’s reserved for experienced bushwalkers only. Personally, Beck and I haven’t ventured down to the base of Carrington Falls, so we can’t talk about it from any personal experience. But, we’ve heard it’s an extremely difficult walk to navigate as you’ll be bush bashing off-trail, climbing down and back up a steep valley.
Read more: The 5 BEST Things to Do at Carrington Falls
8. Nellies Glen
Near Carrington Falls, you’ll find a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole called Nellies Glen. Found along Missingham Creek, it’s one of the most popular wild swimming spots near Sydney. Indeed, when it comes to the best Southern Highlands waterfalls for swimming, Nellies Glen is at the top of the list.
9. Minnamurra Falls
Although Minnamurra Falls isn’t located in Upper Kangaroo Valley, we’ve included this waterfall in this section, as it’s located in Budderoo National Park near both Gerringong Falls and Carrington Falls. Found along the Minnamurra River in the luscious Minnamurra Rainforest, the waterfall beautifully cascades 28 metres.
By doing the Lyrebird Loop Walk and then the Minnamurra Falls Walk, you’ll reach this immaculate waterfall.
Macquarie Pass Waterfalls
The waterfalls in Macquarie Pass National Park are not as well-known as the ones in Upper Kangaroo Valley. But, many of the Macquarie Pass waterfalls are just as impressive. Below, we’ll look at five of the best waterfalls in the Macquarie Pass area of the Southern Highlands.
10. Rainbow Falls
By doing the Clover Hill Trail, you can explore three exceptional waterfalls starting with Rainbow Falls. Unlike the other waterfalls along the Clover Hill Trail, Rainbow Falls is easy to reach. Rainbow Falls includes several streams, converging together. Once you’ve visited Rainbow Falls, it’s time to find Mulangong Falls and Clover Falls!
11. Mulangong Falls
Further upstream from Rainbow Falls, along the Macquarie Rivulet, you’ll find the spectacular Mulangong Falls. As mentioned, both Mulangong Falls and Clover Falls aren’t easy to locate. That’s because the Clover Hill Trail officially ends at Rainbow Falls. So, you’ll need to have your wits about you to continue further upstream to find Mulangong Falls and Clover Falls.
12. Clover Falls
Perhaps, the best waterfall in the Macquarie Pass National Park is Clover Falls. The serene waterfall plunges into a cauldron-like amphitheatre surrounded by lush rainforest and massive boulders. Certainly, when it comes to Southern Highlands waterfall hikes, the Clover Hill Trail is up there with the best, as you get to see three mind-blowing waterfalls.
FYI – it’s possible to find a fourth waterfall during this walk – McAndrew Falls. But, this is the most challenging waterfall to find in the area. Many people have reported sustaining injuries during their off-trail journey to find it. So, we don’t recommend it. After all, just finding Mulangong Falls and Clover Falls is challenging enough!
13. Cascade Falls
A much easier waterfall walk in Macquarie Pass National Park is the Cascades Walk, which leads you to the tranquil Cascades Falls. Sure, it’s not the biggest waterfall in the Southern Highlands, let alone Macquarie Pass National Park, but the waterfall is quick and easy to reach. So, it makes for a great family-friendly waterfall to visit.
14. Jump Rock Falls
Unfortunately, the Jump Rock Trail has been closed since 2020. So, visiting Jump Rock Falls these days means breaking some rules. Luckily, Beck and I visited just a couple of months before the trail to the supremely pretty Jump Rock Falls was permanently closed due to safety concerns.
Located in Morton National Park in Bundanoon, you’ll find two extraordinary waterfalls – Fairy Bower Falls and Erith Coal Mine Falls.
15. Fairy Bower Falls
Fairy Bower Falls is perhaps the most spectacular waterfall in Bundanoon. Cascading into a mossy glen, the natural setting of Fairy Bower Falls is truly mesmerising. To reach Fairy Bower Falls, you’ll walk along a well-maintained yet steep track. Unfortunately, when Beck and I visited, access to the waterfall was closed. Thankfully, there are many other small waterfalls and cascades to enjoy along the track.
16. Erith Coal Mine Falls
Erith Coal Mine Falls is another great waterfall to visit in Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands. Admittedly, unless you visit after a bout of heavy rainfall, the falls tend to be more of a series of trickling cascades. Yet, visiting Erith Coal Mine Falls is about more than just the waterfall.
As the name suggests, the waterfall is located next to the Erith Coal Mine, which is now closed. Descending the metal staircase to access the base of the falls and the closed entrance of the mine is all part of the fun experience at Erith Coal Mine Falls.
When it comes to waterfalls near Bowral in the Southern Highlands, you’ll find two excellent falls in nearby Mittagong.
17. Forty Foot Falls
Forty Foot Falls is one of the lesser-known yet most exceptional waterfalls in the Southern Highlands. Found along the Forty Foot Falls Track, which is part of the Box Vale Walking Track (one of the best Southern Highlands walks), you’ll find this amazing waterfall. At the base of the waterfall, you’ll feel immersed and awe-struck in the bush-covered amphitheatre.
18. Sixty Foot Falls
Sixty Foot Falls is another epic waterfall in Mittagong. By doing the Sixty Foot Falls Track, you’ll initially pass through a tunnel called the Coke Tunnel, which was used to transport coal from the Nattai Gorge to the local ironworks in the 1870s. After passing through the tunnel, you’ll descend a steep trail. From there, make sure to follow the ‘Sixty Foot Fire Trail’ signs to find the well-hidden waterfall.
Tahmoor and Bargo Waterfalls
Not far from Sydney, you’ll find a few lovely waterfalls around Tahmoor and Bargo. Two of these waterfalls you’ll find along the well-known Mermaid Pools and Tahmoor Gorge Walk.
19. Mermaid Pools
Mermaid Pools is the main waterhole within Tahmoor Gorge, where you’ll find a magnificent cascading waterfall. The Mermaid Pools are one of the most spectacular natural pools near Sydney. Certainly, the immense surroundings of Tahmoor Gorge make visiting the small cascade an even more memorable experience.
20. See Thru Pools
Near Mermaid Pools, you’ll find a small cascade waterfall called See Thru Pools. Indeed, the Mermaid Pools and Tahmoor Gorge Walk feature many dazzling cascades and river streams, including See Thru Pools, which is an excellent place for wild swimming.
21. Cave Creek Track
The Cave Creek Track is a lesser-known trail in the Bargo State Conservation Area of the Southern Highlands. By following the Cave Creek Track, you’ll eventually reach a small yet tranquil waterfall, plunging within a cave. Sadly, the track was closed when Beck and I planned to visit. Hopefully, the track is open when you plan to walk it.
South Coast Waterfalls
Although not technically located in the Southern Highlands, there are two awesome waterfalls on the South Coast that are certainly worth visiting. To be fair, both of these waterfalls are just a stone’s throw away from the Southern Highlands. So, it would be reasonable to visit them during a holiday or trip to the Southern Highlands.
22. Tianjara Falls
Located in Morton National Park, Tianjara Falls plunges approx. 64 metres from an amazing yellow and orange-coloured rock platform. By doing a short walk, you’ll arrive at a fenced platform, which provides stellar views of the waterfall and the Ettrema Wilderness. While you’re in this neck of the woods, you should also visit Granite Falls.
23. Granite Falls
Also located in Morton National Park, Granite Falls is another fantastic waterfall worth seeing. But, this waterfall is prone to running dry. So, make sure you visit after a good amount of rainfall. When Granite Falls is flowing, it tumbles approx. 63 metres. Fascinatingly, the formation of this natural attraction began about 500 million years ago!
So, there you have it – the 23 best waterfalls in the Southern Highlands!
How to Get to Southern Highlands Waterfalls
There is no public transport to any of the waterfalls in the Southern Highlands. So, you’ll need your own set of wheels to chase waterfalls in the area. If you don’t have a vehicle, we recommend hiring one for your trip to the Southern Highlands.
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.
Do you want to chase other waterfalls near Sydney? Read about the best Blue Mountains waterfalls (guide 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.