Sydney is well-known for its sublime natural landscapes, which include loads of waterfalls to chase. In this article, we’re going to talk about the 19 best waterfalls in and around Sydney. Sure, there are quite a few of these ‘Best Waterfalls in Sydney’ types of articles online. But, this one is different from the rest!
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The Best Waterfalls in Sydney
So, why is this ‘Best Waterfalls in Sydney’ article different from the others? Well, simply, it’s because we are genuinely including waterfalls in Sydney, rather than waterfalls near Sydney.
Most of the other ‘Best Waterfalls in Sydney’ lists include waterfalls that aren’t even located in Sydney. These lists mostly include waterfalls in the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands. Don’t get us wrong, the waterfalls in the Blue Mountains and the Southern Highlands are easily some of the best waterfalls in NSW. And, yes, the waterfalls in the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands are even better than the waterfalls in Sydney. But, that’s not the point – these waterfalls aren’t located in Sydney!
Best Waterfalls Near Sydney Guides
Of course, you should definitely go chase waterfalls in the Blue Mountains and in the Southern Highlands. But, what if you want to keep things local and just chase waterfalls in Sydney, proper? You can now take a sigh of relief, as you’ve found an article actually detailing waterfalls in Sydney, rather than near Sydney!
Waterfalls in Sydney Map
This probably goes without saying but you won’t find waterfalls in the Sydney CBD or even in the most populous suburbs. Barring a few exceptions, the main concentration of waterfalls, which technically fall in and around Sydney, are in the city’s national parks or state conservation areas. Indeed, the majority of the best waterfalls in Sydney are in the Royal National Park, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Dharawal National Park and the Garawarra State Conservation Area.
With this in mind, we’re going to talk about all of the awesome waterfalls in these national parks and conservation areas. On top of that, we’ll cover a few other Sydney waterfalls that don’t fall within these areas.
Additionally, for completeness, we’ll briefly cover some details about the best waterfalls near Sydney – those ones in the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, Macquarie Pass and Brisbane Waters National Park.
To help you plan your Sydney waterfall-chasing adventures, we’ve made an interactive map of the best waterfalls in Sydney.
FYI – there are some waterfalls in Sydney’s Garigal National Park, that we haven’t had a chance to visit just yet!
Royal National Park Waterfalls
You’ll find many of the best waterfalls in Sydney are located in the Royal National Park. So, if you’re looking to chase waterfalls in Sydney, the Royal National Park is a great place to start.
There are quite a few fantastic waterfalls on the coastline found along the Royal Coastal Track. But, there are also plenty of waterfalls found away from the coast in the inner parts of the national park. Of course, we’re not listing every single waterfall in the Royal National Park. As far as we’re aware, there are at least 12 decent waterfalls to chase in the area.
Below, we’ll list what we think are the seven best waterfalls in the Royal National Park.
1. Curracurrong Falls
When it comes to the best waterfalls in Sydney, it’s hard to look past Curracurrong Falls. There are several reasons why Curracurrong Falls is such a special waterfall. One, the 80 metre plunge waterfall is located right next to Eagle Rock (AKA Eagle Head Rock), which is one of the most iconic attractions in the Royal National Park. Certainly, chasing Curracurrong Falls is a two for one type of scenario.
Second, the waterfall plunges straight into the Pacific Ocean. Across the globe, there aren’t many of these types of waterfalls that drop straight into an ocean. So, that’s another tick of approval as to why this waterfall is one of Sydney’s best.
Last but not least, Curracurrong Falls is famous for a rare phenomenon where it flows upwards on a windy day! Indeed, if you visit on a very blustery day, you may see the spectacular show of water being swept into the air. For sure, this is a very unique natural phenomenon.
FYI – after adequate periods of rainfall, it’s possible to see another nearby waterfall crashing into the Pacific Ocean. From Eagle Rock, beyond Curracurrong Falls, you may see a waterfall called Curra Brook Waterfall. When flowing, this waterfall has very similar vibes to Curracurrong Falls.
2. Wattamolla Falls
Wattamolla Falls is a well-known waterfall in the Royal National Park in Sydney. After all, Wattamolla is the main hub of the Royal National Park, so the waterfall naturally sees plenty of visitors. By doing a short walk from the Wattamolla Car Park, you’ll reach an excellent viewpoint of the waterfall from the Wattamolla Picnic Area.
At around six metres high, Wattamolla Falls majestically drops over a sandstone platform. Indeed, it’s an easy waterfall to explore with kids.
There are also several lovely cascades near the top of the waterfall worth exploring. Back in the day, Wattamolla Falls used to be a popular spot for cliff jumping. But, this activity is no longer permitted as the top of the waterfall is fenced off to ensure safety. Thankfully, there is another adventurous way to enjoy the waterfall. By swimming in Wattamolla Lagoon, you can swim under the waterfall to have a waterfall shower.
3. Curracurrang Falls
In between Curracurrong Falls and Wattamolla Falls, you’ll find a lesser-known waterfall called Curracurrang Falls. Yes, Curracurrong Falls and Curracurrang Falls are two separate waterfalls sharing a very similar name!
To find Curracurrang Falls, you’ll do a short walk from Curracurrang Cove. There is a fairly concealed yet well-trodden path that takes you alongside Curracurrang Gully to Curracurrang Falls.
Opposite the waterfall, you’ll find a conveniently placed rock platform, where you can sit and enjoy the charming waterfall. Otherwise, the platform creates the perfect entry point to access the base of the waterfall to enjoy a spot of wild swimming.
4. National Falls
National Falls is perhaps the best waterfall in Sydney. Somehow, National Falls has flown under the radar of waterfall chasers in Sydney. Located near the suburb of Waterfall, National Falls is a glorious series of falls and a stunning unsung natural attraction.
At National Falls, you’ve got the easy-to-find Upper Falls and the not-so-easy-to-find Lower Falls. The Upper Falls are simple enough to find by descending a metal staircase. But, it’s the Lower Falls, which are hidden, that are the most spectacular falls to see.
Along McKell Avenue, there are old hidden steps that lead down to the Lower Falls. At the Lower Falls, you can walk under the overhang where the waterfall drops. Exploring the undercliff of the Lower Falls is certainly one of the best waterfall-chasing experiences you can have in Sydney.
5. Uloola Falls
When it comes to waterfalls in Sydney’s Royal National Park, Uloola Falls barely gets a look in! Located at the Uloola Falls Campground, the waterfall is tucked away deep in the heart of the national park. It can only be accessed by using one of two walking tracks – the Uloola Walking Track or the Karloo Walking Track.
Some people do a point to point walk between Waterfall and Heathcote, which means walking on both these walking tracks. By doing so, you can explore both Uloola Falls and Karloo Pools.
FYI – not many people know that there’s a hidden trail that accesses the bottom of Uloola Falls. From the base of the falls, you can see much more of the enticing waterfall.
6. Winifred Falls
Fed by South West Arm Creek, Winifred Falls is a seven-metre high cascade waterfall with several lovely streams. The waterfall cascades over sandstone rock formations into an inviting swimming hole, which makes for one of the best wild swimming spots in Sydney. Of course, it’s also one of the best waterfalls in Sydney!
Not far from Winifred Falls, you’ll find a much lesser-known waterfall called Anice Falls.
7. Anice Falls
If you’re in the mood to chase more waterfalls after reaching Winifred Falls, you’re in luck! Further along the Winifred Falls Fire Trail, the track transitions into the Saddle Gully Track, which leads you to Anice Falls.
Despite being a decent waterfall, the problem is that you can only access and see the top of the waterfall. So, you can’t really see much of Anice Falls. If only there was an access track to the base of it! Still, Anice Falls is still worth visiting. At the very least, you can expect far fewer people at Anice Falls compared with Winifred Falls!
Ku-ring-gai Chase Waterfalls
Other than the Royal National Park, the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park has the highest concentration of Sydney’s best waterfalls. Below, we’ll look at four of the best waterfalls in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. All of these waterfalls are located in the West Head area of the national park.
8. America Bay Waterfall
Undoubtedly, the America Bay Waterfall is one of the most underrated waterfalls in Sydney. The trail leading to the roughly 30 metre waterfall is around 1km long, taking only 15 minutes or so. The trail will take you to the top of the falls, where you’ll enjoy great views of the waterfall as well as America Bay.
Back in the day, it was possible to get to the base of the falls. Unfortunately, access to the bottom of the falls is permanently closed. Thankfully, you can still enjoy amazing views of the falls at the end of the America Bay Walking Track.
9. Elvina Waterfalls
Elvina Waterfalls is a spectacular series of cascades and falls near Lovett Bay and Elvina Bay in Pittwater. Located next to an immaculate swimming hole called Lovetts Pool (that also features a waterfall), Elvina Waterfalls is formed by two main tiers. The main fall tumbles approx. 25 metres over a sheer cliff.
By following a combination of trails, mainly including the Elvina Trail and Fredricks Track (AKA the Elvina Bay Loop), you can explore the top and bottom of Elvina Waterfalls.
10. Upper Gledhill Falls
You can easily find Upper Gledhill Falls by parking at a small car park on McCarrs Creek Road. From there, you’ll simply walk towards the creek. In fact, you should be able to hear the sound of the waterfall before seeing it.
Upper Gledhill Falls is one of the most popular swimming holes in Sydney. You can even stand behind and under the waterfall. Although, it’s mighty slippery around the base of the waterfall so be cautious. For sure, Upper Gledhill Falls is a serene Sydney waterfall that is very much underappreciated.
11. Refuge Bay Waterfall
Refuge Bay Waterfall became a popular attraction in Sydney when the infinity pool at the top of the waterfall went viral on social media. Unfortunately, since 2023, NSW National Parks have prohibited access to Refuge Bay Waterfall via the Refuge Bay Track, which starts from the Wallaroo Track. These days, the only way to access Refuge Bay Waterfall is by boat.
12. Collins Flat Beach Waterfall
The small waterfall at Collins Flat Beach isn’t located in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. It’s located in Manly. Given Manly isn’t too far away from Ku-ring-gai Chase, we have included the waterfall in this section.
Truth be told, the Collins Flat Beach Waterfall is nowhere near the best waterfall in Sydney. It often runs dry and when it’s running, the flow is fairly minimal. Yet, when the small cascade is flowing, it’s still quite the attraction. After all, you won’t find too many waterfalls located on a beach, let alone a harbour-side beach!
Dharawal National Park Waterfalls
After the Royal National Park and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, the next area with the most waterfalls is the Dharawal National Park. Not far from Campbelltown, there are a few fantastic waterholes and accompanying cascade waterfalls to explore. Let’s start with Maddens Falls.
13. Maddens Falls
In Darkes Forest, you’ll find the enchanting Maddens Falls, which features several cascades and tiers along Maddens Creek. By following the Maddens Falls Walking Track, you’ll arrive at a viewing platform, which offers lovely views of the waterfall. But, if you want to truly explore Maddens Falls and its many cascades and tiers, you’ll need to use an unmarked side trail near the viewpoint to access the base of the main falls.
14. Minerva Pool
Minerva Pool is a majestic natural pool, featuring a sublime cascade waterfall. By following the Minerva Pool Walking Track, you’ll reach this awesome swimming hole and waterfall, fed by Stokes Creek.
FYI – Minerva Pool is a sacred site for Aboriginal Dharawal women. The Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council ask that only women and children swim in Minerva Pool. Of course, all people are welcome to visit the waterhole and its pretty cascade waterfall.
15. Jingga Pool
Jingga Pool is another excellent swimming hole in the Dharawal National Park featuring a sublime waterfall. At Jingga Pool, you’ll find a whole bunch of astonishing cascades and waterfalls. Fed by O’Hares Creek and surrounded by bushland, Jingga Pool and its waterfalls have a wondrous natural setting. So, it’s a great place for a wild swim. Compared with Minerva Pool, Jingga Pool doesn’t have any cultural restrictions regarding swimming.
Garawarra State Conservation Area Waterfalls
Let’s move on to two brilliant waterfalls in the Garawarra State Conservation Area, which is located between Sydney and Wollongong. In the conservation area, you’ll find there are two incredible waterfalls, which are essentially side by side.
16. Kellys Falls
Kellys Falls is a fairly well-known waterfall to nature lovers in Sydney. Found along Kellys Creek, the waterfall spills over two cascades, measuring around 43 metres in total.
The upper cascades of Kellys Falls are only around eight metres high. While, the lower section, which is the main waterfall, majestically cascades 35 metres over the rock face and crashes into a hidden swimming hole.
It’s not very well known that Kellys Falls is also known as Romeo Falls. This makes a lot of sense when you realise that there’s another waterfall around the corner from Kellys Falls called Juliet Falls. Cheers for that one Shakespeare!
17. Juliet Falls
If you haven’t heard of Kellys Falls, then you definitely haven’t heard of Juliet Falls. Hidden around the corner from Kellys Falls, you’ll find this equally impressive waterfall.
Many people will struggle to get to the base of Kellys Falls. Those who do make it won’t continue the short distance along Kellys Creek to find Juliet Falls. Without a doubt, if you’re keen on chasing waterfalls, make sure to also visit the base of Juliet Falls after reaching the base of Kellys Falls.
Finally, we move on to two lovely waterfalls found near the Bargo Conservation Area in Tahmoor. This includes the waterfall at the Mermaid Pools as well as the See Thru Pools.
18. Mermaid Pools
Mermaid Pools is the main waterhole within Tahmoor Gorge, where you’ll find a marvellous cascading waterfall. The Mermaid Pools are one of the most spectacular natural pools around Sydney. Certainly, the monumental surroundings of Tahmoor Gorge make visiting the cascade waterfall an even more memorable experience.
19. See Thru Pools
Near Mermaid Pools, you’ll find a small cascade waterfall called See Thru Pools. Sure, See Thru Pools aren’t as grand as the waterfall at the Mermaid Pools. But, the See Thru Pools are a safer place to swim and a great place for a picnic!
So, there you have it – that’s all of the best waterfalls in Sydney!
Other Waterfalls Near Sydney
As mentioned, the best waterfalls in NSW aren’t in Sydney but in the areas surrounding Sydney such as the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands. With this said, we’re going to list some of the other best NSW waterfalls to explore near Sydney. We’ll start with waterfalls in the Blue Mountains. Then, we’ll cover waterfalls in the Southern Highlands, Macquarie Pass and Brisbane Waters National Park.
Blue Mountains Waterfalls
Undoubtedly, some of the best waterfalls near Sydney are in the Greater Blue Mountains area. Below, we’ll list some of the most well-known waterfalls in the Blue Mountains. For more information about chasing these waterfalls and other lesser-known waterfalls in the area, make sure to read our ‘Best Blue Mountains Waterfalls’ guide (coming soon).
- Wentworth Falls
- Katoomba Falls
- Empress Falls and the Valley of the Waters
- Govetts Leap
- Victoria Falls
- Leura Cascades
- Minnehaha Falls
Southern Highlands Waterfalls
Similar to the Blue Mountains, the Southern Highlands have some of the best waterfalls near Sydney. Spread throughout the Upper Kangaroo Valley area, you’ll find loads of breathtaking waterfalls in Morton National Park and Budderoo National Park.
Below, we’ll list some of the best and most well-known waterfalls in the Southern Highlands. Although, we recommend reading The 23 BEST Southern Highlands Waterfalls Near Kangaroo Valley to discover all of the best waterfalls in the area.
- Belmore Falls
- Fitzroy Falls (there are also three smaller waterfalls along the West Rim Waling Track – Twin Falls, The Grotto and Lady Hordern Falls)
- Carrington Falls
- Nellies Glen
- Gerringong Falls
- Minnamurra Falls
- Forty Foot Falls and Sixty Foot Falls (Box Vale Walking Track)
Macquarie Pass Waterfalls
The waterfalls in Macquarie Pass National Park, just south of Sydney, are not as well-known as other waterfalls in the Southern Highlands. But, many of these waterfalls are just as impressive. Below, we’ll list five of the best waterfalls in the Macquarie Pass area of the Southern Highlands.
- Rainbow Falls
- Mulangong Falls
- Clover Falls
- Cascade Falls
- Jump Rock Falls (sadly, the Jump Rock Falls Track is permanently closed)
Brisbane Water National Park Waterfalls
Located on the Central Coast, Brisbane Water National Park has several excellent waterfalls. These include Somersby Falls, Kariong Brook Falls and Girrakool Falls.
How to Get to Waterfalls in Sydney
To chase most of these awesome waterfalls in and near Sydney, you’re going to need a car.
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.
Gear Essentials For Chasing Sydney Waterfalls
Here are some of our gear essentials for hiking and chasing waterfalls. Of course, you may also want to take swimmers, a towel and aqua shoes if you plan on wild swimming at these waterfalls. For optimal photography, you’ll want to use a tripod and a camera with a slow-shutter function.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Waterfalls in Sydney: FAQs
Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about waterfalls in Sydney.
Does Sydney Have Waterfalls?
Yes, most of Sydney’s waterfalls are located in the Royal National Park, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Dharawal National Park and the Garawarra State Conservation Area.
What Waterfalls in Sydney Can You Swim In?
There are several waterfalls in Sydney to swim in. These include Wattamolla Falls, Curracurrang Falls, Winifred Falls, Upper Gledhill Falls, Minerva Pool, Jingga Pool, Kellys Falls, Mermaid Pools and See Thru Pools.
What Waterfalls in Sydney Can You Take a Picnic?
Of course, you can set up for a picnic wherever you like! So, every waterfall has the potential to be a great spot for a picnic. But, there is one particular waterfall with a purpose-built picnic area close by – Wattamolla Falls.
Are These Sydney Waterfalls Seasonal?
In times of drought and reduced rainfall, many of these waterfalls will run dry or at least, run very minimally. So, if you visit any of these Sydney waterfalls during these conditions, it’s possible that the waterfall won’t look its finest (or be running at all). With this in mind, we highly recommend that you visit all of these Sydney waterfalls after good bouts of rainfall.
Bear in mind that some of these Sydney waterfalls are truly seasonal and are prone to run dry. These include Wattamolla Falls, Uloola Falls, Winifred Falls, Anice Falls, Elvina Waterfalls and the Collins Flat Beach Waterfall.
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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.