Australia’s incredibly diverse natural landscapes have drawn visitors from around the world for centuries.
Among the nation’s awe-inspiring wonders are its spectacular waterfalls, which can be found in nearly every state. If you’re looking for a weekend adventure or a remote escape, here’s a list of some of Australia’s most epic waterfalls.
Horizontal Falls, WA
The Horizontal Falls, which locals call the “Horries,” are an unparalleled natural phenomenon. Found on the coast of the Kimberley Region, the Horizontal Falls are formed from a narrow gap between the McLarty Mountain Range. As seawater accumulates more quickly on one side of the break, a stunning waterfall is formed, reaching up to 5 metres high. Depending on the tide, the water flow direction of the falls switches. This creates massive whirlpools and whitewater rapids that adventure-seekers have been flocking to for years. Thrilling boat rides, as well as scenic private flights are available for booking – be sure to plan ahead, as the falls are immensely popular. A true wonder of the world, Horizontal Falls is a must-see when visiting Talbot Bay.
Russell Falls, TAS
Tasmania has no shortage of natural wonders to explore, including dazzling waterfalls like Russell Falls. Located in Mount Field National Park, Russell Falls is well worth the 70 km drive from Hobart. Lush green foliage and bright mosses encompass the tiered waterfall, creating a serene image. To reach Russell Falls, walk about 20 minutes on the well-kept boardwalk, which takes you through the stunning rainforest. You’ll see unique flora and fauna native to Tassie while enjoying the cool, misty air. For a truly enchanting experience, take a night walk to the falls. Once you turn off your torch you’ll be surrounded by a sparkling forest of glow-worms.
Mackenzie Falls, VIC
The shining star of Grampians National Park, MacKenzie Falls does not disappoint. Not only is it among the largest waterfalls in Victoria, it flows the whole year round. Truly a delight for the whole family or the solo hiker, MacKenzie Falls has a wide variety of access points. The MacKenzie Falls Walk is quite steep and narrow, but well worth the spectacular views from below. For a less strenuous hike, check out the MacKenzie Falls Lookout Walk, which is wheelchair friendly and boasts an eagle-eye view of the falls. If you’re looking for an exciting adventure, take the MacKenzie River Walk, which may include river crossing and rock hopping. Stop for a little picnic on the banks of the River at Zumsteins Historic Area and take in the natural beauty around you.
Fitzroy Falls, NSW
Escape the hustle and bustle of Sydney and head down to Fitzroy Falls. The dramatic waterfall is located in the wild bushland of Morton National Park, which is rich in cultural and natural history. Drive straight to the Visitor Centre, from which there is an easy-access boardwalk with stunning views of the falls. Surrounding the falls are several fantastic hiking trails, including the East Rim and Wildflower walking tracks. Check out the Manning lookout for incredible views of Kangaroo Valley – just a 10-minute drive from the Visitor Centre. For cycling enthusiasts, take the grueling 30km cycling route – you’ll likely come across wallabies and kangaroos. Just a two-hour drive from both Sydney and Canberra, Fitzroy Falls is a great place to drive through or even spend the night. Twin Falls BUsh Cottages and Griffins Farm are just a couple of lovely, quaint options.
Ellenborough Falls, NSW
Ellenborough Falls is a truly iconic natural landmark. With a staggering height of 200 metres, Ellenborough Falls is the one of the tallest single drop waterfalls in the entire southern hemisphere. Located in the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, the falls are the perfect destination for an adventurous road trip. Views of Ellenborough Falls are accessible for people of every age and fitness level. Drive to the very top of the falls to look out from the two incredible viewing platforms. Just a 10-minute walk from the top is The Knoll, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the plummeting falls. Lastly, you can walk down the 641 steps to the bottom of Ellenborough Falls – just remember to take rest stops on the way back up.
Wallaman Falls, QLD
With over 100,000 visitors per year, it is no surprise that Wallaman Falls is truly spectacular. Both a cascade and horsetail waterfall, Wallaman Falls offers dramatic views and a wide range of lookout spots. Located in Girringun National Park, the falls are surrounded by incredible World Heritage rainforests, which contain some of Queensland’s most exotic plants and animals. Perfect for a day trip or an overnight camping trip, visitors can choose between the two hikes from the falls down through the Herbert River Valley.
Millaa Millaa Falls, QLD
For a true exotic oasis, head to Millaa Millaa Falls in the Tablelands Region of Queensland. Only a 5-minute drive from the town of Millaa Millaa, the falls boast an 18.3 metre drop and a sparkling pool where you can cool off. Walk through the cool, misty rainforest then dive into the refreshing water – a perfect weekend adventure for the family. Alongside the pool are lush fields of grass where you can enjoy a delicious picnic or lay in the sun. This serene natural haven is also home to the famously elusive platypus, which you may catch sight of in the earlier hours. The name, Millaa Millaa, originates from the Aboriginal word “Malay Malay,” which refers to the native, fruit-bearing vine found in the surrounding rainforest.
Jim Jim Falls, NT
Kakadu National Park is home to some of the most spectacular natural wonders that the Northern Territory has to offer. Jim Jim Falls is certainly one of them, with jaw-dropping views that will leave you speechless. The waterfall has a massive height of 259 metres above sea level, and plummets down into a deep pool. During the dry season, vehicles with four-wheel drive can head down the Kakadu Highway for access. Unfortunately, the falls will likely be dried up. In the wet season, the falls are inaccessible by vehicle and are ideally viewed from either plane or helicopter. An aerial view is truly the best way to witness the drama and splendour of the falls. For hiking enthusiasts, take the 2 km forest walk to Jim Jim Falls and splash in the pristine pool at the base.
Southern Rockhole, NT
When visiting the Northern Territory, be sure to check out Nitmiluk National Park, home to the Southern Rockhole. A seasonal waterfall, the Rockhole boasts sparkling swimming pools and gorgeous sandstone rock formations. To access the Rockhole, take the 8 km return bush walk straight from the carpark. Alternatively, you can catch the ferry, which will take you most of the way. The walking track is completely natural, so beware fallen branches and stray rocks. The strenuous hike is well worth the reward of a cooling dip in the sparkling pools below.
King George Falls, WA
Undeniably one of Western Australia’s most spectacular sights, King George Falls truly lives up to the hype. Located in the remote Kimberley Region, the 100-metre waterfall is only accessible via boat or plane. Enjoy a cruise down the King George River gorge or the stunning aerial views from the sky. Once you’ve arrived, you can take in the astonishing sight at the base of the falls, where you can even shower in the fresh, cold water. For peak viewing times, plan your trip for April or May, when the falls are bursting with rainwater.
Looking for more stunning spots around Australia to get close to nature? Go for a paddle along these gorgeous rivers, or take a stroll high above the forest floor with these awesome treetop walks and zipline adventures.