An Australian friend once told me that iconic Foster’s Lager wasn’t even brewed in Australia, and that Aussie’s didn’t drink it. I felt like the Australia I thought I knew didn’t exist. After all, if you can’t believe in a guy named Crocodile Dundee, what can you believe?
Despite all that, Australia is still the massive and rugged country I’ve always known it to be. Packed from border to border and coast to coast with some of the world’s most amazing natural beauty, it’s home to quite a few waterfalls too. Below is a list of 15 of the most amazing waterfalls in Australia.
1. Wollomombi Waterfall
Wollomombi Waterfall resides inside the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park in New South Wales, in Australia’s southwest corner, and is a UNESCO recognized site.
The fall contains multiple cascades, and over the horizontal course of the fall, the total drop is over 1,200 feet, which fuels claims that it is Australia’s tallest.
Though the claim is disputed, what’s important is that the fall is powerful and awe-inspiring.
The wispy waters fall into a deep canyon below on the lower portion of the Wollomombi River where it merges with Chandler Creek.
2. Wallaman Falls
Located in Queensland, the Wallaman Falls are in the Girringun National Park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which should tell you a little about the falls’ beauty and ecological importance.
In semi-tropical Queensland, the falls are on Stony Creek and comprised of a series of sections, the largest of which is an 800-foot drop over the precipice, making it the largest individual section of any falls in the country.
Of course, as with falls the world over, there’s contention as to which is the tallest, but regardless if it’s the tallest or not, it’ll still knock your socks off.
3. Southern Rockhole
Located in the Northern Territories, Southern Rockhole isn’t a permanent fixture of the landscape, meaning in times of drought it disappears.
The falls are inside Nitmiluk National Park. Once you arrive at the park, the hike to the falls is about an 8-kilometer round trip, which can be exhausting in Australia’s brutal climate.
For those not anxious to expend that many calories, ferry boats are available for round-trip or one-way passengers.
The ferries will get you within a few hundred feet, which should be more than close enough based on the falls’ size, which is said to be well over 100 feet.
Swimming is only OK when the park staff has officially opened the falls.
4. Dandongadale Falls
Located in Australia’s most southeastern and populous state of Victoria, Dandongadale Falls are on the border of a massive plateau inside Alpine National Park.
Near Mansfield, the falls are over 700 feet and also consist of several cascades, but due to their elevation, they’re seasonal.
The best times to visit the falls are late winter and spring, which is when they swell with snowmelt. On the other hand, during prolonged times of scarce rain, the falls can nearly disappear, so do a little checking before scheduling your trip.
The park and falls are popular with tour groups, but you can visit on your own if you’d rather rent a car and make the trip yourself.
5. Ellenborough Falls
One of the gems of the southeastern state of New South Wales, Ellenborough Falls are over 400 feet tall and relatively close to the ever-popular Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.
Near the tiny town of Elands, the falls are on the eastern portion of the Bulga Plateau, and are fed by a massive drainage area inside the Biriwal Bulga National Park.
Due to strong but intermittent rains throughout the year, the falls’ flow can be dramatic at times, and significantly reduced at others.
The falls have well-maintained stairs and viewing areas that are easily accessible, and trails leading to other vantage points that are more difficult.
6. Millaa Millaa Falls
Not far from the town of Millaa Milla on Australia’s northeast Queensland coast, the falls and town are named after a local fruit cherished by the aborigines.
The falls are a big draw for those on group tours in the area, making them a bit busy during peak season.
At nearly 60 feet, they’re majestic and provide a convenient and refreshing swimming hole at their base.
The falls are only 10 minutes from Millaa Millaa, and the walk is relatively short and not too demanding.
7. Jim Jim Falls
Obviously the staff at UNESCO – also known as The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – have a lot of free time on their hands, which they like to spend on vacation-like junkets to Australia’s waterfalls, and who can blame them?
Part of the Kakadu National Park, Jim Jim Falls plunge nearly 600 feet over sheer cliffs before landing in a shimmering pool below.
From October to April the falls are at their fullest and most dramatic, but in a sad twist of fate, the same water makes the roads leading to the falls inaccessible, which means you’ll have to max out that credit card and book an airplane or helicopter tour.
8. Ebor Falls
Located in Guy Fawkes River National Park in the New England area of New South Wales, Ebor Falls free-fall nearly 300 feet before splashing down in the canyon below with surprising force.
The park sports 3 manmade viewing areas that’ll give you panoramic views, and for those adventurous and outdoorsy types that always seem well-prepared and well-dressed, there are other, more difficult trails that’ll take you to some of the park’s other notable features.
Most tours of Ebor Falls start in nearby Armidale, though it’s A-OK to see the park on your own if that’s more your speed.
9. Crystal Shower Falls
Located in Dorrigo National Park in New South Wales, as far as can be determined, Crystal Shower Falls are not yet a UNESCO site, but it probably won’t be long.
Adjacent to large tracts of Australian rainforest, the falls are a nice contrast to many of Australia’s waterfalls, which are in stark and arid climates.
The park is home to other waterfalls too, but Crystal Shower Falls is its main attraction.
The falls are about an hour’s drive from the town of Coffs Harbor, which makes it an easy trip to do in a day.
10. Liffey Falls
Tasmania has a reputation for a rough and unforgiving landscape, and is home to quite a few waterfalls too.
Located in Liffey Falls State Reserve, 400-foot tall Liffey Falls are among the region’s most notable attractions.
Set amongst moderate rainforests in the Tasmanian Wilderness Area, Liffey Falls are like a magnet for nature lovers, adventurers and artists alike.
If you don’t fall into any of those 3 categories, don’t worry, because you’ll appreciate the falls just as much.
The best option is to make a day trip from Launceston, and once in the park, the falls are easily reached via a few trails that’ll take you to other falls as well.
11. Mackenzie Falls
If you’ve noticed that most of Australia’s spectacular falls are in national parks, then you won’t be surprised to hear that Mackenzie Falls is in one too: Grampians National Park.
In Victoria, in Australia’s far southeast corner, which is also home to Melbourne, Mackenzie Falls rise nearly 100 feet above the surrounding landscape, and unlike some of Australia’s falls, Mackenzie Falls seem to keep their flow even when the conditions are dry.
From the park headquarters, the falls are an easy walk, and the well-maintained and marked trails in the area will lead you through the parks other stunning features.
12. Russell Falls
In the Mount Field National Park, about an hour’s drive to the northwest of Hobart, Russell Falls drop nearly 200 feet from top to bottom.
Due to their ease of access and location in the popular park, the falls are a favorite tourist site in Tasmania.
The surrounding area is known for its flora and fauna, much of which is unique to the area.
The fall’s water drops over silt and sandstone layers to the scenic pool below, and the surrounding forest is thick, semi-tropical and full of large ferns and eucalyptus trees.
13. King George Falls
You know when something is named after a king, it’s usually an extraordinary example of whatever it is, and such is the case with the King George Falls, which are in the Kimberly region.
Really 2 distinct falls originating from the same stream, the fall’s water drops nearly 300 feet over the precipice’s sheer, sandstone face.
The falls aren’t easy to get to, so the most preferred way to see them is via a boat trip along the King George River.
It’s not cheap, but will take you to within meters of the falls, and the rest of the river is full of amazing sights too.
14. Horizontal Falls
Though from a strictly geological standpoint, Horizontal Falls in the Kimberly region of Western Australia may not be a waterfall, but it is majestic and full of powerfully flowing water, and that’s really all that matters.
The falls are really a pinch-point, where strong tidal currents flow between two mountain-like structures in Talbot Bay. This causes the water to surge as it squeezes its way through the opening, which is about 60 feet wide.
Seaplane and boat are the preferred way to see this unique site, and most tours include lunch and bit about the local history and geology from a professional guide.
15. Horseshoe Falls
Located in the highlands of Tasmania, Horseshoe Falls is comprised of several tiers, or cascades.
The falls reside in the Mount Field National Park, which is home to other popular and dramatic falls that you’ll want to see while in the area.
The falls and park are an easy day trip from Hobart, and though they’re not as high as some in the area, they’re just as picturesque.
The boulders below the falls are covered in rich, green moss, which along with the surrounding forest, give the falls a prehistoric feel.