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Top 10 Australian Waterfalls Just Waiting To Be Chased

Barron Falls, Queensland. Photographed by Madeline Paulsen. Image supplied via Hunter and Bligh

Australia, get ready to go waterfall hunting to let all of your worries be washed away!

The country hills may call you and the beach waves may whisper your name, but there’s nothing like the satisfaction you feel after discovering a grand, cascading waterfall at the end of a hiking trail. Nestled among lush bush and picturesque rock formations, these gushing water highways are always a spectacle to behold.

What is the largest waterfall in Australia? 

Located in south-west Queensland, Wallaman Falls is the tallest waterfall in Australia boasting an impressive plunge of almost 300-metres.

But bigger doesn’t always mean better so we wanted to share some of the 10 best waterfalls in Australia, so that you can explore these incredible spots regardless of what state you’re in. Just don’t forget to bring your swimmers and cameras!

Beauchamp Falls, VIC
Image by Darren Tierney

Beauchamp Falls, VIC

Deep in Beech Forest nestled amongst thick ferns teeming with wildlife is Beauchamp Falls – one of Victoria’s most magnificent natural pools. Located in the Great Otway National Park – roughly two-and-a-half-hours from Melbourne – you will find this incredible 20-metre high waterfall. Strap on your best walking shoes as you’ll need to complete a strenuous three-kilometre walk through the surrounding rainforest with steep descents and some slippery sections of track. The payoff at the end should be more than enough to convince you that this is a spot not worth missing though.

Aire Valley Road, Beech Forest, VIC, 3237
Fern Pools, WA
Image by Neal Pritchard Media

Fern Pools, WA

Just a 10-minute walk away from Fortescue Falls is Fern Pool, a gorgeous swimming hole in Dales Gorge framed by rich, red rock formations and lush greenery. Watch the water cascade into the deep pool below as you float along and take in the natural wonders of Karijini National Park. One of the most picturesque and accessible swimming spots in the area, the walk down to the pool is only 300-metres via a clear path and handrail staircase. There are plenty of other attractions and walks in the park so you can easily make a day of your visit.

Karijini National Park, WA 6751
Florence Falls, NT
Image by Pierre Destruel.

Florence Falls, NT

An easy three-minute walk from the car park to the panoramic lookout at Florence Falls will have you in total bliss. This extravagant gorge in the Northern Territory’s Litchfield National Park features a plunge pool with crystal clear water that is almost impossible to resist. The area has its own barbeque facilities, public toilet and picnic area with camping grounds nearby. For a scenic walk and refreshing swim all in one, Florence Falls is one of the best waterfalls to pay a visit.

Litchfield National Park, NT 0822
Josephine Falls, QLD
Image by Madeline Paulsen.

Josephine Falls, QLD

Just south of Cairns, located in Wooroonooran National Park, is the iconic Josephine Falls. A spot that pictures don’t quite do justice, Josephine Falls is noted as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in tropical North Queensland. With a dense rainforest canopy overhead, take a dip in the multi-levelled pools but only do so if you are a confident swimmer and make sure to stick to signed swimming areas only. Take the day to enjoy the natural beauty of this dazzling waterfall or continue through the Atherton Tablelands to explore the rest of the Waterfall Circuit in this beautiful part of the state.

Josephine Falls Walk, Bartle Frere, QLD 4861
Kellys Falls, NSW
Image by Paul Looyen.

Kellys Falls, NSW

Within Garawarra State Conservation Area near Helensburgh lies Kellys Falls. Listen to nature’s soundtrack of flowing water and calling birds as you walk through the dense bushland and have a bite to eat in the picnic area. The waterfall is easily accessible although once there, make sure to stay safe and watch out for the slippery rocks around the swimming hole and the ones submerged underneath the water. Whether you want to go for a dip, a walk, or a birdwatching session, Kellys Falls is one not to miss.

Kellys Falls Track, Royal National Park, NSW 2508
Mackenzie Falls, VIC
Image by by THPStock.

Mackenzie Falls, VIC

Just a 40-minute drive from Halls Gap, Mackenzie Falls is one of the largest and most astonishing waterfalls in Victoria. The cascade of water flows year round and truly is a sight to see. Follow a steep two-kilometre trail through the surrounding bushland to find yourself at the base of the falls, or opt for the walk to the lookout and viewing platform which is accessible for wheelchair users. With its enormous cliffs and deep pool below, Mackenzie Falls will have you in absolute awe.

Northern Grampians Rd, Zumsteins, VIC 3401
Mermaid Pools, NSW
Image by Cooper Morrison.

Mermaid Pools, NSW

Sometimes you have to work a bit harder to access some of Australia’s best waterfalls and New South Wales’ Mermaid Pools is definitely not for the faint of heart. This picturesque swimming hole doesn’t have an easy entry point so the only way is to literally jump straight in. The surrounding cliffs vary in height from 15- to 30-metres so if you’re feeling brave, by all means give it a go. If you still want to enjoy the Tahmoor and Bargo River area but aren’t the daredevil type, Mermaid Pools is the perfect spot for a picnic, a walk or some birdwatching. Just a 75-minute drive south-west from Sydney and you’ll be soaking up the fresh air in no time.

Rockford Rd, Tahmoor, NSW 2573
Mitchell Falls, WA
Image by Janelle Lugge.

Mitchell Falls, WA

One of the most jaw-dropping waterfalls in Australia, Mitchell Falls truly is an impressive sight. The three-tiered falls is an iconic attraction located in The Kimberley and was formed by the waters of the Mitchell River carving through the sandstone underneath. The area is surrounded by Aboriginal rock art belonging to the Wunambal people which you can see along the near nine-kilometre return hike to the falls. The walk will get you close but to witness the true majesty of Mitchell Falls, the best vantage point is in the air. You may not be able to swim here, but it won’t make the experience any less magical.

Mitchell River National Park, WA 6743
Morialta Falls, SA
Image by Andrey Moisseyev.

Morialta Falls, SA

You don’t always have to drive for hours to see some incredible natural beauty, and this South Australian spot is the perfect example. Just a 20-minute car ride east from Adelaide is Morialta Conservation Park which is home to the three individual waterfalls that make up Morialta Falls. Explore rugged ridges, sprawling gullies and plenty of wildlife when you visit this incredible sight. The waterfalls are seasonal so it is recommended to go in spring or winter when the falls are at their peak and the wildflowers are in full bloom. Linked by a series of walking trails, the area is accessible and enjoyable for everyone, great and small.

Morialta Falls Road, Woodforde, SA 5072
Russell Falls, TAS
Image by Curioso Photography.

Russell Falls, TAS

Just an hour drive from Hobart, Russell Falls is arguably one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Australia’s island state. Sitting as the centrepiece of the Mt Field National Park, this stunning cascade is part of Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness Area and boasts an incredibly picture-perfect view. Make the short, 20 minute return walk through rainforest canopies and swamp gums via the boardwalk track. For something a little extra special, visit the waterfalls at night and turn off your torch so you can catch a glimpse of the glowworms that inhabit the falls’ recesses.

Mountt Field National Park, TAS, 7140

Or you can just stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to.

Want to discover more natural wonders around Australia? Discover some of the best secluded walking tracks around Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. Alternatively, if you want to broaden your horizons and explore some more natural wonders across Australia, make sure to explore our The Weekender collection and other travel articles.

We acknowledge the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.
This article was originally published on February 23 2018. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh July 21 2020.
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