Chasing waterfalls: 7 of Australia's best

Those of us who grew up in the ‘90s are well familiar with TLC’s advice that we shouldn’t go chasing waterfalls. But then again, T-Boz, Chilli and Left-Eye didn’t grow up with some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world right in their own backyard, so we won’t hold it against them.

You’ll find waterfalls of all shapes, sizes and colours scattered about our spectacularly diverse landscape. We’ve picked seven of the best to pique your interest.

1. Wallaman Falls, North Queensland

Wallaman Falls sits near the top of just about every list of Australia’s best waterfalls and for good reason. Australia’s biggest single drop waterfall at a whopping 268 metres can be found in Girringun National Park, approximately 160 kilometres north of Townsville.  The falls are immersed in the lush rainforest of the Wet Tropics of Queensland, a UNESCO World Heritage Area, and are easily accessible via well-trodden trails.  Take in the falls from Wallaman Falls lookout then continue walking on to the second lookout point for stunning views of the gorge and Herbert River Valley.

2. Jim Jim Falls, Northern Territory

Jim Jim Falls is a sparkling highlight of Australia’s stunning Kakadu National Park. Located in the Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls region, the falls are best seen by air during the wet season, when Jim Jim Creek is full and flowing thunderously over the Arnhem Land escarpment into the plunge pool below. In the dry season, the falls flow intermittently and are only accessible by 4WD. During this time, there are two easy walks from with which to view the spectacular sandstone cliffs of the escarpment; the Viewing Pool Walk or the Plunge Pool Walk.

3. Russell Falls, Tasmania

Russell Falls is arguably Tasmania’s most popular waterfalls and is located in Mount Field National Park in Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness Area, just over an hour’s drive from Hobart. The falls can be comfortably accessed via a short track and boardwalk from the national park’s information centre through beautiful, wet forestland and are a favourite for visitors looking for that perfect, Insta-worth shot.  The falls flow over two drops comprising of shelves of siltstone and sandstone with a strong flow of water during the winter and spring months.

4. Mackenzie Falls, Victoria

Located in the heart of Grampians National Park, approximately three hours drive north east of Melbourne, Mackenzie Falls is one of Victoria’s biggest and most popular waterfalls. Fed by the consistent flow of the Mackenzie River and Lake Wartook, you’ll find sparkling sheets of water cascading down over the 35 metre high cliffs Mackenzie River over steep cliffs regardless of the season. This iconic Victorian attraction can be viewed from either the base or further up at the Mackenzie Falls Lookout, which offers spectacular views of the multiple cascades of the Mackenzie River above the main falls.

5. Mitchell Falls, Western Australia

 Mitchell Falls is one of the most photographed attractions in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and it’s easy to see why. This four-tiered waterfall cascades over colourful sandstone across the Mitchell Plateau and is accessible by scenic flight or on foot through the stunning Mitchell River National Park. If you take the time to walk, enjoy the scenic journey past Little Merten Falls and Merten’s Gorge, and take in the stunning fauna and Aboriginal rock art of this culturally and ecologically significant region.

6. Ellenborough Falls

Ellenborough Falls in is one of the longest single-drop waterfalls in the Southern Hemisphere and a popular attraction in New South Wale’s Barrington Coast region.  View the might of the falls from the viewing platform which is an easy 10 minute walk from the car park. Alternatively, spend a little longer and take the 641 stairs down to the base for an up-close encounter and a dousing of freshwater spray.

7. King George Falls, Western Australia

The Kimberly region is home to some of Australia’s most impressive terrain, and none more spectacular than the twin waterfalls of King George Falls. Marvel at the stunning spectacle of thundering water gushing over ancient sandstone cliffs into the gorge below. Located in the remote North Kimberly Marine Park, the falls are only accessible by boat or scenic flight.

Inspired to see Australia's stunning waterfalls for yourself? Check out Virgin Australia's great range of domestic Australian fares today to start planning your next adventure.

Words by Rebecca Walker. Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland - Published 23 August 2019
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