The world’s driest inhabited continent, Australia is dominated by its arid outback, an area of vast plains with its distinctive reddish hue. And yet, its landscape is deceptively diverse, with a wealth of lakes, rivers and mountains. Forests make up around 16 percent of Australia, comprising three percent of the global total. Within this topographical mix are the many waterfalls of Australia.
The highest concentration of waterfalls in Australia is in the east, but they’re found throughout the country. Many are ephemeral, appearing during the rainy season. In this article, we’re exploring Australia’s best waterfalls, from the most famous waterfalls of Australia to hidden gems.
Wallaman Falls | Queensland
Set within the UNESCO-listed wet tropics of Queensland, Wallaman Falls is not only one of the most famous waterfalls of Australia, but one of the tallest. Indeed, it’s considered the highest single-drop waterfall in Australia, with its water flowing down in a horsetail for some 879 feet. This height rises to 1,000 feet if its additional cascades are taken into account. Whatever the facts and figures, the power of Wallaman Falls and the beauty of its rainforest surroundings are undeniably captivating.
Wollomombi Falls | New South Wales
At the confluence of Wollomombi River and Chandler Creek is another of Australia’s best waterfalls. Wollomombi Falls takes a single leap of 1,100 feet into the gorge below, surrounded by the rugged cliffs and eucalyptus forests of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. If one includes the cascade preceding this drop, Wollomombi has a total fall of almost 1,580 feet, which would make it the tallest on the continent. What’s more, its close neighbour, Chandler Falls, is imposing in its own right, with a drop of 656 feet.
Jim Jim Falls | Northern Territory
Jim Jim Falls is often said to be the most impressive of all the waterfalls in Australia’s Northern Territory. A resident of the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park, it plunges 660 feet off the edge of red ochre cliffs into a deep pool below. When at the peak of its power, between November and March, it’s a thundering, roiling powerhouse of hydraulic might.
Russell Falls | Tasmania
It’s said there are some 200 waterfalls in Tasmania alone, and Russell Falls is among the prettiest. Located in Mount Field National Park, this postcard-perfect waterfall is surrounded by ferns, mosses, and eucalyptus trees, tumbling in a two-tiered formation, with a serene pool at the bottom.
Mitchell Falls | Kimberley
Located in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia, Mitchell Falls is a stunning four-tiered waterfall and one of the most iconic attractions in the region. Known as Punamii-Uunpuu to the Wunambal people, it’s a site of great cultural as well as natural significance.
Waterfalls near Melbourne
There’s a wealth of waterfalls near Melbourne, including some of the most impressive waterfalls in Australia. For example, approximately 60 miles northeast of the city is Steavenson Falls. Located in the Yarra Ranges National Park, this towering cataract drops around 377 feet. Around the same distance, but to the northwest, one finds Trentham Falls. This 100-foot waterfall is characterised by ancient basalt formations and is part of the bushlands of the Coliban River Scenic Reserve. Meanwhile some 100 miles northeast in the Alpine National Park is the tallest waterfall in Victoria. Dandongadale Falls drops around 820 feet amidst a variety of flora and fauna.
Waterfalls near Sydney
You don’t even have to leave Sydney to find waterfalls. Oxford and Irrawong Falls are just two examples of cataracts inside the city. However, with its east coast location, Sydney is within reach of some of Australia’s best waterfalls. Not even 90 miles south in Morton National Park is Fitzroy Falls, with its dramatic plummet of around 260 feet into the valley below. Even closer is Wattamolla, the picturesque waterfall within the Royal National Park. Also to the south are Carrington Falls and the secluded grandeur of Belmore Falls.
Waterfalls near Cairns
When it comes to picturesque Australian waterfalls, the rainforests of Queensland have it covered. One of the prettiest falls within reach of Cairns is the heritage listed Millaa Millaa Falls in the Atherton Tablelands. Just on the outskirts of the city, Barron Gorge National Park is home to the craggy majesty of Din Din Barron Falls. Or there are the turquoise waters and granite boulders of Josephine Falls in Wooroonooran National Park.
The Waterfalls of Australia
It’s clear that Australia is home to some spectacular waterfalls. From the remote and rugged Kimberley region to the lush rainforests of Queensland, both the lesser-known and famous waterfalls of Australia offer a unique charm and beauty that are hard to match.