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Australia is an island country of many contrasts. When people think of Australia they immediately consider it to be a vast landscape of desert and open spaces. This is due partly to its affiliation with Uluru and the Red Centre of Australia. But it does in fact boast a wide variety of landscapes, with subtropical rain forests in the north-east, mountain ranges in the south-east, south-west and east areas, and an arid desert at its centre.
But what may come as a surprise to many people, particularly from overseas, is that Australia does have a mountain range that spans the entire east coast from North Queensland to Victoria. The Great Dividing Range, or Eastern Highlands comprise mountain ranges, escarpments, hilly highlands, and plateaus. During periods of high rainfall, generally during the wet season in summer, Australia offers some spectacular waterfalls and waterholes. This begs the question, where are some of Australia’s best waterfalls?
If we’re talking about height of waterfalls, then the 268 metre Wallaman Falls in North Queensland is Australia’s tallest single drop waterfall. Wallaman Falls is located on Stony Creek in Girringun National Park, west of Ingham.
Second to this, is the amazing Wollomombi Falls in the New England Tablelands of New South Wales. These falls include cascades and a horsetail drop of 260 metres and is sometimes quoted as the tallest waterfall in Australia. Wollomombi Falls are located east of Armidale in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.
One of Australia’s most renowned falls are Jim Jim Falls in Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Top End. The falls drop 200 metres into a large pool surrounded by 150 metre high cliffs. However, like many Australian waterfalls, these falls only flow during the west season between November and April.
The Kimberley in North West Australia has some of the most spectacular falls in Australia that are far off the beaten track.
Horizontal Falls are an unusual natural phenomenon off the coast of the Kimberley region and can only be reached by air and sea. The waterfalls are created by the tides turning each day, where the falls reverse and flow in the opposite direction through the narrow gaps in the McLarty Range.
The unique twin King George Falls, with an elevation approximately 84 metres, are part of the King George River in the Kimberley Marine Park. The only way to see these falls is by boat or from the air from the town of Kununurra.
Other waterfalls in the Kimberley region are reachable only by four-wheel drive off the Gibb River Road. These include:
In the Top End of Australia there are an abundance of spectacular waterfalls and waterholes. I’ve already mentioned the famous Jim Jim Falls in Kakadu National Park, but the park also features a couple of other magnificent falls, namely: Twin Falls, Koolpin Gorge and Barramundi Gorge.
Some of the most accessible waterfalls in the Northern Territory are located in Litchfield National Park, only 100 kilometres south-west of Darwin. These include:
Near the town of Katherine there is the Nitmiluk National Park, with the world-famous Nitmiluk Gorge (Katherine Gorge). The most popular waterfall is Leliyn (Edith Falls). This stunning series of cascading waterfalls features a large pool at the base surrounded by paperbark and pandanus trees.
The tropical Far North Queensland, with its bounty of rainforests and mountainous terrain, possesses some striking waterfalls.
There are five stunning national parks in South East Queensland where there are some of the best waterfalls to see in Australia. They include: Springbrook National Park, Lamington National Park, Tamborine National Park, Main Range National Park (Goomburra Section), and Kondalilla National Park.
In the vast state of New South Wales there are a bounty of beautiful waterfalls, one being one of the highest in Australia – Wollomombi Falls near Armidale. Other contenders are located within the Southern Highlands in Morton National Park; the Waterfall Way from Bellingen to Armidale; the Blue Mountains National Park west of Sydney; Nightcap National Park in Far North New South Wales; Budderoo National Park near Kiama; and the Bulga Plateau at Elands on the Mid-North Coast.
These are just a selection of some of Australia’s best waterfalls. There are plenty more places in Australia to go chasing waterfalls. In most cases the walk in to see the waterfalls is part on the spectacle. So get out there and start exploring!
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.