Crystal Shower Falls

Dorrigo National Park / New England Region / Bellingen Shire, New South Wales, Australia

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 3
Crystal Shower Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Crystal Shower Falls was an attractive, light-flowing waterfall that allowed us to go behind it. This was another one of the waterfalls that Julie and I didn't expect to see going into our May 2008 visit to Northern New South Wales, and it took a brief visit to the visitor centre in the nearby town of Dorrigo did we come across some brochure featuring this waterfall and finally become aware of it. With so many other waterfalls in the New England region seen earlier in the day along the Waterfall Way, we could have opted to skip the falls, but we were glad that we persisted.

Unlike the other waterfalls we had been to on this trip, Crystal Shower Falls required a bit of a hike. Once we left the car park (see directions below), we passed through the Glade Picnic Area before picking up a 5.8km loop trail known as the Wonga Walk. Even though this loop hike also passed by another waterfall called Tristiana Falls, we ended up opting to do an upside-down out-and-back hike to just Crystal Shower Falls as it was getting late in the day. Even with the abridged route (probably saving about 1km), we still took 90 minutes.

The Wonga Walk was pretty much under a shady rainforest canopy so it was cooler than we thought (especially given how warm it was earlier in the day). It was a pretty long downhill walk so we knew that it we would have to exert ourselves on the way out. Along the well-maintained track, we encountered a few panoramas looking towards the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also checking out some of the interpretive signs along the way. It was only after reading some of the signs did we realize that some of the broad-leafed plants flanking the track secreted some neurotoxins so we definitely were very cognizant of staying on the track and not touching any of the foliage.

As we got deeper into the rainforest, we also encountered a few streams to break up some of the silence. They also assured us that the falls would have somewhat decent flow. And with the amount of time we were spending on the track, we were gradually noticing the forests more subtle features like the bird songs, the rustling of the leaves in the wind, the height of the trees around us, and more. When we arrived at the waterfall, our best photos were probably from the approach where we could best appreciate the overall height of the falls. The track then swung around the back of the falls and would continue its circuit, but this was our turnaround point so we can't say more about what else was beyond.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Julie checking out the backside of Crystal Shower Falls as this was one of those waterfalls that we were able to go behindJulie checking out the backside of Crystal Shower Falls as this was one of those waterfalls that we were able to go behind
While starting the hike down to Crystal Shower Falls, we got this view hinting at Australia's Central Coast (possibly in the direction of Coffs Harbour)While starting the hike down to Crystal Shower Falls, we got this view hinting at Australia's Central Coast (possibly in the direction of Coffs Harbour)
Taking the Waterfall Way east all the way down the mountain and then going a little bit further north along the Pacific Highway was the town of Coffs Harbour, which featured this pretty beachTaking the Waterfall Way east all the way down the mountain and then going a little bit further north along the Pacific Highway was the town of Coffs Harbour, which featured this pretty beach
Just 2km north of Dorrigo, which itself was about 5km north of Crystal Shower Falls, was the attractive Dangar FallsJust 2km north of Dorrigo, which itself was about 5km north of Crystal Shower Falls, was the attractive Dangar Falls
Julie embarking on the walk to Crystal Shower FallsJulie embarking on the way to the falls

We noticed this interesting-looking bird grazing about at the Glade Picnic AreaWe noticed this interesting-looking bird grazing about at the Glade Picnic Area

Julie descending on the track surrounded by tall trees providing plenty of shadeJulie descending on the track surrounded by tall trees providing plenty of shade

We weren't sure, but Julie and I were suspicious of broad-leafed plants like this that might have been the poisonous plants secreting some neurotoxinsWe weren't sure, but Julie and I were suspicious of broad-leafed plants like this that might have been the poisonous plants secreting some neurotoxins

Julie descending deeper into the forest canopy coverJulie descending deeper into the forest canopy cover

As we got lower and deeper into the rainforest, we noticed the trees were taller plus they had interesting shapesAs we got lower and deeper into the rainforest, we noticed the trees were taller plus they had interesting shapes

A small cascade we saw en route to Crystal Shower FallsA small cascade we saw en route to the falls

Julie admiring Crystal Shower Falls from its backsideJulie admiring the falls from its backside

Profile of Crystal Shower Falls showing its height relative to the alcove that Julie was withinProfile of the falls showing its height relative to the alcove that Julie was within

Julie looking around at the forest as we slowly made our way back up to the Glade Picnic AreaJulie looking around at the forest as we slowly made our way back up to the Glade Picnic Area

On the gradual uphill hike back up to the Glade Picnic AreaOn the gradual uphill hike back up to the Glade Picnic Area


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

The nearest town to Crystal Shower Falls was Dorrigo so we'll pick up the directions from there.

From the intersection of Hickory St and Waterfall Way (Hwy 78) in the Dorrigo town centre, we continued east on Waterfall Way for the next 2km (the route would veer south shortly after going east). We then had to turn left onto the easy-to-miss Dome Rd. After about 1.4km on Dome Rd, we then turning right (south) at the visitor centre to go onto Lyrebird Lane, and eventually reach the car park for the Glade Picnic Area.

For context, Dorrigo was 64km (an hour drive) west of Coffs Harbour. Coffs Harbour was 391km south of Brisbane, 157km north of Port Macquarie, and 537km (6 hours drive) north of Sydney.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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