Katoomba Falls

Macquarie Division / Blue Mountains / Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia

Rating: 3.5     Difficulty: 1
Katoomba Falls
Katoomba Falls was a gorgeously situated waterfall that Julie and I thought was up there with Wentworth Falls as the most scenic waterfall of the Blue Mountains. When we first saw this falls in November 2006, it was under some rainy weather where the falls tended to be shrouded by clouds. We really had to wait for a break in the clouds before the waterfall revealed itself (then the clouds retook the falls shortly thereafter). However, when we came back to see the falls again in May 2008, it was under sunny skies, and as you can see from the photo at the top of this page, it was surrounded by the signature cliffs and panoramas that made the Blue Mountains famous.

We've been under the impression that most (if not all) Blue Mountains Waterfalls tended to have short seasons. However, with our visits occurring during the Spring and Autumn, we were either lucky with the timing of recent rainfall or perhaps the falls had greater longevity than we gave it credit for. It was hard to say. Speaking of heavy rain (regarding our Spring 2006 visit), we had a catch-22 problem where the persistent rains filled the water catchment for the falls, but the clouds obscured the views of it. In drier times, the views would be clearer, but then we'd imagine there would be the higher likelihood of the waterflow being significantly diminished (unless our May 2008 visit was more the rule rather than the exception).

From the nearest car park (see directions below), we went on a short walk towards the many lookouts at the edge of the cliffs overlooking Katoomba Falls as well as the expansive panoramas that the falls faced (provided the clouds weren't blocking the views). We noticed that there was also a cable car called the Katoomba Scenic Skyway that looked like it would've yielded more frontal views of the impressive Katoomba Falls as well as other suspended-in-mid-air views of the panoramas all around. We also noticed that the cable car passed by the famous rock formation known as the Three Sisters at Echo Point (which had its own separate car park and lookout though it was possible to hike to it from the falls as well). That said, we didn't do the Skyway cable car so we can't say more about it.

There was also a walk that went towards the bottom of Katoomba Falls. We saw a family go down there when the clouds had blocked the view of the main waterfall. We opted to wait for the clouds to part instead of joining them down there so we can't say anything about what that hike was like. Speaking of tracks, there was a large network of them both on the rim and descending into the valley below (with more waterfalls on the way). Perhaps one of these days, we could come back here and devote a bit more time to explore these tracks more thoroughly.

Finally, during our November 2006 visit, Julie and I also noticed a smaller waterfall known as the Witches Leap. It had a separate viewpoint nearby the main viewpoint though the clouds were very stubborn about letting us have a clean look at it.

Directions: The falls is on the southern outskirts of Katoomba town, which itself is a short distance west of the Wentworth Falls town and about 2 hours drive west of Sydney.

From the Hwy 32 (Great Western Hwy) at the Parke Street turnoff, turn left at the roundabout onto Bathurst Rd. Then at the next roundabout, turn right onto Katoomba St. Follow Katoomba St for about 1.4km to Katoomba Falls Rd on the right. Then take the Katoomba Falls Rd until you see the Katoomba Falls Kiosk where there was a small building as well as spillover parking across the street near Cliff Dr.

The walks and overlooks are right behind the kiosk.

If you're up for the Scenic Skyway Cable Car, you continue driving west along Cliff Drive for a couple of minutes until you get to the gondola station. I think the Skyway has its own car park, but if not (or it's full), then you can park at the kiosk and walk towards the Skyway.




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PHOTO JOURNAL
Nearby Katoomba Falls are the Three Sisters at Echo Point
Looking right down at Katoomba Falls from the lookout on a clear day in May 2008
The clouds momentarily parted enough for us to get this view of Katoomba Falls during our rainy visit in November 2006
Before going to Katoomba Falls during our May 2008 visit, we checked out Echo PointBefore going to the falls during our May 2008 visit, we checked out Echo Point

Katoomba Falls in a fine Autumn dayThe falls in a fine Autumn day

Gotta look closely to see the Scenic Skyway gondola or cable car as it's just about to complete its run in front of the fallsGotta look closely to see the Scenic Skyway gondola or cable car as it's just about to complete its run in front of the falls

The expansive panorama from the Katoomba Falls LookoutThe expansive panorama from the falls lookout

This was our first look at Katoomba Falls when the clouds finally started to rise from the lookout during our November 2006 visitThis was our first look at the falls when the clouds finally started to rise from the lookout during our November 2006 visit

The clouds were slowly lifting just a bit more to reveal more of Katoomba Falls during our November 2006 visitThe clouds were slowly lifting just a bit more to reveal more of the falls during our November 2006 visit

Just as quickly as the Katoomba Falls was finally revealed, the clouds shrouded it againJust as quickly as the falls was finally revealed, the clouds shrouded it again

Witches Leap barely visible through the clouds on this dreary Spring dayWitches Leap barely visible through the clouds on this dreary Spring day

A sign telling us how far of a walk it would have been to get all the way down to Katoomba Falls' baseA sign telling us how far of a walk it would have been to get all the way down to the falls' base

More walks around Katoomba Falls, including the Katoomba CascadesMore walks around the falls, including the Katoomba Cascades


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS

Fixated on the falls


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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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