Wollomombi Falls

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park / New England Region / Walcha Shire, New South Wales, Australia

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 1.5
Wollomombi Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Julie and I anticipated a visit to Wollomombi Falls considering there had been a fair bit of literature devoted to it as being one of Australia's tallest single-drop waterfalls at a reported 220m (or 260m according to the signage here). I'm sure there would probably be some academic debate over this, but in any case, we happened to have visited this waterfall with a somewhat disappointing low flow though it was still visible from the handful of viewpoints across the Wollomombi Gorge. Adding to the disappointing visit was that the morning we showed up in May 2008, all the viewpoints were looking right against the sun while the shadowy gorge ensured the attractions would either be concealed by darkness or the sunlit regions would be blown out in our photos. Indeed, Julie and I are due for a return trip to see this waterfall the way it was supposed to be seen.

The name of the falls was said to be derived from an aboriginal word "Wollumbi" roughly meaning "meeting of waters." I presume the meeting of waters pertained to both Wollomombi Falls and Chandler Falls converging into the Chandler River deep in the gorge. Julie and I were barely able to see Chandler Falls cascading its way down the gorge opposite Wollomombi Falls. Certainly under more normal waterflow (and more agreeable lighting conditions), this waterfall pairing would certainly be quite the sight to behold.

As for an explanation of the low waterflow, apparently this section of the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park was still recovering from drought conditions. Some drainages like the one responsible for Tia Falls was flowing quite well, while other drainages responsible for Dangarsleigh Falls and Bakers Creek Falls were practically dry. Apparently the Chandler River drainage suffered the same fate as the latter two. We also noticed some agricultural developments in the area, which made us wonder whether the drainages might have been adversely affected due to the clearing that might have taken place further upstream.

Julie and I spent about 40 minutes at the Falls Lookouts. We went as far as the Checks Lookout some 400m away from the car park. However, we didn't bother doing any more hiking towards the Chandler River Lookout (1.4km away), Chandler River access (2.8km away), or even the Chandler River Track (4 hours return). Maybe we'll have more to say about this place if we're fortunate to return here under more "normal" conditions.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Focused on the tall Wollomombi Falls in low flow deep within the shadowy gorge. This was in May 2008 though we hope to come back and see it in a better state one of these daysFocused on the tall Wollomombi Falls in low flow deep within the shadowy gorge. This was in May 2008 though we hope to come back and see it in a better state one of these days
About 40km east of Wollomombi Falls was Ebor Falls, which definitely had much better flow.  Shown here is the upper waterfallAbout 40km east of Wollomombi Falls was Ebor Falls, which definitely had much better flow. Shown here is the upper waterfall
Further east towards the east coast at the end of the Waterfall Way was Coffs Harbour, where we enjoyed a relaxing time at the beach thereFurther east towards the east coast at the end of the Waterfall Way was Coffs Harbour, where we enjoyed a relaxing time at the beach there
Sign with the walking options available to usSign with the walking options available to us

Our first look at Wollomombi Falls against the morning lightOur first look at the falls against the morning light

Context of the view of both Wollomombi Falls (left) and Chandler Falls (barely visible to the right)Context of the view of both Wollomombi Falls (left) and Chandler Falls (barely visible to the right)

Looking towards the barely-visible Chandler FallsLooking towards the barely-visible Chandler Falls

Another contextual view of both Wollomombi Falls (left) and Chandler Falls (barely visible to the right) as we walked towards Checks LookoutAnother contextual view of both waterfalls as we walked towards Checks Lookout

Looking downstream at the Wollomombi Gorge with terrible shadowsLooking downstream at the Wollomombi Gorge with terrible shadows

Julie at Checks Lookout, I thinkJulie at Checks Lookout, I think

Focused on Chandler Falls from Checks Lookout, I believeFocused on Chandler Falls from Checks Lookout, I believe


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Just fixated on the distant main waterfall


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

The falls is accessed off a well-signed turnoff about 38km east of Armidale along the so-called Waterfall Way (i.e. the Armidale-Dorrigo Road, Hwy 78). The turnoff was about 15km east of the turnoff for Bakers Creek Falls.

Contextually, Wollomombi Falls was around 151km (2 hours 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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RELATED PAGES



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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Wollomombi-Chandler Falls in full flow 
Wollomombi-Chandler Falls . 24 May 2009

Wollomombi Falls News Years Eve 2011 
After visiting the Wollomombi Falls recently, I was looking at further NSW waterfall info and came across your great site. Really enjoyed your …

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