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.
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.
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