Dangar Falls

Dorrigo, New South Wales, Australia

About Dangar Falls

Hiking Distance: 600m round trip (to base)
Suggested Time: 30 minutes (to base)

Date first visited: 2008-05-07
Date last visited: 2008-05-07

Waterfall Latitude: -30.3232
Waterfall Longitude: 152.71435

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Dangar Falls was a waterfall that we didn’t expect to see going into our trip in May 2008.

We happened to be aware of its existence only after making a stop at the visitor centre in the nearby town of Dorrigo.

Dangar_Falls_011_05062008 - Dangar Falls
Dangar Falls

Nonetheless, Julie and I were certainly glad to have made the visit because witnessed a classic block type waterfall said to plunge 30m over a basalt wall.

This waterfall should not be confused with the similarly named Dangarsleigh Falls (also called Dangars Falls for short) near Armidale.

That other waterfall didn’t flow during our visit the day before despite it being taller.

At least Dangar Falls in Dorrigo pictured above gushed, which further reinforced to us the variability of the quantity of water captured in the drainages of the New England area.

Experiencing Dangar Falls

From the car park and picnic area (see directions), we first went right to the upper overlook which was merely a few paces away.

This vantage point yielded the photo you see at the top of this page.

Dangar_Falls_034_05062008 - Julie on the path descending to the base of Dangar Falls
Julie on the path descending to the base of Dangar Falls

And from this photo, you might notice that we could also see a smaller upper tier further upstream.

That said, it didn’t look like we could access that upper tier given the infrastructure in place already.

Then, when we walked along the gorge rim away from the waterfall, we encountered a shadowy path that descended a switchback which ultimately led us right down towards the front of the falls.

As we got closer to the falls, it definitely got a little misty, but we didn’t need a rain poncho.

Nevertheless, enough mist swirled around the falls to refract the late morning light and produce some rainbows at its base, which further attested to the healthy volume of the Beilsdown River.

Julie and I also noticed some faint basalt-like columns in Dangar Falls’ underlying bedrock.

Dangar_Falls_066_05062008 - The base of Dangar Falls
The base of Dangar Falls

This hinted at the area’s volcanic origins while also providing the geologic infrastructure giving rise to the waterfall itself.

In fact, such features seem to be fairly common amongst many of Australia’s waterfalls (e.g. Browns Falls, Trentham Falls, and Ebor Falls, among others).

A Personal Calamity at Dangar Falls

Finally, Julie and I remember Dangar Falls in a rather infamous way.

We were picnicking near the car park when an insect that looked just like a leaf showed up and disrupted our lunch.

As we fumbled around trying to take macro photographs of this intriguing insect (looking like a praying mantis), somehow we managed to drop Julie’s Sony Cyber-shot.

That drop made the retractable lens stuck and inoperable, and Julie still blames me for this mishap to this day. Doh!

Dangar_Falls_004_jx_05062008 - The insect that indirectly killed our point-and-shoot camera
The insect that indirectly killed our point-and-shoot camera

So if you’ve noticed there’s no video of this waterfall (a real shame in this case), this was the reason why.

Only when we managed to get to Byron Bay a few days later did we finally have a replacement camera.


Dangar Falls resides in the Bellingen Shire near Dorrigo in New South Wales. It is administered by the Bellingen Shire Council. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Dangar_Falls_017_05062008 - Another look at the Dangar Falls and some smaller upper tiers from the lookout near the car park
Dangar_Falls_033_05062008 - Julie on the trail entering the shadows leading to the base of Dangar Falls
Dangar_Falls_035_05062008 - Almost at the base of Dangar Falls
Dangar_Falls_049_05062008 - At the base of Dangar Falls with a rainbow and some evidence of basalt cliffs to the left of the waterfall
Dangar_Falls_062_05062008 - Direct view of Dangar Falls from across its extensive plunge pool at its base

From the intersection of Waterfall Way (Hwy 78) and Hickory St right in the centre of Dorrigo, we went north on Hickory St for 500m before turning left onto Vine St and continuing for another 500m.

Then, we kept right and crossed over the Bellingen River as the road became Coramba Rd and we followed this road for another kilometre before turning right into the signposted car park for the waterfall.

Dangar Falls was about 2km north of the Dorrigo town centre.

Dorrigo was 128km (90 minutes drive) east of Armidale and 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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Tagged with: dorrigo, bellingen, waterfall way, coffs harbour, armidale, new south wales, australia, waterfall, new england

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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