Katoomba Falls

Blue Mountains / Leura, New South Wales, Australia

About Katoomba Falls

Hiking Distance: 200m round trip
Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Date first visited: 2006-11-06
Date last visited: 2008-05-04

Waterfall Latitude: -33.72761
Waterfall Longitude: 150.30468

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

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.

Katoomba_Falls_002_05032008 - Katoomba Falls
Katoomba Falls

We really had to wait for a break in the clouds before the waterfall revealed itself (though 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 above, it was surrounded by the signature cliffs and panoramas that made the Blue Mountains famous.

Timing Katoomba Falls

We’ve been under the impression that most (if not all) Blue Mountains Waterfalls tended to have short seasons.

Katoomba_010_11052006 - The clouds momentarily parted enough for us to get this view of Katoomba Falls during our rainy visit in November 2006
The clouds momentarily parted enough for us to get this view of Katoomba Falls during our rainy visit in November 2006

However, with our visits of Katoomba Falls 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.

However, the clouds tended to obscure 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.

Katoomba_Falls_006_05032008 - Looking right down at Katoomba Falls from the lookout on a clear day in May 2008
Looking right down at Katoomba Falls from the lookout on a clear day in May 2008

That said, we weren’t sure if our May 2008 visit was more the rule rather than the exception.

Experiencing Katoomba Falls

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).

Katoomba_Falls_003_jx_05032008 - The Scenic Skyway gondola or cable car as it's just about to complete its run in front of Katoomba Falls
The Scenic Skyway gondola or cable car as it’s just about to complete its run in front of Katoomba Falls

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 and experience the falls from the cliff tops 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.

The Witches Leap

Katoomba_017_11052006 - Witches Leap barely visible through the clouds on this dreary Spring day in November 2006
Witches Leap barely visible through the clouds on this dreary Spring day in November 2006

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.


Katoomba Falls resides in the Blue Mountains National Park near Katoomba in New South Wales. It is administered by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Echo_Pt_026_05032008 - Before going to Katoomba Falls during our May 2008 visit, we checked out Echo Point
Katoomba_Falls_001_05032008 - Katoomba Falls in a fine Autumn day
Katoomba_Falls_016_05032008 - The expansive panorama from the Katoomba Falls Lookout
Katoomba_002_11052006 - This was our first look at Katoomba Falls when the clouds finally started to rise from the lookout during our November 2006 visit
Katoomba_008_11052006 - The clouds were slowly lifting just a bit more to reveal more of Katoomba Falls during our November 2006 visit
Katoomba_009_11052006 - Just as quickly as the Katoomba Falls was finally revealed, the clouds shrouded it again
Katoomba_Falls_007_jx_11052006 - A sign telling us how far of a walk it would have been to get all the way down to Katoomba Falls' base
Katoomba_Falls_009_jx_11052006 - More walks around Katoomba Falls, including the Katoomba Cascades

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.

As we were entering the town of Katoomba along the Hwy 32 (Great Western Hwy), at the Parke Street turnoff, we turned left at the roundabout onto Bathurst Rd. Then at the next roundabout, we turned right onto Katoomba St. We followed Katoomba St for about 1.4km to Katoomba Falls Rd on the right. Then we took the Katoomba Falls Rd until we saw 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 were 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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Tagged with: blue mountains, blackheath, katoomba, wentworth falls, macquarie, new south wales, australia, waterfall, govetts leap, bridal veil, sydney, penrith, leura, echo point, three sisters, skyway

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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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