Somersby Falls

Brisbane Water National Park / Gosford, New South Wales, Australia

About Somersby Falls


Hiking Distance: 400m round trip
Suggested Time: 30 minutes

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

Waterfall Latitude: -33.4006
Waterfall Longitude: 151.27002

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Somersby Falls was a series of attractive cascading waterfalls situated near Gosford on the Central Coast of New South Wales.

I’d say encountered the two most attractive parts of the waterfalls during a self-tour where we visited Brisbane Water National Park.

Somersby_Falls_025_05042008 - Somersby Falls
Somersby Falls

Our visit was a stop along the fairly long drive north of Sydney towards Port Macquarie.

As such, Somersby Falls was the first waterfall excursion we visited as part of our Sydney-to-Cairns drive in May 2008.

The morning that we visited was very cool and the air felt crisp, which seemed to be typical of Autumn in these parts.

With Floods Creek rippling over the stair-stepping bedrock, we naturally brought our tripod and DSLR camera and let Nature do the rest (as you can see in the photos on this page).

The Upper Somersby Falls

The first of the Somersby Falls we encountered required a short walk down some steps from the car park (see directions below).

Somersby_Falls_005_05042008 - Looking over the edge of a short cliff towards the top of Somersby Falls
Looking over the edge of a short cliff towards the top of Somersby Falls

The short trail brought us to the long, flat, and smooth creekbed at the base of the falls.

The photo you see at the top of this page was this waterfall, which actually turned out to be merely the Upper Somersby Falls.

Nevertheless, as you can see, we certainly appreciated its very photo-friendly character, which helped to enhance its scenic rating score.

We did have to be cognizant of the surface here as the smoothed out bedrock alongside Floods Creek could make for some slippery footing, especially where it was wet.

The Lower Somersby Falls

Julie and I then continued further downstream by descending on more steps.

Somersby_Falls_042_05042008 - Looking back upstream towards what I called the Lower Somersby Falls
Looking back upstream towards what I called the Lower Somersby Falls

It didn’t take long before the steps ended, and then we scrambled along the creekbed as we arrived at the top of the second attractive cascade on Floods Creek.

In order for us to get a better view of this waterfall, we had to scramble then cross the shallow stream before continuing the scramble further downstream.

We continued our scramble until we positioned ourselves so we could get frontal views of this Lower Somersby Falls.

Given the nature of this scramble, we had to be very careful as it got a little slippery in some spots.

By the time we returned to the car park, we probably walked about 500m in total give or take.

Other Aspects of Somersby Falls

Somersby_Falls_020_05042008 - A somewhat hazy view of the Somersby Falls, where our morning visit may have been well-timed before the sun would produce some harsher lighting conditions than what we experienced
A somewhat hazy view of the Somersby Falls, where our morning visit may have been well-timed before the sun would produce some harsher lighting conditions than what we experienced

Overall, we had spent about 50 minutes away from the car, encompassing the walking, the scrambling, and the picture-taking.

The lighting during our early morning visit was such that it was against us, but the tree-cover still kept the rays from becoming disruptive in our photographs.

Indeed, it was pleasant and quiet, which we think how a waterfalling experience should be.

Finally, Julie and I happened to catch Somersby Falls with pretty satisfactory flow during our May 2008 visit.

However, I didn’t know how the precipitation patterns behaved prior to the Autumn season.

Somersby_Falls_032_05042008 - Right in front of the main drop of the Lower Somersby Falls, where Floods Creek clearly had enough water to put on a good show during our visit
Right in front of the main drop of the Lower Somersby Falls, where Floods Creek clearly had enough water to put on a good show during our visit

Thus, I couldn’t say for sure if it was a year-round waterfall.

I did see in the literature that this was best seen after heavy rain, which would imply that it had a short season and we just got lucky though this would just be speculation at this point.

In any case, it did feel cool and moist on the morning we visited despite the weather being sunny.

This suggested to me that perhaps this drainage and forest had seen its share of moisture prior to our visit.

Authorities

Somersby Falls resides in the Brisbane Water National Park near Gosford 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.

Somersby_Falls_001_05042008 - This was the pay and display kiosk at Somersby Falls
Somersby_Falls_014_05042008 - Julie checks out the Upper Somersby Falls
Somersby_Falls_033_05042008 - More comprehensive direct look at the Lower Somersby Falls
Somersby_Falls_038_05042008 - Looking upstream at the Lower Somersby Falls from a little further downstream on the Floods Creek

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We arrived at Somersby Falls by driving north from Sydney on the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway (Hwy 1).

It actually took us a while to get to Hwy 1 as we were navigating our way through city streets during the morning rush hour.

In any case, after about 67km on Hwy 1, we exited the freeway at Wisemans Ferry Road (the GPS told us to do this; I don’t recall the falls being signposted).

As we proceeded north on Wisemans Ferry Road for about 1.5km, I think that’s when we found a sign for the falls (though I’m not totally sure).

In any case, we turned left at the next four-way intersection onto Somersby Falls Rd, and then followed this road for about the next 2.5km to the car park.

Overall, this drive was about 80km taking us over 2 hours (with the city traffic) though it should’ve been no more than 90 minutes without Sydney traffic.

During our visit, there was a $7 parking fee, in which we had to pay (an automated collection kiosk) and display (the after payment ticket then display on the dashboard).

For further geographical context, Gosford was the nearest city as it was merely a 10km drive to the falls. Further to the north, Newcastle was 97km or under 90 minutes drive.

Fixated on the upper falls


Fixated on the lower falls

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Tagged with: brisbane water, national park, central coast, gosford, new south wales, australia, waterfall, sydney, newcastle, somersby



Visitor Comments:

Getting Lost February 12, 2011 10:26 pm by Charlie - I enjoyed watching the waterfall, though there was not much water on the day I went there. It took me almost four hours to drive there from Sydney, which was not a good experience on that day. The reason could be that I possibly followed the wrong route I knew from the map attached above.… ...Read More

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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Somersby Falls April 4, 2013 12:15 am by Sharon - Hi One of my favourite photo places. Yes these falls can be a drizzle when we haven't had rain, I recommend viewing a day or two after good rain, then you'll get to see it at its glory. Plus to reach the bottom it is a hike, not at all an easy walk for elderly,… ...Read More
Sommersby Falls March 2, 2009 11:40 am by Debbie - As a local to the Gosford area, I have been to these falls a few times and seen them with different amounts of water flowing through them. Off the beaten track, you can actually get to the lower falls which has a lovely overhang where you can walk in behind them as my pic will… ...Read More

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of 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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