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 as a stop along the fairly long drive north of Sydney towards Port Macquarie. As such, it was the first waterfall 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. On top of that, as you can see from the photos on this page, it was the kind of waterfall where it paid to bring out our tripod, put our DSLR in shutter priority mode, and let Nature do the rest as Floods Creek would ripple over the stair-stepping bedrock.
The first of the Somersby Falls we encountered was a short walk down some steps from the car park (see directions below) before we arrived at 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. As you can see, it was very photo-friendly, 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 was quite slippery if any moisture was on it.
Julie and I then continued further downstream by descending on more steps. 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 until we positioned ourselves so we could get frontal views. Given the nature of this scramble, we had to be very careful as it got a little slippery in some spots.
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. 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, which suggested to me that perhaps this drainage and forest had seen its share of moisture.
We arrived at Somersby Falls by driving north from Sydney on the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway (Hwy 1), though 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. 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).
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