Wollomombi Falls

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, New South Wales, Australia

About Wollomombi Falls


Hiking Distance: 800m round trip
Suggested Time: 30-40 minutes

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

Waterfall Latitude: -30.53123
Waterfall Longitude: 152.04033

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Julie and I anticipated a visit to Wollomombi Falls considering there had been a fair bit of literature devoted to it as being one of Australia’s tallest single-drop waterfalls at a reported 220m (or 260m according to the signage here).

I’m sure there would probably be some academic debate over this.

Wollomombi_Falls_017_05062008 - Wollomombi Falls in low flow during our May 2008 visit
Wollomombi Falls in low flow during our May 2008 visit

But in any case, we happened to have visited this waterfall with a somewhat disappointing low flow though it was still visible from the handful of viewpoints across the Wollomombi Gorge.

Adding to the disappointing visit was that the morning we showed up in May 2008, all the viewpoints faced against the sun.

Meanwhile, the shadowy gorge ensured that the waterfalls would either be concealed by darkness or the sunlit regions would be blown out in our photos.

Indeed, Julie and I are due for a return trip to see this waterfall the way it was supposed to be seen.

Nevertheless, on our lone visit to Wollomombi Falls, we spent about 40 minutes at the Falls Lookouts.

Wollomombi_Falls_030_05062008 - Julie checking out Wollomombi Falls from one of the lookouts that we explored during our May 2008 visit
Julie checking out Wollomombi Falls from one of the lookouts that we explored during our May 2008 visit

We went as far as the Checks Lookout some 400m away from the car park.

However, we didn’t bother doing any more hiking towards the Chandler River Lookout (1.4km away), Chandler River access (2.8km away), or even the Chandler River Track (4 hours return).

Maybe we’ll have more to say about this place if we’re fortunate to return here under more “normal” conditions.

“Meeting of Waters”

The name of the falls was said to be derived from an aboriginal word “Wollumbi” roughly meaning “meeting of waters.”

I presume the meeting of waters pertained to both Wollomombi Falls and Chandler Falls converging into the Chandler River deep in the gorge.

Wollomombi_Falls_031_05062008 - All zoomed in on what I think was Chandler Falls barely visible in the haze and the low flow from the Checks Lookout
All zoomed in on what I think was Chandler Falls barely visible in the haze and the low flow from the Checks Lookout

Julie and I could barely see Chandler Falls cascading its way down the gorge opposite Wollomombi Falls due to its low flow and bad lighting conditions.

Certainly under more normal waterflow (and more agreeable lighting conditions), this waterfall pairing would certainly be quite the sight to behold.

As for an explanation of the low waterflow, apparently this section of the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park was still recovering from drought conditions.

Some drainages like the one responsible for Tia Falls was flowing quite well.

Meanwhile, other drainages responsible for Dangarsleigh Falls and Bakers Creek Falls were practically dry.

Wollomombi_Falls_028_05062008 - All zoomed in on the main drop of Wollomombi Falls shadowed in the Chandler River Gorge
All zoomed in on the main drop of Wollomombi Falls shadowed in the Chandler River Gorge

Apparently the Chandler River drainage suffered the same fate as the latter two.

We also noticed some agricultural developments in the area.

Naturally, this made us wonder whether the health of the drainages might have been adversely affected as a result of the clearing that might have taken place further upstream.

Authorities

Wollomombi Falls resides in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park near Armidale 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.

Wollomombi_Falls_004_jx_05062008 - Sign with the walking options available to us
Wollomombi_Falls_004_05062008 - Our first look at Wollomombi Falls against the morning light
Wollomombi_Falls_011_05062008 - Context of the view of both Wollomombi Falls (left) and Chandler Falls (barely visible to the right)
Wollomombi_Falls_014_05062008 - All zoomed in on the Wollomombi Falls with morning sun rays piercing against the shadows of the Chandler River Gorge
Wollomombi_Falls_015_05062008 - Looking towards the barely-visible Chandler Falls
Wollomombi_Falls_023_05062008 - Another contextual view of both Wollomombi Falls (left) and Chandler Falls (barely visible to the right) as we walked towards Checks Lookout
Wollomombi_Falls_029_05062008 - Looking downstream at the Wollomombi Gorge with terrible shadows

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The falls is accessed off a well-signed turnoff about 38km east of Armidale along the so-called Waterfall Way (i.e. the Armidale-Dorrigo Road, Hwy 78).

The turnoff was about 15km east of the turnoff for Bakers Creek Falls.

Contextually, Wollomombi Falls was around 151km (2 hours 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.

Just fixated on the distant main waterfall

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Tagged with: argyle, armidale, waterfall way, oxley wild rivers, dumaresq, new south wales, coffs harbour, australia, waterfall, new england, chandler, hillgrove



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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Wollomombi Falls News Years Eve 2011 January 7, 2012 2:18 am by Andrew Thomas - After visiting the Wollomombi Falls recently, I was looking at further NSW waterfall info and came across your great site. Really enjoyed your travels and thought this pic may be of interest. Like you, we are on a quest....to visit every National Park in the USA - its a long way from Australia! So far… ...Read More
Wollomombi-Chandler Falls in full flow May 30, 2009 12:50 am by Ian Dutton - Wollomombi-Chandler Falls. 24 May 2009 ...Read More

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