Wollomombi Falls and Chandler Falls, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
Wollomombi Falls is an enormous plunge waterfall located 40km east of Armidale in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park in the New England region of New South Wales. Its neighbour Chandler Falls may be a bit smaller but is still very impressive.
With a height of well over 200 metres, the Wollomombi Falls were once considered the highest waterfall in Australia. Several lookout points give visitors spectacular views of the two waterfalls and the massive gorge they drop into.
How to Get to Wollomombi Falls
Coming in from Armidale, follow Grafton Rd / Waterfall Way for about 40km when you turn into Wollomombi Falls Rd. After 2km turn left at the fork which takes you to the car park with barbecue and toilet facilities.
If you’re driving in from Coffs Harbour / Bellingen, follow Waterfall Way until you make a left turn into Grafton Rd shortly after you’ve passed Ebor Falls. Stay on Grafton Rd for another 40km before making a left turn into Wollomombi Falls Rd.
Please note that dogs and other domestic animals are not permitted in the area.
Most visitors to Wollomombi Falls would combine this waterfall with other waterfalls nearby, such as Ebor Falls and Dangar Falls. They are all located along the famous Waterfall Way, a popular weekend getaway destination.
The best time to visit Wollomombi Falls is after rainfall when the two waterfalls carry the most water and the gorge turns a bit misty. And if you’re lucky you may even spot a rainbow.
It’s recommended to schedule in enough time to spend in this area because the scenery will blow you away. The unique scenery with the two thundering waterfalls and the massive gorge below will leave a lasting impression.
The name of the waterfall stems from the aboriginal word Wollomombi which roughly means “meeting of the waters”, referring to the confluence of the Wollomombi River and Chandler River in the Wollomombi Gorge.
The above image, taken after a period of rainfall, is a great visual representation of how the two rivers join, with Wollomombi Falls on the left and the smaller Chandler Falls on the right. This incredible scenery is a result of millions of years of erosion.
After turning left at the fork on Wollomombi Fall Rd, you’ll arrive at large car park with picnic area. The facilities are excellent, with several barbecues, (non-flush) toilets, lots of picnic tables and drinking water.
From here you can explore the area and follow the walking tracks to several lookout points.
If you turn right at the fork, you’ll end up at the camping ground and the Edgars Lookout. This is a great viewpoint with scenic views of the western part of Wollomombi Gorge.
It’s worth having a look around here if you have a spare few minutes after visiting the main lookout points on the other side.
Walking Tracks and Lookout Points
There are two major walking tracks in the area that both give you a good sense of how uniquely beautiful this part of the world is.
If you have the time and energy, it would definitely be worth doing both tracks because the views of the waterfalls, the rivers and the massive valley are absolutely stunning. Both walks are fairly easy with only a few steep parts on the way to the lookouts.
1. Chandler Walking Track
The Chandler Track is a relatively easy 1.4km (2.8km return) walk that includes three beautiful viewing points.
The main lookout is only a few steps away from the carpark and picnic area and offers the best views of the Wollomombi Waterfall and the huge gorge.
The second viewpoint, Checks Lookout, is a bit smaller but offers similarly impressive views as the first one. You can then continue the track to the third viewpoint, the Chandler Lookout.
Until recently, the track would continue all the way down to the river but this section of the track has been closed. Strong erosion and often very steep parts make this quite a hazardous track. You can still continue at your own risk though if you would like to.
If you do decide to hike down towards the river, make sure you let someone know about your adventure. A beacon would also be a good thing to bring with you as there is no phone reception in the area.
2. Wollomombi Walking Track
The Wollomombi Walking Track takes you along the north side of the gorge rim to three lookout points. The Eagle Lookout is the first viewpoint which gives you great views of the gorge from a different angle.
The track then crosses the Wollomombi River leading to the Wollomombi Falls Lookout looking down on the waterfall. The third lookout point is the Chandler Falls Lookout with amazing views of the Chandler Waterfall.
The Wollomombi Walking Track is a moderate 4km return trail that can easily be completed within two hours including stops. It could take longer though, depending on how impressed you are by the awesome views!
Check out this video for some great footage of the waterfalls and the gorge:
Wollomombi Falls Map
Getting to Wollomombi Falls is easy. Simply turn into Wollomombi Falls Rd from Grafton Rd / Waterfall Way and you’ll end up at the car park and picnic area.
The official address is Oxley Wild Rivers, Hillgrove NSW 2350.