Fitzroy Falls – Morton National Park. A quick guide to visiting the fantastic Fitzroy Falls in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
About Fitzroy Falls
Entrance Fee: Free
Parking: Fitzroy Falls Visitor centre carpark – Parking $4
Hidden in the far north of Morton National Park is one of New South Wales most impressive waterfalls. Located roughly 2 hours drive south of Sydney and 20 minutes drive west of Belmore Falls, you’ll find the mighty Fitzroy Falls.
From the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre there are two popular walks. The East Rim and the West Rim. The East Rim walk is all about viewpoints showcasing the Morton National Park landscape. Various lookouts show off views of Mt Carrialoo, Mt Moollattoo and the Yarrunga Creek. But if you’re here for the waterfall, you’ll want to explore the popular West Rim walking track. This cliffside trail offers a variety of different views over the awesome falls. The well maintained 4km return walk has several viewpoints not to be missed.
The main lookout is only a 200m walk along a boardwalk. Suitable for strollers and wheelchairs, it’s easily accessible for everyone. From this first overhanging viewpoint, you get a unique perspective of the falls and along the lengthy cliff face and the Yarrunga Valley.
Next up about 200m further along the the trail, you’ll come to arguably the best viewpoint of Fitzroy Falls. Opposite the falls, this front-on view really allows you to appreciate the scale of this 81m waterfall. And for us, this was the best view. This easy to reach second viewpoint is perfect for the less energetic! And it’s probably as far as you really need to go if you just want a quick waterfall fix.
For those who choose to continue on, which we do recommend, the next stop is Richardson Lookout. The views from here look down the Yarrunga Valley over the forest valley floor.
Twin Falls Lookout
Continuing on past Richardson Lookout, is the Twin Falls Lookout. This lookout offers views not over Fitzroy Falls, but the secondary set of falls in the area – Twin Falls. As the name suggests, this waterfall comprises of two columns of water. Follow the track slightly further on and you’ll reach a small bridge allowing you cross the over the water, just before it plummets over the edge.
Paines Lookout & the Grotto
Similar to Richardson Lookout, Paines Lookout has really nice views of the rugged sandstone cliffs that run along Yarrunga Valley. Not too far after this lookout, is the 50m downhill detour to the grotto. After heavy rain, the small rocky over hang creates a picturesque little set of falls, which tumbles to the moss covered rocks below. On our visit in early Autumn it was nothing more than a trickle and not even worth the short detour.
Starskeys & Renown Lookouts
Over 1km beyond Paines lookout are the furthest two lookouts of the West Rim walking track – Starskeys & Renown Lookouts. These two lookouts (400m apart) offer similar distant views over to Fitzroy falls and a much lower chute below.
From the final viewpoint, the Renown Lookout, simply follow trail back the way you came for second round of the amazing Morton National Park views.
How much time do you need?
You can easily do both Fitzroy Falls and the nearby Belmore Falls in a day trip, if staying close by. But if travelling from Sydney or Canberra, you’ll want at least a night so it’s not too rushed. We strongly recommend spending several days in the area as there’s so much to see nearby, including Budderoo National Park. Not to mention all the viewpoints in Wollongong along the mighty Illawarra Escarpment.
Where to Stay
There’s several campsites in Morton National Park and a range of other accommodation options nearby. But if you want a truly awesome experience, why not camp with wombats in the nearby Bendeela Recreation Area. This hidden gem is only 40minutes drive south of Belmore Falls (passing Fitzroy Falls), on the outskirts of Morton National Park. On the banks of the Kangaroo River this free rustic campsite is an amazing spot for wildlife lovers. At dusk and dawn, the resident wombats can be seen out of their burrows, grazing around the campsite.
And in the cooler months, a late afternoon stop here almost guarantees a Bare-nosed wombat sighting. And it’s not just the wombats that live here, keep an eye out for the other amazing Australian wildlife too. But remember these are wild animals and please adhere to this guide from Water NSW about safeguarding the wombats and other wildlife in Bendeela Recreation Area.
Tip: Steer clear in the holiday and weekend periods to avoid the crowds.
This amazing part of New South Wales is not only home to some stunning waterfalls and viewpoints, it’s also home to some awesome Australian wildlife. The number of dead wombats we saw whilst driving around this part of the Southern Highlands was shocking. So when exploring this area, please bare that in mind and consider the below:
- Drive sensibly and slowly – Animals need time to get off the road. Reducing your speed can drastically reduce the chances of hitting wildlife.
- In this area be particularly alert for Wombats. They have no road sense and often get hit by cars crossing the road.
- Avoid driving at night time, dawn and dusk if you can. When you are out during these times, be extra vigilant!
- If you encounter any injured, sick and orphaned wildlife in the Southern Highlands, the northern part of the Southern Tablelands and Kangaroo Valley, contact Wildlife Rescue South Coast on their 24/7 Rescue Hotline 0418 427 214.
- Download the free IFAW’s Wildlife Rescue App here. This app connects people in New South Wales to the nearest animal rescue group when they find injured wildlife
Fitzroy Falls is a seriously impressive waterfall. The variety of viewpoints along the walking trails, means you can easily spend a few hours in this amazing part of Morton National Park. And if you’re ‘forever chasing waterfalls’ don’t stop here! You don’t want to miss the nearby Belmore Falls!
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