30 Awe-Inspiring Waterfalls Around Perth And Western Australia
If there’s one thing that keeps the people of Perth motivated and alive during the gloomy winter months, it’s waterfalls – we cannot get enough of them. Indeed, chasing waterfalls has become THE people of Perth’s pastime du jour in recent years, and this particularly wet winter has us jonesing for some waterfall action.
The list below should keep you busy for a while:
PERTH & SURROUNDS
Cascading over the granite edge of the Darling Scarp, Lesmurdie Falls is the spectacular point where Lesmurdie Brook plummets 40m down into the lush valley. A series of metal platforms near the falls allows you to get close to the action and provide some amazing views over the Swan Coastal Plain towards the skyscrapers of the Perth CBD. Read our full guide here.
Alongside Serpentine Falls, it’s fair to say Bells Rapids is one of Perth’s favourite short trips out of the city. And fair enough too – the walk itself isn’t too hectic, the scenery is glorious (particularly once those rapids start er… rapiding), and you’re allowed to take your doggo! And once you’ve conquered Bells Rapids, keen adventurers may be want to find its (somewhat) hidden gem of a waterfall – Bells Falls. Read our full guide here.
Noble Falls is a delightful little patch of eastern Perth, offering a serene waterfall setting amongst dense jarrah, marri and blackbutt bushland. Given it’s smaller size and location, it’s one of the first waterfalls to begin filling up with the rains, making it a popular early-winter day trip spot. Read our full guide here.
Ellis Brook Valley (Sixty Foot Falls)
Located under half an hours drive from the CBD, hiking up this short but steep trail will give you beautiful views of the city and valley, as well as the waterfall cascading down the rocky outcrop. The main trail will also take you past Old Barrington Quarry, distinct with its signature bluey green water. If you’re feeling adventurous you can stray away from the beaten path and get closer to the quarry (although swimming is strongly not advised due to the high chance of getting some microbial nasties) and the spectacular Sixty Foot Falls. Read our full guide here.
Serpentine Falls are the star attraction of the Serpentine National Park, nestled at the foot of the Darling Scarp. As the winter rains arrive water cascades down 15m granite outcrops into a rock-lined pool below, turning it into a popular swimming and picnicking spot. Read our full guide here.
Hovea / National Park Falls
John Forrest National Park was the first national park designated in Western Australia (and the second in the whole country) and at 2700 hectares, is an important area of bushland in an ever developing city. Many of the famous sites are related to the old railway line that is no longer operational including the Instagram favourite Swan View Tunnel and Old Hovea Train Station, along with two waterfalls close together – Hovea and National Park. Hovea Falls make up part of Jane Brook, and the National Park falls can be found a little further down stream. Read our full guide here.
Situated in Lesmurdie, the Whistlepipe Gully walk follows a stream most of the way down until you reach a small waterfall at the end with stunning views of the Swan Coastal Plain and city. You will be treated with smaller waterfalls along the route and can return along the other side allowing for a change of scenery and a beautiful overgrown wonderland at the very end. Interestingly, at the end of this hike you will see the remains of a once existing Japanese styled cottage which you can read more about here.
Photo by The Life of Py
Lane Poole Falls
A delightful little walk trail that starts at the Boorara Tree recreation site just under 20km south-east of Northcliffe, there’s a 5km track that runs along the Cantebury River and features the lovely Lane Poole Falls. Depending on what time of year you’re there, it’s filled with wildflowers to enjoy before a sharply-descending track ends with a view out over a 15m waterfall drop over granite – spectacular.
John Oldham Falls
While it might not be quite as spectacular as some other waterfalls based around Perth, John Oldham Park in West Perth is a nice little inner-city oasis to escape for a lunch break. There are plenty of walking and cycling paths in the area but it is still surprisingly quiet and perfect for a midday rendezvous. Chill out in front of the pond and watch the ducks cruise along the water, embrace your inner child at the outdoor jungle gym or cook up a burger at the outdoor BBQ spot.
Photo by David Steele / Shutterstock
Marrinup Falls, Dwellingup
Located on the way into Dwellingup, Marrinup Falls is a seasonal set of rapids that during spring is a delight to visit. Explore the forest lining Marrinup Brook as you make your way past several small rapids and down to the main part of the falls. Watch out for wildflowers and orchids along the edge of the trail and if you get the timing right, the Hotham Valley tourist train. A great addition to any trip to the Dwellingup area, this one is worth saving for the peak period at spring time.
Ironstone Gully, Bunbury
Southeast of both Capel and Donnybrook along Goodwood Road, Ironstone Gully Falls is the perfect stopover for a cheeky picnic. During the winter months streams flow with aplomb through the southwest’s jarrah forests, crossing under Goodwood Road before hitting a series of rapids and dropping over a 9m ledge. BBQ and toilet facilities are nearby.
Image via Bunbury Geographe
Quinninup Falls, Margaret River
The jewel of the southwest’s – admittedly quite small – waterfall crown, Quinninup Falls really turns it on over the winter months. Around 2km north of the Moses Rock Road car park towards Quinninup Beach you’ll find Quinninup Brook. From there the path leads to the falls, cascading down a series of granite steps into a beautiful pool. A must-visit for waterfall wanderers when you’re down south.
Yalgardup Falls, Margaret River
An easily-accessed yet stunningly picturesque waterfall in the Margaret River region, you can find Yalgardup Falls along Kevill Road near Waterfall Cottages. It makes for a nice little breath of fresh nature-filled air amidst all the winery stopovers, especially in late winter/early spring when the weather starts to clear up but the water is in full flow.
Beedelup Falls, Pemberton
Beedelup Falls are the prime attraction of the Beedelup National Park, located a half an hours drive from the Pemberton town centre. The falls are present all year although the best time to see them in full flow is during the winter months or early spring. Find more things to do in Pemberton HERE.
Photo via RAC Parks & Resorts
Fernhook Falls, Walpole
A wonderful little campsite in the Walpole region, Fernhook Falls has eight tent sites and a couple of camp huts set within forest near Deep River. During the winter months it becomes a frothy site as water tumbles down into Rowell’s Pool, while the summer months the flow obviously slows down, making for a much calmer, more peaceful setting.
View this post on Instagram
Waterfall Beach, Denmark
Just a few kilometres east of popular tourism spot Greens Pool you’ll find Waterfall Beach, the carpark for which is pretty close to the Madfish Bay Carpark. More of a curiousity than a spectacular waterfall, it pours out over the inland rocks and carves a channel out the ocean. While you don’t quite get the same effect in the summer months, the beach itself and the stunning turquoise blue waters are more than worth the trip.
Joffre Falls, Karijini
The trail to Joffre Gorge leads from the car park and nearby observation platform (which has great views over the gorge) and takes you across the top of the falls. It’s then a steep, but short, climb down the rocky edge to the base of the gorge where, following the stream along to the right, the natural amphitheatre-like gorge ends with a curved waterfall.
Dales Gorge, Karijini
Deep in the heart of the Pilbara you’ll find Karijini; an absolute gem of a national park. While all the gorges are great for exploring and swimming, head straight to Dales Gorge to get your waterfall fix. After clambering down a bunch of stairs you’ll be greeted by Fortescue Falls where the water cascades down the terraced step-like gorge into a deep pool below before continuing downstream to Circular Pool. Follow the trail upstream and you’ll find the picturesque Fern Pool (Jubara); here the small waterfall spills into the crystal clear waters of the lush, small fern-lined pool. There’s no better way to spend the afternoon than swimming over to sit on the rocky ledge behind the falls. Fern Pool (Jubara) is a significant site to the local aboriginal people, and visitors are asked to treat the area with respect. Read our full guide here.
Fern Pool by @alex.vp.photography
Fortescue Falls, Karijini
Fortescue Falls are also part of Dales Gorge, although deserve their own place on the list! After clambering down a bunch of stairs you’ll be greeted by the Falls where the water cascades down the terraced step-like gorge into a deep pool below before continuing downstream to Circular Pool.
Another Gibb River Road waterfall that’s located not far (about a 30 minute drive) from Mt Barnett Roadhouse and Manning Gorge. This little waterfall has it all: A picturesque boab standing guard at the top of the falls as water tumbles down the escarpment into the deep plunge pool below. If you’re not content with swimming or floating away, there’s also a rope swing in the tree on the right hand side of the pool. Keep an eye out for Wandjina rock art on the escarpment walls. Galvans Gorge is also one of the most easily accessible along the Gibb and it’s only a short walk alongside a water lily-filled creek to reach the waterfall.
Photo by @alex.vp.photography
A highlight of the Gibb River Road is Bell Gorge, a stunning horse shoe-shaped waterfall. It’s one of the first waterfalls you’ll come across when heading east along the Gibb (from Perth/Derby) and this is a must-stop spot! Swim up to the edge of the top of the falls and enjoy the view of the impressive red sandstone gorge from the infinity pool, or continue trekking on to get the bottom of the falls to soak up the views (and the sun!) from the plunge pool below. Read our full guide here.
Photo by @alex.vp.photography
Garaanngaddim (Horizontal Falls)
Not your typical waterfall! WA is home to the only horizontal waterfall in the world – Garaanngaddim (Horizontal Falls). Located in Talbot Bay in the Buccaneer Archipelago along the Kimberley coast, the fast moving tides rush through a gap between two narrow gorges creating this natural phenomenon. You’ll need to take a scenic flight or boat ride from Broome or Derby to see it. Horizontal Falls was also once described by Sir David Attenborough as “one of the greatest natural wonders of the world”. The site is important to the Dambimangari traditional owners.
Punamii-Uunpuu (Mitchell Falls)
One of the most impressive and iconic waterfalls in the North West is Punamii-Uunpuu (Mitchell Falls). Comprising of four tiers with pools of deep, emerald-green water, and spilling over a total height of 80 meters, this waterfall is a beauty. Well worth the extra effort to get there, it’s accessed via Kalumburu Road and the Mitchell Plateau Track off the Gibb River Road, or by a scenic helicopter flight. There are a number of vantage spots to view and photograph the waterfall but swimming is not allowed below the falls (not only due to the presence of saltwater crocs, but it’s also a culturally significant place for the Wunambal people).
Revolver Falls is one of the lesser-known falls in the East Kimberley Region, yet arguably its most spectacular as the tallest single drop waterfall in the State! Its remoteness means it’s only really accessed by helicopter, or a tough three-day hike, and it only fires up in the wet season.
You’ll find this beautiful, cascading waterfall about half way along the Gibb River Road. After crossing over Manning Creek, which is just a few minutes walk from the campground, you’ll come across the trail for Manning Gorge. It’s a well marked track (about 6kms return) that leads you to this pristine gorge and waterfall. Spend the day swimming, floating away or plunging into the deep, crystal clear pool. Keep an eye out for Gwion Gwion aboriginal art on the gorge walls as you enter. Manning Gorge is privately owned by Kupungarri Aboriginal Corporation (so National Parks Passes don’t apply here).
Photo by @alex.vp.photography
Black Rock Falls
Thegooyeng (Black Rock Falls), is a towering seasonal waterfall that you’ll need to get in quick to visit during, or at the end of, the wet season to see flowing and jump in for a swim. You’ll need a 4WD to access this spot as well as others also located nearby in the Ngamoowalem Conservation Park where where you’ll find a few other gems including…
Middle & Molly Springs
Middle Springs (Mayiba) and Molly Springs are located just off the highway and not far out of Kununurra (keep an eye out for the sign along the highway). This spring-fed waterfall flows all year round, making it a great little spot to visit on your way to/from Kununurra.
You’ll find The Grotto along the road from Kununurra to Wyndham and this fab spot is 2WD accessible. The seasonal waterfall flows into a deep, rocky gorge and natural amphitheatre and it’s an incredible sight to see during, or just after, the wet season. You can access this spot by clambering down 144 steep steps to get to the deep pool below which is a great spot to jump in for a swim year-round (though it can get stagnant towards the end of the dry season).
You’ll find a few fantastic waterfalls at El Questro Wilderness Park, but Emma Gorge is a must-see and it’s easily accessible. Follow the rocky creek and pandanus lined trail for about 45 minutes to the top of the horse-shoe shaped gorge. The water’s cold at the base of the 65 metre droplet waterfall, but it’s worth braving the icy water to float away while watching the droplets cascade slowly down towards you. While the waterfall’s one of the coldest along the Gibb River Road, there’s a hidden hot spring along the gorge wall that’s well worth searching for (our tip: head there after your icy swim!)
King George Falls
King George Falls is an incredible sight and WA’s highest twin waterfalls. Found along the Kimberley coastline and accessible by a cruise to the King George River gorge or scenic flight, this dual waterfall plunges 100 meters over the sandstone cliffs. The area is culturally significant to the local Balanggarra people, and it’s said that the twin falls are female (western waterfall) and male (eastern falls) Wunkurr/Rainbow Serpents. The tidal waters below at the base of the falls can be home to saltwater crocs, and sharks, and the top of the falls is a culturally sensitive area so no swimming here, but during the dry season boats are able to pull up at the base of the falls for a shower!
So there you have it, 30 must-visit waterfalls around Western Australia. And while we know for a fact there are plenty of other ones out there awaiting discovery, we can’t make it too easy for you!