Adventures Before Breakfast  // Ellenborough Falls (NSW)

Sometimes you need a bloody good reason to get out of your warm car in the morning. Luckily for Conor, 200m high Ellenborough Falls delivered the goods. Banger views and a special sunrise, all before breakfast.


Highlights

  • Epic views over the waterfall and down the valley from the main viewing platform
  • One of the highest single-drop waterfalls in the Southern Hemisphere
  • 641 steps through the forest down to the base of the walls
  • Variety of walking tracks

The Lowdown

It was in the complete darkness of night that we arrived at the carpark at Ellenborough Falls. Wind howled outside as I pulled into a park and turned off the car. The cabin of the Troopy was warm from the drive but I could immediately feel the chill of the wind through the glass. I quickly layered up and bunkered down in the back until I could see signs of first light.

It wasn’t long before the cabin of the Troopy became unbearably cold and I figured it would be no loss to open the back and venture outside. I popped the back door and immediately a huge gush of wind thrust the door open. I had to hold onto the handle to stop it reefing open, and was launched out the back.

The winds were far colder than I had anticipated, and I ran out to the viewing platform as quickly as I could. To my delight, I could see beautiful thin clouds down the valley and a soft touch of pink and orange on the horizon. After gathering my camera gear and warming my frozen hands I went back out to capture sunrise down the valley.

Adventures Before Breakfast  // Ellenborough Falls (NSW), by Conor Moore, Ellenborough Falls image 1

Photographing Ellenborough Falls

The pink clouds illuminated the valley and waterfall below, briefly taking my mind off my burning fingers.

As the brightness of the day grew, I retreated to the warmth of the Troopy. I thawed out my hands, made a coffee and slowly gathered the confidence to head back out on the walking tracks. The first track wound around the top of the valley and gave us an awesome front on view of the 200m falls.

The next track led down 641 steps to the base of the falls. As we descended into the valley we could start to feel some warmth in the sunlight and the wind began to subside in the protection of the cliffs. We splayed ourselves out over the dark rocks surrounding the base of the falls like lizards and watched as the water poured like a teapot from the top of the falls to our feet.

We sluggishly peeled ourselves off the warm rocks and made our way back up to the car. We cherished every moment at the falls as it was likely this would be the last time we would hear the crashing sounds of a waterfall before heading south to the snow.

Essential Gear

  • Camera
  • Waterbottle
  • Hiking shoes

How To Get There

From Sydney take the Pacific motorway north 300km to Taree. Continue through Taree and Wingham another 50km on Glenwarrin Rd to the turnoff on Ellenborough Falls Road. Total distance is 364km and four and a half hours.

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Bird watching
  • Waterfall chasing

Skill Level

Beginner – moderate fitness required to scale the 641 steps to the bottom of the falls. The main viewing platform is right next to the carpark.

Distance Covered

The main viewing platform is 10m from the carpark. To get to the bottom of the falls it is 641 steps with rail support and several seats along the way to rest.

 


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