North Coast NSW
Dorrigo National Park
A great walk to the most popular waterfalls in the park, featuring a suspension bridge and the ability to walk behind the curtain of the falls.
This heavily trafficked walk starts from behind the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre in Dorrigo, located at the junction of Dome Road and Lyrebird Lane.
The trailhead, located to the right of the Dorrigo Skywalk, begins along the Lyrebird Link walk, which features a large, metallic Lyrebird art installation suspended in the trees at a constructed viewing platform.
From there, follow the paved track, veering left at the junction. The track takes you through lush subtropical rainforest and 600-year-old trees.
It is a gradual descent to Tristania Falls, which is viewed from a metal bridge. Watch as the falls cascade down a pillared rockface and continue underneath you before falling further into the valley.
While these falls are often overshadowed by the nearby more popular Crystal Shower Falls, they are beautiful in their own right, and the view out into the valley to the surrounding range from the bridge is also fantastic.
The track continues past Hardwood Lookout, offering views toward the Never Never section of the park.
It is then a gradual ascent to Crystal Shower Falls, with spectacular views of the waterfall from a suspension bridge, where the falls plummet off the fern covered cliff into a rock pool below, which is surrounded by palms.
If that isn’t enough, you can also descend a set of stairs at the end of the suspension bridge and walk behind the curtain of the waterfall along a constructed pathway in a rocky cavern. The pathway protects the environment and means no slipping on mud and rocks.
Note that swimming at Crystal Shower Falls is not permitted.
There is also the option to return to Crystal Showers Falls after dark to view glowworms in the cavern behind the falls. If doing so, be properly prepared with adequate lighting and warm clothing, and refrain from shining lights directly at the glow worms.
There are also options to add-on both the Satinbird Stroll and Walk With The Birds Boardwalk just prior to returning to the trailhead (note these walks were closed for maintenance at the time of my visit so photos are unavailable).
The Dorrigo Skywalk Lookout is also a must-do, with spectacular views over the park, including the Never Never section, as well as to the Bellinger Valley and beyond to the coast and Pacific Ocean, and is located right next to the trailhead.
There are toilets, picnic tables and a café and gift store at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre.
Dorrigo National Park can be visited as part of the 185 km Waterfall Way scenic drive from Coffs Harbour to Armidale.
Track: Paved and well-signed, the track is easy to follow.
Difficulty: The track requires moderate fitness and involves continual gradual elevation on the latter half of the loop.
Less experienced walkers can take in the highlights of the walk with less distance on the Crystal Shower Falls Walk.
Direction: This is a loop track. While it can be done in either direction, it is recommended to complete the walk in a clockwise direction.
The trail starts from behind the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre in Dorrigo, located at the junction of Dome Road and Lyrebird Lane, approximately 5 hours drive south of Brisbane, 1.5 hours drive east of Armidale, 1 hour drive west of Coffs Harbour or 6 hours drive north of Sydney.
Parking is ample, however can become busy during peak times.
best time to go
The walk can be completed year-round.
Like any walk involving waterfalls, it is best done after recent rain. However, if completing after recent rain, be sure to check the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service website for updates regarding flooding and track closures.
Note that there are park fees associated with entering many national parks in New South Wales. Check the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service website for more information.
Remember, whenever venturing into the outdoors, practice the Leave No Trace principles and be considerate of others. This means: dispose of your waste properly, don't remove things or move things from their natural position and respect all wildlife. Also be sure to plan ahead and adequately prepare for any adventure.
I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which all activities listed on this website are found, as well as Elders past, present and emerging. I strive to not promote sites where requests have been made for people not to explore due to the cultural significance of the site to Indigenous peoples, or note how to respectfully visit a site. If I have a promoted a site with cultural significance, please send me a message and let me know.