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Crystal Shower Falls Walk

North Coast NSW

Dorrigo National Park


Distance (kms):

4.4 kms

Time (hrs):

Allow 2 hrs

Elevation gain (m):

198 m

Max. elevation (m):

800 m

Difficulty (Grade):

Moderate (Grade 2)

Route type:





2WD Sufficient

Click to see full image.

A lovely walk to the most popular waterfall in the park, featuring a suspension bridge and the ability to walk behind the curtain of the falls. 

This heavily trafficked walk starts from the Glade Picnic Area at the end of Lyrebird Lane in Dorrigo (the smaller road off the car park for the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre).

From the entrance to the picnic area, the trailhead is located down the paved path to the right, however it is worth visiting the lookout off to the left prior to heading off, for views to the Rosewood Creek Valley and further to Bellingen and the Pacific Ocean. 

The walk starts on the Satinbird Stroll, where you are immediately surrounded by lush rainforest and towering trees, including Strangler Figs and a variety of palms and ferns. At the junction, follow the signs to Crystal Shower Falls. 

At the falls, there are spectacular views of the waterfall from a suspension bridge, where you can watch 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.

For those wanting to stretch their legs further, the additional 1 kms return to Tristania Falls, which also includes Hardwood Lookout, is strongly recommended. 

These falls are viewed from a metal bridge, where the falls cascade down a pillared rockface and continue underneath you before falling further into the valley.

While these falls are often overshadowed by 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.

Note that while the track is paved the entire way, it is a gradual descent all the way to the falls, and so a gradual ascent all the way back to the picnic area.

The walk is a portion of the longer Wonga Walk, taking in the highlights at a shorter distance, so is perfect for less experienced walkers or those with less time in the area.

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.

The Walk With The Birds Boardwalk is also an easy walk to add-on, while completing the end of the Satinbird Stroll on the return leg (however was closed for maintenance at the time of my visit so photos are unavailable). 

There are toilets, BBQs and picnic tables (both covered and open) at the Glade Picnic Area.

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 is suitable for most fitness levels, however it should be noted that is involves continual gradual elevation on the return leg, so rest breaks may be needed for less experienced walkers. 

Direction: This is an out-and-back track that returns the way you came. 

getting there

The trail starts from the Glade Picnic Area at the end of Lyrebird Lane in Dorrigo (the smaller road off the car park for the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre), 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 the picnic area 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.

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in new window [on the Garmin website]

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.   

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