After doing many a waterfall walk in Australia, Fitzroy Falls is the best waterfall in NSW in my opinion. Yep. Better than Minyon Falls, Wollomombi Falls, Crystal Shower Falls, Ebor Falls and Belmore Falls.
I’d even go as far to say it’s one of the best waterfalls in the whole of Australia.
Fitzroy Falls is simply spectacular. It is so dramatic, with the water plunging 80 metres down to the valley below. You can hear the water roaring down, and the viewpoints offer the most stunning vistas.
Only a couple of the viewpoints along the walk have epic views of Fitzroy Falls though. So keep reading to discover the best viewpoints along the Fitzroy Falls Walk!
Check out these waterfall quotes and captions!
Where Is Fitzroy Falls?
Fitzroy Falls is located in Morton National Park in the Kangaroo Valley, Southern Highlands. Fitzroy Falls lies 137km south-west of Sydney and 16km west of Nowra.
It is roughly halfway between Canberra and Sydney (both a 2 hour drive away).
Morton National Park is one of the biggest National Parks in NSW, and Kangaroo Valley is one of the most stunning and secluded valleys in Australia.
There are several other waterfalls in Kangaroo Valley, such as Carrington Falls and Gerringong Falls however Fitzroy Falls is the most popular.
That being said, even though Fitzroy Falls is the most popular waterfall in Kangaroo Valley and the Southern Highlands (and therefore has the most visitors), it isn’t too crowded – especially if you visit off-peak or during the weekdays.
Why Is It Called Fitzroy Falls?
Fitzroy Falls is named after Sir Charles Fitzroy, who visited the falls in 1850 when he was the Governor of New South Wales.
Is The Fitzroy Falls Walk Easy?
One thing that’s great about the Fitzroy Falls walk is that it is relatively short and easy. The first viewpoint is just a 150 metre walk, the West Rim Walk is 3.5 km return and the East Rim Walk 6.7 km return.
The best viewpoints are the first two along the West Rim Track – Fitzroy Falls Lookout and Jersey Lookout. So there is no need to complete the whole walk if you don’t want to.
If you just want to visit the first two lookouts for the best views of Fitzroy Falls, you can get to both lookouts and back within half an hour from the Visitor Centre (1.1km return walk).
The West Rim walk has more beautiful views of the valley and the waterfalls and is slightly easier than the East Rim walk, so it’s recommended to do this one if you only have time for one walk.
THE BEST LOOKOUTS AT FITZROY FALLS
Fitzroy Falls Lookout and Jersey Lookout are the lookouts with the best views of Fitzroy Falls, both located on the West Rim walk.
Fitzroy Falls Lookout
The first lookout you come to is Fitzroy Falls Lookout – just a short 150 metre walk from the Visitor Centre. The signs are easy to follow – once you’re on the boardwalk after the Visitor Centre take the right-hand path going under the bridge.
There is relatively flat boardwalk access all the way so this viewpoint is wheelchair accessible.
The boardwalk follows the creek around, and then you’ll see the lookout platform on your left.
This lookout platform is perched right at the top of the waterfall and so you look down to see the water cascading down the steep limestone cliffs so powerfully to the gorge beneath into Yarrunga Valley.
If you’re a bit uneasy with heights this viewpoint can be a bit daunting – it made me feel nervous looking over the edge, even though there was a metal railing around the lookout.
As you’re so close to the waterfall from this viewpoint, it’s also a little tricky to photograph the complete waterfall from here as you really have to stick your camera out from the rails if you want to get the whole of the Upper Falls in your photo.
Regardless, the views from here are absolutely stunning and for many people this is their favourite lookout of Fitzroy Falls.
Don’t just visit the Fitzroy Falls Lookout and then leave though – if you want to see the entire waterfall from the front, continue on the West Rim Walk to the Jersey Lookout.
Jersey Lookout (The Best Fitzroy Falls Lookout!)
Continue to your left from the Fitzroy Falls Lookout along the West Rim Walk.
The walk goes through eucalyptus forest and will take you in a semi-circle to the next viewpoint – Jersey Lookout, which has a great front-on view of Fitzroy Falls.
Jersey Lookout is only 400 metres from Fitzroy Falls Lookout. It’s a gentle track, and the last part ends with some steps down to the lookout.
Jersey Lookout is my absolute favourite lookout at Fitzroy Falls. The views of the waterfall front-on are incredible and there is even a little bench here so you can sit and relax and just soak up the views.
The views out across the valley and gorge are spectacular. They reminded me of some of the views at The Blue Mountains, but in fact I even preferred these views to those at The Blue Mountains.
From Jersey Lookout you can also see the Lower Falls and the pool beneath the main Upper Falls, which isn’t possible to see at the Fitzroy Falls Lookout.
As these two viewpoints offer the best views of Fitzroy Falls, if you’re short on time or aren’t keen on hiking further you can head back to the car park from here (the Visitor Centre is just 550 metres from Jersey Lookout).
If you have the time you can continue the West Rim walk.
West Rim Walking Track
The rest of the West Rim Walk doesn’t really have views of Fitzroy Falls like the previous viewpoints, but it’s still a nice walk and you get to see some other smaller waterfalls.
It is 3.5km return but you can of course turn back at any point you wish. If it’s rained lately the path can get muddy so make sure you bring suitable shoes.
Continue along the West Rim Walking Track and you’ll come to another waterfall and lookout: Twin Falls Lookout. You can get a nice picture on the platform that goes over the top of the falls.
Carry on further and you’ll get to The Grotto – a small cave with a waterfall tumbling over it (you’ll even find glow worms in The Grotto if you’re here after dark!).
The track will end at Renown Lookout – that has some fantastic views, where you can then turn around and head back.
East Rim Walking Track
At 6.7km return it takes around 2-3 hours to complete the East Rim Walk.
I wouldn’t suggest doing this walk unless you have the time and have already done the West Rim Walking Track, as the scenery isn’t as stunning (it’s mostly valley views as opposed to waterfall views), and the walking track is a little bit more challenging as it is predominantly a bush walk.
The trail is however easy to follow and there aren’t many steep inclines or declines along the track.
To get onto the East Rim Walking Track, head back towards the Visitor Centre – just after you go under the bridge you’ll see the path for the East Rim signposted as the boardwalk branches.
The East Rim Walking Track does have one nice viewpoint of Fitzroy Falls about a third of the way along the track, known as Warrawong Lookout. The view isn’t as good as Fitzroy Falls Lookout and Jersey Lookout, but it’s a side on view and is still lovely. Plus it’s a lot less busy at this viewing platform than at the other two.
Warrawong Lookout is 1.2km from the Visitor Centre (2.4km return).
Wildflower Walking Track
The Wildflower Walking Track is actually the first part of the East Rim Walking Track, until the Warrawong Lookout. It is 2.4km return from the Visitor Centre.
If you do this walk in spring, there are lots of wildflowers along the walk spread out in little patches that add a nice bit of colour to the walk.
Can You Walk To The Bottom Of Fitzroy Falls & Swim In The Falls?
There is an old, unmaintained and disused track that leads to the bottom of Fitzroy Falls on the way to the Twin Falls Lookout.
Landslides have occurred on the track recently, the track is extremely tricky to navigate, it’s remote and there is no phone reception here, so I absolutely do not recommend this walk down to the bottom of Fitzroy Falls.
It is a very challenging walk and extremely difficult to get down to the falls (you need to descend down using ropes for a part of the way!) so I wouldn’t really recommend it, especially after wet weather.
I didn’t go down this track – I stayed at the viewpoints at the top and was perfectly satisfied with seeing Fitzroy Falls from the viewpoints only.
So don’t think that because you can’t swim in this waterfall that it’s not worth it is visit, because it absolutely is!
What To Bring On The Fitzroy Falls Walk
- sunhat and suncream
- trainers or walking shoes especially if it has rained lately
- water bottle
Note there is no mobile phone reception for part of the walk at Fitzroy Falls. And as Fitzroy Falls is in a National Park, dogs are not permitted.
How To Get To Fitzroy Falls
Fitzroy Falls is roughly a 20 minute drive from Bowral, and a 15 minute drive from Kangaroo Valley. The views as you are coming in from Kangaroo Valley are spectacular.
Make your way to the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre (1301 Nowra Road) to park your car – the car park is right next to the Visitor Centre.
Entrance to the falls is free but you’ll need to pay $4 for parking as park entry fees apply for vehicles at the car park (unless you have a NSW Parks Pass).
Parking costs $4 for the whole day and you pay at the Pay & Display machines using card. Make sure to display your ticket on your car dashboard.
What Amenities Are At Fitzroy Falls?
Just after the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre you’ll find some toilets.
You can also visit the cafe at the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre if you wish to purchase some drinks, snacks or a more substantial meal. The Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre is open 9am-4pm daily.
Here you can buy souvenirs, as well as read information on the local wildlife, birds, Aboriginal culture and history of the local area.
What Time Is Fitzroy Falls Open?
Whilst the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre is only open 9-4pm daily, you can do the Fitzroy Falls Walk at any time of day you wish.
When we visited, the Visitor Centre was closed but this doesn’t matter as you walk straight past the Visitor Centre to the start of the trail – you don’t even need to go inside. There is no barrier or anything.
What Else Is There To Do Near Fitzroy Falls?
Just a 20 minute rive from Fitzroy Falls is Belmore Falls: another spectacular waterfall.
A 20 minute drive from Fitzroy Falls is Hampden Bridge – a stunning Heritage Listed suspension bridge built in the late 1800’s that spans the Kangaroo River.
Fitzroy Falls Reservoir
This reservoir is very close to Fitzroy Falls and has a nice picnic area if you wish to stop off here afterwards.
The largest town in the Southern Highlands, Bowral is a delight to visit. It has a very upmarket feel, with lots of boutiques, gourmet restaurants and cafes, as well as antique stores.
If you’ll be in Bowral for a weekend (it’s a very popular weekend trip from Sydney!) it’s definitely worth the 20 minute drive to Fitzroy Falls!
Accommodation Near Fitzroy Falls
Campsites Near Fitzroy Falls
Bendeela Recreation Centre and Bundanoon both have a few spots to pitch up, although they get very busy during peak season.
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Catrina is a Travel Writer, SEO Specialist and ex-Flight Attendant based in Sydney, Australia. She has visited 85 countries and lived in several – including Italy, Australia, United Arab Emirates and England. Her work has been featured in a variety of popular travel publications including Fodors, Escape, Australian Traveller and Bear Grylls, as well as several international aviation and travel companies. The majority of her work however features on her own website – 24hourslayover.com where she has written over 500 travel articles!