One of New South Wales’s most scenic drives is known as Waterfall Way. Of course, this inherently sounds like a very scenic and delightful drive, especially if you enjoy waterfalls as much as I do. The Waterfall Way scenic drive spans about 200 km beginning in Coffs Harbour on the New South Wales northern coast through the New England region and west to Armidale. In addition to some beautiful and majestic waterfalls, the landscape varies greatly between open plains, lush countryside, and subtropical rainforest.

Tristania Falls

Tristania Falls on Wonga Walk in Dorrigo National Park Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Waterfall Way - Scenic Drive

Waterfall Way Scenic Drive Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Hiring a Car for the Waterfall Way Scenic Drive

Coff's Harbour Car Hire Map

Coffs Harbour Car Hire Map Photo Credit:

There are many convenient car hire locations in New South Wales. If you are planning to drive the Waterfall Way scenic drive and start out in Coffs Harbour, nearby car rental locations include: the car rental centre at the Coffs Harbour Airport or you can rent a car at Coff’s Harbour in the city. When you hire a vehicle, be sure to tell your car rental agent your travel plans so that they can recommend the best type of vehicle for your trip. Also be sure to ask about safety guidelines and restrictions regarding hired cars.

Waterfall Way Scenic Drive Itinerary

Dorrigo National Park - Cedar Falls

Red Cedar Falls on the Rosewood Creek Track in Dorrigo National Park Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The Waterfall Way scenic drive starts out in Coffs Harbour along the coast and then ventures westward through the New England region tableland to Armidale. Along the way, you will pass by 7 national parks, 3 of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the Gondawana Rainforest. Here are some of the highlights to see while on the scenic drive from Coffs Harbour to Armindale.

Coffs Harbour

Catamarans at Coffs Harbour

Catamarans on Jetty Beach in Coffs Harbour Photo Credit:

Snorkelling at Coffs Harbour

Snorkelling in Coffs Harbour Photo Credit:

Coffs Harbour is not just a place where your holiday drive starts from. You can spend a great deal of time having fun in the sun in this coastal city. Whale watching season in Coffs Harbour runs from June to November. You can book a whale watching cruise that will give you a once in a lifetime experience. From December to April you can take a sail and snorkel cruise and get into the Coral Sea for a close up view of the amazing marine life. If you are on holiday with the whole family, Coffs Harbour has plenty of family friendly vacation spots including Big Banana theme park, Dolphin Marine Magic, and the Butterfly House. The beaches in Coffs Harbour are famous for fresh seafood eats and fun surf.



Bellingen Photo Credit:

The riverside town of Bellingen is picturesque, unique, and definitely worth stopping in during your Waterfall Way scenic drive. It has beautiful weather year-round and its main street is filled with eclectic shops and boutiques, cafes, and historical architecture.

Dorrigo National Park

Dorrigo National Park - Skywalk

Dorrigo National Park Skywalk Photo Credit:

Crystal Falls

Crystal Falls in Dorrigo National Park Photo Credit: Wikiepedia

Dorrigo National Park’s boardwalks on the floor of the rainforest and above the canopy make it accessible and easy for just about anyone to catch some of the most amazing views of the Gondwana Rainforest. In addition to the boardwalks and picturesque water falls, be sure to stop by the Dorrigo rainforest centre to get travel tips and help planning your visit to the park. You can get something to eat in the Canopy Café or book a tour to learn more about the history, heritage, and culture of the region.

New England National Park

Point Lookout - New England

Point Lookout in New England National Park Photo Credit:

New England National Park - Bushwalking

Bushwalking in New England National Park Photo Credit:

Ebor Falls - New England National Park

Ebor Falls Photo Credit:

The New England Tablelands is a plateau and a region of the Great Dividing Range that makes up an important part of New South Wales’ geography. This is just one of the many different landscapes you will find along the Waterfall Way scenic drive that begins at the coast with the beaches and ranges from mountains to rainforest to countryside. The New England National Park is located within the New England Tablelands and is home to some of the most incredible views.

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park

Tia Falls

Tia Falls in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Apsley Falls

Apsley Falls in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park Photo Credit: Wikipedia

As you make your way west on the Waterfall Way scenic drive, one of the next stops is Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. This park features extreme biodiversity and is World Heritage listed in recognition of it. There are several rate or threatened plants and animals that call the park home so the protected status will hopefully bring back what has almost been lost. The Dangaddi people have an aboriginal history in this land dating back thousands of years.

Wollomombi Falls

Wollomombi Falls Lookout

Wollomombi Falls Lookout Photo Credit:

Wollomombi Falls

Wollomombi Falls Photo Credit:

Wollomombi Falls Base

Wollomombi Falls Base Photo Credit:

One of the most spectacular sights within Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is Wollomombi Falls. It’s the tallest waterfall in New South Wales and one of the tallest falls in all of Australia and it is so spectacular because it is one single fall for over 200 metres. The best time to see the fall is when it is shrouded in mist after a rainfall. Have your cameras ready to catch the occasional rainbow in the mist along with all of the other grand elements nature provides for you here. While touring the area of Wollomombi Gorge, you can bring a picnic lunch and even camp out in this beautiful corner of the world.


Stony Creek Falls

Stony Creek Falls Photo Credit:

Dangars Gorge

Dangars Gorge Photo

Armidale might be the end of the road for the Waterfall Way scenic drive, but really, it is your destination. You will love it here in this charming town with an old world look and feel. Stay in guesthouses, cottages, and hotels to unwind and relax. From Armidale, you can hire tours to see all of the nearby waterfalls, gorges, rainforests, and amazing scenery of northern New South Wales. The cool climate harvests vineyards and other local produce. If you love the great outdoors, this is the place for canyoning, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, and bird watching.