Sunday, 26 March 2017

Tuross Falls: Wadbilliga National Park

The Tuross River Falls is near the sunken forests of the Duea. It drops about 200m (600') and is one of the most remote falls safely accessible to bushwalkers.

Main fall
Stone pillars in the waterfall flow

Tuross Falls in the Wadbilliga National Park is a large single leap fall coming from two chutes on the upper reaches of the Tuross River. 

Wide view from the lookout

This river has many falls and cascades (from the falls lookout another 4 falls can be seen), but most of the river is inaccessible.

Secondary falls below Tuross Ralls

150 years ago, a First People elder told a Sydney school teacher, Matthews, two stories about these falls and the river

1. A giant once stole three girls swimming in a pool at the top of these falls. One of the girls called all the birds in the sky to help free them, and the birds came and threw the giant's head to the ground. The giant's head may still be seen at the foot of these falls. Look closely, and you will see the tears falling from his eye.
2. Dyillagamberra, the rain-maker, traveled up the Tuross River, digging holes and springs for the people. The waterholes are still here and in them, fish of all kinds. The waterholes of Tuross Falls are difficult to access - the cliffs are high and unforgiving. A good place for fish. 

These dream-time creation stories are different to those associated with other falls, such as Grove Creek Falls.

Today, you can still see the head of the giant at the base of the falls.

Stone "head of the giant" at the base of the falls

Regarding Dyillagamberra, geologists tell us that the coastal escarpments have been gradually eroding inland. The rain made rivers have slowly cut great gorges, just like the Tuross Gorge. Over the eons, the cutting edges of the rivers, the high waterfalls, have gradually retreated up rivers, from the coast to the highlands. The waterfalls have left deep plunge pools, to remind us of where they once stood.

The main fall from above the lookout

1. Access from the West. About 2hrs drive from Canberra to the Wadbilliga camping area (toilets and bbqs). From here a 2.2km walk to the falls viewing platform (2.5hrs). The base of the falls is inaccessible. The Wadbilliga Cascades is 15 minutes from the camping area and has a number of pools for swimming.
2. Access from the East. Some hikers have have suggested a second access path via the Bumberry Creek Fire Trail. I have not attempted that path which seems to end in the vicinity of the cliffs in the background of these images. This may be a very dangerous option.

You will need a 200mm+ zoom for this waterfall with water reflection and ND filters to allow long exposure shots (like the first multi-shot photo in this series). You will also get some decent shots of the massive cliffs behind the falls with a wide angle lens or a phone camera.

Resist the urge to scramble over the side. There is no safe way (without ropes and experience )to get to the base of the falls. 


Base of main fall


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