12 Amazing Waterfalls in Sydney to Swim in (2023)

The waterfalls in Sydney are arguably some of the best waterfalls in NSW. In this guide I have narrowed down all the incredible waterfalls in Sydney to visit, to specifically 12 Amazing Waterfalls in Sydney to Swim in, including where to find them and what to expect at each one.

All of these waterfalls are located in the main Sydney region and also the surrounding regions, including south in the Illawarra, north in the Central Coast and West in the Blue Mountains. They are each within a couple of hours drive from Sydney CBD.

Also in this guide, I have included some useful information on where to stay in the Sydney and links to other guides I have written which you might like to check out.

Waterfalls in Sydney to swim in

12 Amazing Waterfalls in Sydney to Swim in

Visiting waterfalls is one of my favourite things to explore in nature. However, nothing gives me more of a refreshing feeling and energy buzz than swimming under a cool, pumping waterfall.

If you are based in, or travelling to Sydney and are a waterfall lover like me, you might be thinking ‘where are some of the best waterfalls near me?’ Well I have got you covered.

Sydney and its surrounding regions is home to many waterfalls that also offer swimming spots. Therefore, I have compiled a list of 12 waterfalls in Sydney that you can swim in, which I highly recommend.

Kellys Falls

Kellys Falls is located in the northern end of the Illawarra region. It is about 30 minutes north from Wollongong and 55 minute south from Sydney CBD.

Kellys Falls is one of the best swimming waterfalls in NSW, not just Sydney. You can therefore expect it to be very busy on weekends and during the summer season.

Kelly Falls Aerial
Kelly Falls Aerial

Getting down to the bottom of the falls can be tricky. Some sections of the walking track are uneven, steep and some parts require a slight climb down/up. However, with knowledge of how to get down and treating it with caution, you should have no problem reaching the bottom. You can read more about how to get down in my Kellys Falls – 2022 Complete Visitors Guide.

As soon as you reach the bottom, you will notice the huge scale of the falls. It boasts a whopping 48-metre single drop, which has a nice consistent flow into a pristine pool, perfect for a refreshing swim in the cool fresh water.

Kellys Falls
Kellys Falls

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Winifred Falls

Winnifred Falls is located in one of the best places to visit from Sydney – Royal National Park. It is about 45 minutes south from Sydney CBD, whereby you will park in front of Winifred Firetrail, along Warumbul Rd.

The firetrail down to the falls is relatively easy. It is 1.4km each way, whereby the first half is flat and second half is fairly steep, but not overly challenging.

Upon arriving at the bottom, you will see the wide cliff edge, offering stunning views of the falls. You can access the falls through very small tracks that lead down to the falls.

Winifred Falls
Winifred Falls

The best time to visit Winifred Falls is after a few days of downpour. This when you can expect the waterfall to be heavily flowing, and the pool to be fully filled up, making it one of the best waterfalls in Sydney to swim in. Without rain, you can expect the pool to be fairly drained out.

The waterfall cliff edge offers a beautiful spot to relax and have a bite. So make sure you pack some lunch if you wish to spend most of your day here.

Kariong Brook Falls

Kariong Brook Falls lies within Brisbane Water National Park in Woy Woy, Central Coast, 1.5 hours drive north from Sydney CBD and is one of the more popular Central Coast waterfalls in NSW. It can therefore get very busy on weekends. If you can time your visit for a weekday, you will get to enjoy it with fewer people or possibly even have it to yourself!

It features a 3.2km walking trail, starting along Woy Woy Rd, opposite Staples Lookout. The walking trail involves two connecting trails – Tommos Loop Firetrail and Hawkesbury Track.

There is a stunning pool at the bottom large enough to properly swim in. The pool becomes very shallow closer to the rock face, allowing you to stand up and take a nice, refreshing shower under the falls! After a spell of rainfall you can really expect this waterfall to come to life, forming a mini arena-like display of flow down the cliff.

Full Blog Post – Kariong Brook Falls

Kariong Brook Falls
Kariong Brook Falls

Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls is one of the taller waterfalls in Sydney and surrounding regions, whereby it is located in Katoomba, Blue Mountains. It is highly regarded as the best swimming waterfall in the Blue Mountains region. It is also one of the few waterfalls around which is dog friendly. It therefore attracts a lot of tourism and visitors, so I encourage you to visit these falls early morning or throughout the week if you wish to avoid the crowds.

Click here to book your Private Blue Mountains Day Trip from Sydney 

The start of the walk is located in the carpark at the end of Minni Ha Ha Rd. The walk down is about 1.5km each way. Overall it is a fairly easy track with only some sections that is a bit rough and steep, including various sets of staircases and steps.

Once you reach the bottom you will see Minnehaha Falls towering above, which generally has consistent flow all year around. The pool is easily accessible from various entry points around the base. It is quite a large and deep pool, which makes it perfect for swimming in.

Minnehaha Falls
Minnehaha Falls

Cascades Falls (Macquarie Pass)

Cascade Falls is one of the main waterfalls at Macquarie Pass in the Illawarra, whereby Macquarie Pass is personally one of my favourite places to visit for waterfalls in NSW. I often refer to this place as a ‘waterfall theme park’. Cascades Falls specifically is located at the bottom of Illawarra Highway at Cascades Picnic Area. It is roughly 1 hour and 40 mins south from Sydney CBD

The trail to the base of the falls is 2km return and is suitable for anyone of all ages and levels of fitness – therefore a popular spot for families. As soon as you enter the track, the sounds of the cascades and surrounding lush green plants straight away teleports you into a magical rainforest.

Cascade Falls (bottom)
Cascade Falls (bottom)

As soon as you reach the base of the falls, there will be plenty of spots around the base to sit and admire the bottom of the stunning Cascades Falls. You will also notice a small pool in front if you wish to take a refreshing dip.

While this is the bottom of the falls, Cascade Falls actually consists of several tiers, whereby each tier offers a seperate waterfall to visit, with a few of them also offering a pool for swimming. To access the upper tiers, the track is on the far right of the bottom falls. However, extreme caution is to be taken on this track as it is extremely steep, uneven, slippery and therefore should only be attempted by experienced or serious hikers.

Cascade Falls
Cascade Falls (Tier 2)

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Minerva Pool

Minerva Pool is located in Dharawal National Park, just over a one hour drive from Sydney CBD. It offers one of the best swimming waterholes to visit in Sydney, and of course a waterfall.

The track starts from the main carpark, which is at the end of Victoria Rd in Wedderburn. After a couple of hundred metres along the bush track you will turn right into Minerva Pools Track. The track is about 3km return and is relatively suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

Upon reaching the bottom, you will notice a lookout that overlooks Minerva Pool. Further along the track will take you down onto the cliff edge and over the waterfall. The cliff edge has various access points to the falls and swimming hole.

It should be noted that Minerva pool is actually considered culturally significant to the Dharawal traditional owners. New South Wales National Parks advise visitors for only women and children to enter the waters.

Minerva Pool
Minerva Pool

Wattamolla Falls

Wattamolla Falls lies in Royal National Park at Wattamolla beach, along the Coastal Track and is one of the more popular places to visit from Sydney. It is about 50km south of Sydney CBD at the end of Wattamolla Rd.

Wattamolla is a perfect location for family and friends. It contains many picnic areas to have lunch and a beach and lagoon, where you will find the falls.

You can access the top of the falls at the north end of the carpark. The edge of the cliff is fenced off for safety reasons to avoid people jumping off, and is deemed as prohibited. However, this often does not stop people who dare to do it. The top of the falls does offer amazing views over the lagoon, beach and ocean.

View from top of Wattamolla Falls

To access the bottom, head to the south end of the carpark and follow the signs, leading you down a bush track and eventually to the beach. Once at the beach you will be greeted by the beautiful and calm waters in the lagoon and also the falls in front of you.

The best time to visit Wattamolla is early morning, afternoon or through the week. You can expect crowds during the weekend and is often full by early morning on public holidays.

Wattamolla Falls
Wattamolla Falls

Upper Gledhill Falls

Upper Gledhill Falls is located in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park along Mccarrs Creek. It is Approximately 40 mins drive from Sydney CBD, making it one of the more closer swimming waterfalls in Sydney to the CBD on this list.

Something important to consider is that parking fees do apply everywhere throughout Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, which is $12. Alternatively, these fees are covered in the NSW National Park’s ‘Multi Parks’ or ‘All Parks’ Pass

To access the falls, follow the bush track from the carpark, which will take you right in the bushes. Shortly after the track starts, it will descend down some rocks, which isn’t difficult but caution should be taken. Once at the bottom there is a bit of walking over the rocks until you reach the base of the falls.

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Once there you will see plenty of rocks in front to sit down and have a bite. The pool is easily accessible from various entry points around the base and is perfect for swimming in.

You can expect it to be quite busy here, especially on weekends, as it is one of the main waterfalls in the Ku-ring-gai National Park area that offers a pool for swimming.

Upper Gledhill Falls
Upper Gledhill Falls

Jump Rock (Macquarie Pass)

Jump Rock is another major section in Macquarie Pass National Park. The track is specifically located at the bottom of Illawarra Highway, on the other side of the road to the Cascades Picnic Area.

Out of not just the swimming waterfalls near me, but all waterfalls in Sydney, Jump Rock is personally my favourite one to visit. Whilst the track to the falls is officially closed, this doesn’t stop the locals and tourists from visiting what could be one of the most picturesque and fun waterfalls in NSW.

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The track to the falls starts at the end of the carpark. You will eventually walk the entire time parallel to the Macquarie Rivulet. At times the track to the falls can be muddy and slushy, uneven and some parts very narrow with a risk of falling if you are not careful. After about 30-40 mins of walking you will eventually reach the falls where there are a few access points to walk down to the bottom.

Once you reach the base of the falls, you will notice plenty of space in front to sit down and admire the falls. There are a couple of pools at the bottom, and also at the top, which is perfect for swimming in. As the name suggests, there is a rock you can jump off, which is extremely fun but please attempt it with safety! From the top of the falls, you can also slide down to the bottom. Again, very fun but please do it with caution!

Jump Rock (Macquarie Pass)
Jump Rock Falls

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Empress Falls

Empress Falls is located at the end of Fletcher St in Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains. The carpark where the track starts is at the conservation hut. It is about one hour and 30 minutes from Sydney CBD.

Empress Falls is one of the more popular Blue Mountains waterfalls and also waterfalls in NSW, to visit. This is particularly because it is also a popular spot for abseiling and canyoning. It is essential to visit here throughout the week or before 10am on the weekends if you wish to avoid the crowds.

Empress falls is the first major waterfall located along the Valley of the Waters Walking Track. The section to Empress Falls is fairly short yet steep and takes only about 25-30 minutes to reach. The track is a mix of leafy bush track and both wooden and metal stairs.

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Once you reach the bottom you will notice two tiers to the waterfall. The top tier is where you will see a pristine pool under the falls to have a dip in, while the bottom tier gives you an entire view of the beautiful Empress Falls. This is also where the track continues further if you wish to see more stunning waterfalls further along, such as Sylvia falls and Lodore Falls.

Empress Falls
Empress Falls
Empress Falls (Top)
Empress Falls (Top)

Curracurrang Falls

Curracurrang Falls is one of the more hidden and secluded swimming waterfalls in Sydney. It is located along the Royal National Park Coastal Track, halfway between Wattamolla and Eagle Rock. It is therefore best to Park at the top of the Wattamolla carpark.

To get here, continue walking south along the coastal track from Wattamolla until you reach Curracurrang Cove. Just before the cove, there is a track on the right that you can turn off into. After a few minutes of walking you will reach the end, whereby you will be met by a secluded waterhole and stunning waterfall.

This spot is perfect for swimming in and at back is a shallow spot for you to stand and take a refreshing shower under the falls. There is also plenty of space in front of the pool to relax and have something to eat.

Curracurrang Falls
Curracurrang Falls

Mulangong Falls

Mulungong Falls is located in upper Macquarie Pass along Clover Hill Rd Trail. It is about a further 5 minutes drive up the Illawarra Highway from the bottom at the Cascades Picnic area, and therefore around an hour and 45 minutes south from Sydney CBD

The track down to Mulangong Falls starts at the end of the main carpark in Clover Hill Rd. It is a relatively easy track until the end where it starts to descend down to the bottom at Macquarie Rivulet. The entire track and Clover Hill section screams Jurassic Park vibes, which makes it one of the most unique places to visit from Sydney and surrounding regions.

Once you reach the bottom, cross the rivulet to the other side where you will see the track continue. You will notice the huge boulder which is balancing with the water flowing around it. Follow the track, past this boulder and eventually you will arrive at Mulangong Falls.

These falls are popular for families and tourists to visit and offers a pristine pool to swim in. There are plenty of rocks around the base to sit down and have some lunch. If you are an experienced hiker and wish to explore more around the area, Rainbow Falls before Mulangong Falls, and Clover Hill Falls further up is also worth visiting and each have pools to swim in.

Mulangong Falls
Mulangong Falls

Where to stay in Sydney

Whether you are a luxury traveller or budget backpacker, Sydney has hundreds of accommodations to choose from that suit you. See list of recommended accommodations in Sydney below:

Luxury: Hyatt Regency 

Mid Range: Travelodge Hotel

Budget: Maze Backpackers 

FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN SYDNEY, SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM

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More Guides

For years I have been adventuring to some of the most incredible places nature has to offer. From locations in my own backyard, to epic road trips, all the way to breathtaking travel destinations.

The goal of my blog is to ultimately inspire you to step outside of your comfort zone to get outdoors and immerse yourself in so much that mother nature has to offer.

You can check out my most recent blogs by clicking the links:

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog on my highly recommended 12 amazing waterfalls in Sydney to swim in. Whilst I am a Sydney local and regard these as the best waterfalls near me, they are also some of the best waterfalls in NSW and most beautiful places to visit from Sydney.

If you have any questions about the best swimming waterfalls in Sydney to visit, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

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