Last updated: June 6, 2021
The Blue Mountains region west of Sydney is home to countless exciting walking tracks and various panoramic lookout points.
But Sydney’s most popular day trip destination is also home to several beautiful waterfalls, some easy to access and others a bit harder to find.
We have shortlisted the 11 most scenic waterfalls in the Blue Mountains that you can get very close to!
|2||Federal Falls||South Lawson|
|3||Wentworth Falls||Wentworth Falls|
|4||Empress Falls||Wentworth Falls|
|11||Victoria Falls||Mount Victoria|
>> The best walking tracks in the Blue Mountains.
>> The most panoramic lookouts in the Blue Mountains.
Top 11 Blue Mountains Waterfalls
Some of the below waterfalls even have natural swimming holes at the base, which makes for a great outdoor adventure.
Before heading out to visit any of these waterfalls though, it’s recommended to check the latest alerts on the NPWS website to see if there are any closures.
1. Horseshoe Falls
Horseshoe Falls in Hazelbrook is a small but scenic waterfall on Hazelbrook Creek, located within Horseshoe Falls Reserve in the Blue Mountains, approximately 18 kilometres east of Katoomba.
The waterfall can be accessed via a moderately challenging bushwalk that also takes in three other waterfalls, including Burgess Falls and Oaklands Falls.
What’s exciting about Horseshoe Falls is that you can actually walk underneath a rock overhang right behind the waterfall, which is a wonderful experience.
Horseshoe Falls is also one of the few spots in the Blue Mountains where you can see glow worms, for which you will need to visit after sunset.
2. Federal Falls
The quiet and unpretentious South Lawson Circuit Walk is a 2.5 km walking track that treats hikers to four picturesque waterfalls, with the Federal Falls arguably being the prettiest.
Located 15 km east of Katoomba, Lawson is a quiet, historic town in the Blue Mountains with its own train station on the Blue Mountains Line. The train station is less than 1 km away from the starting point of the circuit walk.
The four waterfalls along the walking track aren’t tall or majestic by any means, but they are unpretentiously pretty. The scenic and quiet surroundings of the area also add to the experience.
The circuit walk itself is over a century old, and is one of the very few walking tracks in the Blue Mountains where dogs are more than welcome.
3. Wentworth Falls
The name Wentworth Falls refers to the famous 3-tiered, almost 200m high waterfall, but it is also the name of the town where the waterfall is located. It is one of the most popular bushwalking destinations in the Blue Mountains region.
Wentworth Falls is by far the most impressive and highest waterfall in the Blue Mountains, especially after a period of heavy rainfall when large amounts of water drop into Jamison Valley.
There are various walking tracks to choose from in the Wentworth Falls area, some very short and others quite long and challenging. In addition, there are also numerous lookout points that offer spectacular views of the waterfall and the valley.
Read our extensive Wentworth Falls hiking guide for the best walking tracks and lookout points in this area.
4. Empress Falls
A short walking track starting at the Conservation Hut in the Wentworth Falls area brings visitors up close and personal with Empress Falls, one of the most underrated waterfalls in the Blue Mountains.
Several lookout points along the track to Empress Falls offer panoramic views of the Jamison Valley and beyond.
The views from the Queen Victoria lookout are the best, and reach as far as Mount Solitary and Kings Tableland and the Lincoln’s Rock lookout.
The track continues beyond Empress Falls following the path downstream along the creek where two more waterfalls are located. Both Sylvia Falls and Lodore Falls are small waterfalls that are very much worth the extra effort.
5. Leura Cascades
The short walking track along Leura Falls Creek through a rainforest environment provides excellent close-up views of Leura Cascades, a series of small but scenic waterfalls.
At the end of the path is a beautiful lookout point with incredible valley views. From that lookout you have the option to extend your walk deeper into the valley to get better views of the waterfall where the creek drops into the valley.
Make a day of it and have a picnic at the popular Leura Cascades picnic area, with various tables, benches, toilets, and plenty of shaded sections. An interesting fact is that this picnic area used to be a public swimming bath.
This bath was built at the start of the 20th century as part of a larger development project with the goal to make the Katoomba area more appealing.
6. Linda Falls
Linda Falls is a small and not-so-well-known waterfall on Linda Creek, quietly tucked away in Leura Forest, seemingly far away from the tourist crowds.
The waterfall can be accessed via the Dardanelle Pass circuit walk, an exciting bushwalk in the Leura and Katoomba area.
It’s not the easiest walk though, because to see the actual waterfall you will need to descend into the valley via the Giant Stairway at the Three Sisters and climb back up closer to Leura.
But it’s a highly enjoyable and adventurous walk, with Linda Falls as one of the many highlights to enjoy.
7. Minnehaha Falls
Minnehaha Falls is another hidden treasure in the Blue Mountains, although this waterfall has seen a big increase of visitors in recent times.
The 20-meter high Minnehaha Falls on Yosemite Creek can be accessed via a walking trail starting at Minnehaha Reserve, north of the Great Western Highway.
The interesting thing about this waterfall is that it’s rather hard to find in maps and in tourist guides. To make it even more interesting, the spelling of this waterfall can also vary, depending on who you talk to.
But regardless, the waterfall itself is a beauty, and the natural swimming pool at the base makes for a great spot to relax in the warmer summer months.
8. Katoomba Falls
Tucked away between Echo Point and Scenic World in the Katoomba area of the Blue Mountains, Katoomba Falls drops almost 150 meters into Jamison Valley.
A short but picturesque circuit walk starting at Scenic World guides visitors through lush rainforest all the way to the waterfall, with panoramic views of the valley and surrounding escarpments.
The start of the Katoomba Falls Round Walk is located between the car park and the main entrance to Scenic World. This is also the starting point of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, a 7 km hike to the Gordon Falls lookout in Leura.
The path to Katoomba Falls includes several lookout points which offer excellent views of the waterfall in its entirety.
9. Katoomba Cascades
When hiking to Katoomba Falls, a visit to Katoomba Cascades is an absolute must. Both the falls and the cascades are actually on the same river, and are located very close to each other.
The Katoomba Cascades area is a popular family-friendly destination in the Blue Mountains, with an excellent picnic area and a couple of easy walking tracks nearby to enjoy.
From the cascades, a very easy walking track along the river leads to a lookout from where visitors can enjoy fantastic district views, just above the spot where Katoomba Falls drops into the valley.
A second walking track leads to the popular Cliff View Lookout, with even more impressive Jamison Valley views.
10. Govetts Leap
Often referred to as Bridal Veil Falls, Govetts Leap is a beautiful waterfall close to Blackheath, which can be viewed from the popular Govetts Leap lookout point.
It’s not a very wide waterfall, but it’s the height (180 metres) and the surrounding valley and the escarpments that make Govetts Leap such an impressive sight in the Blue Mountains.
There are two walking tracks that can get visitors closer to this waterfall. The easiest, and shortest, leads to the top of the waterfall and a lookout point close by.
The second, much more challenging, walking track goes deep into the valley all the way to the base of the waterfall.
11. Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls is a stunning cascade waterfall on the Victoria Creek that drops 20 metres from a spectacular rock overhang.
The Victoria Falls lookout, perched on a cliff edge high above the Grose Valley, is the starting point of a short but very steep bush walking track to Victoria Falls and the nearby Victoria Cascades.
The Victoria Falls Track is one of the lesser known walking tracks in the greater Blue Mountains region, yet it has so much to offer.
Two scenic waterfalls and one beautiful lookout point is what you get to enjoy when you follow the steep walking track down into the Grose Valley.
>> Most scenic waterfalls in and around Sydney.