Last updated: November 6, 2023
The South Lawson Circuit Walk is a scenic bushwalk that takes in four small but pretty waterfalls in the southern part of Lawson, a quiet town located 14 km east of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.
It’s also one of the few dog-friendly walks in the Blue Mountains where your furry friend is more than welcome to join and enjoy this exciting hike.
In this article, we will share the highlights of this enjoyable walk, including pictures, and how best to get there.
|South Lawson Waterfall Circuit Walk|
|Distance:||2.5 km (circuit)|
|Grade:||Easy / moderate (steep sections)|
|Dogs:||On a lead|
How to Get There
There are two starting points for the South Lawson Waterfall Circuit Walk, both on Honour Avenue and both with car parks, as indicated in the map below.
The primary starting point of the circuit walk is less than 1 km south of the train station (see map location). If that car park is full, park somewhere on the side of the road, or try the second car park further south.
The train station is within walking distance of the walk as well, so using public transport is an excellent alternative to travelling by car.
Also note that if you’re visiting with your dog, the circuit walk runs past the former Lawson golf course, which now functions as a large dog park. Visit the council website for more details.
The circuit walk includes the following four waterfalls (see their locations on the map below):
- Adelina Falls
- Junction Falls
- Federal Falls
- Cataract Falls
South Lawson Waterfall Circuit Track Notes
Even though the South Lawson Waterfall Circuit Walk has been around for over a century, it is still very much unspoiled. It’s not a tourist walk, so it usually doesn’t get too busy.
It’s a refreshing bushwalk with a somewhat authentic atmosphere. The best time to do this walk is after a period of rainfall when the waterfalls are the most impressive. Be mindful though that the track can get a bit muddy, so be sure to wear proper hiking shoes.
The start of the circuit walk is sign-posted at the corner of Honour Ave and Livingstone Street.
The little map that you can find at the starting point is quite helpful as it gives you a good sense of where the waterfalls are located.
Although it’s a circuit walk, there are a few intersections along the way where things can get a bit confusing, so it’s a good idea to have a closer look at the map before you start the walk.
The first intersection comes up around five minutes into the walk. To visit the dog park, turn right at that intersection. Otherwise, keep going straight!
The first waterfall, Adelina Falls, is not too far away from that intersection.
After Adelina Falls, there are three more waterfalls to be discovered along this pleasant bushwalking trail: Junction Falls, Federal Falls and Cataract Falls.
They are not very big or overwhelming by any means, but they are very pretty and somewhat unpretentious waterfalls.
All of these waterfalls can be accessed via short side trails off the main track. The signage is pretty good, but it’s still easy to miss them if you don’t pay attention.
Federal Falls, in particular, is easy to miss because the side trail to that waterfall is a bit longer than the others.
Cataract Falls is very close to Honour Ave, and once you’ve made it back to the streets, there are two ways to return to the starting point.
You can either return by walking on the side of Honour Ave, or you can choose to follow the fire trail that runs parallel to the street.
We recommend this second option as it’s a bit more exciting than walking on the side of the road.
Keen to discover more great hikes? Check out our guide to the best walking tracks in the Blue Mountains for a list of ideas.
The Town of Lawson
Lawson is a quiet, historic town located 14 km east of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains and with a population of only a few thousand people. Lawson has a train station on the Blue Mountains Line.
The town was named after William Lawson, an English-born explorer and politician who was the first white settler to cross the Blue Mountains together with Gregory Blaxland and William Charles Wentworth in 1813.
The original name of the town was actually “Blue Mountain”, which caused too much confusion for locals as well as visitors, and a name change was inevitable.
Besides the waterfall circuit walk in the south, there are some other exciting walking tracks to be found in the northern part of Lawson.
The most popular track north of the Great Western Highway is the Empire Pass, a 5 km bushwalk with several small waterfalls to see on the way.
Most scenic waterfalls in the Blue Mountains.