Nethercote Falls, Pambula, NSW
Waterfall Seasons of Australia - The Waterfall Guide

 
Nethercote Falls has a large, deep pool nestled in a rock gorge with a sizeable waterfall at one end. You can sit on the rocks high up on the side of the gorge, by clambering up the back of the wall, for a bird's eye view of this waterfall. Alternatively you can sit at the edge of the pool at stream level, with the sound of the gushing falls channelled towards you through the gorge. This is accompanied by a gentler gurgling sound from the stream making its way over the pool exit behind you. The pool is around 40 metres long and up to 15 metres wide. Nethercote Falls After viewing the waterfalls and swimming in the pool, one of the most popular activities is jumping off the rock wall into the water below. Most people jump off a ledge about 3-4 metres up. There are warning signs advising people not to dive or jump into the water, and I know of one case reported in 2013 when a teenage girl fell unconscious into the water after slipping on the rock ledge, nearly drowning and only regaining consciousness again in hospital. If you are thinking of jumping, assess the risks on the day (including submerged rocks), watch others closely and be very careful on the way up, particularly if you have wet feet. Having said that, when I visited, someone was jumping every few minutes.

Getting to the falls was harder than I anticipated. The link road in is quite narrow, so on a busy day, be prepared to face other cars head on. From the upper car park, the walk down to the lower car park is very steep, and it is even steeper on the way back up! Keep your load to a minimum - I was carrying a 12 kg child and it left me gasping for breath most of the way up.
On the walking track from the lower car park there is one shallow river crossing. I managed to get across on the rocks and logs placed in the river as a makeshift bridge and not get my feet wet, but it would have been much easier just walking through the water in sandals or thongs.

If you are planning to have a picnic here, there is a solitary picnic table at the falls that gets occupied early in the day. There are several tables and open fire barbecues at the upper car park, but that is well away from the falls and the river.

Here is a video that I took when visiting the falls in early summer on a hot day when the pool was full and the falls were flowing strong. You will see a few cliff jumpers and lots of people chatting and playing in and around the water:

Your Seasonal Guide:
Best Time of Year to Visit:Best Time of Day to Visit:
Reliable flow over the falls all year round. Avoid visiting after rainfall, because the walking track across the creek will be difficult and possibly dangerous to cross when the river is high. Visit from mid-morning onwards to see the falls in full sun. The falls will be in shadow in the early morning.
Permanent Closure of Nethercote Falls:
NSW Forestry Corporation announced (on 17/8/2015) plans to permanently close access to Nethercote Falls. Here is a copy of the media release from NSW Forestry Corporation. My public statement in response to this issue has been published online and in print in the Merimbula News Weekly, which is the local paper circulating in the area which first reported on this issue. Reducing risks to public safety at the falls is extremely important, however in annoncing the decision, NSW Forestry does not appear to have considered other alternatives, such as safety barriers, improved signage and widening of the access road to the upper car park. For the record, I support the closure of the very steep and narrow access road to the lower car park, but oppose the closure of the falls without evidence that other alternatives to improve safety have been duly considered and trialled. Here is a petition opposing the closure of the falls which attracted over a thousand signatures. You are also welcome to leave a comment at the bottom of this page for others to read - I'd love to hear more about your personal connection with the falls and why it is such an important place to keep open. If you want to tell the NSW Forestry Corporation what it should do instead, please send those comments directly to the NSW Forestry Corporation, the Bega Valley Shire Council or local media.
Other Essential Information:
Location: Nethercote Falls Link Road, Nullica State Forest, 470 km (approx. 6.5 hour drive) south-west of the Sydney CBD or 260 km (approx. 3 hr 15 min drive) south-east of Canberra.
Latitude:-36.987940 Longitude:149.820494
Getting there: From the Princes Hwy immediately south of Pambula, head west along Mount Darragh Rd for 5 km then south along Back Creek Rd for 5 km until you reach Pipeclay Rd. Head east into Pipeclay Rd then veer right into the Nethercote Falls Link Rd about 400 metres later. Follow the link road for 1 km until you reach the upper car park. The link road is dirt and mostly only enough width for one car. 2WD cars ok in fair weather. Once you reach the car park, if you have a 4WD with a small turning circle, you can attempt the very steep descent to the lower car park, otherwise it is a 300 metre walk down to the lower car park. From the lower car park there is 300 metre walk to the falls including one river crossing. From the Princes Hwy south of Eden, head up the Nethercote Rd then Back Creek Rd until you reach Pipeclay Rd then follow the directions as above.
Water source: Yowaka River
Approx. height: 10 m
Approx. width: 2-5 m, depending on flow conditions
Approx. length: Vertical drop
Swimming available at the falls: Yes
Facilities: Toilets, open fire bbqs, tables, car park
Entrance fee: None
Opening times: Always open
Sun shade: No shade on the water. Limited shade near the pool entry. Plenty of natural shade at the picnic tables remote from the falls.
Wheelchair access: None
Prohibitions: Unknown at the current time, as I haven't visited since the closure. Access is prohibited, but according to an article in the local paper after the closure (Merimbula News, 28/8/15), NSW Forestry Corporation are not prosecuting people if they visit the falls.
Accommodation Options: There are no designated camping areas in the Nullica State Forest. If you are visiting the area and want to stay near these falls, you can try accommodation in nearby Eden or Pambula, which are both about the same distance from the falls at under 20 km from the falls.
Managing authority: Forestry Corporation of New South Wales
Nearby attractions: Magic Mountain in Merimbula if you want some theme park water fun
Before you head out, make sure to read the waterfall safety information.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the falls.
Change of Conditions:
I am not currently aware of any other change of conditions (apart from the closure) reported at this site by the managing authority, or by visitors to this website. If you are visiting this waterfall and have any further updates on any change of conditions, let me know via the comment form below.
Comments:
If you would like to leave a comment about this waterfall, please fill in the comment box below. I'm particularly interested in your experiences after visiting, and any changes in conditions, etc. Make sure you let me know whether you consent to having your comments published on this website.

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