← Back Next →

What to Bring to a Waterfall
Waterfall Seasons - The Waterfall Guide

Here is a checklist of the accessories I take to a waterfall that could make your waterfall experience safer and more enjoyable. Waterfall accessories Above: Thinking about what to bring on my way to Kings Falls in the drizzle (Order this image)

Disclaimer: If you purchase products via the links in this article, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. For more information see my affiliate links policy.

Waterfall accessory #1: Spray jacket
Waterfalls are wet, and the closer you get, the more you get sprayed, especially for the more spectacular waterfalls with a higher vertical drop, like Dangar Falls, or where the viewing platform is close to the base of the falls, like at Stevensons Falls, or on windy days. A lightweight spray jacket that fits neatly into your day pack will stop your clothes from getting saturated by the spray. Waterfall accessories Above: My collection of spray jackets. (Order this image)

I currently have three different spray jackets, one of which is an Adidas spray jacket that I have owned for over 30 years (they don't make them like they used to), one of which is brighter that I also use for cycling, and a third that was recently given to me as a gift from a relative that uses goretex material that is a bit bulkier but also works effectively as a raincoat in heavy rain.
If you can, opt for lighter colours so you can see the mozzies and leeches when they get on your clothing. Browse spray jackets here. Getting a little bit wet on a hot day is fine, but it can be very uncomfortable the cooler it gets, particularly if you have a long drive home.
Waterfall accessory #2: Waterproof hiking boots
The tracks to waterfalls are often even wetter, particularly if you are visiting waterfalls in peak-waterfall season, when rainfall is at its highest and many waterfalls are at their most spectacular. I do a lot of walking in wet and muddy conditions, and a good pair of comfortable waterproof boots is essential for keeping your feet dry so that you can keep on walking. Finding the right boot for you can be a challenge.
Personally I prefer waterproof leather boots because in my experience they are more comfortable and last longer than synthetic hiking boots. Currently I have a pair of Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II boots, which I purchased because they were leather, waterproof, and reasonably lightweight, as well as being reasonably priced. So far they have lasted me several years, and were pretty comfortable after I had worn them a few times to soften them up. Browse waterproof boots here. If you do not have waterproof boots, make sure you pack a spare pair of socks and shoes for the drive home. Waterfall accessories Above: My waterproof boots after three years of walking with no care or maintenance on the boots (Order this image)
Waterfall accessory #3: Mosquito barriers
Humans are not the only creatures that love waterfalls. Waterfalls are also dearly loved by mosquitoes, some of whom can also carry nasty diseases. To protect yourself from mosquito bites, I use a multi-barrier approach that involves light coloured, long-sleeve clothing in combination with waterproof mosquito repellent on any exposed areas of skin. The need for these mosquito barriers will depend on the level of shade at the waterfall, time of day, and time of year, with typically more mosquitos hanging around in the shade on summer evenings.
Waterfall accessory #4: Overpants
If I am visiting a waterfall in the rain, or having to walk along an overgrown path shortly after rain, I will pop on a pair of waterproof overpants. These are made of raincoat-type material with an elastic waist with a zipper near the ankles that allows you to widen the cuff to get it over your shoes without having to take your shoes off. Once it has stopped raining, you can take off the overpants and stuff them into a ziplock bag into your day pack. They can make a bit of a noisy swish-swish sound and they can trap your body heat inside and cause a bit of sweat if physically exerting yourself, so I would not recommend wearing them all the time, but they do keep you wonderfully dry, even in the rain. Waterfall accessories Above: My overpants and waterproof boots in action through puddles in the rain at Kings Falls (Order this image)
Waterfall accessory #5: First aid kit including snake bite kit
It is prudent to always carry a first aid kit with you, particularly when visiting more remote areas. Specific to visiting waterfalls, some of the items to consider including in your first aid kit include waterproof bandaids and antiseptic for small scratches from vegetation and small falls on slippery rocks, a snake bite kit that includes a compression bandage in the unlikely event of a snake bite, and table salt for leeches. Physical barriers and light coloured clothing, combined with a good flick, are usually enough to manage the occasional leech. If that is not possible, for example if the number of leeches is overwhelming, a sprinkle of fine salt on the leeches can encourage them to disconnect from your skin quicker than having to wait for them to drop off when full.
Waterfall accessory #6: Waterproof camera
If you are planning to get into the water at any waterfall pools, you might want to think about bringing a waterproof camera. Some phones are waterproof nowadays and take high quality photos, but without a waterproof phone, I use a separate waterproof camera. I have been using a camera from the Olympus Tough range for several years and found it takes high quality images above and below the water. You will need a soft pouch to store it in when not in the water (I cannot remember whether the pouch I have came with the camera or not) because it does not have a lens cover.
I have banged this phone around quite a bit both in and out of the water and it has proven to be quite robust. The only issues I have with it are that sometimes droplets of water can cover the lens when in the water but not under the water. I also have a GoPro Hero8 which I attach to my snorkel mask. I find it hard to take good video when the mask is attached to my head (i.e. it is a good idea for diving, but not so great for snorkeling along the surface). It does however make it much easier to carry the camera hands free in the water, and gives you something bigger and more stable than the little camera to hold onto when taking video in the water. A decent waterproof camera can be a big investment, so you will want to do thorough research, but here are some options to buy a waterproof camera. Waterfall accessories Above: My waterproof cameras, including snorkel mounted camera (Order this image)
Waterfall accessory #7: Inflatables
Inflatables can add to the fun of visiting waterfall pools. Inflatables are best suited to deep waterfall pools, where there is limited space on the shore and you cannot touch the bottom away from the shore. I have tried a few different inflatables over the years, such as the inflatable seal at Expedition Pass Reservoir that was a lot of fun but difficult to balance on. I keep coming back to the trusty inflatable ring, known in our family as the doughnut, which is the best option for floating about in waterfall pools. Stay away from the over-sized inflatables like the giant swan with an inflatable platform for several people - they might look fun but they are hard to control and take up too much space in smaller waterfall pools when sharing the space with others. You can browse and buy an inflatable doughnut here. Waterfall accessories Above: Trying out the inflatable seal at Expedition Pass Reservoir (Order this image)
Waterfall accessory #8: Towels, plastic bags or a tub
To better deal with wet and muddy clothes and shoes, regardless of whether you have been swimming in waterfall pools or not, it is a good idea to at least bring a small towel to dry off your feet, and a waterproof plastic bag to stuff and store any wet gear in your boot. I typically use a hard plastic tub, which I can readily throw any wet or muddy gear into without getting the rest of my boot wet. Order a plastic tub here, which unlike a plastic bag, is re-usable over and over.
Waterfall accessory #9: Picnic accessories
Waterfalls have some of the best picnic areas, particularly when you have a view of the falls. Some of my favourite spots have included the Agnes Falls picnic area under established gum trees beside the Toora River, and the Glade Picnic Area on the way to Crystal Shower Falls, which has a lawn area and an elevated viewing platform that looks out over the Dorrigo rainforest. Some of the items that I have found handy when having a picnic near waterfalls include a waterproof picnic blanket, which has a plastic backing but a comfortable cloth on the side facing up, and a small picnic basket if the picnic area is close to your car. Waterfall accessories Above: The Glade Picnic Area on the way to Crystal Shower Falls (Order this image)

I hope that these suggestions will help you to enjoy your waterfall experiences even more than you do now. Also keep them in mind for birthday gifts or Christmas gifts for outdoor adventurers. If you use an alternative piece of equipment that you think I should try, drop me a line on my contact form. Before you head out, make sure to read the waterfall safety information.

← Back Next →

© Brad Neal 2024. All rights reserved. Here are my affiliate links and cookies policy and opportunities to provide support to Waterfall Seasons.