The viewing choice is yours: from the insanely steep Furber steps that zigzag down the escarpment wall or suspended in a cable car hundreds of metres in the air. I ended up
Above: Katoomba Falls from inside the cable car
(Order this image)
Katoomba Falls drops over the escarpment wall at Katoomba onto a ledge half way down before tumbling further downstream with another long, near-vertical drop. All up it is around
200 metres from top to bottom. Starting with the cheapest (but arguably the most rewarding) way to view the falls, commence from the walking tracks at the top of the falls that begin
from either the Katoomba Falls Reserve Prince Henry Picnic Area (at the old Katoomba Kiosk) or beside the Scenic World
skyway car park, both of which are on Cliff Drive. From there head down the walking tracks,
taking in around half a dozen different viewing points for the falls, each with amazing views in their own right.
By far the most exhilerating section is the Furber Steps, which cling to the side of the escarpment, with only
a hand rail and a waist-high wire fence between you and a deep vertical drop to the valley floor. The Furber Steps are one of my favourite high thrill, low risk adventures in the Blue Mountains.
The viewing area at the end of the Underfalls Walk offers a close up view of the falls at the middle ledge, with spectacular views into the Blue Mountains out over the waterfall edge.
Above: The cable car that overlooks the falls, with views of the Three Sisters
(Order this image)
Heading down the hundreds of steps to the base of the falls is fine for most people, but getting back up again takes a fair bit of effort. For less strenuous options, buy yourself a
pass from Scenic World, where you catch the train back up to the top of the escarpment. Alternatively, instead of going down the Furber Steps, you can take the skyway cable car that runs across the valley and pauses mid-way to
take in the view of the falls and the Blue Mountains.
The cable car has open air windows (with safety bars to stop you falling out) for an unfettered view. For those taking a longer walk, you can
also access the falls from the Federal Pass that runs along the base of the escarpment and connects to the Furber Steps.
If you are not going into Scenic World (which has its own car park), parking can be a bit of a nightmare around Katoomba. For any car parks in the vicinity of tourist attractions, you need a credit card to pay for on-street
parking, with cash not being accepted.
Here is a quick video of the falls, including sections of the Furber Steps. This video was taken in winter on a clear day when the falls
were flowing well, but not in flood.
Your Seasonal Guide:
|You can see water flowing over the falls most of the time, with November to February typically the wettest months in Katoomba
||Any time of the day, noting that Scenic World typically only operates 9am to 5pm, and that the falls are floodlight after dark until 10.30pm|
Other Information Before You Go:
Katoomba Falls Reserve, Cliff Drive, Katoomba, Blue Mountains National Park, 120 km (approx. 1 hr 30 min drive) west of the Sydney CBD.
From the city head west along the Western Motorway (M4, includes tolls) which then becomes the Great Western Hwy (A32) as the road winds its way up the Blue Mountains. From Katoomba,
head south along Katoomba St then head west along Katoomba Falls Road / Cliff Drive until you reach the Katoomba Falls Reserve Prince Henry Picnic Area. The roads to the falls are signposted at various locations in Katoomba.
Two vertical drops with an intermediate flat rock shelf of around 20 metres in length
Swimming available at the falls:
At the top of the falls, there is a picnic area with picnic tables, a public telephone, public toilets
None to the falls. See the Scenic World
website for entry fees to Scenic World for the cable car option.
The tracks to the falls are always open. See the Scenic World
website for closing times for Scenic World.
Shade available at the picnic area and along the walk, but with some areas of the track exposed to direct sunlight.
None to the base of the falls. Scenic World is wheelchair accessible, including the skyway and a wheelchair accessible
boardwalk through the forest at the bottom of the escarpment (but not to the base of the falls).
No pets, no smoking
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Nearby attractions: Wentworth Falls
, also in the Blue Mountains, 10 km to the east
Before you head out, make sure to read the
waterfall safety information
and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the falls. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can sometimes occur when loading, simply click or tap on "View Larger Map" below.
View Larger Map
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I'm particularly interested in your experiences after visiting, and any changes in conditions, etc.
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