Limited parking, but only a short walk to unlimited views of Killen Falls from the overhead viewing platform, or a steeper walk over uneven ground to the base of the falls.
This roughly 10 metre high, vertical drop overhang plunges into a secluded, circular pool below.
Above: Peering down onto Killen Falls from the viewing platform
(Order this image)
The walk from the car park to the viewing platform is fairly straight forward, along a well-maintained, wide gravel path with only the occasional step. Wandering
out onto the long, narrow platform, you quickly realise that it is perched directly over the river, right on the edge of the waterfall.
Seeing the white water rush past and then disappear over the edge is quite dizzying.
Above: The Killen Falls overhang from the edge of the pool at the base of the falls
(Order this image)
To reach the base of the falls is a little more difficult, with a steep descent holding onto a handrail to head down to the creek's edge. Then it is 100 metres of
rock hopping upstream along the river bank until you reach the base of the falls. Note that if Emigrant Creek Dam is spilling and the river is in flood, there would be no
access along this route, but on my visit there was plenty of room beside the creek.
The pool is sunken into the landscape, with a dark grey wall all around, topped with dark green jungle foliage,
offset by the bright white flow of water over the waterfall.
Surprisingly the viewing platform overhead is just out of view, creating an enclosed, secluded environment with just the sounds and spray from
the waterfall in this hollow down below. It is possible to walk under the overhang, noting however that one seemingly solid rock I stepped onto here literally exploded and crumbled under the
weight of my foot, momentarily throwing me off balance, so be careful.
Here is a quick video of the falls taken on a dry day in winter when Emigrant Creek Dam was full and spilling, and the falls were flowing quite
strongly but not in flood.
Back at the car park there are a few benches and a tiny patch of lawn outside the toilets, but space for a picnic is very limited. Car spaces are also in short supply, with only a handful of spots
available within the Killen Falls Reserve. You can also enjoy a shorter walk from the car park to Emigrant Creek Dam that starts with a boardwalk, but I did not follow it further.
Your Seasonal Guide:
|You can see water flowing over the falls most of the time, with November to February typically the wettest months. Minimum passing flows from Emigrant Creek Dam
are maintained over the falls whenever water is flowing into the dam
||Visit in the morning, as the falls are in shadow from mid to late afternoon|
Other Information Before You Go:
Killen Falls Public Reserve, Killen Falls Drive, Tintenbar, 14 km (approx. 20 min drive) north of Ballina and 750 km (approx. 8 hr drive) north of the Sydney CBD.
From the Pacific Highway (M1) exit at Tamarind Drive to Tintenbar. From Tintenbar head north along Friday Hut Road for 3 km to Killen Falls Drive, then follow the signs to Killen Falls, 450 metres
to the east at the end of Killen Falls Drive. If you are coming from Ballina, just take Tamarind Drive to Tintenbar, without going on the Pacific Highway. From the car park it is a fairly easy 330 metre walk to
the viewing platform and a 500 metre walk to the base of the waterfall, with the last 100 metres over steep or uneven ground.
Swimming available at the falls:
Yes, noting the managing authority's advice that swimming is not recommended
Viewing platform at the falls, but no other facilities at the falls. At the car park there is a public toilet, rubbish bins, benches, a walking trail to Emigrant Creek Dam, and
a small patch of grass.
Shade available at the car park area and along the walk. The viewing platform is in direct sunlight. There is some shade at the base of the falls, with shade increasing in the
None to the falls. The toilets at the car park are wheelchair accessible, and there is priority parking in the car park for wheelchairs
No unauthorised vehicles, no camping or staying overnight, no rubbish dumping, no fires, no dogs, no motorcycles (outside of the car park), no litter, no golf, no shooting,
no alcohol from 10pm to 7am, do not enter the slippery cliff edge, do not dive, do not jump.
See my accommodation suggestions
close to Killen Falls.
Ballina Shire Council
Lake Ainsworth, 15 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. Specific to this waterfall, the managing authority advises of
shallow water, submerged rocks, variable water quality - swimming not recommended, strong flowing water, cliffs, deep water, uneven ground, slippery ground, falling branches, falling trees, trip hazards, and
falling objects over waterfall.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the car park at 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.
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I'm particularly interested in your experiences after visiting, and any changes in conditions, etc.
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