This is one of the few waterfalls that is actually best viewed from your car, coming down the hill from Dorrigo along Waterfall Way, where this fanned out waterfall fills up your front windscreen.
There is a roadside stop just past where the waterfall crosses underneath the road, but the views from this parking area are oblique, with no pedestrian access permitted along the road closer to the falls.
Above: Newell Falls from the closest vantage point at the roadside stop on Waterfall Way near the falls
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If you want the best view of Newell Falls, or if you want to take the best photographs of the falls, negotiate with other travellers in your car to not be the designated driver for this stretch of
Waterfall Way. From Bellingen to Dorrigo, take a seat on the passenger side of the car, where the falls pass underneath the road only a few metres from the side window.
Unfortunately there are double lines here, so legally you are not allowed to cross over into the roadside stop on the opposite side. If you want to stop, continue on until you are legally allowed to do a u-turn.
When coming from Dorrigo to Bellingen, you will want to be in the front seat for the best view, or on the driver's side of the
car if you are in the back seat.
Above: The roadside stop and picnic tables beside Waterfall Way at Newell Falls
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After the last downhill bend in the road before the falls, the white rushing water dramatically appears directly in front of you, getting closer as your vehicle edges down the hill.
I struggled to balance looking at this natural wonder and not veering out of my lane in the roughly 80 metre downhill stretch of the road with a full view of the falls,
whilst at the same time resisting the instinctive urge to turn on the windscreen wipers to wipe the water away from my field of view.
The roadside stop at Newell Falls is fairly basic, with a couple of sheltered picnic tables and space to stretch your legs. Whilst it is not possible to walk up to the falls, a stop
at the roadside area does allow you to see and hear the lower section of the falls that is not visible from your car, where the water exits from the culvert under the road and heads further down the mountain below.
Your Seasonal Guide:
|There is likely to be flow over the falls most of the year, particularly after rainfall, with highest flows typically occurring from February to April.
||Visit in the morning to see the falls in full sun, but without having to squint. Avoid midday onwards when you will be looking directly into the sun.|
Other Information Before You Go:
Waterfall Way, Dorrigo National, 8 km south of the Dorrigo town centre and 540 km (approx. 6 hr drive) north of the Sydney CBD.
From the Pacific Highway at Raleigh, head west along Waterfall Way (B78) towards Dorrigo. After passing the Thora General Store, travel a further 6 km along
Waterfall Way, where you will see the roadside parking bay on the western (right-hand) side of the road. Note that there is a double-line at the roadside stop, so to obey the
road rules, you actually need to keep going towards Dorrigo and then stop at the roadside parking bay on the way back, or do a u-turn further up the road where legal to do so.
Unnamed tributary of the Rosewood River
The visible section from the road is around 10-15 metres high
Swimming available at the falls:
At the roadside stop there are a handful of parking spots, two sheltered picnic tables, and a rubbish bin.
Shaded picnic tables, but no other shade at the roadside stop.
The falls can be viewed from your vehicle or from the roadside parking bay, which has enough room to unload a wheelchair. There are some curbs around
the picnic tables.
Pedestrians prohibited from walking along roadway near falls.
See my accommodation suggestions
close to Newell Falls.
Unclear as there was no signage on site stating management responsibilities.
Nearby attractions: Tristania Falls
, Crystal Shower Falls
and Dangar Falls
, which are also in the Dorrigo region.
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 roadside parking area 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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