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Tristania Falls, Dorrigo NSW
Waterfall Seasons - The Waterfall Guide

A basalt block waterfall that cascades down a hill of little black cubes before passing under your feet, underneath the steel bridge that spans across the creek. The blocks are so well formed that they reminded me of a constructed spillway with energy dissipation blocks, but this geological feature is all natural, with no upstream dam here. Tristania Falls Above: The black blocky section of Tristania Falls from the steel bridge across the creek (Order this image)

The steel bridge in front of the falls sits a few metres above the creek for an uninterrupted view of the falls. The jet black of the basalt rock contrasted well with the white rushing water tumbling down the rock face.
As the falls approach the bridge, the rock changes shape to reveal more cracks and crevasses within much larger rock shelves, with the water cascading down an irregular path as it heads downstream. Tristania Falls Above: Looking downstream onto the lower cascades of Tristania Falls (Order this image)

According to an information board on site, the falls are named after a type of brush box tree found nearby, that has since been renamed by botanists from "Tristania conferta" to "Lophostemon conferta". Lophostemon Falls does not quite have the same ring to it, so I can understand why the falls retained the original name.

The walking track to the falls follows a loop that runs from either the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre or The Glade Picnic Area. If you have two cars, start at the rainforest centre and take the mostly downhill Wonga Walk via Tristania Falls, then onto Crystal Shower Falls and back to The Glade Picnic Area, for a total of 5 km by foot.
If you only have one car, the shortest option to the falls is 4.8 km return from The Glade Picnic Area to take in both falls. The full loop from the Rainforest Centre taking in both falls is 6.6 km. The track is very well defined and maintained, but steep in parts.

Here is a video of both Crystal Shower and Tristania Falls taken in winter on a clear morning.

If you are planning on a picnic here, there are no open spaces at the falls, but The Glade Picnic Area has a very large grassy picnic ground including a lookout that rivals that back at the Rainforest Centre. There is also a less scenic picnic ground adjacent to the Rainforest Centre, with access via gold coin donation to the short, elevated "Skywalk" walkway that overlooks the valley and surrounding mountains.
Your Seasonal Guide:
Best Time of Year to Visit:Best Time of Day to Visit:
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 from mid-morning to mid-afternoon to see the falls in full sun.
Other Information Before You Go:
Location: Dorrigo Rainforest Centre or The Glade Picnic Area, Dorrigo National Park, Dorrigo Mountain, 4-5 km south of the Dorrigo town centre and 550 km (approx. 6 hr drive) north of the Sydney CBD.
Latitude:-30.372112 Longitude:152.724613
Getting there: From the Pacific Highway at Raleigh, head west along Waterfall Way (B78) towards Dorrigo. Just before reaching Dorrigo, turn right into Dome Road, which leads to the Rainforest Centre. Continue down Lyrebird Lane (gravel road) until you reach The Glade Picnic Area. As mentioned above, it is a 2.8 km return walk to Crystal Shower Falls from this picnic area, then a further 1.0 km each way to Tristania Falls.

Water source: Unnamed tributary of the Rosewood River
Approx. width: 10 metres
Approx. length: 20 metres
Swimming available at the falls: No, swimming is not permitted
Facilities: At the top of the falls there is a bridge that acts as a viewing platform, but no other facilities. At The Glade Picnic Area there are lawns, sheltered and unsheltered picnic tables, sheltered public bbq, lookout, public toilets, drinking tap, rubbish bins. Similar facilities plus an information centre and cafe at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre.
Entrance fee: None. Gold coin donation if you are walking out onto the Skywalk at the rainforest centre.
Opening times: Open 5am to 10 pm
Sun shade: Shade available at the picnic area, along the walk, with limited to no shade at the falls.
Wheelchair access: None to the falls. The Dorrigo Rainforest Centre has wheelchair accessible toilets, and wheelchair access to the Skywalk lookout.
Prohibitions: No cats or dogs, no camping, no smoking, no campfires, no solid fuel burners, no drones.
Accommodation Options: See my accommodation suggestions close to Tristania Falls.
Managing authority: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Nearby attractions: Crystal Shower Falls along the same walking track, and Dangar Falls north of Dorrigo township, and other falls along Waterfall Way.
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 site, the managing authority warns that the walking track includes slippery surfaces, steep slopes, unstable edges, and that children should be supervised.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the car park at the start of the walk to the falls from The Glade Picnic Area. 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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