By: Tatum Stafford
Scattered from Broome to Walpole, our State is home to a number of these incredible natural attractions that can be viewed from hiking trails, helicopter rides, scenic flights or boat trips.
So we've chased down 10 of the best waterfalls WA has to offer, so now all that's left to do is add them to your WA travel bucket list.
1. Lesmurdie Falls, Perth Hills
Approximately 22 kilometres east of Perth lies Lesmurdie Falls. Located within the Lesmurdie Falls National Park, this 50-metre waterfall is one of the most spectacular falls on the Darling Range escarpment.
The most popular walking route to view the falls is the Lesmurdie Brook Loop. Originating from the bubbling Lesmurdie Brook beyond Lesmurdie Road, the 1.5km trail is spotted with handcrafted bridges and seats that provide the perfect view of the brook as it cascades down towards the falls.
The best time to visit is during winter and spring, when the trail is abundant with wildflowers and the falls are at high water levels.
2. Fortescue Falls, Karijini
Located within Dales Gorge, Fortescue Falls is Karijini National Park’s only permanent waterfall. The falls cascade about 20 metres over rock terraces into a pool that is the perfect spot for a refreshing dip.
You can reach the falls by hiking the Fortescue Falls Track; a steep trail from the car park near Dales Campground that leads into a narrow pathway. On your descent you’ll walk along a gorge floor to reach the perfect viewing spot for high cliffs and sweeping falls.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer a birds-eye view, the falls viewing area is accessible via a short path from the Fortescue Falls car park.
3. Lane Poole Falls, Northcliffe
Located in the quaint town of Northcliffe, the Lane Poole Falls drop for 10 metres and are best visited in winter when rains have produced a considerable flow in the connecting Canterbury River.
The 5km return Lane Poole Falls Walk Trail starts at the Boorara Tree day use recreation site and leads you on the forest floor through tall karri trees and wildflowers to display a stunning reveal of the falls, as the track steeply descends and fast-flowing water comes into view. Some bushwalking experience is recommended for this walk as the track has steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps.
4. Horizontal Falls, north west of Broome
Described by David Attenborough as “Australia’s most unusual natural wonder”, The Kimberley’s Horizontal Falls north west of Broome are a result of fast-moving tidal currents that squeeze through narrow gorges of the McLarty Range, pushing the water into rapid-like formations which produce waterfalls that are turned horizontally.
As this unique waterfall is located within the Buccaneer Archipelago, it is not accessible by vehicle. Instead, you can view the falls from above with a scenic flight or float plane, or from below on a cruise. It’s best to touch base with a local tour operator before booking a trip to see these falls, as certain times of year are optimal to observe the full impact of the rushing waters.
5. Quinninup Falls, Wilyabrup
Quinninup Falls is an ocean-facing, 10-metre waterfall that cascades onto a sandy beach within the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. These falls are best visited when the region receives plenty of rain (usually from June to September), and are also home to an abundance of colourful wildflowers in springtime.
To reach the falls, start the path from the Moses Road car park. A good indicator that you’re on the right path is the Cape to Cape Track signage. The path’s surface varies from flat to rocky and there are a few challenging sand dunes to climb - but the view is well worth the effort.
A tip for first-time visitors: if you’re using electronic maps, it’s best to type in Moses Rock Road rather than Quinninup Falls for the most accurate starting point of the trail to the falls.
6. Beedelup Falls, Beedelup
Nestled in the Greater Beedelup National Park near Pemberton, the Beedelup Falls are surrounded by lush karri forest and comprised of a series of cascades.
The 4.5km Beedelup Falls Loop Walk will take you across a 25-metre suspension bridge that spans Beedelup Brook, through a path at the base of the region’s famous karri trees, and to a lookout over Waterfall Dam; the spacious lake into which the falls cascade.
7. Fernhook Falls, Walpole
Depending on what time of year you visit, you’re likely to encounter two very different sides of the intriguing Fernhook Falls in Walpole. In winter, water furiously gushes through the falls to create a bubbly whitewash – whereas in summer, the flow is a trickle that makes the connecting Rowell’s Pool a tranquil place for a dip.
There are a number of walktrails and boardwalks that provide picturesque views of the Deep River at Fernhook Falls. If you’d like to stay awhile, there are eight tent sites or two camp huts at the falls; tucked away in the forest but near the river. Here’s some further camping information.
8. Joffre Falls, Karijini
Towering 50 metres over the swimming hole it cascades into, Joffre Falls in Karijini National Park is distinguished by its contrasting colours of rock, vegetation and water. As is the case with most waterfalls in the State, Joffre Falls is best viewed after the winter rain season.
From the Joffre Falls car park, head to the lookout for an incredible view over the plunge pool at the foot of the natural amphitheatre carved by the falls.
The 1.5km Joffre Falls walk trail is another option; a marked route into the bottom of the gorge to the first pool downstream of the waterfall. Care is needed on this trail, as it contains some particularly steep sections.
9. King George Falls, Durack
The 100-metre twin waterfalls of King George Falls are one of the State’s most breathtaking natural displays. As a general guideline, it's best to view Kimberley waterfalls immediately after the northern wet season between April and June.
Due to its remote location, these falls are best viewed on a cruise on the base King George River, or by scenic flight over the north Kimberley Coast. Some lucky cruise patrons will have the unique opportunity to take a freshwater ‘shower’ at the falls’ base.
10. Mitchell Falls, Kununurra
Mitchell Falls encompasses a series of four waterfalls within the Mitchell River National Park, and is one of the North West’s most photographed locations. The falls’ peak water capacity is during February and March.
Getting to the area can be challenging and requires a four-wheel-drive, but once you’re there you can walk from the camping area to view the falls. The 8.6km Punamii-unpuu walk trail is marked and reasonably well-worn, and you can stop off at the picturesque Little Mertens Falls on the way. Swimming isn’t permitted at the base of Mitchell Falls due to the possibility of salt- water crocodiles.
If you’d rather view the falls from above, scenic flights and helicopter tours operate year-round from Kununurra.
Ready to explore these waterfalls?
It pays to be prepared - RAC members save 50% on digital national park passes.
Last updated: April 2020