Minnamurra Falls is one of my favourite hikes. It is a great spot to explore in the warmer months as it’s protected from the worst of the heat in the lush undergrowth of the beautiful sub-tropical rainforest, typical of the Illawarra region. One of the best things about this walk is that it is so accessible for people of all ages and abilities.
Budderoo National Park, NSW
Starting at the National Park’s visitors centre, parking for the day will cost you $12 (if you don’t have a parks pass) there are excellent facilities and ample parking. The walk starts with some great little views out over the flowing river below, super picturesque and a true joy to experience.
Please check out the National Parks website for park fees and information.
We discovered many friendly locals on our way including an eastern water dragon, plenty of cicadas, and even a few busy birds calling to each other. If you are lucky you could even spot some of the local lyre birds scratching around in the thick undergrowth.
Suspension Bridge at Minnamurra River
The well-formed path takes you crisscrossing the Minnamurra River as you steadily make your way closer to the falls. There are two suspension bridges that take you high over the river below. I personally hate suspension bridges and heights in general, but most will find these a bit of fun!
After crossing the river several times, you will begin your ascent and – it is steep! I spent 40 minutes on a relentless incline, and I was thankful for the misty morning and cool shade from the rainforest while doing it. Luckily, there are benches along the way for those who need to rest as your hamstrings may be burning as you climb.
After what seemed like an eternity, the path levels out a little as you follow the curves of the valley and water running far below. You’ll pass some beautiful little recesses in the mountainside filled with strangling figs, trickling falls and some stunning ferns.
The Indigenous named the falls ‘Minnamurra’ – Plenty of Fish
Finally, you will reach a steep descent in the ramp walkway and spot a glimpse of the impressive Minnamurra Falls just up ahead. Minnamurra, meaning ‘plenty of fish’ in the local Aboriginal language refers to the waterway that was an integral food source for the indigenous people of the area. The falls themselves are just beautiful. Although they are not overly high they have many small protrusions in the rock face to make for some interesting flow.
I sat for a while, perhaps 40 minutes or so soaking up the serene landscape before me, having a bite to eat and taking a few photos before making my way back down the track from which I came.
The majority of the falls walk is a return track, with a small section at the beginning/end being a loop. The walk back to the visitors centre bypasses the suspension bridges (thank god!) and takes you through some more of the beautiful, lush rainforest.
Overall, the track is a grade 4 (mostly because of the steepness of the incline), the official distance is 4.2km although my smart watch indicated 6.2km. All up took me bang on 2 hours to complete. This is a great walk for literally everyone with oldies and young families all getting out to explore my favourite parts of the state.
Regardless of your level of hiking experience, I think this walk should be done by everyone at least once. If only to see the beautiful falls perched deep in the verdant rainforest.
Guest Writer: Dimsim Outdoors is a NSW native with a passion for exploring and a determination to push herself outside of her comfort zone. Relatively new to hiking, the last few years have seen Dim explore some of the beautiful hikes spread across NSW and beyond. She loves sharing her adventures with others and inspiring more people to get out and explore, because long walks on the beach are overrated. Long walks in the mountains is where it’s at. @dimsim_outdoors dimsimoutdoors.com