Crystal Shower Falls walk

Dorrigo National Park

Overview

Walk through lush rainforest to reach Crystal Shower Falls in Dorrigo National Park near Coffs Harbour. Enjoy spectacular views from the rocky cavern behind the waterfall.

Where
Dorrigo National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Distance
3.5km return
Time suggested
1 - 2hrs
Grade
Grade 2
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Please note

Remember to check the weather before you go because it can change quickly.

The walk to Crystal Shower Falls might be one of the shortest waterfall walks, but it is also one of the most intriguing because you can go behind the waterfall itself. Lush rainforest towers above you on the walk to the falls and you might hear the call of rainforest birds like fruit doves.

Once you reach the falls, a suspension bridge leads to a short side track that will take you behind the waterfall into a rocky cavern.

To get to Crystal Shower Falls you’ll need to take the first part of the Satinbird stroll and then join the Wonga walk, leaving from The Glade picnic area. If you are feeling energetic and want to explore the rainforest more you can carry on walking the Wonga walk.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/crystal-shower-falls-walk/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Crystal Shower Falls walk.

Track grading

Grade 2

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    1 - 2hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Gentle hills

  • Distance

    3.5km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Crystal Shower Falls walk starts at The Glade picnic area. To get there:

From Armidale:

  • Drive east along the Waterfall Way for approximately 90 minutes
  • Turn left into Dome Road approximately 2km after you pass through Dorrigo
  • Continue past the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre along Lyrebird Lane to the end

From Coffs Harbour:

  • Travel south along the Pacific Highway
  • After crossing the Bellinger River, take the Waterfall Way exit to Dorrigo via Bellingen
  • Turn right at Dome Road and continue for approximately 1.6km to the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre
  • Continue past the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre along Lyrebird Lane to the end

Parking

Parking is available at The Glade picnic area.

Best times to visit

The weather at Dorrigo National Park can vary from warm to mild to cool, depending on the time of year you visit. The summer months usually have the highest rainfall.

Spring

The rainforest is alive with birdlife - walk the Lyrebird Link for a close up view.

Summer

Escape the summer heat along one of the waterfall tracks and feel the coolness envelope you.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Accessibility

Disability access level - no wheelchair access

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Visitor centre

Nearby towns

Bellingen (18 km)

Bellingen is a laid-back, tree-lined town with a New Age vibe. It's set in a luxuriant valley beside the Bellinger River.

www.visitnsw.com

Coffs Harbour (39 km)

Coffs Harbour is a coastal city on the North Coast, packed with things to do. It's surrounded by lush forests and national parks.

www.visitnsw.com

Dorrigo (4 km)

Dorrigo is a serene country town and the gateway to Dorrigo National Park. Its close to the edge of the escarpment above the Bellingen Valley.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Crystal Shower Falls walk is in Dorrigo National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A wide range of animals

Australian brush-turkey (Alectura lathami), Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Dorrigo National Park plays home to many different animals, including 30 types of mammals, more than 128 kinds of birds and 44 species of amphibians and reptiles. The dense forest is the ideal hiding place for reptiles, so you'll need to be very quiet and patient in order to catch a glimpse. Look for the southern angle-headed dragon clinging to the trunks of trees along the Wonga walk and the red-necked pademelon on the lawn by the Rainforest Centre.

  • Bird language and predator tracking workshop Discover the hidden world of bird language and predator tracking during this great workshop near Coffs Harbour. Join the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park.
  • Gondwana World Heritage rainforest tour Be part of Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park. This 3km guided walk offers magnificent scenery and birdwatching opportunities. It's only 1hr from Coffs Harbour. 
  • Kids Gondwana nature play Looking for something for the kids to do? This fun activity promises to re-engage kids with nature. Be part of the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park.
  • Lyrebird Link track Lyrebird link is an easy walking track in Dorrigo National Park near Coffs Harbour. It is a great spot for birdwatching and there are picnic and barbecue areas nearby.
  • Satinbird stroll Satinbird stroll is an easy access trail through Dorrigo’s World Heritage rainforest, ideal for all the family, and offers birdwatching and a great place to picnic.
  • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students, focusing on science and technology. We’ll investigate the living world in Dorrigo National Park, home to World Heritage listed rainforests.
  • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker school excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students, focusing on science and technology. Students will carry out investigations and explore the living world in Dorrigo National Park.
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Dramatic waterfalls

Walk with the Birds boardwalk, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

The area is renowned for its dramatic waterfalls; so much that part of the park was first reserved in 1901 to protect the Sherrard and Newell Falls along the Waterfall Way. Today, there are a number of great rainforest walks in the park, try the Crystal Shower Falls walk for a journey behind the falls, or the longer Casuarina Falls circuit that offers views of Dorrigo Mountain and Rosewood River Valley.

  • Volunteer at Dorrigo Rainforest Centre Join a fun and passionate team of people when you become a volunteer at Dorrigo Rainforest Centre shop. Help show off Dorrigo National Park to visitors from around world. Explain the park’s activities and offer information about the nearby town of Dorrigo.

Rich Aboriginal heritage

Blackbutt track, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Dorrigo National Park aims to manage Aboriginal sites, many of which are associated with natural features in the landscape. Involving local Aboriginal custodians in managing their traditional homelands, and continuing their connection to country, is a priority in Dorrigo National Park.

  • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students, focusing on science and technology. We’ll investigate the living world in Dorrigo National Park, home to World Heritage listed rainforests.
  • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker school excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students, focusing on science and technology. Students will carry out investigations and explore the living world in Dorrigo National Park.

World Heritage rainforests

The Skywalk, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

The rainforests in Dorrigo National Park are part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area; the most extensive strip of diverse rainforest anywhere on earth. The World Heritage Area is a direct window into the past and the future, providing a link to the ancient pre-human world and a stunning and irreplaceable record of life on our planet. You can explore the rainforest on one of the many walking tracks, like the Lyrebird Link that leaves from the Rainforest Centre.

  • Bird language and predator tracking workshop Discover the hidden world of bird language and predator tracking during this great workshop near Coffs Harbour. Join the Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park.
  • Gondwana World Heritage rainforest tour Be part of Gondwana Rainforests 25th anniversary celebration at Dorrigo National Park. This 3km guided walk offers magnificent scenery and birdwatching opportunities. It's only 1hr from Coffs Harbour. 
  • Lyrebird Link track Lyrebird link is an easy walking track in Dorrigo National Park near Coffs Harbour. It is a great spot for birdwatching and there are picnic and barbecue areas nearby.
  • Sensing the Rainforest Sensing the rainforest is a Stage 1 (Years 1-2) school excursion in Dorrigo National Park, which focuses on HSIE. Students will explore the wonders of Dorrigo Rainforest - observing, listening, touching, smelling and searching to discover this special environment. It is a fun program for all ages, adults included.
  • Wonga walk Take a walk amongst subtropical rainforest and 600-year-old trees along the Wonga walk in Dorrigo National Park, home to the Tristania and Crystal Falls.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Satin bowerbird. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

    With vibrant blue-violet eyes and curious antics, the satin bowerbird is a favourite for bird watching and easy to spot as it forages for food in open forest. Relatively common across eastern Australia, in NSW they’re found in coastal rainforests and adjacent woodlands and mountain ranges.

  • Australian brush turkey, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Australian brush turkey (Alectura lathami)

    The Australian brush turkey, also known as bush or scrub turkey, can be found in rainforests along eastern NSW. With a striking red head, blue-black plumage and booming call, these distinctive Australian birds are easy to spot while bird watching in several NSW national parks.

  •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

    With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

  • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

    Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

Plants

  • Coachwood flower. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum)

    Coachwood trees are Australian native plants that grow in warm temperate rainforests along coastal NSW. Also known as scented satinwood, the mottled grey bark of the coachwood has horizontal markings and a delicate fragrance.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

School excursions (8)

Crystal Shower Falls, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary