Rawson Falls walk
Boorganna Nature Reserve
Follow Rawson Falls walk all the way to the scenic waterfalls, passing a lookout, picnic area and swimming hole, while enjoying birdwatching and wildlife along the way.
- Boorganna Nature Reserve
- 5km return
- Time suggested
- 1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min
- Grade 4
- What to
- Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
- Please note
- Leeches may be encountered. To help prevent contact, apply insect repellent and wear long trousers. Check your clothing frequently and flick off any leeches.
- There are stinging trees near the walking track. Visitors are advised not to touch the leaves or brush up against the tree.
- The weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
- Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch
While in Boorganna Nature Reserve, be sure to take the trip out along Rawson Falls walk, which you can follow all the way down to the very base of the waterfall, with its deep, tranquil plunge pool at the bottom.
For your effort, you’ll be rewarded with absolutely spectacular views of the 40m high falls and the diverse surrounding vegetation; you can see all six types of forest that make up the reserve from here. In spring, look out for the beautiful flowering orange blossom and spotted cinnamon orchids, while in autumn, the brightly coloured fungi of the forest can be quite remarkable to see.
A trip to the waterfall, with a relaxed lunch at the picnic area and a refreshing dip at the bottom of the falls, makes for a perfect day trip. The track is even signposted along the way with interesting facts about the rainforest and its history.
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/rawson-falls-walk/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Boorganna Nature Reserve in the North Coast region
Boorganna National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
All the practical information you need to know about Rawson Falls walk.
Grade 4Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min
Quality of markings
Quality of path
Rough track, many obstacles
No experience required
Getting there and parking
Get driving directions
Rawson Falls walk starts at Boorganna picnic area in Boorganna Nature Reserve. To get there:
- Follow Main Street north from Comboyne
- Continue along Main Street which becomes Wingham Road
- Turn right onto Innes View Road and follow the signs to Boorganna picnic area
Parking is available at Boorganna picnic area.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Boorganna Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.
Autumn, with its mild temperatures, is a great season to bushwalk, picnic and enjoy the views from the waterfall and the brightly coloured fungi that are rampant in the rainforest at this time of year.
Spring is a great time for bushwalks and birdwatching when plants are flowering and fruiting. The reserve's birds are all highly active during this time too.
Summer is a good time to escape the heat and holiday crowds by exploring the hinterland. Walking in cool temperate rainforest can be a pleasant and calming escape on a hot summer day.
In winter, the reserve and the Comboyne Plateau create a picturesque winter wonderland destination for car touring, with its early morning frosts at high altitudes and crystal clear skies.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
17°C and 28°C
7°C and 21°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
You'll need to bring your own drinking water.
Maps and downloads
Rawson Falls walk is in Boorganna Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
A natural haven
Boorganna Nature Reserve has one of the most botanically diverse environments you're likely to encounter in NSW, with 6 types of forest, including subtropical, warm temperate, gully rainforest and wet and dry sclerophyll forest. The reserve forms part of the Tapin Tops/Killabakh regional wildlife corridor which protects a number of vulnerable species, including yellow-bellied gliders, long-nosed potoroos, parma wallabies, rufous scrub birds and Stephen's banded snake. Other unique animals recorded here include the spotted-tailed quoll, red-necked pademelon, swamp wallaby, and long-nosed bandicoot. Around 85 bird species also call this area home, including 2 vulnerable owls (the masked owl and sooty owl), and other threatened species such as rose robins, yellow-throated scrub wren, crimson rosellas, superb lyrebirds and scarlet honeyeaters.
Preserving for the future
Boorganna Nature Reserve is the second-oldest nature reserve in NSW and an important reminder of the extensive rainforest that once covered the entire Comboyne Plateau. Its deep red fertile soils are ideal for the rainforest and moist hardwood forests that grow here. In 1904, a small area around Rawson Falls was dedicated to the preservation of native flowers and public recreation.
Traditional Aboriginal lands
The traditional Aboriginal custodians of the reserve and surrounding area are the Birpai People, who once used the rainforests for a variety of important cultural purposes, such as gathering plants and animals for food and medicine. The origin of the name 'Boorganna' is uncertain, though it is thought that it refers to either the mahogany or lilly pilly trees that thrive in this area. The name 'Comboyne' is derived from 'Wambuyn', meaning 'the place of kangaroos', and indeed you're likely to spot many of these fascinating native creatures bounding along the plateau, particularly at dawn and dusk.
Be sure to bring your binoculars, because bird watching is one of the reserve’s most rewarding activities, thanks to the 85 species that call this area home. In addition to two vulnerable owls (the masked owl and sooty owl), other threatened species that find sanctuary here include rose robins, yellow-throated scrubwren, crimson rosellas, superb lyrebirds, scarlet honeyeaters, and many more.