Rawson Falls walk

Boorganna Nature Reserve

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Overview

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.

Where
Boorganna Nature Reserve
Distance
5km return
Time suggested
1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min
Grade
Grade 4
What to
bring
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 directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Map


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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/rawson-falls-walk/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Track grading

Grade 4

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

    1hr 30min - 2hrs 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Sign posted

  • Gradient

    Very steep

  • Distance

    5km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get 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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

    Winter

    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

    Summer temperature

    Average

    17°C and 28°C

    Highest recorded

    42.2°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    7°C and 21°C

    Lowest recorded

    -1.5°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    January

    Driest month

    July

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    234.6mm

    Facilities

    You'll need to bring your own drinking water.

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    This park is in a remote location, so please ensure you’re well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

    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.

    If you’re bushwalking in this park, it’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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.

    Prohibited

    Pets

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

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Learn more

    Rawson Falls walk is in Boorganna Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    A natural haven

    Southern angle-headed dragon (Hypsilurus spinipes), Boorganna Nature Reserve. Photo: Barbara Webster

    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.

    • Rawson Falls walk 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.

    Preserving for the future

    Rawson Falls walk, Boorganna Nature Reserve. Photo: L Feltus

    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.

    • Rawson Falls walk 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.

    Traditional Aboriginal lands

    Comboyne Plateau, Boorganna Nature Reserve. Photo: Karl Bayer

    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.

    Winged paradise

    Rainforest Canopy, Boorganna Nature Reserve. Photo: L Feltus

    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.

    • Rawson Falls walk 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.

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