Waterfall Way is a road and State Highway 78 that runs east-west from the Pacific Highway to the New England Highway at Armidale in the New England region of Australia. The route passes through some of New South Wales' most scenic countryside and has been voted the number one tourist drive in New South Wales, Australia. Seven national parks, three of which are listed as World Heritage Areas by UNESCO and form part of the Gondwana Rainforest of Australia are located on or close to the route. Dorrigo National Park encompasses the waterfalls that give the route its name.
The road is sealed but relatively narrow and has a steep 14 km winding section west of Thora. In recent years storms and associated flash flooding have washed away sections of the roadway, leading to traffic being limited to one lane at the Newell and Sherrard Waterfalls on the Dorrigo Range. There are periodic road closures between Dorrigo and Bellingen, during road repairs. Check with the Bellingen Shire Council [dead link] or the Roads & Traffic Authority for current information.
There’s no need to take special precautions, however it is necessary to make sure that you have adequate food, water and warm clothing if planning visits to any of the many national parks.
Armidale is at the start of the Waterfall Way to Raleigh, near Coffs Harbour on the coast. Regular scheduled air services and rail transport services are available from Sydney to Armidale. Car hire is available on arrival at the Armidale airport.
This scenic route passes through the gorge country as the tablelands drop to the coastal region. Located along the way are three national parks, which are listed as World Heritage Areas by UNESCO and form part of the Gondwana Rainforest of Australia. Dorrigo National Park encompasses the waterfalls that give the route its name. Driving time to the coast is 2½ hours.
Overtaking opportunities may be limited along the route, especially on the Dorrigo Range - be patient and enjoy the beauty of the area!
Pay attention to the wildlife warning signs - kangaroos are common in much of northern NSW and venture on to the roadway particularly around dusk.
Accommodation may be obtained at Bellingen, Dorrigo, Ebor, Yaraandoo Eco-Lodge Function Centre (by prior arrangement) and in cabins in New England National Park. Camping is also permitted at Cathedral Rock National Park, New England National Park and Wollomombi Falls.