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Fitzroy Falls - Morton National Park
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Fitzroy Falls
The famous Fitzroy Falls.
A NATURAL WONDER

Although long known to the aborigines, who passed by it on their migrations from the coast to the Highlands, the falls were 'discovered' in the 1820s by Charles Throsby, pioneer settler of Bong Bong, whose property extended as far as the falls itself.

Its spectacular beauty made it a favourite place for the Throsbys to bring their many guests on picnics. One of these, NSW Governor Fitzroy, visited in 1850 and in typically modest manner named the falls after himself.

Twelve years later, when the area was surveyed, they were still referred to as 'Throsby's waterfall', but the name Fitzroy was to win out.

The falls lie in the path of the Yarrunga Creek, which drops over 80 metres down the escarpment, and flows on into the Kangaroo River. The water flow is not as massive, nor as irregular, as in the past due to a water catchment dam further upstream today. The falls have only be known to dry up once in living memory.

Long recognised for its natural beauty, 4000 acres was set aside as a reserve in 1882, and later attempts to 'develop' the area were thwarted by Highlands residents.

Fitzroy Falls 1929
Historic photo of Fitzroy Falls circa 1929 taken before the catchment dam was built.

FITZROY FALLS TODAY

Fitzroy Falls today owes its beauty to these far-sighted earlier settlers.

The small, sleepy village of the same name lies astride the main road between the Highlands to Kangaroo Valley and the South Coast at Nowra, and is a favourite stopping off place on that journey, and for the thousands of tourists each year who come to the Highlands.

The reserve became part of the Morton National Park in the 1960s when control over it was vested in the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, and who maintain the area around the lookouts and falls and operate a well-equipped visitors' centre.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO

The Visitors' Centre is situated in a wildlife reserve. There are displays of flora and fauna and the works of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, tourist information, picnic area, toilets, and a cafe. Coach parking available.

Lookout.

A boardwalk leads alongside the creek and through restored native bushland to a lookout at the top of the falls (about 100 metres). Disabled Access.

The views from here are spectacular (see at right); you can see down the cliff along the falls, and out towards Kangaroo Valley.

View over the falls
View along the escarpment from the falls.

Fitzroy Falls Lake
The lake at Fitzroy Falls.
Bushwalking trails.

From the top of the falls there are a number of bushwalking trails along the escarpment to lookouts. The next nearest (no disabled access) is about 1.6kms round trip to a lookout from where you can see the full glory of the falls. There are other trails on the left and right side of the falls to other lookouts (from 3 to 5 kms round trip.)

Paths are well cut and maintained, with frequent easy stairways. There are resting areas, and signs strategically placed identifying native fauna and flora. Lookouts are well fenced for safety.

The catchment.

If you travel further down the road towards Kangaroo Valley, you will cross over a causeway. Further on the left is a parking area overlooking the lake.

Water here both drains from the Highlands, but is also pumped up from the Tallawa Dam in Kangaroo Valley - and then to Wingecarribee Weir, from whence it flows down eventually to Burragorang Dam to supply Sydney with water.

The lake is popular for recreational sailing.

HOW TO GET THERE

From Nowra and the South Coast turn off at Bomaderry towards Kangaroo Valley and up to Fitzroy Falls (winding mountain road through rainforests.

From Wollongong go south to Albion Park then up Macquarie Pass to Robertson. A few kilometres on turn left in Pearsons Lane through Wildes Meadow. Follow the signs.

From Moss Vale turn into Throsby Street next to the railway bridge, then turn left at Myra Vale Road.

From Bowral take the Kangaloon Road turnoff south of town at the roundabout. Then follow this road (becomes Sheepwash Road) to Fitzroy Falls.

The National Parks Visitors Information Centre is open 7 days from 8.30am to 5.00pm.

The public are able to access the falls and lookouts during these times.

For more information phone: (02) 4887 7270

NPWS also runs Discovery Activities for kids during school holidays. See Events and Festivals for details.

Visitor Information Centre
The modern Visitor Information Centre.

Last updated 15/6/10

DISCLAIMER: This page is provided to promote tourism to the attractions of the Southern Highlands and is not associated - officially or unofficially - in any way with the work of the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service. Photos © 1999 - 2008 Furry Software Pty. Ltd. and Berrima District Historical and Family History Society.

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