Chasing Winter Waterfalls
Rug up and head off on an adventure to track down these winter waterfalls.
This winter, wrap up warm and venture into the great outdoors. You’ll be rewarded with an awe-inspiring roar from these natural wonders that can be just as relaxing and therapeutic as the toasty fire waiting for you at the end of the day.
“Don’t go chasing waterfalls” is sound advice for most of the year in the Margaret River Region, when your dreams of finding majestic cascades in bountiful flow, will evaporate just as quickly as the hard-earned beads of sweat you gleaned from hiking there.
But with the winter rain comes the rush of rivers and the awakening of the creeks and valleys of the south west. The parched earth is revived with a hurried flow of water and the little known waterfalls of the region spring to life.
So make the most of winter while it‘s here, and the unique gifts it bestows upon the landscape. Tread carefully with consideration for the environment, and be mindful that many of these waterfalls are sites of cultural significance for the Wadandi people.
This tranquil retreat is found tucked away up a little valley, just inland from the Cape to Cape Track. It’s a 2km hike north from the Moses Rock Road car park, along cliff tops shrouded in coastal heath, past a viewpoint and a wooden bridge, until the descent down a steep sand dune towards Quinninup Beach. Just before reaching the beach, you’ll spot trail markers to the right, heading along Quinninup Brook and up to the falls. Stick to the path and avoid straying onto the red mud, which is an area of cultural importance to local aboriginal people.
The falls come into view as a series of granite steps chiselled into the green bushy ridge. A scramble down the last sandy section, through grassy undergrowth, reveals a hidden sanctuary where the stream cascades down between towers of rock into a magical little pool.
Close to Margaret River, Yalgardup Falls are tucked away at the bottom of Kevill Road, just opposite Waterfall Cottages. The rich tannin-stained water approaches gently from upstream, before plunging over the dark, blocky ledge and scurrying away to get lost in a thicket of paperbarks and peppermints. “This is one of the most spectacular and easily accessible waterfalls in the region,” says Sean Blocksidge of Margaret River Discovery Company. He regularly treats his guests to a stop here in winter. “You can hear it rumbling away up the Margaret River valley when it‘s in full flow – an impressive sight and sound that attracts all the locals, keen to witness the winter spectacle.”
Beedelup Falls Photo Credit: Tourism Western Australia
An enchanting world of karri trees towers high above Beedelup Brook. An easy stop along the Karri Valley Explorer Drive near Pemberton, there’s a short 300m walk through tranquil forest to reach the falls. The path leads over a suspension bridge to the lookout, where spray erupts and the stream thunders down over granite steps beneath your feet. It carves a fern-fringed course downstream towards the lake at Karri Valley Resort. The Beedelup Falls Loop Walk is a more adventurous 4.5km hike taking in the karri forest, lakeside and Walk-Through-Tree.
Further south along the Cape to Cape Track, Meekadarabee Falls is a relaxing 2km walk along a wheelchair-friendly path from the recently restored Ellensbrook Heritage Site. Ellen and Alfred Bussell, drawn to the freshwater supply, chose this sheltered site as their home in 1857. “Around mid afternoon we crossed a little stream, the beauty of which took my breath away,” wrote Ellen Bussell. “Water cascaded over grotto in a limestone cliff forming a pond that ran back through the floor of the cave, emerging a short distance away to travel to the sea.”
The stream trickles from Meekadarabee Cave over moss-covered rock, forming a freshwater spring in a verdant oasis of ferns and peppermint trees. This is a mystical place, home to the story of two dreamtime spirits and known by aboriginal people as “the bathing place of the moon”.
Now you are ready to head off on an adventure, need help booking accommodation?
Cape to Cape TrackGreat For: Birdwatching,Free,Nature & Wildlife Spotting,Scenic Spot,Walking & Hiking,Wildflower Spotting
Cape to Cape Walk Track, Western Australia
Quinninup FallsOpen 24 HoursGreat For: Birdwatching,Free,Scenic Spot,Walking & Hiking,Wildflower Spotting
Wilyabrup WA 6280
RAC Karri Valley ResortGreat For: Child Friendly
11342 Vasse Highway Yeagarup, Beedelup WA 6260
Meekadarabee FallsGreat For: Free,Scenic Spot,Walking & Hiking,Wildflower Spotting
Ellensbrook, Ellen Brook Road WA 6285
4.6 From $10
Ellensbrook - Heritage SiteThursday to Saturday 10am – 4pm. Sundays and public holidays, tours by appointment only. Please call the onsite wardens to book (08) 9755 5173. Grounds are open daily.Great For: Picnic Spot,Scenic Spot,Wildflower Spotting
Ellen Brook Rd, Margaret River WA 6285