Yalgardup Falls - Credit Sean Blockside Margaret River

This winter, wrap up 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.

Yalgardup Falls Margaret River
Yalgardup Falls, Margaret River. Photo: Sean Blocksidge.

Yalgardup Falls

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.”

Sean Blocksidge of Margaret River Discovery Co’s top tip:

Yalgardup Waterfalls on Kevill Road is one of the most spectacular and easily accessible winter waterfalls in the region. You can hear it rumbling away up the Margaret River valley when it’s in full flow. An impressive sight and sound that attracts the locals to see the winter spectacle. I’d always said it was far too dangerous to kayak, with body smashing rocks and good chance of a trip to hospital. Then one day we watched a professional kayaker go over the falls when it was in peak flow. The bloke nailed it before a rather deflating entanglement in the tea trees.

quinninup falls waterfall
Quinninup Falls is a beautiful winter waterfall, not far from the coast near Moses Rock.

Quinninup Falls

This tranquil retreat is found tucked away up a little valley, just inland from the Cape to Cape Track. Quinninup Falls is 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 Indigenous 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.

Meekadarabee Falls

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 Homestead. 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”.

Note: The waterfall is no longer visible due to geological changes, however it’s worth visiting for the pleasant walk and opportunity to visit the fantastic interpretive centre at Ellensbrook Homestead.

Beedelup Falls Pemberton
Beedelup Falls near Pemberton. Photo: Frances Andrijich

Waterfalls Further Afield

Beedelup Falls

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.

Ironstone Gully

It’s a scenic drive along Goodwood Road, through rolling farmland and orchards, past marron and alpaca farms before winding uphill to this peaceful forest reserve between Capel and Donnybrook. Ironstone Gully was designated a recreational area for settlers of Capel River back in 1903 and remains a popular picnic site and bush camping area. The stream meanders through jarrah forest, crossing under the road and across a slab of rust-red ironstone before gushing over the rocky step into a pool of moss-covered boulders. It babbles away through long grass past ferns and banksias and tall kangaroo paws, heading into the secluded forest to find the Capel River.

Advice from a Local

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