When you travel, there will almost always be an instance where you don’t see a place at its best. For us, that place was definitely Fitzroy Falls. Dean and I stopped in without much of a plan at Fitzroy Falls in April of 2015 when Dean has recently migrated properly to Australia and we were doing our Australian roadtrip. How to describe Fitzroy Falls in one word?
It was so foggy in fact that we weren’t just the only people there, but we could barely see each other at all. To be honest, there could have been hundreds of people there and I would have had no idea if they had been sitting quietly, as my vision was limited primarily to what was directly in front of me. This is hardly the kind of weather to see Fitzroy Falls, a stunning waterfall that drops a sheer 81 metres into the valley below. So, while we did hear the falls… we didn’t really see much of it at all.
If you want to get an idea of just how foggy it was, you can see our video from that road trip. Fitzroy Falls makes a brief appearance at 0:50, 1:56, and 2:39.
So, when I was in New South Wales for my annual family pilgrimage, sadly without Dean accompanying me, an opportunity arose to see Fitzroy Falls again. What can I say? I was more than eager. It was a beautiful winters day by New South Wales standards. Cold but with lots of sunlight and with the promise of adventure just waiting around the next bend. I jumped in the car with my lovely mum, my nephew and a cousin and we all headed up the mountain.
After a visit to Minnamurra Falls to walk across the picturesque suspension bridges and listen to the rainforest, we find there’s time to spare. Less than an hour later we were pulling into Fitzroy Falls.
Fitzroy Falls is, in a word, stunning. There’s just no other way around it. With a full view of the falls and the valley, I was kicking myself that Dean was missing out on the view we just knew was under the fog when we were last in the area. The valley is incredibly deep and runs off into the distance like our own version of a Grand Canyon. At one end, where most of the walks begin, Fitzroy Falls cascades down into the void. Noticeably, the volume of water is much less this time. Last time we could hear it thunder and crash on the rocks below after weeks of rain. This time its a graceful fall into the abyss, its calm collision barely echoing off the stones at its base.
Our little group took the West Rim Track, and did almost the entire thing. It’s not very long, only 3.5km return, but we only went to The Grotto as we had other places to be. This happened to be as far as Dean and I had walked previously as well. I wanted to see everything that I had tried to see in the fog, but with the sun on my side. Last time, we were harried back by increasing rain and the promise of a warm car and a cup of tea. This time we wandered leisurely, taking in the distant vistas and soaking up the sunshine.
It’s amazing what a difference the weather can make, when you really stop to think about it. I hope one day that Dean and I will walk Fitzroy Falls again in the sun, so he can see that difference to. For now, well, at least I have the photos!
What You Should Know About Fitzroy Falls
- There is a parking fee at the Fitzroy Falls Visitors Centre of $4 per vehicle, per day. Just buy a ticket when you enter and display it on the dash of your vehicle.
- Fitzroy Falls has an award-winning visitors centre with loads of information about local history, flora and fauna, and the region’s Aboriginal history.
- You’ll find a number of walks are available at Fitzroy Falls, varying in length for walkers of all abilities. Access to views of the Fitzroy Falls themselves are a very short walk from the visitors centre, and on a boardwalk so accessible to all mobility visitors.