Girakool Falls are the lesser known sisters of Somersby Falls

I prefer hiking to places that are less crowded because it’s easier to take photos and more relaxing. Girakool is the perfect place for a quiet hike and to visit the waterfalls. Only an hour north of Sydney, it’s a little known secret on the Central Coast. When I visited during the rain, there was only one other car at the carpark. It probably gets busier in summer but I would recommend visiting during or directly after rainfall.

The main attraction for me here was the unexpected waterfall. I actually came here by accident, while trying to get to Somersby Falls. It’s relatively unknown compared to Somersby Falls, and in summer when Somersby gets crowded, Girakool would probably be the better waterfall to visit in the area. Check out my post about visiting Somersby Falls on a rainy day.

Girakool Falls. Check out those cool ferns!

Hiking the Girakool Loop Track

There is a 2km loop hiking track, which takes less than an hour to complete while stopping along the way to enjoy the sights. It starts from the picnic area. When you’re doing the hike just make sure to take the correct trail – I have a friend who took the wrong one and ended up hiking all day with no waterfalls in sight. The trail I took was near the entrance of the carpark.

Piles Creek Loop

This is a hike I plan on doing in the near future. It’s a 4km loop from Girakool Picnic Area Carpark. Check it out here.

Wildlife at Girakool

I wasn’t expecting to see much but there were some nice plants in Girakool. That being said, it is part of Brisbane Water National Park which is very well managed. I found plenty of fungi because of the recent rain, and some nice plants that were enjoying the wet day. I also found a native yabby. I’m pretty sure it’s the Cherax destructor, which is also known as the common yabby. I’ve seen them quite a few times hiding in creeks. It fled as soon as I got too close. They are usually about 10-20cm long, and listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. They can survive years in dry conditions by burrowing deep into burrows below dried riverbeds and hibernating.

Cherax destructor – how cool is that scientific name?? I want that to be my name.

Getting to Girakool Falls and Parking at Girakool Picnic Area

Girakool falls are about 1-1.5 hrs drive north from Sydney CBD. It’s located in Brisbane Water National Park, not far from the popular Somersby Falls. Check out my post about Somersby Falls – the best roadtrip to do when its raining.

Other places to visit nearby include the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park and the Australian Reptile Park.

Location of Girakool Falls