Somersby Falls, a series of waterfalls in Brisbane Water National Park

On a wet rainy day you usually don’t feel like doing anything let alone going outside into nature. Recently I tried to change my mindset by visiting Somersby Falls on a cold wet day. As an added bonus I got to enjoy the falls all by myself too. The famous section of the falls is well known in the Sydney photography community but there are actually a few smaller waterfalls that all connect as part of the creek system. One of them is hidden away from the public path but easy to get to.  In this post I’ll introduce some of them to you, as well as the cool wildlife to keep an eye out for at Somersby Falls.

Main Somersby Falls

The Hidden Waterfalls of Somersby

These are actually the closest falls to the carpark. When you start the track leading to the lower and upper waterfalls from the carpark, keep an eye out to your left. There are a few unsigned tracks leading off to these waterfalls. They’re only about 3 metres tall, but are quite beautiful in the rain. Be careful when treading on the rocks, it’s very slippery.

The Secret Waterfall at Somsersby Falls

Somersby Falls – The Top Waterfall

This is the famous waterfall. It’s only about 100m along the track from the carpark. In summer it can get busy, because it becomes a popular swimming hole. It’s a good place to take off your shoes and socks and go for a splash. If you tread carefully across the slippery rock you can even sit underneath the cascade.

The Bottom Waterfall

Less than five minutes further down, the bottom waterfalls aren’t quite as dramatic but are worth checking out. In terms of photography the composition is more difficult to work with than the top falls.

The Bottom Falls

Wildlife at Somersby Falls

Somersby Falls is managed by rangers as part of Brisbane Waters National Park, so its wildlife is in very good condition. I saw a few birds flitting around, and a friendly water dragon. I also saw a vibrant case of tree wax, which glistened in the rain.

Friendly Water Dragon at Somersby Falls. It stayed still for a few minutes while I struggled to get this handheld shot.
Bush Turkey / Brush Turkey that I caught trying to peck my tyres
Ferns – they love living near waterfalls!

Hiking at Somersby Falls

The track is only about 500m but is quite steep. If you’re quick you could visit everything within 30min, but I’d recommend about an hour to enjoy the sights along the way.

More to see near Somersby Falls

If you’re visiting Somersby I recommend you visit Girakool falls too. It’s a lot less crowded than Somersby, however it’s not as suitable for swimming. Check out my post about Girakool Falls here.

There’s also the Australian Reptile Park, about 5min drive away.

Somersby Falls would also be a good halfway point on the trip to Newcastle or Port Stephens. Here’s my post about Photography in Tomaree National Park, in Port Stephens.

Parking and Getting to Somersby Falls

Somersby Falls is only about 1-1.5 hours from Sydney CBD, in Brisbane Water National Park. It’s located on the central coast.  When navigating to the falls, make sure it’s the ‘Somersby Falls Picnic Area’. I have had trouble before finding it because it’s not listed as a location on some map providers, and some parts don’t have network coverage. I will provide the exact location on google maps below.

The falls are open from 9am – 5pm / 8pm, depending on sunset times. You will need to pay the park entry free and put the receipt on your car dashboard, unless you have an all parks pass. The carpark can get crowded in summer. There is no public transport available unless you’re on a tour.

Location of Somersby Falls

Danger at Somersby Falls

Please take care at the falls. There have been tragic cases of people climbing rocks and falling to their death. If you have children make sure they don’t run in the rain across the slippery rocks. For selfie takers and photographers – don’t be silly and try to get shots that put you in danger. I promise they won’t be better because of the danger anyway. The best shots at Somersby Falls are easy to get from safe grounds.