Duffer Falls, Lyrebird Falls and Boundary Falls in Gibraltar National Park

Duffer Falls, Lyrebird Falls and Boundary Falls in Gibraltar National Park


Posted 2024-04-14 by Cris follow
Gibraltar National Park is a natural gem located in New South Wales, offering a diverse range of breathtaking landscapes and immersive outdoor experiences. The park is renowned for its stunning beauty, characterized by lush forests, majestic cliffs, and an abundance of cascading waterfalls.

The park features an extensive network of well-maintained trails for hikers of all skill levels. From leisurely strolls to challenging hikes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Each trail presents a unique adventure, leading visitors through ancient rainforests, over rugged terrain, and along picturesque ridges that offer panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and gorges.

One of the highlights of Gibraltar National Park is a collection of enchanting waterfalls. From the grandeur of Duffer Falls and the captivating beauty of Lyrebird Falls, these cascades provide a mesmerizing spectacle as the water plunges down rocky cliffs, creating a symphony of sound and a refreshing mist-filled atmosphere. These natural wonders are often surrounded by lush vegetation, adding to their allure.

Lyrebird Falls, Duffer Falls and Boundary Falls trails start off Gwydir Highway, near Boundary Falls campground and picnic area. Coming from Grafton along the Gwydir Highway, when approaching Boundary Falls campground, you will see a brown sign written Boundary Falls turn left 400 m. The turn is shortly after Raspberry Lookout Rd. The road is narrow and made up of dirt, suitable for conventional vehicles.

Hikers of the group Hiking South East Qld at Duffer Falls.

Duffer Falls.

Duffer Falls trail starts at the Boundary Falls campground and picnic area. The trail is 7 km return, allow 3 hours; the trail is classified as Grade 4 by the New South Wales National Park Service.
The trail is very large and easy, with tall eucalyptus trees, ferns and grass trees.

Sunshine wattle in the rain. The trail is adorned with many beautiful native trees.

Fungi thrive in moist conditions; on a rainy day, they are present in all their glory and colours.  

Fungi resemble corals on the earth.

The final stretch of the Duffer Falls trail presents an awe-inspiring scene as it winds its way through towering eucalypts, lush ferns, and striking grass trees. However, it is in the last 700 meters where the trail truly intensifies, narrowing and becoming more demanding. As you navigate this challenging section, the anticipation builds, leading you to the grand finale—the breathtaking Duffer Creek cascades.

Duffer Falls is seen when descending the steep and uneven trail.

Here, Duffer Creek plunges over a cliff in a magnificent display of nature's power. The cascades create a mesmerizing spectacle as the water tumbles down in a series of dramatic steps, each one adding to the exhilarating experience. The force of the water crashing against the rocks fills the air with a symphony of sound, echoing through the surrounding landscape.

The place of the waterfall is very idyllic and beautiful. There are many photo opportunities to create awesome memories.

The sight of the cascades is truly captivating, with the water cascading down in a graceful and powerful manner. The sheer volume of water, combined with the sheer height of the cliff, creates a dramatic contrast against the backdrop of the lush greenery. The interplay of light and shadow, as the sunlight filters through the canopy and dances on the water's surface, adds a magical quality to the entire experience.

The beautiful scenery from Duffer Falls.

As you stand at the vantage point near the falls, you can feel the raw energy and the unyielding force of nature. The sight, the sound, and the atmosphere all converge to create an unforgettable moment. It's a place where the beauty and power of nature are on full display—a testament to the wonders that await those who venture along the Duffer Falls trail.

Gibraltar National Park in New South Wales, Australia, is a stunning destination known for its natural beauty and abundant eucalyptus trees. The eucalyptus trees in Gibraltar National Park create a unique ambience, with their tall trunks, smooth bark, and vibrant green foliage.

Lyrebird Falls.

Lyrebird Falls trail starts at Boundary Falls campground, it is a 2.2 km return and allow 1.5 hours; the hike is classified as Grade 4 by the New South Wales National Park Service. The Lyrebird Falls track is a picturesque trail that leads to a captivating scenic lookout.

The Lyrebird Falls track is a well-maintained hiking trail that winds its way through a serene and lush natural setting. The trail is known for its enchanting ambience, as it meanders through dense forests, accompanied by the soothing sounds of birds.

As you embark on the Lyrebird Falls track, you'll find yourself surrounded by towering eucalypt trees, their canopies forming a verdant tunnel that filters sunlight, creating an ethereal atmosphere. The path is often shaded, providing respite from the sun's rays.

Along the trail, you'll encounter several enchanting little waterfalls that cascade down moss-covered rocks, creating a symphony of glistening water and melodic splashes. These hidden gems add a touch of magic to the journey, inviting you to pause and appreciate their beauty.

The trail itself is moderately challenging, with a mix of flat stretches and gentle inclines. It is well-marked, ensuring that hikers can navigate their way without confusion. The track may require some physical effort, but the captivating scenery and the promise of the lookout make every step worthwhile.

As you approach the end of the trail, the sound of rushing water becomes more pronounced. Finally, you reach the scenic lookout, where you are rewarded with an awe-inspiring vista. From this vantage point, you can marvel at the breathtaking view of the gorgeous little waterfalls as they cascade down mossy cliffs, while Boundary Creek gracefully winds its way through the landscape below.

If you are hiking the Duffer Falls trail, you can turn right at the intersection with the Lyrebird Falls trail and continue to hike.

When you have explored Duffer Falls and Lyrebird Falls, return to the Boundary Falls campground and picnic area. From here you can descend the steps and explore Boundary Falls.

Lyrebird Falls is safely seen from the platform.

Boundary Falls.

The trail to Boundary Falls starts at the Boundary Falls campground. It is made up of a series of steps that descend to the waterfall. The steps provide a safe and convenient way to navigate the slope while enjoying the breathtaking views of the cascading water. The sight and sound of the waterfall create a tranquil atmosphere, adding to the overall beauty of the hike.

It's important to note that while the trail to Boundary Falls may not be long in distance, it can still offer a rewarding and immersive experience. Whether you are an experienced hiker or a nature enthusiast seeking a refreshing adventure, the trail leading to Boundary Falls in Gibraltar National Park promises to be a delightful journey filled with natural wonders. The trail might offer occasional viewpoints or lookout areas where you can pause to appreciate the scenic surroundings or capture memorable photographs.

Following the creek's course can lead you to further natural wonders, such as serene stretches of forest, additional water features, or breathtaking viewpoints.

At the base of the waterfall, a magnificent pool forms, creating a serene oasis. The pool's clear, inviting waters reflect the surrounding natural beauty, making it a picturesque spot. The pool serves as a tranquil haven, offering visitors the opportunity to cool off, swim, or simply relax while being mesmerized by the majestic waterfall. As the waterfall descends, it gracefully feeds a meandering creek that flows away.

The creek that meanders away from the waterfall follows a gentle path, winding through the landscape. Its babbling waters provide a soothing soundtrack as you explore the surrounding trails.

Boundary Falls is a very picturesque and impressive waterfall. The sight is awesome, with the water cascading down a wall of rock. The waterfall itself is a remarkable single drop, boasting an impressive height and width, which adds to its grandeur.

The imposing wall of rock where the water descends adds to the dramatic scenery. Its rugged texture and imposing presence create a sense of awe and wonder. The rock formation features various layers, colours, or patterns, showcasing the geological history of the area.

Gibraltar National Park.

Gibraltar National Park is exceptional for its natural beauty and is also home to a rich array of wildlife. The park is a haven for birdwatchers, with a variety of avian species, including the iconic lyrebird, which can be heard mimicking the sounds of its forest companions. The park is also inhabited by koala, spotted-tailed quoll, small parma wallaby, rabbit-sized rufous bettong and long-nosed potoroo, the greater glider and the common dunnart, a mouse-size insect eater.

To enhance visitors' experiences, the park offers well-equipped picnic areas and camping facilities, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquillity of nature for an extended period. Along with the trails and waterfalls, these amenities make Gibraltar National Park a perfect destination for day trips, weekend getaways, and outdoor adventures.

Gibraltar National Park stands as a testament to the extraordinary beauty of the Australian wilderness. Its stunning trails, captivating waterfalls, and thriving wildlife make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers, adventurers, and those seeking solace in the serenity of the natural world.

Views of the surrounding mountains from Duffer Falls.

Boundary Falls campground.

Boundary Falls campground and picnic area is a hidden gem nestled within the breathtaking landscape of a dry forest. Located on the grounds of a former sawmill, this idyllic spot offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and convenient amenities. The campground provides everything you need to create a comfortable and memorable camping experience.

As you arrive, you'll be captivated by the serene surroundings. Towering trees and vibrant flora create a picturesque backdrop, immersing you in the tranquillity of nature. The dry forest setting lends a unique charm to the campground, with its earthy colours and rustic ambience.

Setting up camp is a delight at Boundary Falls. Whether you choose to unfurl your tent or park your camper, you'll find ample space and well-maintained camping sites. The area is thoughtfully designed to ensure privacy and a sense of seclusion, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere.

Exploring the campground, you'll discover a range of amenities that enhance your camping experience. Well-maintained picnic areas provide a perfect setting for enjoying meals surrounded by nature's beauty. Picnic tables and fire pits offer places to gather, share stories, and savour delicious outdoor meals.

The old sawmill site adds a touch of history and character to the campground. It serves as a reminder of the area's past, adding a unique charm to the overall ambience. You might even find remnants of the sawmill, which can spark curiosity and provide interesting conversation topics.

Whether you're seeking adventure or relaxation, Boundary Falls Campground has something for everyone. Hiking trails wind through the forest, leading to breathtaking viewpoints or serene creeks. You can embark on nature walks, revel in birdwatching opportunities, or simply find a peaceful spot to unwind and recharge.

Boundary Falls campground.
(Photo from https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/campgrounds/boundary-falls-campground-and-picnic-area )

The flannel flowers.

The flannel flower, a native Australian wildflower, is known for its unique and enchanting appearance. It is characterized by its delicate and intricate features, which make it a remarkable sight in various natural habitats such as coastal heath, scrub, and dry sclerophyll forest.

The flannel flower's most distinctive feature is its soft, velvety texture, which gives it a unique and tactile charm. When you touch its petals, they feel remarkably similar to the texture of the flannel fabric, hence its name. This texture adds to the flower's visual appeal and sets it apart from many other wildflowers.

The flower itself consists of a central disc, surrounded by a cluster of white or cream-coloured petals. The petals are elongated and narrow, with a slightly fringed appearance, giving them a delicate and ethereal quality. The overall shape of the flower is typically round, with the petals radiating outward from the central disc.

The flannel flower's beauty is further enhanced by the contrasting dark-coloured stamens that emerge from the central disc. These stamens provide a striking visual contrast against the pale petals, adding depth and visual interest to the flower's overall composition.

One of the fascinating aspects of the flannel flower is its ability to bloom throughout the year, making it a constant presence in the New South Wales landscape. Its ability to thrive in various environments, including shallow sandy soils, allows it to adapt to different conditions and contribute to the vibrant ecosystems where it is commonly found.

Scientifically known as Actinotus helianthi, the flannel flower belongs to the Apiaceae family and is endemic to Australia. It primarily occurs along the eastern coast of the country, from southern Queensland to New South Wales. It is particularly abundant in the Sydney region and is considered an iconic symbol of the area.

The flannel flowers just after a light rain in early autumn.


All the photos are from the Author



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