The idea of a majestic waterfall cascading over rugged, boulder laden cliffs is almost certainly not what you think of when you imagine a trip to the ACT but this place exists and it's easier to reach than you might think. A relatively well-kept secret, Gibraltar Falls flow through the Namadgi National Park in the south of the ACT. The falls make for a glorious day in the great outdoors but here are a few things you should know before you go:
1. It's really easy to find
Despite their rugged, exceptionally good looks, Gibraltar Falls are not interested in playing hard to get. The drive to the falls is all sealed roads - just follow the road to Corin Forest then look for the Gibraltar Falls sign on your left. That will take you to a convenient car park and once you're there, it's just a short (80 metres!) walk to the waterfall viewing platform. There are some fairly steep and uneven stairs so, despite the very short distance, this walk isn't suitable for wheelchairs or prams.
2. It can get VERY busy
While Gibraltar Falls seems to be a secret kept from out of towners, the locals are well and truly in the know and on a warm day, visiting can be akin to the sardine-in-a-can experience. The hot day crowds seem to be largely made up of wanna-be influencers who like to share their music and endless selfie poses so if you want a quieter experience, visit first thing in the morning or any time the weather isn't well suited to a g-string bikini. If the car park is full, a spillover car park at Woods Reserve (further down the hill) also provides access to the falls via a longer trail.
As well as the spectacular waterfall itself, the creek at the top of the waterfall has formed a series of swimming holes including a cliff-side 'infinity pool' which gives any of the best in the world a run for their money. With endless views across the mountainous wilderness, the freshest water you can find and smooth rocks warmed by the sun perfect for relaxing on, this is nature at its finest. But these pools are at the top of an unfenced 50 metre cliff, the rocks can be very slippery and the water is sometimes fed by snow-melt so it can be close to freezing. There's a trackside fence and warning signs telling you not to venture too close to the edge but if you're a sensible-Sam, the good news is there are several pools further back from the cliff which are much more appealing for the risk-averse among us (and also minus the selfie-craving hordes in the infinity pool.
4. There are good facilities on-site
There is a grassed are near the car park complete with toilets, BBQs and picnic tables so you can enjoy the wilderness without scrimping on the creature comforts. The only thing that can't be relied on here is the mobile phone coverage which ranges from patchy to non-existent.
5. It's great for kids!
If you have kids, even really small ones, this is a great place to introduce them to nature with minimal stress. The path to the falls is short, the facilities are great and there's a shallow area where they can paddle in the creek well away from the cliffs and crowds. It's also close to another kid's favourite, the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, so a great opportunity to combine the two experiences in one day.