Hell Hole Falls
is located in Mount Jerusalem National Park
in the Northern Rivers section of NSW. A short drive from the small town of Uki
in the Tweed Valley
; the National Park is an untouched haven of waterfalls, walking trails, protected wildlife and magnificent views of the ranges that call this beautiful part of Northern NSW home.
With little research of this National Park (my first mistake) and only a pretty photo off Instagram getting me to go, the path I chose to get to these falls quickly lead me to realise this trail isn't exactly what you'd call 'clearly marked' and it wasn't going to be as easy to find as I'd hoped. But thanks to a friendly couple I met along the way, their local knowledge of the park at least pointed me in the right direction to finally find the spot. Unfortunately, service on your phone isn't too great out in these areas, so make sure you know your itinerary before you go so you don't get lost like myself. This trail may not be the easiest but it's definitely worth it!
Cool down with a magnificent view! Photo by Chloe Doyle @chloeoliviad
Starting from the small town of Uki, head along Rowlands Creek Road which then turns into Manns Road. This road becomes unsealed once entering the National Park but it is still 2WD accessible. You'll pass multiple fire trails and walks that are available in the region but you must follow the road until you reach a T junction and take your right onto Middle Ridge Road. The beginning of the walking trail is at the very end of this path, you will see a slight incline to your left and the entrance and carpark will be on your right-hand side for the 'Middle Ridge Trail' (see picture below).
The trail entrance for Hell Hole Falls
Make sure to bring any belongings that you may need; necessities I always have are my phone, keys, a camera, water bottle, sunscreen, a towel and a first aid kit. The walk isn't exactly long but it can become tricky on some downhill parts and when at the creek. It's best to have your belongings in a backpack so there's less stress on you having to carry in case you may slip.
After approximately a kilometre of walking the trail, you will come to a fork in the road, make sure to take the trail to your left known as 'Sand Ridge Road'. This is where the trail becomes steep as you enter deeper into the rainforest, but there is so much animal and bird life to observe once you start to keep you exploring. I saw two large goannas, so many beautiful and colourful birds and a couple of small snakes along my way. Thanks to the snakes I had a bit of kick in my step to get to the water!
At the fork in the road veer left
After trekking the same distance as you did on the first trail you finally reach what looks like a little unpromising. The bridge you will traverse over to get on the creek trail has two massive holes in it, so be careful as you walk across. If you have young children with you, please make sure to supervise so they do not injure themselves as it would be very easy to do. Once on the other side, the real fun begins! If you're not a big fan of rock-hopping, you may not enjoy this part so much, but a ten-minute hop along the creek to your right will lead you to multiple natural swimming pools, waterfalls & fantastic views of the surrounding ranges. You can stick to the trail on the left-hand side for as long as you can but at some point you're going to have to get a little wet to reach your destination!
Hell Hole Falls
Your choice of pools to swim in at Hell Hole Falls. Photo by Chloe Doyle @chloeoliviad
is only an hour's drive inland from Byron Bay
and is the same amount of time heading South from Tweed Heads. It's a great place that I really enjoyed (finally) finding to spend a day with a picnic, cooling off in the pools and enjoying the big & beautiful backyard we're so lucky to have!