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Waterfall Photography at Valley of the Waters

Home > Sydney > Day Trips | Escape the City | Free | Outdoor | Photography
by Margarita Steinhardt (subscribe)
A wildlife photographer and blogger, I spend my free time finding and photographing wildlife in different parts of the world. Check out my blog at www.thewildlifediaries.com
Published February 16th 2018
Do go chasing waterfalls
Just an hour-and-a-half drive from Sydney city centre, Blue Mountains National Park is a spectacular wilderness escape. Extensive hiking trails, wild swimming holes, children-friendly camping grounds, jaw-dropping views - Blue Mountains have it all. The park is a nature photographer's dream.

Valley of the Waters, Blue Mountains, Photography, waterfalls
Creek in the Valley of the Waters

One of the best spots to see and photograph the waterfalls in the Blue Mountains is the tranquil Valley of the Waters. The valley is aptly named - water is everywhere here.

The photographic journey stars from the top of Wentworth Falls - the most spectacular waterfall in the Blue Mountains. Follow the National Pass to the bottom of the first drop of the falls and get your camera ready. Here, the Falls break into a dozen smaller falls, as the cascading water makes its way over the rough terrain of sandstone blocks.

Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains, waterfall
Bottom of the first drop of Wentworth Falls

Next, follow the signs to Wentworth Pass and descend down the steep Slack stairs to the pool at the bottom of the second drop of Wentworth Falls. The stairs make for a hard climb, which makes the oasis of trickling water and cool air at the bottom of the falls all the more refreshing.

From here it is an easy 1.5-kilometer walk deeper into the Valley of the Waters. Once you cross the creek, you find yourself in a waterfall wonderland. Four waterfalls follow in quick succession: Lodore Falls, Sylvia Falls, Flat Rock Falls and Empress Falls.

Lodore Falls, Valley of the Water, Blue Mountains, photography
Lodore Falls, Valley of the Waters

The gurgling creek cascades over rocks all along the trail, offering even more photographic opportunities.

To photograph the falls you will need a sturdy tripod in order to reach slow shutter speeds necessary to create the liquid silk effect. Shutter speed of 15-20 seconds should be sufficient. A Polarizing or a Neutral Density filter is handy for lowering the shutter speed if needed.

Sylvia Falls, Valley of the Waters, photography, Blue Mountains
Sylvia Falls, Valley of the Waters

The Valley of the Waters does not get as many visitors as Wentworth Falls, so you will have plenty of time to experiment with different viewpoints and camera setting. You may even find yourself completely alone on the trails for long periods of time.

As you wander from waterfall to waterfall you start to slowly climb out of the valley. Once you leave Empress Falls behind, the trail continues climbing until it reaches Empress and Queen Victoria lookouts. From here it's a short walk to Conservation Hut Cafe for a well-earned cup of coffee.

The shortcut trail, starting at the Café takes you back to Wentworth Falls picnic area in about 20 minutes.

How to get to Wentworth Falls

By car: Coming from Sydney via Great Western Highway, turn left at Falls Road near Wentworth Falls and the picnic area is at the end of the street.

By train: Take the Blue Mountains line train to Wentworth Falls station. From the station, cross the Great Western Highway, turn left onto Falls Road and follow the road to the end.

The track at a glance

Distance: 5km loop
Time to complete: 4-5 hrs, not counting photo breaks
Grade: Hard (steep climbs and descents)
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Why? Spectacular photo opportunities
When: Any time
Phone: (02) 4787 8877
Where: Valley of the Waters
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Beautiful photos margarita.
by May Cross (score: 3|3563) 303 days ago
Lovely photos, great article.
by Seafarrwide (score: 3|1804) 295 days ago
Shame this article can’t be shared. Looks like a lovely walk.
by bronw (score: 1|10) 302 days ago
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