Waterfalls and Cascades of Macquarie Pass NP
Macquarie Pass National Park, on the Illawarra escarpment, is an easy day trip from Sydney. This area offer a few shorter walks which can be easily combine in full day bushwalking / swimming activities. Canyoning and abseiling waterfalls can be done on Macquarie Rivulet.
1 Day Trip
Difficulty: moderate difficulty, some steeper parts on Cascade Walk, some areas are overgrown toward Clover Falls, GPS recommended. Parts of both tracks are not marked, but easy to follow. Total distance covered - 12km and 400m total elevation gain.
Starting point: Clover Hill Rd - start of firetrail
Finishing point: Cascades Rainforest Walk carpark
Meeting everyone (group of 9) at Bean Roasted Espresso coffee shop for quick coffee and breakfast before we take off to the start of the track. Today we're hiking two different trail:
1/ Clover hill walk to Raibow, Mulangong and Clover Falls 2/ Cascades Rainforrest walk
1/ Clover Hill Walk to Rainbow, Mulangong and Clover Falls
This walk starts at junction of Illawarra Hwy and Clover Hill Rd. Right on the beginning of Clover Hil Rd is parking area which can accommodate about 10 cars. Lucky we arrived early and could fit all our cars in there.
First section of the track follows Clover Hill Rd which practically just a firetrail. Easy flat walk. After about 2-3 km track splits in two - right turn leads to Clover Hill / left turn goes to waterfalls. This time we skipped Clover Hill and rather went to waterfalls.
Not long after the split the firetrail ends with wide clearance. There're are two walking trails to follow. You want to take the right hand side one leading towards Rainbow Falls. It's a short easy downhill walk to Macquarie Rivulet and Rainbow Falls. To get to the other two waterfalls as well you have to cross the river at this point and continue walking upstream having the river on your right hand side. Trail is not marked passed Rainbow Falls, but there is visible path to follow. Sometimes bit overgrow, can be slippery after the rain.
Next one in row is Mulangong Falls - just a side track to the river. Beautiful spot.
But true hidden gem - Clover Falls is just further up the stream. Bit more climbing uphill. At some point you will have to cross the river again to get to the other side. A few meter later it opens this amazing view of the Clover Falls in short distance. If you don't know what to expect, this will make you WOW!
We stopped here - at the bottom of the falls for lunch break to enjoy the special place. Would be great place for swimming in summer.
There is a trail leading to the top of the Clover Fall with great view from the top. Some parties might do abseiling from the top - there are bolts ready just to attach ropes (and a few other along the river too)
This is a one way track - so returned same way we came.
This walk took us about 3 hours.
Strava link: https://strava.app.link/KLZNfA6CJ7
2/ Cascades Rainforrest walk
Cascades walk is just a short drive down the road from the first one. There are two parking areas on each side of the road - can accommodate way more cars than Clover Hill.
Start of the walk follows river - easy, well maintained waking trail with some part with walking platform. Short 2 km or so to the fist waterfall / cascades.
But this is just the first official part of the walk. The real fun starts from now on. The path continue steeply uphill contouring the river cascades for another good 200 m of elevation. Definitely worth the effort. The walking path is not marked, but it's clearly visible and most likely frequently used. The path is stretching out all the way to Calderwood Firetrail. When you reach the top - there is actually road, haha. Yeah, you could probably drive there.
Return the same way. Might be muddy and slippery after the rain. This walk took us 2 hours easy pace.
Day well spent. Finished at Robertson at pie shop!
Strava link: https://strava.app.link/DkKeTheDJ7