Do the words ‘Wattamolla’ and ‘Winifred’ mean anything to you? Their correlation runs deeper than the fact they both begin with ‘W’, they’re also both waterfalls in the Sydney Royal National Park, which you can access just an hours drive south of the CBD.
Wattamolla is the Aboriginal name for the area meaning “place near running water” and to be precise it’s actually a lagoon and a beach sharing the same name. I’ve spent a lot of time there over the past two summers and each year I’ve witnessed it grow in popularity.
Wattamolla can be accessed by the sealed Wattamolla Road and ends at the carpark and picnic area, it pays to get there early in the day because once the carpark’s full, you’ll be hitching a ride down the road with your ice box and sun umbrellas.
I always enjoy heading there after a heavy downpour, that’s when you witness the full beauty of Wattamolla, the excess flow of water cascades over the rocks creating a beautiful waterfall approximately seven metres high falling into the lagoon below. You’ll be sure to see people jumping off the rocks despite all the warnings not to, but if you’re not one to err on the side of caution and love an adrenaline rush this will definitely get your heart pumping.
You’re spoilt for choice at Wattamolla as you lay under the golden rays of the sun; the biggest decision you’ll have to make is whether you want to swim in the tranquil lagoon or splash in the surf! Wattamolla is an unpatrolled beach and although there are picnic and bathroom facilities, don’t come expecting to buy fish and chips or a gourmet pizza to share, there’s no food vendors so remember to pack your own supplies.
Winifred falls is more isolated and a little harder to access. We parked on Warumbul Road, approximately 1km past Audley and walked the 1km long Winifred Falls Trail downhill to the falls, parts of the walk were quite muddy and wet so it pays to take an extra pair of socks.
You’ll hear the falls before you see them, the sheer power of the water from the South West Arm Creek rushing over the rock shelf will be music to your ears. We sat on the rock shelf above the falls and ate lunch, but you can follow a small trail down below the falls to get a better view of this spectacular piece of mother nature.