Winifred Falls Complete Walking Guide – Short Hike To A Beautiful Waterfall in The Royal National Park

Winifred Fall is one of the most beautiful looking waterfalls in the Royal National Park and also one of the best swimming locations too. It also happens to be one of the easiest waterfalls to get to with just a short 1km walk along a fire trail to get there – making it great for kids or anyone who wants to do a short and simple hike.

There are multiple spots to sit and enjoy the waterfall or the river, some deep pools at the base of the waterfall for cooling off with a swim and if you’re willing to walk just a little bit further there’s swimming and a rope swing to be had at South West Arm Pools.

If you’re looking for a short hike to a beautiful waterfall then Winifred Falls is one you should definitely consider

The fire trail is rocky and steep in some sections which can make slipping a real possibility (my 6 year old fell over twice on this walk) but if you’re careful and take your time you should be ok.

Walking to the falls at a slow pace takes about 30-45 minutes or at a fast pace the walk can be done in 20 minutes or so making it the perfect spot if you don’t have a lot of time.

Winifred Falls Key Information

Distance: 2.9 km (return)
Elevation: 116m
Difficulty: Easy (some steep hills and loose rocks – be careful of your footing)
Opening times: All year round
Best time to visit: Sunny days, winter or summer
Entrance fee: Royal National Park Entry Fees Apply – See Full Details
Facilities Nearby:

  • Toilets, Cafe and information centre nearby at Audley
  • No facilities on the trail

Potential Hazards:

  • Some steep sections with loose rocks on the fire trail – can make slipping over easy.

Where Is Winifred Falls

Winifred Falls in located inside the Royal National Park and is accessible off Warumbul Road via the Winifred Falls Fire Trail.

The easiest way to access Winifred Falls is via car with parking at Warumbul Road. However, you can also walk to Winifred Falls from Audley and even access it via public transport from Loftus or Engadine Train Station.

Winifred Falls is almost always done as a there and back hike.

Parking For Winifred Falls

Parking location off Warumbul Road

One of the things that’s great about Winifred Falls is that the parking is pretty easy and it’s right near the fire trail.

There is some rear to curb parking and space for around 7-8 cars but there is also extra spots off the side of the road or further down Warumbul Road if all the main spots are taken.

NOTE: Warumbul Road does get closed and locked at night.

Click here for Winifred Falls Parking Location (Google Maps)

Click here for Winifred Falls Parking Location (Apple Maps)

Rangers regularly patrol even the more obscure spots

You do need to buy a entry pass for the Royal National Park when going to Winifred Falls. Park Rangers do visit this area and hand out tickets to people who don’t have passes. Find the cheapest passes for the Royal National Park.

I parked front to curb as I didn’t realise it was rear to curb parking. I hope I don’t get a ticket for that as rangers did come through while we were there.

Things To Pack For Winifred Falls

Winifred falls is a short 1.5 km walk so you don’t need to pack too much for this trip.

However, it’s important to note there are no facilities on this trail – that means no toilets and no drinking water available. Make sure you bring enough water for the hike.

I recommend bring the following to Winifred Falls:

  • Enough drinking water for a short hike
  • Food/Snacks
  • Hiking Botts
  • Swimmers & Towel (If You Plan on Swimming)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent

Getting To Winifred Falls Along The Winifred Falls Fire Trail

Getting to Winifred Falls is really simple and it’s basically impossible to get lost.

Start at the fire trail entrance just off Warumbul Road and following the wide fire trail until the end. Once you reach the end Winifred Falls is easily accessible on your left.

Getting down to the base of the falls is then done by a steep but fairly straightforward path down the left side of the falls.

Winifred Falls Direction Summary

  • Park on Warumbul Road near the Winifred Falls Fire Trail entrance
  • Walk the Winifred Falls Fire Trail for 1km
  • At the end of the trail turn to the left to see Winifred Falls
  • To get to the bottom take the path to the left of the falls

The Start Of The Track Is Simple and Flat

The Fire Trail Entrance To Winifred Falls

The track to Winifred Falls is a wide fire trail all the way down to the falls. This is great for simplicity and ease but it doesn’t make it the most interesting trail in the Royal National Park.

You start by entering the fire trail on the south end of Warumbul Road. There’s a clear sign that says Winifred Fire Trail and points to Winifred Falls.

The start of the firetrail is very flat

The first half of the track is very flat and easy to walk along.

There are some nice flowering plants on the way but otherwise the track is just flat and simple.

The Track Gets Quite Steep With Loose Rocks

There are some really steep sections with loose rocks

After about half way the track begins to get quite steep and there are a lot of loose rocks on the trail.

This can make it easy to slip and fall so take your time down these steeper sections.

The first time I did this trail with my kids my 6 year old fell over twice and scraped his legs.

Climbing back up is definitely more tiring than going down

When I did it more recently with my partner she stumbled a couple of times on loose rocks but didn’t fall. She can be quite a clumsy one.

I was more careful and managed to not slip this time around but you do need to be careful.

At The End Of The Track Turn Left For The Falls

You can go either way here to get to Winifred Falls but going down the trail to the left leads to a good lookout as well as the path down to the base of the falls

After 1-1.5km you’ll reach the end of the fire trial and you’ll be able to hear the falls quite clearly.

A nice lookout over Winifred Falls. In summer people sit all over the top of the falls in the sun.

You can either walk to the end of the fire trail and turn left there or there is a little side track that leads to a good lookout location as well as the path down to the base of the falls.

How To Get To The Base Of The Falls

On the left is the path down to the base of the falls

If you want to get to the base of the falls (which gives you the best views) then there is a path to the left of the falls (the north side) that leads down to the base of the waterfall.

The path is steep but we didn’t find it too difficult to navigate

The path down is quite steep but it feels very secure and doable. I personally found this easier to navigate than the steep rocky path of the fire trail.

Once you’re at the bottom you’ll have to do a little bit of bush bashing to reach the clearer rocky area where you can really see the falls.

Hanging out here give you a great view of the falls but there isn’t really anywhere good to sit and spread out

What Winifred Falls Is Like

Depending on how much rain there has been lately will determine how full the bottom of the falls are.

Winifred Falls is almost always running so even if there hasn’t been any recent rainfall there will still be some nice falls to see.

But after recent heavy rainfall the falls really put on a show.

Heading down to the base of the falls will give you the best view of the falls and allow you to wade or swim over to directly underneath the waterfall.

Alternatively a lot of people choose to sit on the top of the falls.

There are lots of different spaces at the top to sit and enjoy some refreshments and the waterfall.

Just be careful of this top section with young children. It’s quite steep and dangerous and when my kids were younger we never hung out here because I was afraid of them taking a tumble over the edge.

Swimming At Winifred Falls

You can swim at Winifred Falls but it’s not the best spot in the Royal National Park to swim at.

To swim at Winifred Falls I suggest going down to the base of the falls as described above and swimming across to the falls.

There are deepish pools on either side of the waterfall that you can take a dip in to cool off.

The pool on the right side of Winifred Falls
The pool on the left side of Winifred Falls

You can also swim directly from the falls themselves by climbing down the rocks on the left side of the waterfall, but it just isn’t quite as easy as going swimming from the other side.

You can enter the water by climbing down the falls but it’s much more difficult

However, if swimming is your main priority then I would recommend enjoy the view at Winifred Falls and then continuing on to South West Arm Pool which is only a 10 or so minute walk down river and swimming there. It’s a much better swimming spot and even has a rope swing.

Click here for the full South West Arm Pool guide

The River Above The Falls Is A Great Quiet Place To Hang Out

This flat rocky section is just above Winifred Falls and is a great place to hang out in the sun and have lunch

If you want to spend some time away from the crowds relaxing the the sun then right at the top of Winifred Falls is a nice flat rocky area with a great view of the river.

The river isn’t super deep but great to cool off if you want to

When my kids were younger I remember spending hours in this spot having lunch while the kids played gathering rocks from the river and building their own mini dam to block some of the water.

You’ve got room to spread out, it gets really good sun, is way safer for small children compared to Winifred Falls and basically no one goes to this spot (as everyone is hanging out at the falls).

Continue On To South West Arm Pools For An Even Better Swimming Hole

South West Arm Pool is an amazing swimming spot

While most people simply stop at Winifred Falls and then head back there’s actually a spot just 10 minutes away which (in my humble opinion) is way better than Winifred Falls – especially for swimming.

South West Arm Pool is just a short 10 minute walk down the river from Winifred Falls and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Once you reach South West Arm Pool there are lots of spots to spread out and have lunch and the water is deep and easy to get into for swimming.

The rope swing at South West Arm Pool is fun, but felt a bit sketchy

There’s also a rope swing just up from the main swimming pool that is a lot of fun (though swing/jump at your own risk and be careful because depth does vary based on tides and rainfall).

To get to South West Arm Pool simply follow the track to the left (north) of the river at the base on Winifred Falls. The track isn’t marked and it’s a bit overgrown but it will lead you directly to South West Arm Pool, there’s even another little waterfall on the way.

I’ve written a full guide on how to get to South West Arm Pool here.

Other Waterfalls & Swimming Holes Near Winifred Falls

Winifred Falls is quite a short walk and if you have time there are a couple of other spots closeby that are worth checking out.

Audley Weir + Reid Flats

Audley Weird and the surrounding Reid Flats and picnic areas are great places to take your family for a picnic, barbeque and a swim.

Read my full Reid Flats Picnic Area Guide

Bungoona Lookout

One of the best views in the entire Royal National Park

If you’re driving then on the way into or out of the Royal National Park is a short wheelchair accessible path to Bungoona Lookout.

It’s just off the main road (Farnell Ave/Audley Road) and there are signs that make it difficult to miss.

Just 500 metres from the carpark along either a flat fire trail or fully concrete path is the Bungoona Lookout which offers one of the best views in the entire Royal National Park.

There are disabled toilets here and lots of parking and the walk only takes 5-10 minutes each way.

Disabled male and female toilets at Bungoona Lookout car park

I suggest visiting it on your way to Winifred Falls and use it as a toilet stop before you reach Winifred Falls where there are no facilities.

Read my full Bungoona Lookout walking guide

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