Manning Valley walks at Elands, Coorabakh and more, with waterfalls and wetlands.

Curious about our best walks with waterfalls and more?

Here are our suggestions for the top Manning Valley hinterland walks of the Barrington Coast, as featured in our new trio of Barrington Coast Walks maps.

They're full of great ideas for your next coastal walks, waterfall walks and hinterland walks. Pick up all three maps from our visitor idea centres or visitor info points.

Some are easy, some are a little more challenging, but you'll love them all. Strap on those walking shoes and you'll be rewarded at every turn with something special.

Ok, let's go for a walk!

** Safety tip: Always check NPWS Alerts before departing for a National Park, Nature Reserve or State Conservation Area **

Ellenborough Falls at Elands (photo by Jeff Keiffer)
Ellenborough Falls at Elands (photo by Jeff Keiffer)

Ellenborough Falls

  • 1.5km
  • 1-2 hours
  • Eay to Challenging

At 200 metres, Ellenborough Falls is the tallest single drop waterfall in New South Wales.

At the top of the falls near the car park is the first viewing platform and nearby there's a short walk to another viewing area near the waterfall drop-off. Both of these are easy effort.

The third option is a 10 minute walk down the gravel walkway to the Knoll viewing platform: directly opposite the falls for an Insta-worthy vista of the tumbling water.

A strenuous option is to descend 641 steps to the bottom of the falls in the mist-filled ravine, but absolutely worth it.

The iconic Ellenborough Falls is a shining example of the awesome beauty of water in the Barrington Coast… from the mountains to the sea.

Caution: Take extreme care if you choose to swim in the rocky pool at the bottom of the falls.

Potoroo Falls in Tapin Tops National Parks
Potoroo Falls in Tapin Tops National Park

Potoroo Falls

  • 0.9km
  • 30 minutes
  • Moderate

Hidden in the southern part of Tapin Tops National Park is one of our most photogenic falls: Potoroo.

First start at the Potoroo picnic area on Little Run Creek, this is a scenic spot with facilities so you can sit back and soak in the feelings of the forest.

The spectacular Potoroo Falls is about 1km upstream from the picnic area. As the route follows the creek, there’s some rock-hopping so be prepared for wet feet and a bit of splashing. Don’t forget to take your swimming gear for a dip at the beautiful swimming hole – it’s the perfect place for cooling down if the weather is hot.

Caution: do not jump from the rocks above the falls.

Waitui Falls in flow after rain.
Waitui Falls in flow after rain.

Waitui Falls

  • 50m
  • 5 minutes
  • Easy

Tucked away in the Comboyne State Forest next to Coorabakh National Park, Waitui Falls is a delightful place for a picnic.

The access road is bumpy and the waterfall feels remote. It’s easy to miss the roadside marker which makes this little gem seem even more elusive.

The pathway from the roadside to the falls is rough but short and you’ll find limited picnic facilities (but not toilets).

Like most of the waterfalls in the region, flows are determined by recent rainfall. For waterfall chasers it’s not a big one but the waters provide a nice place for a swim. Take a seat on the rocky banks with a cuppa and dip your feet into the cool water. The naturally tea-coloured water is made by the tannins of fallen leaves, just like the tea in your cup.

Caution: do not jump from the rocks above the falls.

Rpwleys Rock Lookout in Tapin Tops National Park.
Rpwleys Rock Lookout in Tapin Tops National Park.

Tapin Tops National Park

  • 400m
  • 1.5 hours
  • Challenging

The best views in this national park are from Rowleys Rock Lookout.

But be warned, it’s a hard slog up the access path and not much better coming down, even if you consider yourself fit. If you have the energy for a difficult challenge then the reward at the top is unbeatable.

At 1000m above sea level, you’ll be mesmerised by the views across the forests of the park, the hinterland valleys behind you, the coast and the Pacific Ocean beyond. This is truly how a soaring eagle must feel.

Afterwards rest your legs with a short break at Dingo Tops Campground before trying the Mountain Brush Circuit. This easy rainforest walk is a treat for birdwatchers and botanists alike with a lively array of interesting plants, birds and wildlife. (300m, 30 minutes, easy)

Cattai Wetlands, Coopernook
The birdhide at Cattai Wetlands.

Cattai Wetlands

  • 4.2km
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy

Take a self-guided walk through valuable coastal wetlands including the Lookout Loop and Forest Loop.

Cattai holds two types of wetlands: a perched fresh water wetland and a brackish tidal wetland. This unique layout provides sanctuary for over 180 species of birds, kangaroos, wallabies and regular spotted goannas.

Since its purchase by Council in 2003, the natural beauty and ecological value of these wetlands has been restored. Visitor facilities include toilets, car parking, boardwalks, viewing platforms, bird hide and interpretive signage.

Make your way along one of the many walking tracks, go bird watching, take a picnic or just relax and enjoy the scenery. Bring your binoculars, this is an easy way to see and appreciate our wildlife.

Open weekdays 8am-3pm; weekends 7am-5pm.

Views from Diamond Head Loop Track.
Views from Diamond Head Loop Track.

Crowdy Bay National Park

  • Various walks
  • All easy

Protecting a pristine sweep of coastline at the northern tip of the Barrington Coast, Crowdy Bay National Park is one of the most glorious coastal parks of NSW.

It offers jaw-dropping ocean and mountain views, an abundance of wildlife and, despite its name, crowd-free beaches.

Try camping near the beach, strolling barefoot in the dunes, rainforest walks and picnics, climbing headlands or just admiring the heritage 1878 Crowdy Head Lighthouse, which is a great spot for whale watching.

The Diamond Head Loop Track is popular for good reasons (4.3km, 2-3hrs, moderate) or try the short and sweet Crowdy Gap Walking Track (0.8km, 45mins, easy).

On Metcalfes Walking Track you’ll find Kylies Hut, recently rebuilt after the 2019 bushfires. The one room hut was originally built as a writer’s retreat for Kylie Tennant who wrote The Man On The Headland here. (700m, 15mins, easy)

Wingham Brush
Wingham Brush (photo by Ibrahaim Idrizi).

Wingham Brush

  • 1.9km
  • 45 minutes
  • Easy

This subtropical rainforest remnant is part of the last remaining 10 hectares of floodplain rainforest in New South Wales.

The Wingham Brush walk showcases giant Moreton Bay figs with incredible buttressed roots towering over a gently winding boardwalk. Here is one of the largest permanent breeding populations of the endangered grey-headed flying fox in New South Wales.

The wheelchair-friendly boardwalk is raised above the forest floor to protect this Threatened Ecological Community (TEC). The flying fox roosting site can be noisy, smelly and messy with flying-fox droppings. It’s a good idea to keep your mouth closed and wear glasses when looking up at the flying-foxes!

Take your time to absorb the sights, sounds and the filtered light through the dense canopy. Brush turkeys may share the boardwalk with you, and listen for the distinct calls of the green catbird and wompoo fruit-dove.

This type of subtropical lowlands rainforest once stretched all the way up the Manning River, so take some time to imagine what this lush region once looked like.

Brimbin Nature Reserve
Brimbin Nature Reserve

Brimbin Nature Reserve

  • 3km
  • 2.5 hours
  • Easy

This is a beautiful hidden gem with an interesting colonial history.

Along with being the site of significant stock routes, bullock roads and river crossings, Brimbin Nature Reserve was also part of a property owned by the NSW colony’s only independent female colonial settler, Isabella Mary Kelly. Ms Kellys Walking Track and Ms Kellys Crossing were named in her honour.

Isabella was apparently disliked by her neighbours for doing ‘men’s work’, her house burnt down in her absence and she was, for a time, unjustly imprisoned after subletting to a conman.

Enjoy a riverside picnic before a leisurely walk on Dawson River Walking Track (1.5km, 1 hour, easy) or Ms Kellys Walking Track (1.5km, 1 hour, easy).

Brimbin is teeming with birdlife, so if you’re a keen twitcher, be sure to tuck your binoculars in the picnic basket.

Flat Rock Lookout, Coorabakh National Park
Flat Rock Lookout in Coorabakh National Park.

Coorabakh National Park

  • Various walks
  • All easy

Coorabakh National Park offers all the goodies: interesting drives, lookouts, scenic views and forest walks.

It’s easy to love a park studded with volcanic outcroppings with such fabulous names: Big Nellie, Flat Nellie and Little Nellie. It makes the treasures of this place even more enjoyable: picnics, birdwatching, walks through hidden glens and lookouts with incredible views.

You’ll find lofty forests, cool subtropical rainforests and sheltered gullies teeming with wildlife. Crystal clear streams run through mossy banks, and sheer sandstone cliffs tower above Manning Valley at Flat Rock Lookout and Newbys Lookout.

Don’t miss the rainforest shaded boardwalks of Starrs Creek; amble along a fresh creek to Newbys Cave; and if the day is warm take a dip in nearby Waitui Falls. This is national parks done well!

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