{Madden’s Falls}

  • Scenic waterfall
  • Beautiful heath and woodland with lots of birds
  • A lower grade walk that is reasonably flat with mostly boardwalks, suitable for families

NOTE: This area contains sensitive vegetation, please remain on trails at all times. Exercise extreme caution around water and cliffs, safety first.

Summary of adventure:

As part of the Dharawal National Park, this walk starts on Darkes Forest Rd in Darkes Forest. There is a small carpark and information board that marks the trail head. Before you set off, we highly recommend a stop across the road at Glen Bernie Orchard to pick up some fresh produce for your walk – support local! (also they are offering free raw honey see our offer on Facebook)

The walk starts on a wide maintenance trail with a slight downhill, until you reach the boardwalk reaching off to the right after about 200 odd metres. You land right in the thick of a heath here which is abundant in birdlife…and possibly snake life too! 

The walk swaps between dirt path and boardwalk and weaves throughout the heath and swamp until you reach the viewing platform. This is a great child friendly location to look at the view of the falls and down the valley, as well as have a seat and a snack.

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For the more abled walkers who need more of a challenge, don’t worry, this is not the end of the trail. Backtrack slightly from the viewing platform to take the well worn sidetrack leading to towards the falls. Stay a good distance back from the edge here, walk slowly across the iron stained sandstone and head across to the other side of the falls. You can walk back upstream here to have a little explore, pending the water levels, but if you walk to the other side of the falls you can pick up the trail that will lead you downhill through the Banksia’s, Gymea’s and rocks.

The trail leads you to the mid-falls point to a wonderful natural viewing platform. From here you can set up a camera tripod or simply watch the view. It’s not suitable for swimming, but you get a close up to the falls. Use sensible judgement here and don’t get too close.

The trail from here is not as clear and easy to get off track. Due to the sensitive vegetation in this area please don’t proceed any further than the mid falls platform. Please stay to the trail here, there is sensitive vegetation in the area.

Once you are ready to head back, just follow your same path back to the top of the falls, and then the path back to the main boardwalk. Continue on the way back out and enjoy taking a few little trails off to the right that lead off to the weir, this is a good spot for the kids to safely kick around in the puddles and see if they can spot or hear any local frogs – but don’t touch, give the wildlife a wide berth.

Parents keep a good watch on your kids here, be mindful of water levels and remember the flat, seemingly harmless creek leads to a big drop off further downstream.

Essential Gear Required:

  • Warm clothes and sun protection, it can be very windy and exposed in places
  • Insect & Leech protection
  • Basic First Aid kit
  • Water
  • Sneakers are fine
  • A snack/lunch to enjoy

How to get to the trail:

  • Walking/hiking
  • Trail running (a perfect little beginner trail run, wide and long trails to the viewing platform)
  • Photography
  • Birdwatching

Skill Level:

Grade 1 – Low gradient walk if you only go on the designated walk. Some rocky sections might be loose underfoot so be mindful of ankle sprains. Track is in reasonable condition, low risk of slipping or tripping. Some water sections and cliffs to be mindful of if walking with children.

Grade 2 – if you continue the trail to the mid section of the falls.

Distance Covered:

Approximate distance 1.5km return trail a flat trail taking about 45min depending on how long you enjoy the surroundings and if you take a picnic stop.


All pets (other than assistance dogs) and smoking.