Sunday morning, another beautiful day in Byron Bay. “Today is waterfall day”, I thought. And with this trickling through my mind I bounded into the car with my team and putted off towards Alstonville, where I’d heard rumour of a bushland oasis housing lofty, dual cascades named Dalwood Falls.
After a 20 minute countryside meander, we found a friendly local who pointed us in the right direction. “It’s private property, as Ballina Council haven’t insured the land for accidents”, he said. “It’s at the bottom of a flood mark in a dip in the road.”
Intrigued, I arrived at Dalwood Falls, just outside of Alstonville, half expecting a deserted wasteland thicket severed in two by a dirty stream. Instead what we found was an immensely popular swimming destination, where people had set up a tight rope across a gorge which housed gushing waterfalls on either side.
In fact, Dalwood Falls (at least on this day) was a bit like a private aquatic bush circus full of eager volunteers. There were Tarzan-like youngsters rope swinging high out across the falls, doing inward backflips into the olive green pool below, while others leapt like monkeys from various spots at different heights.
There were also quite a few young ladies tentatively taking the clifftop plunge, while the odd mum and her child splashed amidst the trickling falls on its gentler side. It was on for young and old – it was a scene of summer excitement.
The pool was quite deep, easily cushioning some heavyweight misfired jumps from seven metres up and there were often a dozen people swimming below at a time. Despite it being unofficially private property, Dalwood Falls is a highly recommended spot for a refreshing dip if you’re oasis hungry and in/or around Byron Bay.
For my part, I enjoyed lazing by the waterhole below, inhaling the tranquil scene of bushland, cliffs and flowing water, while watching adventurers try their hand at a thinly strung foot crossing or a daring leap high from the trees.
I had found my waterfall adventure Sunday, and it was very pleasant indeed.
Warning: Water levels fluctuate depending on rain, and logs and branches move after storms. People have died jumping here. Jump at your own risk.