Nepean Basin Falls, South Hazelbrook

The small village of Hazelbrook once prided itself on being surrounded by waterfalls. To the south of the village are a couple of human-sized falls, running through fern gullies down the sandstone escarpment.

The waterfalls around Hazelbrook appear delicate, falling through layers of sandstone stacked like pancakes and bedecked with bush orchids. While these are not spectacular falls, they are accessible along a fairly safe path. It is probably not a good choice in hot weather nor after heavy rain. As an older site, close to urban areas, the area is generally clean but shows signs of human activity.

Cataract Falls

Access (), Visible (✅), Pristine (❌), Safety (), Spectacle (): Aggregate: ✪✪

Federal Falls

Appears to be the larger fall in the group - be careful to follow the main track getting to this fall, lest you come to the top of the fall.

This fall is surrounded by a massive overhang of sandstone, an open cave. The fall of water has created an environment for ever sort of moss, lichen and fern.

Federal Falls sits in a horseshoe gully with a sandy beach at the base - it has been a hard, dry year for the ferns - but this area has survived well.

I try not to post too many long exposures, but this waterfall seemed right for it.  Here is a slightly different treatment - with a shorter exposure.

Photographers argue which is the best representation - short or long exposures.  I think our eyes recognize both. The gentle flow of these falls soothed the controversy.

Access (), Visible (✅), Pristine (❌), Safety (), Spectacle (): Aggregate: ✪✪

Junction Falls

A little further along is a complex of 'pancake falls', where the water falling from the larger fall had the sound of crackers being let off.



Access (), Visible (✅), Pristine (❌), Safety (), Spectacle (): Aggregate: ✪✪

Adelina Falls


Access (), Visible (), Pristine (❌), Safety (), Spectacle (): Aggregate: ✪✪


Note on rating system: 
The rating system has been developed for SE Australian Waterfalls by weighing 5 different qualities, namely Access, Visible, Pristine, Safety, and Spectacle. These are presented unaggregated and aggregated in a single result out of 5. Most falls look good when running but arriving at a running fall is in the lap of the gods, so the quality 'Spectacle' is determined irrespective of flow. All waterfalls are unsafe. If you go to a fall, be prepared (slips, snakes, sun, spiders, and edges).

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Author: Peter Quinton
Date Published: 2019-02-24
Date Last Revised: 2019-03-22


Anonymous said…
This had me wish I could crawl into the screen.

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