Tumbarumba Basin Falls, Paddys River Falls

The Tumbarumba River is one of the alpine tributaries of the Murray River. Paddys River is one of a few systems that are reasonably accessible.

Paddys River Falls

On the western fall of the Australian Alps is the little bush town of Tumbarumba where they still muster cattle on horses. I grew up here exploring the mountains on Sam, my stock horse, and reading Tolkien.

From the top, this fall looks pretty, but unexceptional. Down below, the pillars supporting the back wall are intriguing, and the plunge pool a relief on summer days.

Here, i imagined i had found Tolkien's secret gate into the old dwarven Kingdom under the Mountain. Not at far Erebor, but closer. I dreamed that one day i would come back, and open the hidden gate.

There are other falls nearby, some different from the normal water and rock variety.


This is a powerful plunge waterfall (18m, 60') near Tumbarumba. The waterfall is tucked away, on the desolate and lonely road that was cut to the hydro-power stations and Kiandra.

I love the way the cliff face here has been gradually cut away. This is one of those really old reserves, with the fences you really do not want to lean on. There are almost no warning signs. The lower cascades were superb and quite dangerous. The water turns a bend from this fall and goes down a natural drain hole. It looked like a whirlpool was forming above it. Two small side sprays produce different flow characteristics (and, perhaps more filtered water) compared to the main flow which is carrying some silt due to the upstream flooding.


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


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