"The Falls" Summer Hill Creek, near Ophir


"The Falls" is one of a number of pretty falls associated with the Macquarie River Basin.

Summer Hill Creek rises in and around the city of Orange before being captured at Suma Park Reservoir. The Dam spills over into farmland and the old gold mining fields to the North East of Orange before flowing to Lewis Ponds Creek and on to the Macquarie River.

It is uncertain how much of this terrain is natural and how much derives from mining activities - the area abounds with old shafts and water diversions. The fall can be approached from a hike along the Central Mines Trail (and you can choose a short walk from the Car Park, or a much longer hike along an indistinct path from the Fourth Crossing). 

These falls, known locally as "The Falls" (and which are quite different to the nearby Cascades at the Fourth Crossing) are usually asleep, but they have awoken with the rain falling below Suma Park Reservoir across the farmlands. Orange itself is still water-poor, but recovers some of the water you see from a pumping station on the Macquarie near Long Point.

Location Maps

There are a number of waterfalls near the city of Orange, which is located between the Lachlan and Macquarie catchments. This is one of the closest, but least visited of the falls.


This post has become a series on lost falls - the Index Page to the Series is here


Jai Baidell said…
It's interesting how you say it's difficult to tell whether the terrain is natural or the result of mining. I went to Beechworth, also a huge gold mining town, and wandered around for days trying to see evidence of mining. And then it hit me — every single thing I was looking at in the landscape was the result of mining.
We don't even understand what we're looking at half the time. There's some shocking erosion around the South West Slopes, blamed on farmers. Some of it is their responsibility, but lots of it is the results of the enthusiastic efforts of alluvial miners in the 19th century. Like packs of locusts.
Peter Quinton said…
Thanks Jim
Very different to the scene i saw at the height of the drought. What a difference the water makes.
Peter Quinton said…
Thanks Jai
A nearby waterfall, set in a beautiful granite rockland setting has disappeared without a trace, destroyed by gold and heavy metal miners. In its place, a massive putrid lake of toxic waste now threatens to breach the dam trying to contain it. Locusts would be preferable.

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