How to find Abbotts Falls: Central Coast Hidden Gem

The Central Coast waterfall you probably haven’t heard of

They always say, don’t go chasing waterfalls. But we disagree. You probably haven’t heard of this Central Coast waterfall but it’s definitely worth chasing. Abbotts Falls looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale making it one of the best waterfalls on the Central Coast. This secret waterfall on the Central Coast is nestled in the Olney State Forest. A little grotto waterfall which is definitely worth the hike there. In fact, it almost rivals the more popular Gap Creek Falls in the Watagans.

Abbotts Falls is located on Abbotts Falls walking track and is a popular day trip from Lake Macquarie.

We visited this Central Coast waterfall in the middle of the school holidays and ran into a total of 3 people, two did not make it to the falls. So this just goes to show how much of a hidden gem this is.

This is a long hike and it is recommended that you stay in Olney State Forest and make the most of your time here. Check out our camping guide to Olney State Forest.

We won’t lie, this is one of the Central Coast’s hidden gems for a reason, the hike isn’t easy. The track has little to no signage, the path is heavily eroded, and overgrown and has many trees blocking the path. After rain, this trail will be harder as it takes a long time for it to dry out under the thick foliage.

With all that being said. If you’d like to find this waterfall, we’ll share how to get there.

Check out some other Central Coast hikes while you’re in the area here.

How to get there

Grade: hard Distance: 10kms out and back

To find Abbotts Falls you’ll need to park at the Pines Picnic area in the Olney State Forrest. Here there is a lovely picnic area, carparks and drop toilets. We recommend taking advantage of these facilities while you have the chance.

From here you’ll follow the road past the east past the toilet block for approx. 500m until you reach the beginning of the track. Here you’ll be greeted by this sign.

abbotts falls walking trail
Find this sign and you’re on the right track

From here is where the trail gets a bit harder. This part of the trail is heavily eroded, and after rain can be very slippery. you will follow this part of the track over 4wd trails and over 2 creeks until you reach a T intersection. Here you will want to turn left. It is not signed so be careful you head the right way. Follow this track until you reach a clearing.

Abbotts falls walking track

You will see the trail continue to your right downhill. Follow this steep track to the bottom of this trail. Depending on the quality of the track at the time, you may have to crawl through some overgrown sections and climb over trees.

Once you reach the bottom of this trail you’ll find yourself at a large creek bed. You will need to cross the creek. If it has been raining recently, you may find that the creek isn’t crossable. If this is the case you can still see Abbotts Falls, but you will not be able to reach the bottom of the falls.

dora creek olney state forest
Cross this creek

In the event that the creek is full. Head right and follow the goats trail along the creek. This goat’s trail will take you all the way along the creek and you will be able to see Abbotts Falls from here.

If you can cross the creek, look for a small red stake on the other side and jump onto this track. Again we’ll follow this track across a few small creeks until you eventually reach a ‘dead end’. This is where this track gets a little trickier. If you look down into the rocks you’ll see a very steep descent and the continuation of the track. However, the only way down is down a rope ladder between two large rocks into the chasm. It’s a tight squeeze, and after rain, it is very slippery. Be careful and take your time and you’ll be safe.

Olney state forest
Into the Chasm

Once you have entered the chasm, you’ll head right and follow the goat’s trail under a large overhang and you’ll find yourself at the falls.

secret waterfall central coast: Abbotts falls
at the bottom of Abbotts Falls

Back out

Apparently, there is a loop that you can do, although when we visited the quality of the track was heavily degraded due to all the rain and we could not find the rest of the track so we headed back the way we came. Going up the rope ladder is easier than going down. Once you’ve ascended out of the chasm, you’ll follow the track exactly as you came. It’s a steep hike back up, but a pretty great workout!

Doing the track this way is a 10km total hike, and is not recommended for people who are new to hiking.

We hope that you have an amazing hike looking for this Central Coast waterfall, and remember not to leave a trace.

Looking for an easier hike on the Central Coast? Check out these ones instead.

Or if you’re looking for the best hikes in the area, look no further


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