Wollomombi Gorge is easily accessible from Waterfall Way 40km east of Armidale. This easy track along the rim of the gorge begins with a short 200m walk from the car park to Main Lookout with a breath-taking view across the gorge to both Wollomombi Falls and Chandler Falls. Naturally, the waterfalls are best after rain!
Return to the car park after visiting Main Lookout and continue on the track through grassy woodland to Eagle Lookout for a view of the striking steep rocky gorge walls. We spotted wallaby, maybe you will be lucky and see a wedge tailed eagle. The path descends to cross Wollomombi River on a metal bridge, before climbing to Wollomombi Falls Lookout and Chandler Falls Lookout.
The Wollomombi Falls have a single drop of 100m, and a total fall of 150-230m depending on the river flow. The falls are the second highest in Australia. The name Wollomombi comes from the Aboriginal “meeting of the waters“. The Chandler River is named after a local stockman, and joins the Macleay River near Long Point.
The walking track to Eagle Lookout passes through a gate in the Dog Fence, originally constructed in the 1880s to keep wild dogs and dingos away from the sheep grazing to the west. The dog fence stretches some 650km across the New England Tablelands, from Queensland in the north to the Hunter Valley in the south. The steel fence is 180cm high. Within National Parks, dingoes are protected, but outside parks on private property they are a noxious pest to be controlled with fences and 1080 poison.
Wollomombi Gorge geology
Why are the Oxley Wild Rivers gorges such as Wollomombi Gorge so deep? The New England fold belt has both risen in geological uplifts, and been eroded down by the rivers that drain from the New England tableland to the sea. The rocks here are tightly folded and faulted Palaeozoic slates, tilted so that are almost vertical, which allows soft layers in the rock to be quickly eroded into a deep gorge.
There is a second walk, the Chandler Walking Track, that heads away from Main Lookout, but you can no longer access the bottom of the gorge. You can however camp on the Chandler River near Halls Peak. You can also explore other gorges in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park on the Green Gully Track.
Before you drive away, take a quick vehicle detour to Edgars Lookout which has a nice view in a different direction down the gorge.