Summary: Refuge Bay Waterfall is an impressive waterfall at West Head, which plunges onto the back of the beach. It's possible to walk behind the waterfall, or climb up to a swimming hole above the falls.

The most spectacular waterfall at West Head, the Refuge Bay Waterfall plunges onto rocks at the back of the beach. (It’s technically not a tidefall, as even at high tide the waterfall doesn’t drop directly into the ocean).

AWAT8208 LR Refuge Bay Waterfall

There’s a long cave behind the waterfall, which can be reached from either side of the waterfall (it’s slightly easier on the left-hand side, when facing the falls).

Above the waterfall is a natural plunge pool or waterhole, perched on the edge of the cliffs.

Waterhole above Refuge Bay Watrefall

Getting to Refuge Bay Waterfall

The easiest way to reach Refuge Bay, which is on Cowan Creek, is by boat from the Hawkesbury River. The protected bay gets very busy on weekends with people visiting by boat. You can also reach the waterfall on foot via an informal bushwalking route; the Refuge Bay Track is accessed by the Salvation Loop and Walleroo Track (allow 3-4 hours return).

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