A steep and rough track is needed to reach Wheeny Gap Falls – but the reward is a picturesque waterfall which plunges into a deep and shaded swimming hole. Fed by the Lagoon Creek (hence the pool is also called Lagoon Creek Falls), which originates in the Wollemi National Park, the water is clear and pristine. And very cold…
Above the waterfall and pool are towering cliffs. (These are part of the 28km long Kurrajong Fault Complex, a series of faults that have been the subject of considerable research as they could produce large earthquakes of magnitude 7 or greater.)
While perfect for a swim on a hot day, the Wheeny Gap Falls pool gets almost no sun, and the water is very cold. A large rock above the pool opposite the waterfall provides a nice spot to sit, otherwise there are tall cliffs one one side and large boulders on the other.
Just above Wheeny Gap Falls are some small cascades, and a large open rock platform which makes a more pleasant spot to sit. (You can also continue downstream to the even-more-stunning Wheeny Gap Pool.)
Getting to Wheeny Gap Falls
The start of the bushwalking track is 6km along North Wheeny Gap Trail, which is a firetrail off Mountain Lagoon Road. The unsealed firetrail is a bit rough in spots, and the condition varies over time… I was able to get to the end with an SUV, but a 4WD may be required if there’s been damage from heavy rain or storms… and I wouldn’t suggest taking a 2WD vehicle. You can can drive as far as you feel comfortable, and park along the firetrail. Walking the entire length of the firetrail makes this a fairly unpleasant walk! The fairly obvious parking area is at -33.48512, 150.62317.
From the parking area, continue a short distance along the firetrail – which descends fairly steeply – and look for a track on the right at -33.48419, 150.62333. It may be marked by a cairn or a ribbon.
The track track starts to immediately descend, and is very steep, dropping about 220m in altitude over a distance of just over 600m. I’d avoid this track after rain, and it’s not really suitable for smaller children. The first half of the track is through open forest, with lots of leaf litter making the track a little slippery underfoot.
As you get further down, you start entering rainforest. If it’s been raining, expect a few leeches… although I didn’t encounter any on a 35-degree afternoon!
After about 600m, you’ll reach Lagoon Creek – take note of where the track meets the creek for the return journey!
You now follow Lagoon Creek downstream: there is a rough track on the right-hand side (so don’t cross the creek).
Just before Wheeny Gap Falls is a fairly deep pool.
Cross Lagoon Creek near this pool. You’ll soon reach the large, open rock platform above Wheeny Creek Falls; to reach the pool keep to the left-hand side of the creek. Return the same way – or continue to Lagoon Pool. Although it’s 2km return to Wheeny Gap Falls as shown on the map, the actual distance walked is closer to 3km.