Once a secret and secluded waterfall and swimming hole, the Trough Waterfall (or Secret Woy Woy Waterfall Pool) has now become a Central Coast Instagram hotspot, and it’s no longer a particularly secret spot. It’s still a unique and picturesque infinity pool, with the large trough at the base of the waterfall being a popular spot for a swim – and a photo!
The precise history of the Trough Waterfall is unknown, with its origins thought to be during the construction of the railway tunnel in the early 1880s.
It is sometimes referred to as the ‘tunnel mouth reservoir’. It is a tricky one because the sides have been added to over the decades. The base of it is old although cinder blocks now form the walls. There is really old metal infrastructure lying below the reservoir/falls, some of which is buried beneath large boulders. This suggests that boulders once sat on the little ledge and they were pried off one by one, probably to make room to build the reservoir (which sits very nicely on the little ledge).
There is thinking that the reservoir was first built during the construction of the railway tunnel in the early 1880s. This makes sense as it would have been the only source of fresh ground water, for the navvies living down on the flats. Note that other reservoirs may have been built to supply navvy’s camps with water in the 1880s in the area around the tunnel.
After that, it was probably used for various reasons, including for the Woy Woy Basalt Quarries project in the 1930s. At one time it was suggested in the press that it could be used to provide much needed fresh water to Woy Woy township.
Another local historian discovered that the former Woy Woy abattoirs attempted to put it to use, but they gave up because it was too unreliable as a source of water for their needs.Geoffrey Potter | Local History Librarian
Getting to the Trough Waterfall / Woy Woy Waterfall Pool
Getting to the Trough Waterfall is relatively straightforward; from Woy Woy Road take the signposted Tunnel Firetrail. After 1.9km you’ll reach a major junction, where you turn left onto another (unnamed) firetrail – on a weekend, you can probably just follow the crowds. At the end of this firetrail you reach a large rock platform, where the creek plunges over a cliff. The Trough Waterfall and swimming hole is directly below; continue south along the the top of the cliff until you reach a gap where you can descend safely to the bottom of the cliffs. Take care if it’s been raining as it can get a little muddy, although it’s only about 200m until you reach the trough and base of the Woy Woy Waterfall.
- Reddit – Woy Woy falls?