Killen Falls

Killen Falls used to be a local’s hideaway until Instagrammer’s revealed its charms to the world at large. What used to be a rough bush track down to the falls has been given a facelift by Ballina council. Away from the hustle and bustle of the coast, Killen Falls is still a lovely place for a short rainforest walk and a rockpool swim despite it’s popularity,.

The falls are quite spectacular after rain, but were still lovely even though it’s been dry lately.

Killen Falls is located between Byron Bay and Ballina and is very easy to find. This website has a very clear link to Google Maps and besides, the way is now very well signposted once you’re on Friday Hut Road.

But what makes this place so special?

Like many of the waterfalls in the Northern Rivers, the track to the falls leads you along a well marked and maintained track which is home to one of the last remaining remnants of the big scrub rainforest. But unlike some tracks, like Minyon Falls, for example, the Killen Falls track is short, relatively flat and can be easily accessed by all ages.

My two grandsons, aged 2 and half and five respectively can navigate the track with ease.
There are two tracks: one to the dam wall and one to the Falls. The longer, the Falls track is only one kilometre return.
Some parts have boardwalks as well
There is something really refreshing about walking beneath tall trees draped in ferns
listening to birdsong and the sound of water cascading and bubbling over rocks and boulders while breathing in that special scent of the Australian bush.

This first part of the track brings you to a viewing platform where you can look at the falls from above.

The water just seems to drift down
to a beautiful green pool below.

The track gets a little rougher after the viewing platform but is still very accessible.

You obviously have to watch your step a little.
And bypass the occasional tree

The only difficult part of the track is the descent to the base of the falls and this has an excellent handrail.

The descent is so worth it. At the bottom, Emigrant creek is bubbling on its way.

And following the creek upstream, you come to the base of the waterfall complete with a rainforest pool you are allowed to swim in.

This is something you cannot do at many of the other waterfall sites such as Protestor’s Falls near the Channon. Even though I understand the necessity of preserving rare frogs and other creatures, there is always a sense of disappointment when you trek through the forest on a hot summer’s day and reach an idyllic waterfall complete with its own pristine swimming hole only to find you can’t take a refreshing dip in the crystal clear water. For that reason, Kenn and I tend to walk these tracks in winter.

At the moment, the water is for those with ice in their veins. Far too cold for me!
But perhaps you don’t need to swim. Just spend time at the base of the falls, listening to the waterfall, taking in the ambiance of the dark, damp, mossy rock walls that surround you, making memories
And wondering what lurks deep in the dark of the caves?

And perhaps most importantly for many, a trip to the falls needn’t take too much time out of precious holiday hours. Killen Falls is located very close to the coast. It took us approximately 15 mins to drive from Byron to the falls along a very pretty road. The one kilometre return walk from the base of the falls is approximately 30 mins at ambling pace. Even factoring a picnic, a couple of hours would see most people done and dusted.

There is one downside to taking a trip to the Falls. The carpark at the Falls has only got a few spaces and in peak holiday season, you could find yourself parking a long way away from the falls. At this time, during Covid, we had no trouble at all but can well imagine the crowds at Christmas time.

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