Apsley Falls: is situated on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, about ten kilometres east of Walcha just off the Oxley Highway. Apsley Falls, gorge system and surrounding bushland are protected in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.
John Oxley discovered Apsley Falls on 13th September 1818. We visited the area on 9th September 2004 just a few days short of Apsley Fallís 186th anniversary of discovery by Europeans. Of course Aboriginal people had known about the area for thousands of years.
Apsley Falls are 114 metres (374 feet) high with an average width of 25 metres (75 feet). Of course this width varies depending on rainfall. The form of the waterfall, when we visited, is known as a horsetail. This term describes the shape of the waterfall as it plunges over the cliff to the pool below. After heavy rain the waterfall reaches a width of at least 70 metres (200 feet). It is then described as a curtain. We have observed Apsley Falls after heavy rain and the water certainly forms a curtain with plenty of noise.
The area, around the falls, was dedicated as a reserve either in the late 1800ís or early 1900ís. At that time the local Shire Council managed the reserve. In 1906 a wooden stairway was constructed. The Walcha Lions Club built a scenic stairway in 1961. After the reserve was incorporated into Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, in the late 1900ís, a substantial metal stairway replaced the earlier construction.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service also renovated the area around the falls. A camping area was constructed plus new picnic areas and toilet block. These amenities are sited well back from the falls. There is also a walking track that follows the gorge via a bridge that crosses the Apsley River upstream from the falls.
During spring the bushland, around the falls, glows with the flowers of a number of Wattles. Acacia amoena, Acacia dealbata and Acacia filicifolia are all prominent. There are also a few plants of an interesting pink-flowering form of Prostanthera lasianthos in the reserve.
Apsley Falls is one of many waterfalls to be found on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. Fortunately most if not all are protected in National Parks.