Upper Gledhill Falls
On McCarrs Creek in the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, nr Sydney, NSW, Australia
A highly swimmable 10m wide pool beneath a charming little waterfall, Upper Gledhill Falls, on McCarrs Creek. Despite being very close to a fairly busy road, the only noise to be heard is the sound of gushing water and the amphitheatre of rocks and bush surrounding the pool means that on a quiet day you feel as if you are in a quiet, isolated spot. There are several boulders to negotiate to access the water but right at the waters edge there is a small, sandy beach on one side meaning that once you are here you can relax in the shade and there is a small space for children to play as well as a rope swing into the pool. This spot can get busy but it’s the perfect stop off to cool down after a walk in the nearby Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park which boasts several of it’s own swimming spots.
How To Get There: Park on the roadside just after the bridge coming from Terrey Hills (before the turnoff to West Head) and walk straight towards the river. Turning left will take you to the top of the waterfall where you can look down on the pool whereas a right turn will take you down through the bush heading away from the falls and eventually lead to the pool. The bus
Difficulty of access: 4/10 – The road in is a well-used, paved road. The walk from the car is short but slightly challenging. Some climbing is required down a couple of rocky overhangs and there are large boulders to negotiate to reach the water. If accessing this spot with children then two adults would be needed to pass smaller children down the rocks. There is a bus service from Church Point which runs part of the way up McCarrs Creek Road. You would then have to walk around 1km up the road to reach the waterfall and swimming hole.
Opening Times/Seasons: All day/All year
Entrance Fee: Free
Facilities Nearby: None. Church Point is nearby and has a small shop and cafe with toilets.
Other Activities: You can catch the ferry to Palm Beach from Church Point which is around 5km away. There are many amazing trails to walk in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park giving access to secluded beaches and historical aboriginal sites.
Other Places of Interest Nearby: The lookout at West Head gives spectacular views of the Pittwater and the Hawkesbury River.
Wildlife: You are in the bush and inside the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park so there is likely to be a wide variety of plant life around and this area is popular with bird watchers but shyer animals may be discouraged by the road.
Places to Eat: There is an incredible restaurant at Cottage Point for those not on a strict budget as well as cafes at Church Point and the Boat House at Palm beach which is great for lunch and offers opportunities for an ocean dip in the sheltered waters there.
Where to Camp: The Basin Campground is the only place you can camp in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. It is accessed by ferry from Palm Beach wharf by boat, ferry or water-taxi, or by walking from West Head. More info can be found here.
Other places to Stay: Being so close to Sydney and its Northern Beaches there is a huge amount of accommodation available in the area from hotels to B&Bs to private house rentals.
Nearby Towns: Sydney, Palm Beach, Terrey Hills, Northern Beaches, Sydney North Shore.