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I’m not sure what TLC sprinkled on their cereal every morning, but deciding not to chase waterfalls is a ridiculous idea

Who wouldn’t like to visit spectacularly high gorges with cascading water falling hundreds of metres into a prehistoric rockpool? What about exploring secretive waterfalls hidden away in lush rainforests where you can recreate a scene from Blue Lagoon without anyone inadvertently photo-bombing your Instagram shot?

Thanks to NSW’s wildly diverse climate, whether you go on a road trip North, West or South of Sydney there’s a waterfall out there with your name on it. The trick with waterfalls is all about the timing – if you go exploring after a heavy rain, chances are you’ll be in for an absolute treat.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to chase one of these:

Drive West of Sydney

Wentworth Falls and Katoomba Falls are two of the most scenic waterfalls in Australia, both within two hours reach of Sydney. They’re Lord of Ring’s-esque in grandeur and the vista that they’re carved out of is nothing short of magnificent. However, their ease of access and global popularity ensure you’re highly likely to witness a selfie-stick fencing fight on the viewing platform.

For something a lot more private, try Minnehaha Falls. It’s a dreamy little place with a swimming hole so beautiful no ludicrous Hollywood set could ever rival it. To get there, drive through Katoomba to Yosemite and walk 15 minutes down from the car park. Be brave, breathe deep and take the plunge – you won’t regret it!

Drive South of Sydney

In less than one hours drive south of Sydney, you can find yourself completely entombed by nature enjoying a chlorine-free experience under a spine-tinglingly wild waterfall. How insanely cool is that?

Head first to Wattamolla Falls along the famous coastal walk in the Royal National Park, or maybe nearby Curracurrong Falls. Alternatively Winifred Falls, which you’ll find if you take the mildly challenging 4 km walk from Audley, smack bang in the middle of the RNP.

If you’ve still got time up your sleeves, there are couple of magnificent falls a little further south in the Southern Highlands, namely Fitzroy Falls and Budderoo. Even further is Paddy’s River Falls, which has carved itself into the landscape to the west of the Australian Alps and therefore benefits from the melting snow. Time this one right and you’re in for a treat (this is one you can stand behind the water and feel like you’re the Last of the Mohicans).

Drive North of Sydney

If following lane dividers at your local swimming pool is getting slightly tedious, then it’s probably time you headed north on a waterfall chasing road trip. These ones really take the biscuit.

If you’re feeling lazier than a hungover sloth, or you don’t trust your car’s ability to do the kilometres, then a dip under Collins Beach waterfall near Manly may be just the paradise ticket. If you think that’s special, you’ll want to head a tad further to Ku-Ring-Gai National Park where the elusive Gledhill Falls hides. Brace yourself, this one’ll blow your budgy smugglers off.

Now, the piece to resistance: Waterfalls Way – a 191km drive that weaves through the lush varying landscape of the New England Region. The tumbling waterfalls you’ll witness along this almighty road trip include Apsley, Ebor, Tia and Wollomombi Falls.

This article first appeared on The Urban List