9 November 2022.
Choosing where to base yourself along the Waterfall Way is one of the most important things to consider when planning your itinerary.
Aside from Armidale, accommodation along the route is surprisingly sparse with just a few notable options speckled across the highlands. That said, the places that are on offer tend to be beautifully designed and tucked away in a spectacular country setting.
If you’re camping or caravanning, you’ll find plenty more options to choose from, with everything from basic national park campgrounds to fully decked-out holiday parks available en route.
Wherever you choose to stay, I’d highly recommend booking well in advance if you’re visiting in the peak summer season. Even in the dead of winter, many places completely book out so it’s a good idea to plan at least a few weeks ahead.
These are my top picks for Waterfall Way accommodation, whether you’re camping, on a budget or planning a luxe getaway.
Bellingen Showground | Located on the north side of the Bellinger River and just a few minute’s walk from town, the Bellingen Showground is a sprawling grassy complex offering basic powered and unpowered sites at very reasonable prices.
Dorrigo Mountain Holiday Park | Set on the outskirts of town, this holiday park offers some lovely shaded campsites that are powered, with access to barbecue and laundry facilities. Check rates and availability here.
Dangar Falls Lodge, Camp & Caravan | Set a few minutes from Dorrigo and beside the serene Dangar Falls, this camp offers simple but cosy cabin accommodation along with a spacious grassy area suitable for both tents and caravans.
Ebor Camp | A small basic campground just a short walk from town with a toilet block, picnic tables and fire pit. This place is first come first serve and accepts donations only.
Barokee Campground | Tucked away in Cathedral Rock National Park, Barokee is located amongst a peaceful eucalyptus grove beside Snowy Creek. The camp itself is basic but you’ll find toilets, picnic tables and barbecues on site while the walking trails are accessible right from your doorstep. Bookings are essential and wallaby visits are virtually guaranteed.
Wollomombi Campground | Spots are limited at this national park-operated campground, but wood barbecues, picnic tables and drinking water are provided. Best of all, you’ll be mere minutes from the spectacular Wollomombi Falls. A perfect spot for catching sunrise or sunset over the canyon with no one else around.
Dangars Falls Campground | Though you could stay at the main tourist park in Armidale, for a more remote camping experience, this campground is surrounded by forest and opens up onto one of the area’s best waterfalls. A great choice for campers.
Armidale Tourist Park | For those after a campground with more amenities than you’ll find in the national parks, this sprawling property offers powered and unpowered sites suitable for both tents and caravans with access to laundry facilities, camp kitchen, barbecues, wifi, pool, gym and rec rooms. Note that reception is only open between 9am and 5pm for check-in. Check rates and availability here.
PLAN YOUR TRIP ALONG THE WATERFALL WAY WITH THESE HELPFUL GUIDES
Bellingen Belfry Guesthouse | This friendly guesthouse offers cosy rooms at affordable prices in the heart of Bellingen and is worth staying at for the views alone! The downstairs communal kitchen and lounge areas exude backpacker vibes, while upstairs, the upper balcony overlooks fields and forests that extend into the mountains of the Dorrigo Plateau. Try to nab the corner room and wake up to see the sunrise streaming across the treetops. Check rates and availability here.
The Lodge Bellingen | The Lodge offers modern, beautifully renovated cabins nestled in a serene countryside setting just a short drive from Bellingen. As well as stunning views right from your room, you’ll find a pool, bar and restaurant onsite. Check rates and availability here.
Lookout Mountain Retreat | This beautiful hotel lies just minutes from the Dorrigo Sky Walk – perfect for anyone hoping to roll out of bed and reach the viewpoint for sunrise. Rooms are modern, spacious and well-appointed and open up right onto the lush paddocks that surround the property with a mountain backdrop in the distance. It’s also home to the area’s best restaurant. Check rates and availability here.
White Lanterns Motel | After booking very last minute, I ended up staying here on my first night in Armidale. While the interiors are quite dated, the rooms are spacious, clean and include a well-equipped kitchenette. Prices are very reasonable and the location is just a 2-minute drive from the centre of town. Check rates and availability here.
Country Comfort Armidale | Located within walking distance of central Armidale, Country Comfort offers modern, newly renovated rooms that are a cut above the other motels in town. There’s also an onsite restaurant housed in a century-old converted Victorian house. Check rates and availability here.
Petersons Winery and Guesthouse | Set a short drive from town, this lovingly restored homestead offers beautifully designed rooms with antique touches throughout, alongside an English garden, on-site restaurant and award-winning winery. An exceptional breakfast and a complimentary wine tasting are included. A lovely choice for a boutique stay in Armidale for those after something a bit special. Check rates and availability here.
Tattersalls Hotel | The best hotel in Armidale, Art Deco Tattersalls offers spacious, modern and luxurious rooms with an onsite bar, restaurant and parking in the heart of Armidale. Check rates and availability here.
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