What else do you do on a pleasant (albeit windy) Winter’s day in the Illawarra? Well, you head into the rainforest to shelter from the wind and experience the best of mother nature! It has been YEARS since I’d been to Minnamurra Falls in Budderoo National Park and I’d been itching to get back there.
It took approx 40 minutes to get there from just south of Wollongong and you do need to pay your $12 National Parks entrance fee if you don’t have an annual pass. Upon arrival, I was pretty disappointed to find that the Falls Walk (the longer one that goes past the waterfall) was closed due to maintenance. Still, we unpacked our picnic food and blanket and headed down to where I remember the grass being.
Word of caution- there is no longer any grass (insert sad face.) There are some tables and a little cafeteria, but it’s not exactly baby friendly. We did happen to find a patch of tiled ground that had some sun filtering through and wasn’t too uncomfortable, so we stopped there for half an hour for our picnic lunch before getting ready for our walk.
The Rainforest Loop Walk starts from within the Visitors Centre and is a 1.6km loop on a board walk. We didn’t take a pram, but you definitely could take a sturdy one and be perfectly fine. It’s suggested it can take between half hour to an hour, and we REALLY took our time (stopping for family snaps, feeling the tree bark, etc.) We made it in around 50 minutes.
I have to say, I really loved the walk.
The vegetation was diverse, we saw bush turkeys, lyre birds and your ‘normal’ bird life with very friendly maggies. There was so much to look at and a few suspension bridges (is it terrible that I still love to jump on them and make them swing??) and at many points we saw water, including a cute little double waterfall close to the start.
There was one particularly steep section which wound it’s way up, and that was hard going with a baby on the front (and would be great fun to push a pram up…) but thankfully it didn’t last too long. It was manageable.
My favourite parts were stopping so Noah could feel the different texture of plants and bark. His little face of wonder was completely worth it (as was him falling asleep exhausted by the end- even in a little sprinkle of rain).
A great place to take a baby (maybe skip the picnic) or if you have kids, the tables are totally sufficient and it’s really a nice, easy and relatively short walk with lots to look at and explore.
How to get there: Head down the south coast, south of Sydney, heading towards Albion Park where you turn right at the big roundabout towards Jamberoo. You can literally follow signs to ‘Minnamurra Falls’ or, you know, use your GPS.
Duration: This walk took less than an hour, and we definitely took our time.
What to take:
- A jacket than can second as a raincoat (it was sunny when we left but rained at points… who would’ve known!
- Snacks (or $$ if you want to support their little shop.)
Photo credits to my husband