About Tia Falls
Tia Falls (pronounced “TYE-uh” and not “TEE-uh” like Spanish for auntie) was one of several impressive waterfalls in the Oxley Wild Rivers Gorge system. I couldn’t find any information on its height, but I’d imagine it’s somewhere around 100m or more as it cascaded steeply into the gorge and rainforest below. We thought the best viewpoint of the falls from right across the gorge was a bit distant and of the look-but-don’t-touch variety. So aside from taking photos and gawking at the waterfall from somewhat far away, there didn’t seem to be many other options available to us to experience the falls in other ways.
Julie and I reached the viewpoint that yielded the photo at the top of this page by following a walk that left the car park (see directions) and followed a flat track to our right that skirted the gorge. Throughout this walk, we were able to see parts of the falls from different angles, but we never really got very satisfying views of the falls until we reached the overlook (1.5km return walk between the car park and overlook).
A little further along the track past the waterfall lookout platform, we then reached a different lookout revealing the Tia Gorge further downstream from Tia Falls. Since we were there in the morning, we were looking against the sun from that lookout so that vantage point might be better appreciated in the afternoon. Overall, Julie and I spent about 50 minutes doing this excursion, which encompassed the waterfall sighting as well as the continuation of the track to the lookout at the end of this spur track. Signs here indicated that there was also a longer 5km walk around the other side of the gorge past the top of the falls then out to the Tiara Lookout, which was said to have a more dramatic panorama of the high plateau scenery, but we didn’t do it so we can’t comment more on it.
Finally, the interpretive signs here also said that the Tia River was one of the most reliable water sources within Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. That would explain the thunderous healthy flow that we witnessed (as well as the photos on this page). This could be attributed to a combination of the high rainfall of the headwaters of the Tia River further south at Mummel Gulf National Park and Riamukka State Forest. Thus, we could also say that this was a year-round waterfall.
Access to the car park is via a 7km unsealed spur road off the Oxley Highway (Hwy 34) some 37km southeast of Walcha. From Port Macquarie, it’s about a 2-hour drive (150km) to the unsealed spur turnoff for Tia Falls.