16 August 14
The picturesque location at Tooloom Falls is often touted as one of the best free-camps within an easy drive of the southeast Queensland metropolis. It’s quietly set at the end of a no-through-road and designated fireplaces, picnic tables, a shelter and a clean, long-drop toilet complement the natural beauty of the peaceful waterway.
Tooloom Falls definitely isn’t a grand waterfall — especially in this part of the world! — as it starts under a causeway and down a ten-metre rocky cliff. It’s surrounded by flat granite rocks that stair-step down to the water below, and I’m sure more adventurous souls have climbed up the face of it before jumping back into the pool below.
While we’re here, we see numerous day-visitors — some vehicles drive in, look at the water and quickly drive off. A canoeist brings his craft on the roof of his little car and paddles around in the top river for several hours. Others take the time to pick their way over the falls to explore the other side. We discover numerous tracks that take us to the pool below, where we find evidence that this is a favourite swimming hole for locals in summertime.
We like being here at Tooloom Falls. There is plenty of room for many different campsites — some are more secluded than others, and rather than parking directly next to the water, I choose a spot near the picnic shelter. The girls can run freely, the waterway is sluggish and even the waterfall is fully accessible, the surrounding rocks are flat enough, making a moderately safe playspace for older, daring children. We don’t see any native mammals or reptiles, but the birdlife is abundant and interesting.
Located 5 km south of Urbenville, NSW (the Tooloom Falls Road turn-off is on the way to Tenterfield), the only downside for us is that the location is completely devoid of any mobile network signal. Still, that could mean the perfect getaway from city life for another visitor! As a free-camp with water views, swimming, small bush-walks and lots of room to play, Tooloom Falls gets our approval!