The Protesters Falls walking trail, located in Nightcap National Park’s rugged ranges, leads through magnificent rainforest to a spectacular waterfall. It’s a great stop on a driving tour of the beautiful NSW North Coast hinterland near Lismore, and it’s an ideal short walk for families and nature lovers.
Terania Creek, named after the late 1970s protests that saved this valuable patch of pristine rainforest, is an important habitat for a variety of endangered frogs, including the threatened Fleay’s barred frog and pouched frog.
You’ll notice how subtropical bangalow palms and native tamarind give way to towering rainforest giants of yellow carabeen and strangler figs as you walk along this easy trail. Keep an ear out for the rose-crowned fruit dove and the barred cuckoo-shrike. A pademelon might even dart through the bush. If you’ve worked up an appetite, stop by the Terania Creek picnic area for a leisurely lunch.
Protesters Falls Guidelines
- Always conduct some research before embarking on a journey. For the most up-to-date information, go to the park’s website.
- Enjoy waterfalls from trails and designated viewing areas. Climbing over barriers is dangerous because cliff edges and slippery surfaces can cause injury or death.
- Only swim where it is legal. Do not jump from cliff edges into bodies of water.
- Swimming near or under waterfalls is risky due to strong currents, submerged hidden rock ledges, and other hazards. The force of a waterfall can be tremendous, and many people have perished as a result. Take precautions and pay attention to warning signs.
- Make sure you pay attention to all safety signs. Wherever possible, stay on the marked tracks. Fences are there for your safety; never climb them.
- When exploring Australia, always wear appropriate footwear and bring a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the elements.
- Plan ahead of time and bring enough food and water for your journey.
- Please be mindful of the environment and take your trash with you or place it in the provided bins. We want to make certain that these beautiful places are preserved for future generations to enjoy.
- Please do not feed the animals.
Protesters Falls History
The falls were named after the late 1970s Terania Creek protests that saved the rainforest from human destruction. Protesters stood in the way of loggers who were planning to bulldoze this valuable rainforest.
The historic decision to save approximately 100,000 hectares of forest from the timber production industry was made by NSW Premier Neville Wran in 1982. A contentious decision at the time, as 600 jobs were estimated to be lost in the region’s timber industry as a result of this decision.
The traditional owners of the land were taken aback by the determination of the protesters who had arrived to love the land as much as they did and to assist them in protecting their’storybook’ setting.
The waterfalls and rainforest are now protected so that everyone can enjoy them. Swimming is not permitted in this creek because the oils and chemicals on the human body (deodorant, sunscreen, etc.) contaminate the water, destroying the frogs’ natural habitat.
Protesters Falls FAQ
Can you swim at Protesters Falls?
It is prohibited to swim at Protesters Falls. Swimming in creeks adjacent to the Protesters Falls walking trail is prohibited to help protect the vital habitat of the Fleay’s barred frog.
How do I get to Protesters Falls?
- Turn left at the general store (signposted) on Terania Creek Road from The Channon.
- Drive for about 15 kilometres to the end of this mostly rough gravel road.
- Park at the Terania Creek picnic area, which is located at the northern end of Terania Creek Road.
- Check the weather forecast before you go because the road to the Protesters Falls walking trail can become muddy when it rains.
- There is parking available at the Terania Creek picnic area. On weekends, it can be a busy place, so parking may be limited.
- Terania Creek picnic area has picnic facilities.
- You must bring your own drinking water.
Is Protesters Falls open all the time?
Always check the National Parks website for details on whether it is open. Sometimes due to heavy rainfall or other weather incidents, it can be closed to the public.