Balaka Falls is up there with Lake Parramatta as a wonderful, hidden natural gem in the City of Parramatta!

I just love how easily accessible it is. And that I can get my waterfall fix whenever I want – – there’s something so relaxing about listening to water falling over rocks!

Balaka Falls Hunts Creek Reserve Carlingford
February 2019

Balaka Falls is a great spot to take kids of all ages and to introduce them to bushwalking. There are short and medium length bushwalks to get to the falls and for wandering along Hunts Creek. Plus, what kid doesn’t love the chance to splash or drop pebbles in the water!

Balaka Falls Hunts Creek Reserve Carlingford
Frolicking at the falls 2019

Keep in mind that Balaka Falls are best visited after rain. But we love visiting year round.

Hunts Creek Reserve Carlingford waterfall Balaka Falls
A rather dry Balaka Falls (2021)

Did you know that Hunts Creek actually feeds into Lake Parramatta at the western end?

Balaka Falls Hunts Creek Reserve
Balaka Falls after heavy rain (17th March 2019)

City of Parramatta Council has over the last five years upgraded parts of the Hunts Creek Reserve walk. The most noticeable sections are around the waterfall itself, with sandstone stairs now leading down to the bottom of Balaka Falls, as well as the entrances from Ferndale Ave and the new path and bridge from the playground on Northam Drive added in 2022. New wayfinding signage is set to be installed in 2023.

There’s a fire trail running the length of the reserve, just under 2km. It goes from the end of Norfolk Place to Parkland Road, Carlingford and is a shared pedestrian and cycleway. You could easily take an all-terrain pram along this path.

Hunts Creek Reserve

From Norfolk Place, the fire trail runs along the south side of the creek and then crosses over about midway along (after the falls). Where the fire trail runs along the south side, there is a walking track running on the north side. This track weaves and twists a bit more and includes climbing up and down rocks so isn’t suitable for a pram.

Kid Friendly Walks to Balaka Falls

Balaka Falls Hunts Creek Reserve
Map of Hunts Creek Reserve found at points along the track

As you can see from the map above, there are lots of different entry points. And each is a different distance from the falls and different type of track. This allows you to choose one based on the age of your kids (and how far they can walk), time available and energy levels. Our four favourite walks at Hunts Creek Reserve are from:

Hunts Creek Reserve Carlingford
October 2018

1Entry from Ferndale Avenue (~100m)

If you just want to sit and enjoy the falls, without much walking, then this is the entrance for you! It’s only about 100m but down some stairs so not pram or wheelchair friendly.

You will find the stairs next to house 6 on Ferndale Ave in Carlingford. There is unrestricted street parking.

Balaka Falls Hunts Creek Reserve

Just follow the path down to the top of the waterfall and then take the stairs down to the bottom on your left.

Balaka Falls Hunts Creek Reserve

It’s only about a 5min walk and we like doing this walk on rainy days to see Balaka Falls in all their glory.

2Entry from Norfolk Place and Walks Around Balaka Falls (~250m)

Entry point at Norfolk Place (note: this sign is being replaced, June 2018)

This is one of the quickest ways in and I recommend it for little ones who haven’t bush walked much. You park on Norfolk Place and Balaka Falls are roughly 250m away. About 50m in, you will notice a path to the left of the fire trail. This path is an alternative track to the falls, going down the escarpment and along the creek – so not pram friendly.

Once at the falls, you now just need to walk down some sandstone stairs to enjoy the falls from the bottom. You will most likely though need to leave your pram at the top if you have one.

From the falls, you can continue along the fire trail, going along the south side of the creek. Note: There is a small water stream (as pictured) at the top that you will need to lift your pram over. Or, you can cross over the falls to the north side of the creek where there is another walking track (which isn’t pram friendly).

Balaka Falls Hunts Creek Reserve
Top of the falls, which you can rock jump across to reach a walking track along the north side of the creek

Our favourite walk is a loop from Balaka Falls. We cross over the falls at the top and then take the path to the left. This path goes through the reserve heading west, crosses a small stream and then takes you back down to the creek. You will need to rock hop again across the creek, before walking back up to the falls.

Balaka Falls Hunts Creek Reserve
Stream crossing on our favourite bushwalk – loop west of the falls

Along any of the tracks, you should hopefully be able to find some water or beaded dragons, see lots of birds and hear the falls.

3Entry from Lesley Avenue (~500m)

For a little bit of a longer walk in to Balaka Falls, you can start at the playground on Lesley Avenue that was upgraded in 2018.

The entrance to Hunts Creek bushwalk is to the right of the playground when looking at the street. Follow it down a small hill and then go right to reach Balaka falls, which are about 500m walk away (west).

Hunts Creek Reserve East playground Carlingford
Entrance to Hunts Creek bushwalk from near the playground

When you reach a fork in the path, go left and down the rocks. This will take you to the top of the waterfall, which you will need to cross over to get down to the bottom.

4Entry from Northam Drive (~750m)

Path up to Northam Drive

Another fun (though longer) route is to start at the playground on Northham Drive in North Rocks. This nature based playground is great for little climbers. And there’s now a new path, with stairs and a bridge making it even easy to walk from here. Note: you can no longer exit via the back gate.

Once you walk down the path behind the playground and cross the bridge, you will arrive at a paved path for pedestrians and cyclists.

To walk to Balaka Falls, go left where you will soon reach Northam Drive….confusing because Northam Drive is a loop road.

Once at the top of this hill on Northam Drive, turn left, walk up the hill a bit and then cross the road. You will find the Hunts Creek walking track again, though there isn’t any signage here. Follow the track in and you will see markers pointing you to the falls.

This walk is very well shaded and there are lots of gorgeous large trees to admire and rocks to sit on.

You will find a Y-intersection along this walk. Going right takes you to the creek where you can cross (when it hasn’t been raining) and then it’s about a 50m walk up to Balaka Falls. If you take the left path, this will take you around to the top of Balaka Falls, where there’s another Y-intersection – go right this time down the stairs to reach Balaka Falls.

Important Points

There are a number of risks associated with bushwalking. The bushwalks in Hunts Creek Reserve are relatively easy, though there are creek crossings and rocks to climb over. Please ensure you:

  • wear appropriate footwear
  • bring adequate drinking water
  • let someone know where you are going
Balaka Falls Hunts Creek Reserve
March 2017

Finding Hunts Creek Reserve and Balaka Falls

The Google Map below shows the key entry points to Hunts Creek Reserve. There is only street parking at each of the entry points. You can also access the reserve by bus 546 that goes from Parramatta to Epping station via Oatlands and North Rocks. It does however stop near the Parklands entry point – the furthest from Balaka Falls.

Places of Interest Nearby

Other Kids Friendly Bushwalks

Looking for more wonderful bushwalks to take the kids on? Well you are in luck! We are fortunate to have a lot of great, kid friendly bushwalks in and around the City of Parramatta. See our list of close to 30 bushwalks here.

kid friendly bushwalks spring school holidays guide
Photo credit: Josephine Sicad Photography


  1. I’m coming over to Sydney in October, we will be doing three ‘official walks’ to commemorate the bicentenary of the Pentrich revolution which happened in 1817 here in England, one of the men transported for his part in the uprising was Samuel Hunt,(Hunts Creek) his wife was Elizabeth Seville (Sevilles reserve) on the 16th October am we plan to do the official walk around Parramatta, and pm we would like to see at least Hunts creek waterfall, Balaka falls, (at least) our problem is getting a group from Parramatta to the reserve/creek

    I believe there is a bus from Parramatta to Carlingford, I can’t see how often they run from Parramatta to Carlingford, we then need directions to the reserve/waterfal from the bus station, would anyone there be able to assist us please? we will be limited for time as we have to catch the ferry back from Parramatta to Sydney

    • Hi Sylvia, fascinating to learn some of the history of Hunts Creek in terms of who it is named after. The bus you need to catch from Parramatta is 546 ( You need to get off at the bus stop on Farnell Ave, near Citrus Grove. There is an entrance to Hunts Creek Reserve/ bushwalk at the end of Citrus Grove, which brings you into the reserve near Balaka Falls. There should also be a map there or you can refer to the map in our article. We hope you have a great trip and would love to hear how you go.

  2. Fantastic, Thanks for your help with this, we are doing a walk around Parramatta on the 16th October concerning the 14 revolutionaries who were transported, including Samuel Hunt, and meeting up with some of his descendants at Paramatta lake for lunch, if any of your group would like to join this, (before we visit Balaka falls) we start at 10.33 from the ferry, the walk can be downloaded from this link

    Also we plan a small exhibition and talk in Sydney on the 18th Oct, at Richmond House on Kent Street Sydney

    The Sydney walk is on the 15th start time 9am Circular Key Sydney
    The Parramatta walk is on the 16th start time 9.07 circular quay (or 10.33 at the Parramatta ferry)
    The Kiama walk is on the 16th start time 8.13 from Train central Sydney or 10.48 Kiama station

    If you do want more information on Samuel Hunt please email me

  3. Don’t go swimming or in the water, it has a faulty sewerage line that runs beside it which overflows- ESPECIALLY after heavy rain.