I LOVE waterfalls and initially thought I would need to head to the Blue Mountains to get a fix nearby. But then I found there are three in our backyard! We checked out Balaka Falls at Hunts Creek Reserve in Carlingford first and have been regularly visiting ever since. Then we went looking in Vineyard Creek Reserve but the tiny waterfall isn’t much to write home about, though we love the bushwalk. The last waterfall on my list was at Terrys Creek in Epping (thanks to this article by Weekend Notes). We finally visited it in early 2018 and have been back close to 10 times since.
I really wish we had visited sooner! But I struggled to find information on how suitable the walk is for little ones. And was worried about steep hills, considering the area.
Well I’m happy to report that it is suitable for little ones (2-3yrs+). And a beautiful bushwalk to boot. With large boulders along the way, a mostly flat path, good shade, water regularly trickling in the background, the occasional brush turkey running away and an almost rainforest feel in parts.
Keep in mind that the creek is never that far away. But there’s usually bush along the edge providing a small barrier for kids who may be drawn to it.
We’re happy to report that a number of improvements have recently been made to Terrys Creek walk by Ryde Council and City of Parramatta. There are now sections of boardwalks and better signage, plus easier creek crossings.
Starting Points for Terrys Creek Walk
There are two main entrances to the walk if you want to visit the falls and have kids in tow. In summer, we love starting from Epping Pool so we can return for a swim. And for a slightly longer walk, with a playground, we start at Forrester Park or Vimiera Reserve.
1From Epping Aquatic Centre
The walk from Epping Pool to Terrys Creek falls would have to be my favourite bushwalk in summer! The entrance is just before the main carpark in Dence park, down the service road to the pools. We usually park in the smaller carpark, to the right of the Creative Centre, before this service road. The path can be found on the right hand side, about half way down the service road. And now is fashioned with a lovely entrance sign. You DO NOT enter the pool to access the walk.
From here to the falls, the walk is about 500m one way. It’s a well shaded path and even on a hot day, it feels a lot cooler and when you emerge back on the road again.
There are now proper stairs to start with, which are a lot more manageable than the old stairs cut into the rock. This walk is not pram friendly. The path can be narrow in parts and there are a few rocks to walk over.
The path takes you behind the fence for the baby pool and over a small creek.
Now unlike the entrance from Vimeira Reserve, we couldn’t get the map to really match the track. But basically all you need to remember is to go left after crossing the creek and then left again at a path marker (on the corner of the pool fence). You then follow the track (with Terrys Creek on your left) until you come to the bottom of the falls. You DO NOT need to cross the creek (unless you want to go to Browns Waterhole instead!).
Next to where the path comes out at the bottom of the falls, is another path up that’s cut into rocks and takes you to the top of the falls (going left/ south).
And then this is the path to Vimiera Reserve.
Once you and the kids have finished playing at the falls, you simply go back the way you came. And go for a SWIM to cool off is the weather is nice! Entry to Epping Pool is $6.20 for adults and kids under 5 are free. Get all the details about visiting Epping Aquatic Centre here.
2From Vimiera Reserve and Forrester Park
The first time we walked to Terrys Creek falls it was from Vimiera Reserve in Epping. You can find the reserve near the intersection of Davis Ave and Essex Road – or Albuera Road as listed on Google Maps. NOTE: we haven’t done this walk since the recent upgrade so some improvements may have been made, similar to the ones from the Epping Pool side of the walk.
The entrance to the walk isn’t clear from the road, being set back a bit, but isn’t far in from the gate (pic above). And just nearby, across the white bridge, is a playground at Forrester Park if the kids want a play before or after.
Thanks to Hornsby Council, who used to manage this walk and reserve, there are point of interest markings along the walk and a very handy guide that explains the points (see below).
It took us about 40mins to walk from point 1 to the waterfall at point 7 (though we didn’t actually spot the point 7 marker). And this is with a fair amount of stopping along the way. Google Maps says the walk to the waterfall is only about 800m.
The walk takes you along Terrys Creek and through Blue Gum High Forest. While mostly flat, I wouldn’t say the bushwalk was pram friendly. Not to the waterfall anyway.
The only point we really had to clamber up a little hill was after passing the top of the waterfall and heading down to the bottom.
We stopped for lunch at the bottom of the waterfall. And also had fun throwing small rocks into the water. Plus I collected a bag full of garage to carry out with me. Unfortunately there can be a LOT of litter that collects at the bottom of the waterfall.
The waterfall at Terrys Creek is only small, but it is still very lovely and a beautiful spot to take the kids.
I don’t believe the water is swimmable due to pollution. But on a hot day, it does make for a refreshing place to cool off, with your feet in the water and a little splash.
We spotted a few small Eastern Water Dragons. And there are some really interesting trees and rock formations to look at both at the waterfall and along the walk.
You can continue onto Dence Park, where Epping Aquatic Centre is. But this is a bit too far for my preschoolers to do as a single round trip at this stage.
Finding Terrys Creek Walk in Epping
We parked on Essex St (listed as Albuera Road on Google Maps), near Davis Ave, and started the walk there. You can walk from Sommerville Park as well and of course you can start the walk from the other end at Dence Park, where the Epping Aquatic Centre is. You can also access the walk via bus (545), stopping on Balaclava Rd and then walking up Vimiera Road.
Here is a map showing the two main bushwalks along Terrys Creek – the one at Epping to the waterfall, and another one from Carlingford to Eastwood.
Places of Interest Nearby
- Epping Aquatic Centre
- Forrester Park – playground just across the white bridge
- Sommerville Park
- Henry Brigg Playground
- Lynelle Park
- Epping train station and town centre
- Epping Branch Library