Fitzroy Falls - the village and the spectacular natural attraction - lies at the edge of the escarpmant towards the coast from the Southern Highlands.
Although the view from the Falls shows steep cliffs descending to the valley floor, there is a pathway leading down from the Highlands, first shown to the explorer Charles Throsby by local aborigines in 1818. Throsby, however, did not mention having seen the falls at that time.
At the foot of this pathway (closely approximating the current highway) is the beautiful Kangaroo Valley.
By the time the Falls were named (by Governor Fitzroy, on a visit to Throsby's property in 1850), they were already well known to other visitors, the Throsby family often taking their visitors there to picnic and admire the scenery.
A town was planned in 1862 by Surveyor Robert Hoddle, but little settlement followed.
In 1882 some 4000 acres around the falls were set aside as a reserve, by which time it was already popular as a local sightseeing attraction.
Fitzroy Falls has always remained a small village, with only several dozen houses and surrounding farmland.
(The current population - some few hundreds, is included in census statistics for the Avoca/Myra Vale area.)
View from the Falls
With the coming of the motor car, Fitzroy Falls became a popular visiting place.
Motor 'charabancs' brought day trippers from the railway station at Moss Vale during the 40s and 50s to see the sights, and to stop off at the visitor's centre and cafe.
Since the 60s the Falls have been administered by the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (after the creation of Morton National Park), who have built an impressive tourist centre with information, displays, cafe, and picnic area.
The area around the top of the Falls is a well re-established nature reserve, and there are many walking trails to enjoy.
Most visitors travelling between the Highlands, Kangaroo Valley, and Nowra make a point of stopping off here.
There is a well equipped old-fashioned general store, antique store, pottery, berry farm, riding school - and even sailing and fishing on the lake!
View over the lake
Fitzroy Falls is at the head of the escarpment leading down to the tranquil Kangaroo Valley, where there are many local attractions, canoeing and bushwalking activities, and accommodation.