There’s nothing quite like a waterfall: an awe-inspiring show of nature’s strength and beauty. Although we in Victoria don’t have anything akin to the massive Niagara or (ironically) Victoria Falls, you still don’t have to venture too far outside Melbourne to hear that roar of water cascading down a cliff. Whether you’re after a quick pit stop, a leisurely stroll or an epic day trip – here are some of the best falls in easy reach for Melbournians.
Erskine Falls – Lorne (2hr 15min from CBD)
The namesake of the famous Falls Music Festival, these falls are out the back of Lorne nestled amongst the Otway’s mountain ash rainforest. The lookout for the falls is just a short five minute walk from the car park, but if you’re after a bit of a hike, head along the track to the base of the falls. It gets a bit steep and wet in places, but is well worth the effort. Erskine Falls are surrounded by a beautiful fern gully, and are a favourite stop for those exploring the Great Ocean Road.
Mason Falls – Kinglake West (1hr 20min from CBD)
A must-see for all those exploring Kinglake National Park, Mason Falls are surrounded by towering forest that is bursting with regrowth after the Black Saturday bushfires. The lookout is an easy walk from the picnic area and car park (which is well equipped with toilets and BBQs). If you want to spend a bit of time exploring, head down some of the other surrounding tracks. Keep an eye (and an ear) out for lyrebirds; there are plenty of males around here trying to attract a mate with their famous mimicked calls!
MacKenzie Falls – Grampians (3hrs 40min from CBD)
The Grampians National Park has no shortage of spectacular views, but MacKenzie Falls is up there in one of the best spots! It’s an easy 40-minute walk (paved and wheelchair accessible) to the Bluff Lookout, where you can admire the falls from high above the gorge. Alternatively, you can take the longer path down to the base of the falls, which passes by Broken Falls lookout. This will take a bit longer (an hour and 20 minutes), and the path beyond the lookout is steep and can be slippery, but it will be all worth it when you reach that special spot at the end.
Trentham Falls – Trentham (1hr 10min from CBD)
Located on the outskirts of Trentham, Trentham Falls is the longest single drop waterfall in Victoria. It’s an easy stroll from the carpark to admire the falls from the lookout, a perfect stop on the way home from lunch in nearby Daylesford or Castlemaine. The public used to be able to access the base of the falls, a large pool, but it’s recently been cut off for safety reasons.
Steavenson Falls – Marysville (1hr 50min from CBD)
With a drop of 84 metres, Steavenson Falls is another awe-inspiring site, located a short drive from the township of Marysville. You can drive to the car park, then follow the short path to the lookout at the base of the falls. But if you’re interested in a bit of a longer walk, take the Tree Fern Gully Trail that leads from Marysville to the falls. This easy walk will take you up to an hour and a half each way, through the scenic ferny mountain ash forest, finishing at the falls.
Cover image by Skare Media.
Ella is a PhD Candidate at the University of Melbourne, where she spends a lot of time thinking about why some quolls don’t eat cane toads (if only she could ask them!). She also enjoys talking and writing about science, and would ultimately love to have an actual impact on the conservation of Australia’s biodiversity.
You can find her on Twitter at @ecology_ella.