Erskine Falls, Lorne

Great Call

Want to chase waterfalls next weekend? Great call!

The diverse terrain and coastal margin of the Great Ocean Road makes the entire region a natural wonderland for waterfalls. Rumour has it there are over 400 waterfalls in the Otway’s alone, many unmapped.

Tall or small, roaring or peaceful, hidden or easy to reach – get ready to start exploring these awe-inspiring waterfalls by the fern-lined river valleys, dramatic mossy cliffs and rocky gullies of the Great Ocean Road.

THE MOST FAMOUS FALLS ON THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD

Erskine Falls, Lorne

Erskine Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls on the Great Ocean Road. It’s no wonder with an impressive 30m fall plunging into the cascading gully below. The pool and river it flows into are surrounded by dense forest, thick tree canopies and far reaching tree ferns.

From Lorne it’s a 10 minute drive into the Otways to reach the Erskine Falls Car Park. From here, it’s your choice if you want to visit lookout one, two or both! It’s a short 300 metre return walk to the first lookout from the car park, the paved track takes you to a lookout with a spectacular view over the falls and the tree canopy below.

From Lookout One continue along the path in search of Erskine Falls Lookout Two. This 700 metre return walk is more strenuous as the path descends down 300 plus steps to the viewing platform of the stunning falls from below. Watch the powerful water fall over the ridges carved into the rock face and take in the stunning surroundings of mossy stones, thick ferns and the magnificent towering canopies above.

 

How to get there:

Erskine Falls is a nine-kilometre drive from Lorne. For enthusiastic walkers, the 7.5-kilometre Erskine River Track leads from the falls to Lorne along the river, passing Straw Falls and Splitter Falls.

 

Tips:

  • The Otway National Park’s high rain fall makes for an incredible show as water plunges over Erskine Falls into the pond below.
  • The secret of Erskine Falls has been let out long ago so get here early to avoid the crowds.

LESSER KNOWN BUT NO LESS SPECTACUALR

Phantom Falls, Great Otway National Park

Take your pick from the upper and lower viewing areas of Phantom Falls. Both will delight with different viewpoints of the 15 metre rock façade, waterfall and beautiful natural setting. It is one of the most unsung waterfalls of the region.

From the upper tiers, take in the views of the powerful water cascading over uneven jagged rocks and plunging into the serene pool and alcoves below. Then descend down the stairs to explore them for yourself!

 

How to get there:

An easy distance from Lorne, simply follow signs to the Allenvale Mill car park along the Allenvale Rd.

TAKE A SHORT WALK TO THE HIDDEN POOLS OF SHEOAK FALLS

Sheoak Falls and The Swallow Caves, Great Otway National Park

Sheoke Falls is one of the few waterfalls which can be reached almost directly from the Great Ocean Road. The short walk (although there are plenty of steps) weaves its way from the coastal woodland at the mouth of the Sheoak Creek and through wet forest to the hidden cascades of Sheoak Falls. You’ll be rewarded with a 15m sheer rock face that plummets into a tranquil pool surrounded by lush native trees. It creates the perfect, natural amphitheatre.

Continue up the trail to Swallow Cave. The climb is worth it when you see the alternative views of the falls along the way. This trail also requires a river crossing, so it might be impassable in the winter. When you reach Swallow Cave look out for Tree Martins, they live in the grotto during spring, summer and autumn. These birds use mud from the creek to build their nests.

How to get there:

From Lorne, head south along The Great Ocean Road until you reach the signs for the Sheoak Falls car park.

ONE OF THE PRETTIEST FALLS ON THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD

Lower Kalimna Falls, Great Otway National Park

Let a historic timber tramway route lead you through a creek valley filled with ferns and huge blue gums to this small but magnificent falls.

Lower Kalimna Falls is oh so pretty with a serene plunge pool surrounded by tree ferns. Take a natural shower in the water trickling over the rocky ledge or rest a minute in the large cavern behind the falls – an idyllic spot to explore or take in the view of the large pool, mossy rocks and surrounding ferns.

 

How to get there:

Take the Allenvale Rd from Lorne, where you’ll find signs for the Falls and Sheoak picnic area.

 

Tips:

  • Trail can be muddy and slippery
  • Expect fallen trees to scramble over
  • Leeches may be present on this hike

SOAK UP THE SPRAY AS THIS 30M FALL ROARS ABOVE YOU

Hopetoun Falls, Great Otway National Park

Nature lovers won’t want to the leave the Otways without visiting the roaring Hopetoun Falls. It plummets 30m over a jagged rockface of mossy rocks into the Aire River below. Soak up the view from the upper platform (20m from the carpark) or descend the 200 steps and feel the spray for yourselves. The lower platform is roughly a 1km, 30m minute trip but don’t worry, there’s a rest stop at the bottom to take a moment and admire the view.

 

How to get there:

Not far from Skenes Creek and Wongarra, follow signs to the C159, turn off at Binns Rd. Turn off at Hopetoun Falls Rd where you will find signs for the car park.

THE LARGEST WATERFALL ON THE HOPKINS RIVER

Hopkins Falls, Warrnambool

Located 15km from Warrnambool, the 90m wide and 12m tall Hopkins Falls can’t be missed. Winter is the best time to view these curtain-like falls and the two viewing platforms have their own camera stands to help you snap an Insta-worthy shot. Take the easy path to the pools below making sure to keep an eye out for the baby eels jumping out of the rocky ledges.

 

How to get there:

Hopkins Falls is located on Hopkins Falls Road, just a 15-kilometre drive from Warrnambool.

Whether you see one or see them all, it’s always a Great Call to chase waterfalls along the Great Ocean Road.

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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.