Sunday, 1 April 2018

Waterfalls in the Otways

Whilst the Great Otways National Park is commonly known for its vast stretches of rugged coastline and amazing surf beaches  it is also the home of an ancient temperate rainforest. The Otways are a wondrous place to visit with countless waterfalls that always flow due to the unusually high year-round rainfall of the region.

Triplet Falls

Arguably the greatest of these waterfalls is Triplet Falls, where you can see the 3 cascades from multiple viewing platforms. The falls are reached by taking a 1.8km circuit starting from the carpark. The walk, whilst not hard, does contain a number of steep sections of steps and will take around an hour to complete. It is recommended to take the path on the left as this provides a lovely walk through the ancient forest of towering Mountain Ash trees before you will reach the lower cascades viewing platform followed by the main falls.

Sabine Falls

Second on the list would have to be the ever impressive Sabine falls which holds the title of the tallest waterfall in the park, coming in at a massive 130 meters tall. The trek out to the falls takes around 2+ hrs return and is of a moderate difficulty, it includes some fairly steep sections and 2 creek crossings. The walk heads off from the carpark towards the historic Henry's Sawmill site #1 where you can see some great relics from the 1920s and then continues on from here, it is well signed at this point. The rest of the track whilst steep and mostly made up of stone cut steps is fairly easy to follow as there are no turn offs so you shouldn't get lost along the way. The walk whilst hard is well worth it to trek through the amazing cool temperate rainforest and has the possibility to spot the endangered Otway Black Snail. All up even though it is one of the longer walks it is definitely well worth it and should be on your list if you're heading to the area.

Erskine Falls

Next on the list and probably the most popular in the National Park is Erskine Falls. These falls are extremely close to Lorne making them so easily accessible.  The main reason why these falls are popular with visitors is due to its large 30 metre drop, providing an amazing cascade to the rock pool below even when there is just a trickle of water. The falls can be seen from a viewing platform just a short 5 minute walk from the carpark. To truly admire the falls it is recommended to head down the path and walk down to the bottom of the falls. The walk will take around 20 minutes return and whilst it is quite short, the steep nature of the terrain and around 240 steps make it quite strenuous walk. Along the way you can admire the beautiful tree ferns and tall trees that surround the falls.

Coming in forth on the list is the commonly overlooked Beauchamp Falls, whilst slightly smaller than Erskine Falls at around 20 metres tall it is still well worth a visit if you are in the area. It is accessible via a somewhat strenuous 3 km walk which treks through a lush forest of Mountain Ash, Blackwood, Myrtle Beech and ferns. The walk should take around 1-1.5 hours to complete and has steps in places that can be quite slippery if it has been raining.

Hopetoun Falls

To round out the list we have Hopetoun Falls, another breathtaking 30 metre tall waterfall. There is a wheelchair accessible viewing platform 30 metres from the carpark, however for those able to it is suggested that visitors head down the 200 odd steps to see the waterfall up close.  The trip down to the falls is around 1 km long and should take roughly an hour to complete.

Whilst we’ve highlighted a number of waterfalls  the National Park is home to a variety of fantastic walks through beautiful temperate rainforest and there are  more hidden waterfalls than those featured here.

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