Do you love the sound of roaring water? The feel of mist in the air? Then you will love the magnificent waterfalls of Otways National Park and the Great Ocean Road. In fact, no Great Ocean Road self-drive trip is complete without stopping at a few in Great Otway National Park.
The Best Waterfalls Along the Great Ocean Road
You will be amazed by what nature has in store for you on a DYI tour of waterfalls, the Great Ocean Road has to offer. These are the best of the best when it comes to Great Ocean Road waterfalls.
1. Erskine Falls
Erskine Falls is one of the most accessible waterfalls along the Great Ocean Road. From Lorne town, it is approximately a nine-kilometre drive. Alternatively, for enthusiastic walkers, there is Erskine River Track that stretches about 7.5 kilometres via Straw Falls and Splitter Falls.
The viewing platform is only 100 meters from the car park. However, to reach the foot of the waterfall in Victoria you’ll need to take steep steps down into the valley.
Tips For Visiting Erskine Falls
- No toilet facilities in this area (Use the one at Blanket Leaf Picnic Area).
- Have the right footwear if you intend to descend the steps (Preferably waterproof boots).
- Arrive early to avoid any crowds in the high season.
2. Shoek Falls and Upper Shoek WaterFalls
Shoek Falls, like Erskine Falls, is very accessible from the Great Ocean Road. It is a one-kilometer return journey on foot from the official car park. The 45-minutes’ return walk starts at a boardwalk that gives you a perfect view of the Southern Coast. It is spectacular. The track then cuts into the wetlands and becomes somewhat rocky just before cutting into lush forested vegetation that winds down at the fall.
Tips For Shoek Falls and Upper Shoek Falls
- The falls are most spectacular after heavy rainfall.
- Visit from spring to autumn to enjoy spying on the nestling birds at the Swallow Cave (Upper Shoek Falls).
- The falls lacks facilities (although Lorne town is close by-12 minutes drive).
3. Hopetoun Falls
Hopetoun is yet another one of the beautiful water falls on the Great Ocean Road. The viewing platform is very accessible from the car park which makes it suitable for all people, especially those with mobility issues. On the other hand, getting to the foot of the falls may cause exertion but the experience is worthwhile.
While you’re in the area don’t miss an opportunity to visit the fantastic Californian Redwood plantation. It is located 26 kilometres south of the Hopetoun Falls.
Tips For Visting Hopetoun Falls
- Have a waterproof shoe with traction for the trek to the foot of the waterfall.
- Arrive early to avoid missing a parking lot as the car park is small.
4. Triplet Falls
Triplet Falls is an amazing place to be if you love walking through lush beech forest. It takes approximately one hour round trip to access the viewing platform and arrive back to the car park. Located at the end of the Philips Track, it is a two-kilometer round trip walk. The surrounding is dotted with huge gum trees, several fern trees, and tall ash mountain trees said to be 300 years old. It is like something out of a fairy tale!
Tips For Visting Triplet Falls
- Quite steep steps at the top of the falls; however, towards the bottom, there are wide raised metal mesh walkways. The walk to the bottom is not recommended for people with mobility issues.
- The green foliage may hinder your view of the waterfall at the bottom but it is part of it charm
- Getting too close to the foot of the waterfall is risky and discouraged
5. Stevenson Falls
Unlike Triplet Falls, Stevenson Falls has a clear viewpoint that makes it popular among waterfall adventurers in Otway National Park looking for the best Great Ocean Road waterfalls.
Stevenson Falls is a five-minute drive from Barramunga and offers a lovely place to take good photos. From the car park, there are two routes to the viewpoint. The shorter way to the fall takes 20 minutes on the 500 meters round trip. The longer router is approximately 4.6 kilometres return and takes about one hour thirty minutes to cover.
Tips For Visting Stevenson Falls
· Be wary that Gellibrand River at the base of the falls may over flood during heavy downpour.
6. Little Aire Falls
Little Aire Falls is a must-visit place on your waterfalls Great Ocean Road detours. It’s worth the strenuous trek that may appear longer than the 2.3 kilometres indicated on the signage (approximately 5 kilometres roundtrip). It is at least two hours of trek time for the round trip. However, the walk through the luscious fern gullies and mountain ash forest is an experience in and of itself.
Tips For Visting Little Aire Falls
- Wear waterproof gumboots especially after it has rained. Part of the track may be muddy.
- Have a packed lunch and a bottle of water, to recharge during the trek
7. Carisbrook Falls
Carisbrook Falls is located between Lorne and Apollo Bay. This is one of the auspicious waterfalls on Great Ocean Road, as it is only 500 meters from the main highway.
The walk to the small viewing point takes 30 minutes round trip and is best visited after a downpour. It is, however, not possible to have a full view of the waterfall due to the distance of viewpoint. The densely vegetated ravine covers part of the waterfall.
Tips For Visting Carisbrook Falls
- Have a camera with a powerful lens that can zoom and take quality photos.
- The base of the terrain is not accessible.
8. Phantom Falls
The beautiful Phantom Falls with its turquoise blue water is located on the St George River. The round trip to the falls takes about 90 minutes and is approximately 3.5 kilometres in length. However, the signpost indicating 2.5 kilometres is somewhat misleading.
Phantom Falls may not be as high as Erskine Falls 30 metres drop, but it is more powerful with gushing water which thunders over the 15 meters cliff. To get to the falls, you need to drive or walk to Allenvale Mill Campsite, cross the road and begin the trek through the forest. Your tour of waterfalls of the Great Ocean Road will be incomplete if miss Phantom Falls.
Tips For Visiting Phantom falls
- Other tracks to access the waterfall are available, through strenuous and require experience hiking.
- The closest facilities are at Allenvale Mill Campsite.
9. Lower Kalimna Falls
Lower Kalimna Falls is another one of the exquisite Great Ocean Road waterfalls. It can be accessed from the Shoek Falls Picnic area and has a return trail of 6.5 kilometers which takes approximately 2-3 hours to leisure walk.
The Lower Kalimna Falls stands out for its famous caves found behind and under the fall. Walking through these caves, provide an oasis of serenity amidst the cascading water. Here, peace and tranquillity rules.
Tips For Visting Lower Kalimna Falls
- Check signposts to avoid unnecessary deviations; many falls exist around Kalimna Falls.
10. Beauchamp Falls
Beauchamp Falls is a magnificent Great Ocean Road waterfall found deep within the Beech Forest of the Great Otway National Park. From the picnic area off the Aire Valley Road, it is approximately 3.5 kilometres (return) which takes about an hour along the track. From Apollos Bay, the Beauchamp Falls viewpoint is around 3 kilometres walking and, again, takes about an hour return trip.
Tips For Visiting Beauchamp Falls
- There is no official access route to the base of the fall, though it is possible through deviation routes.
- The Beauchamp picnic area is a great place to stop for a rest and bite to eat. It has picnic and washroom facilities.
Whether you choose to visit one of the Great Ocean Road waterfalls or all of them within the Great Otway National Park, you will have a great experience. Just remember to bring water and be weather smart if the trek takes some time. Enjoy your waterfalls!