WATERFALLS ON THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD:
The Great Ocean Road and adjacent Great Otway National Park is a damn big area, so big you could spend weeks exploring it. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have weeks, so here are three incredible waterfalls on the Great Ocean Road that you can hit up on a wondrous weekend away.
After a few refreshing days immersed in nature, you’ll be pumped for whatever the week throws at you. Let’s go chase some waterfalls!
- Stay: Set-up camp at Beauchamp Falls
- Attire: Dress for the conditions. Runners will get you through the walks, swimwear essential if you intend on making the most of it.
- Where: Great Ocean Road / Great Otway National Park
- Nearest Town: Beech Forest
- Provisions: Take plenty of water andfood to stay fuelled.
- Explored In: Autumn. Great all year round, although falls are best after recent rain.
- Tip: Most fun is found off the well maintained trails, so get ready for a scramble.
Beauchamp Falls has a free camping area located in the northern section of the Great Otway National Park. With only 15 tent sites, I’d recommend you try get there as early as possible to get a spot – particularly during summer. It has well maintained drop toilets and fires are permitted (unless a fire ban is in place), but there’s no fresh water, so take plenty with you.
The path from the campsite to the falls is easy to follow and takes you through some amazing rainforest (40 mins each way). If you’re up for a scramble, you can make your way right down to the falls, and for the brave ones, even have a dip.
If you’re game, swim across the waterhole to the falls. Fair warning though, the water is freezing, the rocks are slippery and the depth can vary so make sure you thoroughly check the area – there’s often submerged debris below waterfalls.
Hopetoun Falls is next up on our list and holy moly is she a beaut. To get there, head back out on Flannagan Rd toward Beech Forest Rd. Just before you hit the sealed road, you’ll come to Binns Rd and signs for Houptoun Falls. Head south down that and the subsequent signs and you’ll be there in less than 15 minutes, or just use Google Maps and ignore my lacklustre directions.
Hopetoun Falls doesn’t have as big of a pool as Beauchamp Falls for swimming, but it’s pretty ace to check out and scramble around the rocks. Some people have been known to climb up around the side of the falls to explore around the top, but it can be very slippery and steep, so be very careful if you choose to do so.
Our last waterfall on this little jaunt is Triplet Falls. She may not look as impressive as Beauchamp Falls or Hopetoun Falls, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: she’s hands down my favourite waterfall on the Great Ocean Road. This one’s a little further away, so I wont even try and describe how to get there, but use Google Maps and prepare for a treat.
Again, the path to Triplet Falls is easy to follow once you get there, but the lower lookout is where the fun begins. You can carefully climb down the side and to the rocks at the bottom.
From there, scramble your way up the lower falls all the way to the big ones. On the way, there are a bunch of little pools to jump in, logs to slither along and even a few little natural waterslides.
As with all rocks near waterfalls and rivers, these can be extremely slippery and even the climb down from the track can get very muddy and difficult. Be super careful and only attempt it if you’re confident you can do it safely – we had a few close calls when we were there.
After an hour or so of scrambling around, you might be ready for some grub, so pack a lunch to enjoy at the bottom of the falls (and make sure to leave no trace).
Bonus: Californian Redwood Forest
As a reward for being an adventurous person, I thought I’d add in a bonus, just for you. A few minutes drive from Hopetoun Falls is a small Californian Redwood plantation. While these aren’t yet as tall as their family in Big Sur, California, they are still a sight to see. To get to there, head back along Hopetoun Falls Rd to Binns Rd.
Continue driving along Binns Rd away from Beauchamp Falls, and after about five minutes you’ll come to a little car park just before a bridge. You can find the mark on Google Maps, and the forest is just next to it.
If any of you cool cats dabble in slack lining, this is the perfect place to practice. With so many trees around, you can set up a line of any length. Just remember to wrap something like your jumper around the trees to protect them before you put your line up.
Now what are you waiting for, get out there, hunt some waterfalls, walk some slack lines and fill yourself with a good dose of nature. It’s just what the doctor ordered.
HOW TO GET TO BEAUCHAMP FALLS
The fasted route to Beauchamp Falls from Melbourne is head towards Geelong on the M1, and as you pass around the back of Geelong, continue onto the A1 (Princes Highway) towards Colac. Just before you reach Colac, turn left onto Collins Rd, and continue south. From this point, there’s a bit of weaving and winding, so it jump on Google maps and plug in ‘Beauchamp Falls’ to easily find your destination.
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