Sheoak Picnic Area has a pretty good claim to be the waterfall capital of Victoria. Walks from this clearing surrounded by tall trees lead to at least six waterfalls through some gorgeous scenery. Some of the trails are along old timber tramway routes from the days when these forests were logged.
The waterfall walks of Sheoak Picnic Area make for a great day out in the Otway hinterland for people staying in nearby Lorne or one of the other seaside townships along the coast. Alternatively, this is a fantastic break from your drive along the Great Ocean Road. Sheoak Picnic Area is well-equipped for families with toilets, a picnic shelter and gas barbecues.
Henderson Falls - 3km return, 1 hour
The Henderson Falls Walk gently climbs from Sheoak Picnic Area, through dense wet forest shadowed by towering eucalypt trees. Finish your journey at the base of Henderson Falls, cascading over a moss-capped cliff face to a small pool below. There's also a short diversion to see Won Wondah Falls.
Kalimna Falls - 8.4km return, 4 hours
See two waterfalls for the price of one on this walk along an old timber tramway used for transporting timber to Lorne Pier from the 1890s-1920s. Wind through a deep valley carved by Sheoak Creek to see Lower Kalimna Falls cascading over an undercut rock ledge before pushing on to Upper Kalimna Falls framed by lush moss-covered trees.
Phantom Falls - 8.6km return, 3 hours
This walk from Sheoak Picnic Area to Phantom Falls is packed with highlights. You'll see Won Wondah Falls, Henderson Falls and the lost world of The Canyon on your way to Phantom Falls. Turn the walk into a circuit by continuing down to Allenvale and back to Sheoak Picnic Area along the unsealed road.
Sheoak Falls - 3.6km one way, 2 hours
Weave your way through the tall wet forest synonymous with the beautiful Otway Ranges along Sheoak Creek. Meander through coastal woodland via waterfalls and out to the coastal vistas of the Great Ocean Road. Sheoak Creek plunges into a tranquil pool at Sheoak Falls before continuing down to the ocean. If you'd prefer not to return to Sheoak Picnic Area via the same route, you can arrange to be picked up at Sheoak Falls Carpark.
Castle Rock - 5km return, 3 hours
Castle Rock Walking Track is in the Great Otway National Park near the town of Lorne. The trail starts at Sheoak Picnic Area and is approximately 5km return (3 hours) weaving uphill through coastal forest to a rocky outcrop with views over Cumberland River and the coast.
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Sheoak Picnic Area
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Sheoak Picnic Area
Change of Conditions
Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.
Kalimna Falls Walk (Great Otway National Park)
Upper Kalimna Walking Trail ClosedWalking trail to Upper Kalimna Falls closed until further notice due to storm damage. Lower Falls remain open.
Notices Affecting Multiple Sites
Erskine Falls Lower Lookout ClosedErskine Falls lower lookout is closed until further notice. Access to the base of the waterfall is no longer open due to unsafe conditions. Erskine Falls can be viewed from the top lookout which looks across to the top of the falls. Straw Falls is also inaccessible from the Erskine Falls carpark due to this closure. Erskine Falls walking track is still open from the Lorne township up to the base of Erskine Falls.
Youngs Creek track closureThis track is closed due to roadworks
Great Ocean Walk - Wet and Muddy conditionsAs a result of ongoing rain in the Great Otway National Park over autumn and through winter 2023, conditions of the track on the day 1 and day 2 sections of the Great Ocean Walk are advised to be very wet and muddy.The Elliot Road section of walk is particularly unfavourable, and heavy conditions are anticipated to be ongoing until late Spring 2023.South West District Weather forecast
Attachments: GOW May 2023 (540KB)
Great Otway National Park
Delayneys Track Closed
Delayneys Track is closed until further notice.
Lifejackets Required For Rock Fishers from March 1, 2022A two-year trial of new laws that require rock fishers to wear a lifejacket at high-risk locations will commence on 1 March 2022.
This factsheet includes maps of the affected areas.Fines apply if you don’t wear a lifejacket at these sites.To find out more, visit Victorian Fisheries Authority
- Artillery Rocks, west of Lorne
- The rock platform opposite Sheoak Falls, south of Lorne
Notices Affecting Multiple Parks
Garvey Track Closed until further notice.Garvey track will remain closed until further notice. Major road works are due to occur when conditions are suitable.
Kalimna Tramline Link Walk (Great Otway National Park)
Kalimna Tramline Trail ClosedThis walking track is closed due to damage to a pedestrian bridge. Walkers can still access the Lower Kalimna Waterfall via the Kalimna Falls Walking Track, which starts at Sheoak Picnic Area.
Cora Lynn Campground (Great Otway National Park)
Cora Lynn Campground ClosureThis campground is closed until further notice due to hazardous trees.
Sheoak Picnic Area (Great Otway National Park)
No All-Abilities Toilet at Sheoak Picnic AreaNo all-abilities toilet access at Sheoak Picnic Area. Portable toilets temporarily in use.
Blanket Bay - Bush RatsFollowing the success of our fox and feral cat management programmes population numbers of Rattus fuscipes have grown again in the Blanket Bay campground area of the Great Otway National Park.The combination of less predators and conducive weather conditions has allowed a population to return that campers at Blanket Bay should be cautious of.The Bush rat has some specific features that can help you distinguish it from similar rats.· It has pointed head and rounded ears.· Its tail is smaller than the rat's body.· Another key feature is their front teeth - they are chisel-shaped with hard yellow enamel.These native rodents are known to scavenge on campers’ food, gnawing through tents to get to uncontained foodstuffs.Native bush Rats are protected wildlife in the National Park and may form part of your camping experience while camping at Blanket Bay.
Attachments: Native vs Non-Native FS (779KB)
Melba Gully Day Visitor Area (Great Otway National Park)
Melba Gully - Large bus accessMelba Gully Walk Track and picnic area is accessible for large coaches. Toilet facilities are available on site
Maits Rest Rainforest Walk (Great Otway National Park)
Maits Rest Carpark- bus accessMaits Rest Carpark is suitable for small coaster buses only. Large buses or coaches are advised to use Melba Gully walk track near Lavers Hill.
Aire River West Campground (Aire River Heritage River, Great Otway National Park)
Aire West Campground - sites closedDue to wet conditions Aire River West campground, campsites 17 - 40 are closed through until Spring.These sites can not be booked nor used until at least September 2023.