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Sheoak Picnic Area

Great Otway National Park

Some of Lorne's best waterfall walks start from Sheoak Picnic Area. Trails to Henderson Falls, Phantom Falls, Sheoak Falls, Won Wondah Falls and Kalimna Falls all depart from here. If you want a break from your beachside holiday - or your Great Ocean Road drive - bring a picnic and take a hike. 

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.

Things to do

 
A couple stand and admire Sheoak Falls near Lorne in the Great Otway National Park.

Sheoak Falls

The Sheoak Falls Walk 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.

How to get there

Sheoak Picnic Area

Sheoak Picnic Area is located just inland from Lorne on Garvey Track, just off Allenvale Road. 

Need to know

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.

  • 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 Falls Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Upper Kalimna Walking Trail Closed

    Walking trail to Upper Kalimna Falls closed until further notice due to storm damage. Lower Falls remain open.

  • Cora Lynn Campground (Great Otway National Park)

    Cora Lynn Campground Closure

    This campground is closed until further notice due to hazardous trees.

  • Kalimna Tramline Link Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Kalimna Tramline Trail Closed

    This 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.

  • Great Otway National Park

    This park has been impacted by recent significant weather events

    This park has been impacted by significant flood and/or storm events and some areas may be closed or restricted. Check the Storm and Flood Affected Parks page for the most up to date information on this location.

    Lifejackets Required For Rock Fishers from March 1, 2022

    A two-year trial of new laws that require rock fishers to wear a lifejacket at high-risk locations will commence on 1 March 2022.
     
    For Great Otway National Park this includes:
    • Artillery Rocks, west of Lorne
    • The rock platform opposite Sheoak Falls, south of Lorne

    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 

  • Maits Rest Rainforest Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Maits Rest Carpark- bus access

    Maits Rest Carpark is suitable for small coaster buses only. Large buses or coaches are advised to use Melba Gully walk track near Lavers Hill.

  • Melba Gully Day Visitor Area (Great Otway National Park)

    Melba Gully - Large bus access

    Melba Gully Walk Track and picnic area is accessible for large coaches. Toilet facilities are available on site

  • Wye to Kennett River Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Wye River to Kennett River walking track detour

    Wye River - Kennett River walking track is closed between Wye River and Bird Track. Detour is available via Bird track which loops back with the walking track. Please allow additional time to complete this section (approximately 2.5km)

    Attachments: Wye to Kennett Walk_Map (1,246KB)

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Sites

    Great Ocean Walk - conditions

    Walking Track -
    The Great Ocean Walk is experiencing wet and muddy conditions.  A wet winter and spring have seen conditions along most areas of the track maintain high levels of moisture, tending to mud in heavily tracked areas.  Walkers should not expect a dry walking track which will be slippery in areas. Some sections of track are prone to land slippage and rock fall.  Only attempt to cross these areas if safe to do so and report any slips to 13 1963 when within phone signal range.
     
    Camp sites -
    All sites are high in dampness.  More rainfall will see these conditions maintained.  Camp site water tanks are all fall as a positive.
     
    Tree Risk in Windy Conditions -
    Given high National Park soil moisture levels tree fall in windy conditions are probable.  Walkers and campers should be on heightened alert in windy conditions and avoid prolonged periods under tree canopy.  Wind forecasts of 30+kph should trigger a walker and camper alert level. Report tree fall over track and in camp sites to 13 1963 when within phone signal range.

    Great Ocean Walk - Helicopter operations

    Helicopter operations
    Subject to final approvals, some western sections of the Great Ocean Walk will be closed and access restricted on Tuesday 13 December 2022 between 0900hrs -1600hrs (conditions permitting).
    This is for sling load helicopter operations to improve camp site and walking track infrastructure.   Licenced Tour Operators and walkers should be aware of activity on this day and restrictions that will be in place via authorised Parks Victoria Rangers.
    Camp sites impacted – Ryans Den and Devils Kitchen
    Walking Track sections – Section 7 and 8

    Attachments: Restricted Area Map (105KB)

  • Jamieson Camping Area (Great Otway National Park)

    Great Victoria Bike Ride 2022

    Sections of the Great Ocean Rd will be closed on December 2 2022 for the running of The Great Victorian Bike Ride. This may lead to delayed access to Parks Victoria visitor sites along the route including Jamieson Creek camping area. More information may be found here 

Similar experiences

 
A young couple cross the stream on rocks in front a the spectacular MacKenzies Falls.

MacKenzie Falls

An easy stroll from the MackKenzie Falls carpark leads to a viewing platform overlooking the picturesque Broken Falls. To reach the base of MacKenzie Falls, follow the signs. Take care as this walk has many steps and is steep, slippery and strenuous in sections.
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