MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation
May 2023: General planning and some additional concept design reviews and refinement being undertaken.
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MacKenzie Falls is one of the most spectacular and most visited sites in the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park.
The Victorian Government is investing $7.76 million to revitalise the MacKenzie Falls visitor precinct and surrounding area, including the Zumsteins (Bun-nah) walking trail and day visitor area. This project is on the Traditional Lands of the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung peoples.
The full scope for the MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation project is being determined but is likely to include improved education and interpretive signage, track improvements and all-abilities access, potential track upgrades and extensions, safety improvements, new facilities, and parking and congestion management. Environmental and cultural heritage assessments will inform exactly where, when and how components of the project are delivered.
Visitor services, such as food and beverage and visitor information, or tours that comply with National Parks regulations may also be considered at the site.
The MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation project will build on community consultation and design investigations that were undertaken for the site in 2017. Parks Victoria is proud to be working in partnership with the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, and Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation to plan and design the project.
Visitors will enjoy an improved experience at the site, with improved views, more options for people for all abilities, trail connections and facilities planned. Safety will be improved in the carpark, on tracks, at lookouts and at the base of the falls, while visitor information will offer new opportunities to learn more about the cultural heritage and environmental values of the area.
Caring for Country is a key objective of this project. New opportunities for visitors to learn about the site’s environment, including its cultural values, are being developed in consultation with Traditional Owners.
Through planned carparking and trail improvements, more visitors will be kept off the landscape and surrounding vegetation.
We have engaged with visitors and community members to inform the final scope and features of the MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation project. Engagement report released on Engage Victoria.
Along with other projects and investment in the national park, the improvements at MacKenzie Falls will encourage visitors to stay longer in the region and contribute to local businesses.
This project has received $7.76 million funding from the Victorian Government Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions.
Initial environmental, and engineering investigations – in progress
Community engagement - late 2022. See the report here
Timelines for delivery of the remainder of this project are currently under review. Stay tuned for updates
Environment and cultural heritage management
Grampians National Park is nationally heritage-listed for its natural and cultural values and Parks Victoria is committed to managing the park to balance the cultural importance of the area, its ecological importance and its popularity for visitors.
Extensive environmental and cultural assessments will be undertaken as part of this project. More information will be made available on these as the project progresses.
Who we're working with
Parks Victoria, Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, and Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation will work in partnership to design and implement this project.
Parks Victoria is also hosting a Gariwerd Tourism Infrastructure Reference Group that includes local governments, Grampians Tourism, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the Tourism, Events and Visitor Economy and Regional Development Victoria branches of the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions. The role of this group is to provide inputs and feedback on the plans throughout the process.
The Grampians Advisory Group was heavily involved in the development of the 2017 Concept Plan for the site and informed the initial plans for this project. We will continue work with them throughout this process.
An independent geotechnical investigation, undertaken as part of the MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation project identified high risk of rockfall at the base of the Falls.
To ensure visitor safety, Parks Victoria is re-directing people away from this area. Due to the potential for rocks to fall from the cliff, the area opposite the base of the Falls has been closed and the large rock stepping stones over the river have been removed.
Views of MacKenzie Falls at the base are from the walking track only. Due to limited viewing, the track may be crowded, especially over weekends and Easter. For visitor safety, please stay on the walking track and to avoid crowds visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Alternately the falls can be viewed from above by taking the less strenuous MacKenzie Falls Lookout Walk. Further improvements are planned as part of the MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation project.
Parks Victoria will provide updates and information as the project progresses. To stay up to date please register your interest to receive community updates via this link. You can also email us with enquiries at email@example.com. As the project progresses, information on this page will be updated regularly.
What does the MacKenzie Falls Revitalisation include?
While the final scope of the project is still to be confirmed, it is likely that the project will include improved education and interpretive signage, improvements and all-abilities access on some tracks, potential track upgrades and extensions, safety improvements, and parking and congestion management.
Will there be more car parking on site?
At the moment it is expected that there will be a slight increase in the amount of parking on site, supported by an improved configuration of the car park. This will be done to ensure people can move easily through the site and to improve ease of evacuation in an emergency. Vegetation clearing will be minimised in any realignment of car parking.
Will swimming be allowed at MacKenzie Falls?
Swimming will continue to not be permitted at MacKenzie Falls due to significant safety concerns at the site.
When will the improvements to MacKenzie Falls be implemented?
Through 2022 and 2023 Parks Victoria and Traditional Owners are working with stakeholders and community to finalise the plans. Timelines for delivery of the remainder of this project are currently under review. Stay tuned for updates
Will there be a café on site?
Potential food and beverage options will be explored. Temporary coffee vans are not permitted in National Parks.
How will these improvements differ from the concept plan created in 2017?
There have been many conversations with stakeholders and community about improvements at MacKenzie Falls over past years, including the investigations and design activities undertaken in 2017. Many of the elements from previous investigations will be considered, including improving visitor facilities, improved car parking, upgraded walking tracks and safety at the base of the Falls. The improvements will also align with the principles of the Greater Gariwerd Landscape Management Plan.
Why does MacKenzie Falls need to be revitalised?
As one of Gariwerd’s most popular visitor locations, this project will help to manage visitation in an effort to protect the site, its natural environment and heritage, as well as enhance the visitor experience. Upgrades to MacKenzie Falls and the wider visitor precinct will help visitors to move in, out and around the area. These upgrades and other projects and investment in the national park will encourage visitors to stay longer in the region and contribute to local businesses.
Yes. To provide more options to access the Grampians Peaks Trail, a range of new and upgraded access points and trailheads are being developed along the trail. The upgraded trailheads will provide hikers with increased flexibility, information and facilities to access the trail and enjoy it in more ways than ever before. Improvements will likely include new toilets at some locations, improved car parking, water tanks, and opportunities to interpret Aboriginal cultural and environmental values of Gariwerd.