Best waterfalls to see in winter
Waterfalls are an instant reminder of the power of nature and the higher rainfall in Winter makes it an ideal time to see these natural wonders at their most spectacular. When you hear the faint roar of the water, getting louder as you approach, you’ll know it’s been worth the journey.
Just remember, waterfalls may look like inviting places to cool off and take a dip but swimming can be dangerous with strong currents, submerged rock ledges, slippery rock surfaces and other hazards. In fact, many people drown unexpectedly from swimming under or near waterfalls for these reasons. It’s best to relax and take it all in, have a picnic, take some amazing Instagram photos and go home safely. Whether you’re after a leisurely stroll, an epic day trip or a nature-based weekend away, here are some of the best waterfalls to enjoy this Winter.
Waterfalls close to Melbourne:
Dights Falls – Yarra Bend Park is a tranquil, dog-friendly escape from the city less than 5kms from Melb CBD. The waterfall is an artificial weir built on a natural rock bar across the Yarra. The weir was built in the 1840s to provide water to the 'Ceres' flour mill, one of the first in Victoria. The falls were later to become known as Dights Falls after the owners of the mill.
Olinda Falls – Dandenong Ranges National Park (North); leave the city noise behind and take a relaxing walk through forests of towering Mountain Ash, just an hour's drive from Melbourne CBD. Take a picnic, relax and take the short walk to the falls. The walk to Olinda Falls is only 350 metres to the viewing platform and 500 metres to the base of the falls. There are picnic tables, running water, toilets and plenty of shade to sit and relax in. Please note, dogs and swimming are not allowed, but you can sit in the water at the lower falls.
Sherbrooke Falls – Dandenong Ranges National Park (South); the tracks leading from Sherbrooke and O’Donohue Picnic Ground provide the easiest walk to the falls through the attractive landscape of tall Mountain Ash and tree ferns. The falls are most inspiring after rain when the swollen Sherbrooke Creek rushes over the rocks.
Keppel Falls Walk - Marysville Bushland Reserve; located 108kms from Melbourne and serviced by public transport. Just a short walk through the forest, visitors can stand on the viewing platform on the edge of the river. The tiered Keppel Falls are particularly impressive in winter and spring, following snow melt and rain.
Masons Falls - only 65km north of Melbourne, Kinglake National Park lies on the slopes of the Great Dividing Range, offering dramatic views of the Melbourne skyline, Port Phillip Bay, the Yarra Valley and across to the You Yangs. Masons Falls is a popular place for day trips, social gatherings and sightseeing. The Masons Falls Picnic Area is a great place for lunch with picnic tables and free gas BBQ facilities, all set amongst the towering gum trees, you’ll feel relaxed and immersed in nature. From the picnic area there are several short walks, including one that leads to the spectacular Masons Falls lookout.
Waterfalls further afield
Agnes Falls – Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve; explore the Strzelecki Ranges and see the highest single span falls in Victoria, approx 200km from Melbourne. This spectacular waterfall cascades down a series of rocks over a 59-metre drop. It’s a fantastic sight, especially after heavy rain when the falls and surrounding rockpools are at their best. The falls are a short 200 metres walk from the carpark to the lookout which has seating. The picnic area is a perfect spot for an outdoor lunch and the picnic shelter and tables are accessible to those in wheelchairs. The area is abundant in bird wildlife and shade is available under the plentiful silver wattles, tall blue gum and blackwood trees.
MacKenzie Falls - Grampians National Park is regarded as one of the largest and most popular waterfalls in the region. It is the perfect place to spot rainbow mist as the water cascades over huge cliffs into a deep pool sending out fine sprays high into the air above the gorge. The Bluff Lookout provides sweeping views of MacKenzie Falls and the MacKenzie River from high above the gorge. There is a steep walk walking track that leads to the base of the falls and visitors need moderate fitness to get back up. Alternatively, you can access Bluff Lookout via a gently undulating, sealed walking track that wanders through a sheltered woodland. It is suitable for wheelchairs. The walk to the upper falls is much steeper and contains more steps. The viewing area at the base of the upper falls marks the end of the walking track.
Kalymna Falls - Grampians National Park; from Kalymna Campground, on the Eastern side of the Grampians, Kalymna is a small campground set in a peaceful forested area adjacent to Mount William Creek. This campground is the starting point for the walk to Kalymna Falls and provides access for well-prepared and experienced walkers to the Major Mitchell Plateau.
Daylesford & the Macedon Ranges
Trentham Falls - Coliban River Scenic Reserve is one of the longest single drop waterfalls in Victoria, plunging some 32 metres over basalt columns. There is no access to the top or base of the falls due to unstable cliffs but visitors can best enjoy the waterfall from the viewing platforms. The reserve protects one of the best remnants of vegetation in the area, stands of large manna gum, stringy bark, messmate, narrow-leaved peppermint as well as seasonal wildflowers.
Sailors Falls - Hepburn Regional Park can be viewed from the picnic area located near the road. The steps to the waterfall have been upgraded with a non-slip walking strip which provides easy entry to the base of the waterfall and allows wheelchair access to the first viewing platform.
Kings Waterfall - Arthurs Seat State Park; starting at the car park on Waterfall Gully Road, the short walk leads to Kings Falls and past She-Oaks, Grasstrees, a boardwalk through lovely fern gully, native Wild Cherry, scented Paperbarks and other interesting plants and creatures. The walk has a series of interpretive signs.
Great Ocean Road
Erskine Falls - Great Otway National Park (Lorne); located at the end of Erskine Falls Road 10km north west of Lorne. A short 5min walk takes you to a viewing point above the falls. And a walking track made up of 240 stairs, and steep in places, leads to the base of the falls. The falls cascade over one of the highest drops in the Otways.
Triplet Falls - Great Otway National Park (Apollo Bay); one of the iconic visitor sites nestled amongst the ancient forests of Mountain Ash and Myrtle Beech. Discover three distinct and impressive cascades flowing through shady rainforests and glades of mossy tree ferns. This beautiful area is set in the ancient forest and provides views into the lower cascades and the majestic main falls. A small picnic area is also available for visitors to relax and enjoy the beautiful surrounds.
Hopetoun Falls - Great Otway National Park; this popular location is beautiful all year around. There’s a nice view of the falls from the upper platform near the carpark. But for the more adventurous descend the 200 steps through a glade of ferns for a closer look. Water plummets 30m into the Aire River. Allow more time for the return walk as it’s a steep climb.
Beauchamp Falls is particularly memorable after heavy rain, displaying a white rectangular cascade of water gushing down to a pretty pool. The outlook at the falls, with splendid ferns, blackwood trees and beeches all around, is picture perfect. Nearby Hopetoun Falls can be seen from a viewing platform adjacent to its carpark. To get a closer look there is a steep path through a glade of ferns that takes around 15 minutes to descend, but allow extra time for the return walk which is uphill.
Briens Gorge - Warby-Ovens National Park; located 10km from Wangaratta. The waterfall is quite often dry and can only be seen after heavy rain. The water flows over rocks for approximately 25 – 30 metres. The water disappears at the base of the falls seemingly into the ground, resurfacing in nearby springs.
Goldfields (Bendigo, Ballarat, Castlemaine, Kyneton)
Ferntree Waterfall - Buangor State Park; best after rain, a scenic short walk suitable for most people, it begins from Ferntree camping area and leads to the Ferntree Waterfalls and the upper sections of Middle Creek.
Turpin Falls - Turpin Falls Scenic Reserve is 12.6km from Kyneton and is one of several waterfalls and associated deep pools located along the Campaspe River. Visitors can enjoy scenic views of the falls from a lookout located a short walk from the carpark. There are no amenities or general facilities, such as toilets or picnic tables. Pedestrian access to the waterhole is subject to seasonal track closures during the autumn period due to risk issues.
The Cascades - Beechworth Historic Park; a series of waterfalls from which Spring Creek drops down into the valley. Enjoy views of waterfalls and rugged countryside on the Gorge Walk.
Woolshed Falls - Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park; located in the provides the opportunity for a family picnic or to view the falls that can be spectacular after heavy rain. A 6km walking track links Woolshed Falls to Beechworth via the Cascades and the Gorge Scenic Drive
Raymond Creek Falls - Snowy River National Park; can be reached all year round from Orbost along Moorsford Road. A short 30min walking track leads to a view of Raymond Creek Falls plunging metres into a deep, clear pool.
Paradise Falls - Alpine National Park; located near Whitfield, Paradise Falls cascades an uninterrupted 31 metres and are most spectacular in winter, spring, or after heavy rain. The walk to the viewing platform is a well‐made stepped track perfect for all fitness levels. The falls can be accessed from Cheshunt. The last 11km is a gravel road but in good condition so is accessible with two-wheel drive. There are picnic facilities at the car park so pack a lunch or grab some fare from nearby Whitfield and enjoy the peaceful park.
Dandongadale Falls - Alpine National Park; dramatic glimpses of Victoria’s longest falls (a 255m drop tumbling off the Cobbler Plateau) are possible on the Lake Cobbler scenic drive. Pass through the picturesque farming valley of the Rose River, riverine forest and foothill bushland before ascending to the sub-alpine woodlands of Lake Cobbler. Take in the impressive pink sandstone and conglomerate slopes of Mount Typo and Bennies, a quiet bush camping area beside the Rose River. The last section of road provides dramatic glimpses of the Dandongadale Falls.
Eurobin Falls - Mount Buffalo National Park; this popular park is famous for its sheer cliffs, imposing granite tors and tumbling waterfalls. Eurobin Falls Track and Ladies Bath Falls Track are perfect short walks to take in the sights and sounds of these pretty waterfalls. Take the short walk to the lower Eurobin Falls from the carpark just across the bridge from the Eurobin Falls Picnic Area and remain on the walking tracks at all times to stay safe. For a longer walk, take Rollason’s Falls Track from Rollason’s Falls Picnic Area to see another beautiful waterfall.