The Greater Hamilton region is the ideal base from which to explore a whole world of waterfalls. Here are some of our favourites…
Fed by the Wannon River that starts in the Grampians, Nigretta Falls is a multi-channel segmented cascade of water, guided by patterns in the rhyolitic volcanic rock.
Whether you take in the thundering panorama from the accessible viewing platform, or head down the beautiful jarrah timber stairway to the base of the waterfall to see the red-toned rocks up-close, you can’t help but be captivated.
Located 10 km from Wannon just out of Hamilton, only a short detour off the Glenelg Highway, this waterfall is accessible for all abilities from the aerial platform, or explore the depths down the 150+ steps.
Local tip: this is West-facing, so it’s best viewed in mid- to late- afternoon, in the winter months, for great light and maximum water flow!
Created by lava flows that surged upstream to the Wannon River, this spectacular sight is of a wide alcove beneath the overhanging lip of the dark basalt cliffs supporting the waterfall.
The water, which cascades over a 30-metre vertical precipice into a deep plunge pool below, is actually flowing over hardened basalt lava. Further downstream, rapids wind their way around large blocks of basalt, dislodged over time down the embankments of the narrow valley. Deep green mosses grow in the consistently damp environment alongside chunky outcrops of lichen covered rock.
Why not pack some marshmallows and toast them golden brown? The sheltered picnic areas have built-in fireplaces, or light the BBQ nearby!
The main viewing platform is accessible by all abilities, only 50 metres from the car park.
Local tip: There’s also an alternate viewing point if you follow the road around to see the full context of the falls and the curved amphitheater it resided in- best viewed in winter!
For more on the volcanic features of this part of Victoria, follow @iamvolcaniclakesandplains or ask the local guides at Penshurst’s Volcanoes Discovery Centre.
A short walk from the centre of Halls Gap will take you along Venus Baths, a series of rock pools, popular for families. From here follow the steps an extra 2.5km to the tranquil Splitters Falls- a serene cascade of water than jumps from platform to platform in lush surrounds.
You can also discover Splitters Falls via the Wonderland carpark, on a 1.6km or 45 minute return venture. Walk east to look for the signed track to Splitters Falls- the track is very easy to follow and has only one junction, which is also clearly signed. The more difficult sections of the walk have hand rails and steps for assistance. Once you cross the creek, follow the sign left to Splitters Falls, and bask in the beauty of this hidden gem.
Local tip: Splitters Falls is a seasonal waterfall and may dry up over summer.
A gently undulating walking track follows Mud Hut Creek upstream to a series of rock steps and on to Beehive Falls (best viewed after rain).
The base of the falls makes a peaceful resting spot if your legs need a short respite from exploring the Grampians National Park. Return by the same route – it’s 2.8km or 1 hour return for explorers with moderate fitness.
Local tip: Explore the waterfalls during the Spring wildflower season when the water is hopefully still flowing, and there are colourful wildflowers to be enjoyed too!
Burrong Falls is in a relatively remote part of the Grampians less frequented by tourists than it’s big sister below. There are no large pools at Burrong Falls, but for those of you keen to head off the beaten track, it’s perfect for a splash, shower and to take in the sunshine.
The falls are nestled in dense bush that is accessed by a 300 m long walk, accessed off Rose Creek Road. The grade to the falls viewing area is flat, but the last 20 m down to the water is a tricky scramble down the gorge wall.
Burrong Falls consists of a series of steps ranging from 1-5m in height, but stretching more than 20m in width. On the ledges of the larger steps are paddling pools that you can sit in and let the water fall on your head while your feet dangle over the edge of the next step.
Local tip: If you sit quietly, you are likely to see a few blue tongue lizards come out to bake themselves on the rocks on a warm day!
Just north of the Greater Hamilton region, along one of the most scenic drives you can experience in this part of the state, is a waterfall that has to be seen to be believed.
The second largest in Victoria, and the only waterfall that flows all year round, Mackenzie Falls just out of Halls Gap is breathtaking.
A 2km return walk from the Mackenzie Falls carpark goes through eucalypt bushland, down to the base of the imposing falls themselves. This walk has 260 steps and is steep, slippery and strenuous in parts, but there are handrails along the length.
Local Tip: Being the most famous waterfall in the Grampians, Mackenzie Falls can get busy! To enjoy the falls without being in close proximity to others, get there first thing and see the Falls in the morning light.
Want more local insights on the waterfalls of Western Victoria? Connect with a local! Call 1800 807 056 or connect via firstname.lastname@example.org.