Below is a list of some of the best places to pack up, picnic, hike and laze away the days, courtesy of Parks Victoria.
Dights Falls – Yarra Bend Park is a tranquil, dog friendly escape from the city less than 5kms from Melbourne. 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.
Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges
Olinda Falls is a small picnic area with a short walking trail to the falls, about an hour’s drive from Melbourne. While dogs and swimming are not allowed, it is possible to sit in the water at the lower falls. There is a picnic table close to the carpark and a unisex accessible toilet. The area is serviced by public transport.
Keppel Falls Walk located in the Marysville Bushland Reserve is 108 kilometres from Melbourne. The cascading tiered Keppel Falls are particularly impressive in spring, following snow melt and rain.
Sherbrooke Falls, 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, located in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, are most inspiring after rain when the swollen Sherbrooke Creek rushes over the rocks.
Daylesford & the Macedon Ranges
Trentham Falls, in the 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, visitors can find stands of large manna gum, stringy bark, messmate, narrow-leaved peppermint as well as seasonal wildflowers.
Sailors Falls in 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 in Arthurs Seat State Park, it's a short walk from the carpark on Waterfall Gully Road 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 are at the end of Erskine Falls Road 10km north west of Lorne. There is a viewing point above the falls and a walking track, steep in places, leads to the base of the falls. The falls cascade over one of the highest drops in the Otways.
Triplet Falls is one of the iconic visitor sites in the Great Otway National Park. Nestled amongst the ancient forests of mountain ash and myrtle beech, visitors will 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.
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.
Hopetoun Falls in the Great Otway National Park is beautiful at most times of year. 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 30 metres into the Aire River.
Goldfields (Bendigo, Ballarat, Castlemaine, Kyneton)
Ferntree Waterfall in the Buangor State Park is 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 Scenic Reserve is situated 12.6 kilometres 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.
Grampians National Park
MacKenzie Falls is a spectacular waterfall regarded as one of the largest and most popular waterfalls in the Grampians National Park. The Bluff Lookout provides sweeping views of MacKenzie Falls and the MacKenzie River from high above the gorge. The lookout provides the only opportunity to capture the multiple cascades of the MacKenzie River as it flows through the gorge, including a wonderful view of MacKenzie Falls.
Broken Falls, just upstream from MacKenzie Falls, in the Grampians National Park. The cantilevered lookout on the edge of the gorge offers sweeping views of the river tumbling over the wide, dissipated waterfalls. Broken Falls lookout is a pram friendly walk.
Silverband Falls is a short 40-minute walk from the Silverband car park. Stroll 700m through shady, ferny forest. Cross a rock crossing to arrive at the base of Silverband Falls. Visit in spring to see abundant wildflowers, birds, frogs and kangaroos. Not suitable for prams and wheel chairs.
Woolshed Falls, located in the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park provides the opportunity for a family picnic or to view the falls that can be spectacular after heavy rain. A six-kilometre walking track links Woolshed Falls to Beechworth via the Cascades and the Gorge Scenic Drive
Raymond Creek Falls in the Snowy River National Park can be reached all year round from Orbost along Moorsford Road. A short 30-minute walking track leads to a view of Raymond Creek Falls plunging metres into a deep, clear pool.
Paradise Falls, near Whitfield in the Alpine National Park, cascade an uninterrupted 31 metres and are most spectacular in spring, early summer or after 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. With picnic facilities at the car park, visitors can pack a lunch or grab some fare from nearby Whitfield and enjoy the peaceful park.
Dandongadale Falls – dramatic glimpses of Victoria’s longest falls (a 255m drop tumbling off the Cobbler Plateau), are possible on the Lake Cobbler scenic drive. Visitors will 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.
Little River Waterfalls situated almost 4-kilometres from Victoria's deepest gorge, is to the west of McKillop Bridge and downstream from the junction of the Little River and Snowy River. After a well-signed 800-metre drive off the Bonang-Gelantip Road, a 400-metre walking track leads to a cliff-top
Parks Victoria also advises that while natural pools and waterfalls may look like inviting places to cool off but swimming at these spots can be dangerous and may have strong currents, debris and other hazards. Also, beware of unstable edges and check safety signs. Only swim at beaches, rivers or lakes where swimming is permitted and only swim where there are other people.
For more information visit the Parks Victoria website www.parks.vic.gov.au or call 13 1963.
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