Splitter Falls are hidden along the Erskine river, about 1.5km further on from Straw Falls and 2km from Erskine Falls. During my research of the many waterfalls in the area, I couldn’t find any photographs of Splitter Falls, just the fact that they existed. So I had no idea what I was looking for when my new-found friend Brad and I set out to find them.
We began by following the ‘path’ that continues alongside the Erskine river from Straw Falls. I call it a ‘path’, because it’s more or less just the edge of the river bank.
It can be difficult to make out the path at times – water and weathering has had quite an effect on their condition. We treaded carefully forward into the thick, fern greenery.
Soon we came across a mossy wooden stump, which we thought indicated we were on the right track. As it turns out, these wooden stumps actually mark the spots where it’s best to cross the river.
This visit was in September, and the water levels weren’t too high. Still, prepare to get soaked feet, even if you wear gumboots like I did.
Once across the river, my gumboots squelched with every step, my socks soaked through with freezing water that sloshed around as I walked.
Stumbling on the thin, mossy path, we pushed forward to the sound of my sloshing shoes.
Until we reached a second river crossing.
As you can see, the stump marking this crossing has been dislodged, and it can be difficult to make out the one on the other side.
Eventually, you’ll spot it. We soaked our feet in the cold river once again, wobbling our way across. I certainly wouldn’t have attempted it if the water levels were higher. The river is rippled with sticks and stones, and you can’t always see where you’re stepping. Plus, the force of the water makes it a tricky task.
We made it across, all electronics safe and dry, and continued on.
If at times it seems that the path has come to an abrupt end, keep scanning the scene with your eyes. Eventually you’ll spot the stump-markers, even if they are hiding behind boulders, and you’ll know to cross the river.
Other times the path is clear, which makes it easier. Brad and I sped up our pace during these sections, eager to find the falls and get back to town for some food (I’d only packed two muesli bars and a banana – rookie mistake).
Be sure to watch your step constantly, as there are lots of obstacles along these paths, such as rocks and tree roots.
Speaking of which, there came a point where a huge fallen tree blocked the path. It had clearly been there for quite some time; it was laid with earth and overgrown shrubs. It seemed we couldn’t go any further, and our spirits sunk.
And yet we had come so far…
Puffed and exhausted, I heaved myself up onto the log, and scrambled over to the other side (with great difficulty). Sure enough, the path continued. My motto? Just keep going.
It wasn’t long before we came across our next road block, though. We balanced precariously on mossy, slippery rocks to get around this one.
But we made it, and continued on.
It felt as though the walk was never-ending, and for much of it we were following a narrow part of the river.
Until we reached a bright, small clearing. The river was a little wider, the water gushing a little stronger. It was a good sign.
Excited, we bounded ahead and followed the path as it begun to steep upwards.
And suddenly, through the thick trees and quite some distance downhill, there were some falls. My heart sank. I learned the hard way that when you can’t find an image of a waterfall, more often than not it’s because they’re not accessible.
But that didn’t stop Brad. He bounded into the thick, grassy terrain of the bank’s slope and headed down towards the falls. “You coming?” he yelled.
Cautiously, I stepped into the tangled roots, peering at the descent below me. There was no way I was getting down there. But, sure enough, slowly and carefully I made my way down onto the muddy bank. Though I would not recommend – it was super slippery and ultimately dangerous. But I made it! And it was awesome to capture these falls that possibly have never been captured before.
I would never have done it if I was by myself. So thanks so much to Brad for making me go out of my comfort zone! I couldn’t have done it without you.
|Last visit||September 2017|
|Best Time||Spring: August – November (when river levels are low). No access to falls base.|
|Start / Finish||Erskine Falls Rd Carpark|
|Walking distance||1.5km from Straw Falls (about 2-2.5km from Erskine Falls). Can be completed 7.5km one way ending at Lorne River Mouth.|
|Difficulty||Strenuous, many river crossings. Do not attempt if water is high.|
|Facilities||None, nearest toilets Blanket Leaf Carpark|
|Lat & Long||unknown|
|Nearby||Straw Falls, Erskine Falls|