Little Aire Falls are worth the deviation after visiting Triplet Falls. That’s all I needed someone to tell me before I began the trek. But they didn’t, so I set out to find them, not knowing what to expect.
After about 200meters along the track to Triplet Falls, there is a sign to Little Aire Falls. It is advised as 2.3kms, which seems easy enough. So I set off.
The track begins thin and flat, winding its way through the beautiful forest.
It was all but quiet, the soft padding of my gumboots on the dirt and the wind rustling in the trees the only prominent sounds around me.
At this point I thought the track was quite easy. However, it soon began to undulate, up, down, up down, as it wound its way through the forest. It wasn’t long before I was puffing, the all too familiar burning sensation returning in my legs.
Lengthy sections of this trail are not signposted, with plenty of steep uphills and downhills.
After 20 minutes or so, I hadn’t seen another soul. It was so quiet, I wondered if I was heading in the right direction. But soon I reached a small clearing with a wooden post.
I presumed it meant I needed to continue straight. But who knew?
At times, the tracks are weathered and unclear. My anxiety came roaring to the surface as the day ticked on towards the later afternoon. I wanted to make it back to Skenes Creek before dark. But I was also determined to find the falls.
I soon became stressed, glancing above at the sky, and losing energy during the steepest sections.
I seriously considered giving up and turning back, because I felt it had been further than 2kms already. My iPhone’s health tracker indicated that it had – though I had no phone service so this could have been inaccurate. But then I saw a sign.
So I continued on, walking through the deathly quiet forest. The sky became more overcast, and the track darkened. I quickened my pace, eager for it to be over.
It was a welcome relief when I emerged from the trees, following another sign through to an open section of the trail.
The presence of signs kept increasing here, which restored my confidence. I felt my anxiety fading away. I wasn’t on a wild goose chase after all.
More steps appeared; more reassurance that the track was reliable.
There were quite a few stairs. My legs ached with each step. But soon I saw a metal bridge appear at the bottom and my heart leapt. Had I made it?
Sure enough, I had made it to the viewing platform, where the falls were roaring many meters below.
I almost jumped with joy, pumping my fists into the air. I even took an Instagram video explaining my hectic hike and my happiness at the end result.
Sure, it was disappointing that there was no access to the base of Little Aire Falls, but the view was still magnificent. And luckily I have a 300mm camera lens which allowed me to zoom in and capture the detail of the falls in their immense full-flow.
I took the time to sit and admire the falls. Partly because I was exhausted, and partly because they were so beautiful. I munched on a banana and a muesli bar to recharge, and longed to be closer to the falls.
But in all honesty, I wouldn’t have changed the hike for the world. I just wish I’d had more accurate information about the hike. It definitely felt longer than 2.3kms. But that’s why I do what I do – to help others and let them know exactly what’s in store. So be prepared for a lengthy, strenuous hike to Little Aire Falls, which at times will feel like you’re in the wrong place. I assure you, you’ll get there in the end.
|Last visit||September 2017|
|Start / Finish||Philips Track Rd Carpark|
|Unsealed Roads||Yes, average condition but manageable with 2WD|
|Walking distance||5kms return to a viewing platform quite some distance from the falls NO ACCESS to base|
|Time||3.5hrs return (if deviate to Triplet Falls, otherwise 2-2.5hrs)|
|Difficulty||Strenuous, lots of steep undulating uphill and downhill|
|Facilities||Toilets and Picnic Tables|
|Lat & Long||38.6685° S, 143.4937° E|
|Nearby||Triplet Falls, Hopetoun Falls, Beauchamp Falls|