Triplet Falls visited on a Chasing Waterfalls trip to Apollo Bay

Triplet Falls, Beech Forest, Great Otway National Park, Apollo Bay – Victoria, Australia

After my venture to Hopetoun Falls, I again hit the road and headed to Triplet Falls. They were only another 25 minutes away. 

Triplet Falls visited on a Chasing Waterfalls trip to Apollo Bay

The carpark is located at the end of Philips Track, which begins as a sealed road that comes off Beech Forest Lavers Hill Road. Philips Track then passes the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures, and has an abrupt left-turn, at which point it becomes unsealed and bumpy.

Keep following Philips Track, with no further turns, until you reach the carpark (pictured above and below). Facilities include drop toilets and picnic tables.

The track to Triplet Falls and Little Aire Falls begins here.

There is also an information sign at the beginning of the trail, which is quite helpful. 

And worth reading.

As you can see below, Triplet Falls are a 2km return hike from the carpark. This trail is a circuit which involves three main viewing platforms, and a short walk back to the carpark.

However, I’m not confident on how accurate the 1 hr time allocation is. There are lots of stairs, and it will take 2hrs if you choose not to take the loop trail, and turn back the way you came. This is necessary if you also want to visit Little Aire Falls, as the track to them deviates from Triplet Falls after about 200 meters.

On the sign above, Little Aire Falls are indicated as a 2.5km hike. This also felt inaccurate to me, but more on that later (blog post on its way). 

I begun my journey to Triplet Falls first.

The trail begins flat and easy, which had me feeling extra confident.

Some nice informative signs are also placed along the beginning of the walk.

And then. Stairs. Lots and lots of stairs.

The stairs are wooden built, with wide sections of earth in between. They felt endless.

But finally they came to an end, and another sign indicated the trail to Triplet Falls. 

Here, the track deviates to the left to Little Aire Falls. Apparently another 2.3kms along. To the right, the track continues to Triplet Falls. 

I turned to the right to find Triplet Falls. More signs indicated the surrounding nature, and the history of this beautiful place.

And then, what do you know, more stairs.

I kept my eyes darting around, focused on each step, but also wanting to soak in every inch of my surroundings. 

Moss clung to everything, and the track was very wet after recent rainfall. However, it wasn’t muddy. 

In fact, parts of the track are a metal walkway built-up from the ground. It makes it a very pleasant trek. 

It felt like the metal went on forever…

I looked up at the trees to catch a glimpse of the overcast September sky. 

And continued on through the mossy world. 

I love learning about nature on these walks. It’s just another aspect of what makes them so great.

Then, for a change, some stairs headed upwards.

Only to hit another metal structure.

Also, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the native platypus! Although, without any (safe) access to Triplet Falls, they might be hard to spot.

Then, I reached the first viewing platform, which was mostly obstructed by trees and ferns.

It was here that I could see a steep access to the base of the falls. However, considering how muddy it was, there was no way I was going to tackle it. Not on my own. It was too risky, and I know that’s how people have freak accidents. So I wouldn’t recommend this unless it is safe. 

So instead, I headed up the next staircase.

And found my way to the next viewing platform, which was much more impressive.

I then made my way to the third and final platform, which provides the best view of the falls. It was here I captured my best images.

True to their name, Triplet Falls have multiple sections of rockface. They are nestled amongst trees and ferns. A very unique sight indeed. 

I admired them for some time. It was difficult to get good photographs, as the platform’s metal barricades were in my way. However, I managed to find some awkward spots to balance my tripod. I would recommend bringing an extremely tall tripod if you’re planning to get great long exposure captures of the falls. 

After a while of snapping pics, and a diminishing camera battery, I decided to turn back and head to Little Aire Falls. (As opposed to continuing on the loop back to the carpark). Click here to read more about them!

Quick Facts

Last visitSeptember 2017
Best TimeJune-September
Start / FinishCarpark at the end of Philips Track
Unsealed RoadsYes, average condition but manageable in 2WD
Walking distance2km return
Time2hrs return (3.5hrs if continue to Little Aire Falls)
DifficultyModerate, steep steps
FacilitiesToilets, Picnic Tables
Lat & Long38.6713° S, 143.4934° E
NearbyLittle Aire Falls, Hopetoun Falls, Beauchamp Falls
WatercourseYoung Creek

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Hopetoun Falls visited on a Chasing Waterfalls trip to Apollo Bay

Hopetoun Falls, Beech Forest, Great Otway National Park, Apollo Bay – Victoria, Australia

Hopetoun Falls are another gem in the Great Otways. Just a 15 minute drive on from Beauchamp Falls

Hopetoun Falls visited on a Chasing Waterfalls trip to Apollo Bay

When I visited Hopetoun Falls, I was coming from Skenes Creek. This meant that Beauchamp Falls were my first stop along the way. To get to Beauchamp Falls, I travelled along Binns Road, which came off Beech Forest-Mount Sabine Road. Eventually, Binns Road came to a fork, where the below signs were displayed.

Beauchamp Falls are accessed by continuing straight (or veering slightly left) onto what is known as Flannagan Road. However, to the right is a continuation of Binns Road – and the way to Hopetoun Falls.

After 4.2kms along the windy, mostly unsealed and potholey Binns Road, I saw this sign. In fact, I almost drove straight passed it.

However, here I had to take a sharp right (almost a U-Turn) onto Hopetoun Falls Road. Though there are a few signs to help out.

Right U-Turn from Binns Road to Hopetoun Falls Road

Hopetoun Falls Road is short and soon reaches the carpark. The carpark is very small and has unmarked spaces, so prepare for difficulty if it’s busy.

There is no camping permitted at Hopetoun Falls. The only facilities available are picnic tables.

But that didn’t phase me. I was just happy that I arrived in the right place.

I walked along the wet gravel of the carpark and came to the first lookout extremely quickly. 

Through the thick trees and many, many meters below, I could just make out the top of the falls roaring into the valley.

Unsatisfied with this view, I began the descent.

And a descent it was! Even with sections of flat path in between, shown in the below picture.

Sure enough, another staircase would appear. 

Bear in mind this was my third consecutive day of hiking. Safe to say my legs were cramping with each step.

Though parts of the track were flat and concrete.

While other parts were boardwalks.

I pushed on, eager to get to the falls. I then came across a sign that made me jittery with excitement, despite my exhaustion.

I can’t explain to you how much I want to see a platypus in the wild. Spoiler alert: I’ve never seen one. But keep on the lookout because you never know!

Finally, I reached the bottom of the falls. I won’t lie, I was exhausted. I wasn’t ready to get my tripod out all over again and set up my camera. 

Luckily, other tourists came down the stairs and admired the falls, so I had some time to rest, be patient and wait for them to leave. And then, the sun peeked through the clouds and shone down on the scene in front of me; making the fallen trees sparkle. I snapped this shot, and my exhaustion dissipated into the breeze. 

With my fresh new energy, I walked back to the beginning of the viewing platform and carefully slid my way down a muddy bank on the side of the track. I ducked under the bridge and trudged carefully through lethally slippery mud. Eventually I made my way closer to the river. It was there I found a spot of gushing water to snap some more pics. 

As I took the above shot, some people appeared from thick greenery nearby. They told me that if you ventured into the fallen trees and moss where they had been, you could get a clearer view of the falls. 

So typically, off I went. 

They were right, obviously. But by no means was this easy to find. I had to climb over risky fallen logs and duck under some wet tree branches. Worth it? Absolutely. 

I also love the way that photography can express completely different aspects, or moods, of a place based on your technique. It’s quite telling of our own mixed emotions and ever-changing states. The above shot shows the sheer power and dark, gloomy perspective of the falls.

And yet, I also saw an elegance in them. A beauty in the spots of green moss and slimy rocks beneath the silky gush of water. 

Hopetoun Falls are definitely a special spot, and I will be back. 

But, like all places, I had to leave. It was time to head on to Triplet Falls. Head there with me!

Quick Facts

Last visitSeptember 2017
Best TimeJune-September 
Start / FinishHopetoun Falls
Unsealed RoadsYes, average condition but manageable with 2WD
Walking distance1km return
Time1hr return (ish)
DifficultyModerate, lots of steep stairs
FacilitiesPicnic Tables
Lat & Long38.6684° S, 143.5679° E 
NearbyBeauchamp Falls, Triplet Falls, Little Aire Falls 
WatercourseAire River

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Waterfall Itinerary for a day in Lorne, Victoria

Waterfall Itinerary for A Day in Lorne, Victoria

The most frustrating thing about Googling “hiking tracks” in a particular location is that nobody tells you exactly how it is. There’s no “Waterfall Itinerary for A Day in Lorne.” Sure, there’s plenty of information on each track, their distance, where they begin. But there’s a scarcity of sites that tell you the best order to do them in. Or, which ones can be done in the same day. Luckily, I’ve spent hours researching waterfalls and tracks and testing them to create the best day trip  itineraries I can.

So without further adieu, here is a Waterfall Itinerary for A Day Trip in Lorne that you can follow to a tee. It includes: Erskine Falls, Straw Falls, Splitter Falls, Sheaok Falls & Swallow Cave Falls. Total hiking distance is roughly 5.5kms.

Step 1: Arrival and Accomodation

If you’re like me, you’ll be driving to Lorne from Melbourne, or somewhere else. (I hired a car from Advance Car Rental, but you can also try Car Next Door – click here for $15 off your first trip).

Start your day early and allow enough time to arrive in Lorne by midday at the latest. Lorne is 2hrs and 11 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD. I arrived at 11:30am.

I’d also booked accomodation at the Lorne Coachman Inn, purely because of price and availability. (It was $100 per night, so on my own it was a bit pricey, but for a couple, it’d be great). However, the best option is probably an Airbnb. There are no shortage of beautiful places to stay in Lorne on Airbnb, so definitely have a scout!

Another one of my favourite places to stay in Lorne is the Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park – their Riverview cabins are great value. If in doubt, I always like to look on Hotels.com, or Expedia (I’m affiliated with these sites to receive remuneration if you book, but honestly have found them so helpful) and also Hotel Trivago (whom I’m not affiliated with).

Using a combination of these sites helps me work out what I can get for the best price (Airbnb in Lorne turned out to be the best, but was booked out when I was looking).

Waterfall Itinerary for A Day in Lorne map
Melbourne to Lorne (Google Maps, 2018).

Head straight to your accomodation if you want, to drop off supplies and extra baggage. This is a good time to mention that Lorne only has a Foodworks supermarket, which is very expensive. It’s worth doing a food shop prior to arriving in Lorne to save some extra cash. Anyway, since my check-in wasn’t until after 2pm, I drove straight to my first stop: Erskine Falls.

Erskine Falls are only a 13 minute drive from Lorne’s town center. They are an impressive 30 meter drop into a fern gully. The track begins from the Erskine Falls carpark with the first viewing platform only 80meters away. The base of the falls are 220meters further down some 300-odd steps. Allow 1 and 1/2 hrs return if just visiting Erskine Falls. However, Straw Falls and Splitter Falls can be found further along the riverbank. 

To find them, head back towards the staircase from the lower viewing platform. Turn left down some stairs onto the river bank. Here, you can cross the river (if the water levels are low) to a thin path on the other side.

Click here for more information on finding Erskine Falls and specific directions along the river bank. 

Straw Falls can be found by following the thin, windy track that hugs the Erskine River – away from Erskine Falls. After about 400meters, they appear on the left, cascading down a sheer rock face. You’ll know you’re in the right place because a wooden sign on the rock reads “Straw Falls.” Here, you can turn back the way you came to get to the carpark, or continue on to Splitter Falls.

Click here for more information on finding Straw Falls.

Splitter Falls are another 1.5kms further along the Erskine River. Getting to them requires multiple river crossings. There are also potential obstacles, such as fallen trees and debris, along the track. At times it is tricky to see where the track continues. If you follow the river bank, eventually you’ll find them. This should only be attempted when water levels are low.

However, there is no access to the base of Splitter Falls, and they can be difficult to see through trees and shrub. A friend and I climbed down the steep bank to their base in order to capture the image above. I do not recommend this. If you’re not a crazy waterfall enthusiast like me, giving Splitter Falls a miss won’t ruin your day. 

But if you’re like me, and love to visit the “unvisited” places, click here for more information & instructions.

Step 2: Lunch:

If you started your ErskineStrawSplitter Falls journey at midday, it will be well and truly past lunch time (the whole hike should take roughly 3 – 3 and 1/2 hours. However, I’m sure you indulged on some road-trip snacks during the morning’s drive, and packed some snacks for the trek. In any case, now’s a good opportunity to take a break, refuel and recharge. 

There are plenty of great cafes along Lorne’s main strip (pictured below). Stroll along it and take your pick. Personally, I love Bottle of Milk cafe for the burgers & beers, but you might want to save that one for R&R at the end of the day. I’ll leave that to you.

Waterfall Itinerary for A Day in Lorne map of Lorne cafes
Map of Lorne's Main Strip, Great Ocean Road. (Google Maps, 2018).

Once you’re recharged, it’s time for the next step!

Sheoak Falls are another easy, 10 minute drive from Lorne’s town center. The carpark comes straight off Great Ocean Road (not to be confused with the Sheoak Picnic Area, which is much further away). You can access the falls both from the Great Ocean Road carpark (1km return) and the Sheoak Falls Picnic Area (7km return). Personally, I’m a fan of the quicker option. I’m all for maximising my time, and seeing as much as I can in one day. All without exhausting myself with over 6 hours of hiking.

So, to sum up, drive to the Sheoak carpark and experience the short boardwalk to Sheoak Falls, a beautiful display in an amphitheatre-type gorge. 

Click here for more information on finding Sheoak Falls.

When you visit Sheoak Falls, you’ll notice the track come to a fork. You can head down to the right (the base of Sheoak Falls) or up to the left (to Swallow Cave). This is not signposted. 

Head up to the left after visiting the base of Sheoak Falls and find the first viewing platform, which provides the stunning view pictured above. 

Continue further along the track, which curves around to another viewing platform on the other side (see the edge of the platform in the far right of the above picture). However, this requires a river-crossing which should not be attempted if the water levels are high. 

Click here for more information on Swallow Cave (Upper Sheoak Falls) .

Step 4: Rest & Relaxation

After a big day, it’s time for some you-time. This section of Great Ocean Road has lots of stopping bays. Since it’ll be nearing the day’s end, a great option for some rest and relaxation is to find a spot on the beach or along the coast and watch the sunset.

If that’s not your thing, head back into town and find somewhere to grab a meal and a drink. (Perhaps time to treat-yo-self at Bottle of Milk – burgers, chips and a beer? Don’t mind if I do). You’ll need to regain energy for another big day ahead. Click here for a second day trip itinerary in Lorne.

Quick Facts

Total Hiking Distance5.5km
Total Driving Distance (if from Melbourne)174kms
Total Driving Time (if from Melbourne)2hrs 45 mins
Unsealed RoadsNo 
Average Total Cost for this day (AUD) 1 person $200 
Car Hire Cost (small 3 door automatic with 300kms per day free, hired from Advance Car Rental)$33 per day 
Fuel Cost (for this day trip)doable with 1 tank – roughly $35
Accomodation Cost (per night, 1 double room) $100 
Food and Drink Cost  $30-40
Nearby Towns Skenes Creek, Apollo Bay 
Other Waterfalls in this AreaCora Lynn Cascades, Phantom Falls, Henderson Falls, Won Wondah Falls, Lower Kalimna Falls, Upper Kalimna Falls

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Beauchamp Falls visited during Chasing Waterfalls trip in Lorne

Beauchamp Falls, Beech Forest, Great Otway National Park, Apollo Bay – Victoria, Australia

Beauchamp Falls are a well known beauty of the Great Otways. Tucked away about 41kms inland from Apollo Bay, Beauchamp Falls tumble about 20 meters. The water gushes over a lush fern cliff and into the Deppeler Creek below.  

Beauchamp Falls visited during Chasing Waterfalls trip in Lorne

I was very excited to visit Beauchamp Falls. They’d been a bucket-list item for quite some time. I began my journey from an Airbnb in Skenes Creek; an extremely windy 45 minute journey along Turtons Track. After bumping along on unsealed roads in the Beech forest, I made it. 

I didn’t realise Beauchamp Falls allowed camping until I arrived. I thought that was pretty cool. The camping clearing is at the end of Beauchamp Falls Road. Click here for information on camping here. (Though I disagree with their distance and time for the waterfall). 

The track for Beauchamp Falls begins to the left of the carpark.

Take the time to read the walk’s information sign at the beginning.

I always love looking out for the unique wildlife. Sadly, I never seem to see them. But that doesn’t mean they’re not there!

The walk begins as a gradual descent. The path is flat and easy at this point. I didn’t need the below sign to tell me to take my time. With such beautiful surroundings, it’s natural to take it slow.

For example, the ferns foliage provide a beautiful composition. 

I also love looking up when on a hike. Often it’s easy to forget. But the trees stretch into the sky, beautiful and out of reach.

X marks the spot. I assume this is to indicate you’re heading in the right direction. 

However, since Beauchamp Falls are quite touristy, they are well sign posted.

But that doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe. Nature is powerful and trees can collapse at any time. The below photo is a tame example, but a good reminder to take care.

I also love to indulge in the rich history of these places. Imagine being the first people to discover a place like this.

More amazing products of nature…

Soon the track will begin to follow the river-bank. 

Everything was very wet and tropical during my visit. September is a great time, since it’s no longer winter. However it’s still wet enough to experience an impressive flow of the falls.

The flat, stoney gravel track to Beauchamp Falls was easy to walk on. I did the walk in my Hunter gumboots, but it could easily be done in sandshoes.

I then reached a small bridge. It was covered in metal mesh to prevent slipping, so I crossed with ease.

Here the track continues as a boardwalk. 

It then heads up some stairs.

And evens out along another boardwalk. 

One last walk through the towering ferns…

Then the real descent begins. 

A whopping staircase winds it’s way down towards the river.

After the seemingly endless descent, a quick few upwards staircases lead you to the viewing platform.

I had finally made it! I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness and achievement. It happens when you’ve bucket-listed something for as long as I had Beauchamp Falls. 

Though there’s no access to their base, the platform provides a great view. 

It just wasn’t great enough for me. I headed back down the last few staircases to the point where they began. Here, there was a muddy path leading down to the river. 

I ducked under the metal railing and slid slowly towards the bank. It was obvious I wasn’t the first photographer to do this. I feel somewhat ethically torn when it comes to this. A lack of access to the base of Beauchamp Falls is there to preserve it. To prevent erosion and human devastation. But won’t nature do it’s thing regardless? One day these falls won’t exist to admire, so we have to take the opportunities while we can. 

That being said, I took extreme care when walking around the bank. I don’t want my presence to impact the beauty of this place. 

I waded carefully into the river for this shot. I remember the cold water gushing into my gumboots as if it were yesterday. I stood, the spray from the falls whisking into my face. All the while I was praying that my camera didn’t fall off the tripod and plunge into the water. But it didn’t.

Beauchamp Falls inspired me. They altered something in me. All waterfalls are beautiful to me, but some just have an extra bit of magic. 

It’s the feeling of zazz, of overwhelming joy, that I seek when visiting waterfalls. And Beauchamp provided the goods.

It wasn’t all sunshines and rainbows, though. The looming ascent was still ahead of me. Safe to say I was gasping for air once I returned to the car. But after a short recovery, I was headed to Hopetoun Falls – click here to head there with me!

Quick Facts

Last visitSeptember 2017
Best TimeJune-September (but flow year-round)
Start / FinishBeauchamp Falls Rd Camping Area/Carpark
Unsealed RoadsYes, average condition but could be managed in a 2WD
Walking distance 2.5km return
Time 1.5hrs return
DifficultyModerate, short steep hills on way up
FacilitiesCamping available, Drop Toilets
Lat & Long38.6469° S, 143.6119° E
NearbyHopetoun Falls, Triplet Falls, Little Aire Falls
WatercourseDeppeler Creek

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Upper Kalimna Falls during Chasing Waterfalls trip to Lorne

Upper Kalimna Falls, Great Otway National Park, Lorne – Victoria, Australia

Upper Kalimna Falls during Chasing Waterfalls trip to Lorne

Upper Kalimna Falls are the less impressive of the Kalimna’s, but worth visiting nonetheless. Just 2km further on from Lower Kalimna Falls, the trek begins from the Sheoak Picnic Area (pictured below).

If you’ve read my post on Lower Kalimna Falls, you’ll know that the track begins from behind the carpark. In front of the carpark are tracks to Henderson Falls and Won Wondah Falls.

I won’t go into detail about the track – all information can be found in the Lower Kalimna Falls blog post.

Once at Lower Kalimna Falls, a sign (pictured below) next to the track indicates Upper Kalimna Falls.

Here, the track becomes thinner, though still quite muddy if there’s been recent rainfall. The sunny day I had been experiencing was beginning to take a turn, so I hurried along.

The track then became even thinner, and I had to take extra care to avoid slipping.

After a short while, a glimpse of Upper Kalimna Falls peeked through the trees.

The muddy path turned into a leafy-covered mess that was extremely slippery. This has obviously been an issue in the past, with rubber laid on this section to try and provide grip. However, it wasn’t very effective. I recommend wearing appropriate footwear. Luckily, I was wearing my Hunter gumboots which are not only waterproof, but also have ribbed soles for extra grip. 

The final leg of this walk is on a wooden boardwalk covered with metal mesh to help prevent slipping. This boardwalk goes right up to a dead-end where there is a viewing platform for the falls. 

Droplets of rain began to seep from the sky, so I quickly snapped a shot of the falls and made my way hastily back to the carpark. I didn’t beat the rain, though, and ended up being caught in it. Thankfully, I had my Kathmandu raincoat and thick yellow raincoat from Bunnings to keep me and my gear dry. Read more about them/what to take on a waterfall adventure here. 

I still really enjoyed Upper Kalimna Falls. If you’re trekking to Lower Kalimna Falls and have some extra time, I don’t see why you wouldn’t pay them a quick visit. 

Quick Facts

Last visitSeptember 2017
Best TimeJune-September 
Start / FinishSheoak Falls Picnic Area (lower carpark)
Unsealed RoadsYes, average condition but manageable in 2WD
Walking distance8.5km return (Lower Falls on the way) extremely muddy after rainfall, gumboots recommended
Time3.5hrs return
DifficultyModerate (easy but far distance)
FacilitiesToilets, Picnic Tables and Shelter at Sheoak Picnic Area
Lat & Long38.5618° S, 143.9090° E
NearbyLower Kalimna Falls, Henderson Falls, Won Wondah Falls, Phantom Falls
WatercoursePart of Little Sheoak Creek

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