Person in floatie in Rocky Pool, Gooseberry Hill

Rocky Pool, Gooseberry Hill National Park, Kalamunda, Perth – Western Australia, Australia

HOW TO FIND ROCKY POOL

‘Hidden’ in Perth’s Hills lies a cute little oasis known as Rocky Pool. I’d always wanted to have an adventure here, but it’s not the easiest spot to locate. So after a few wrong turns, I’ve done the hard work for you. Here’s how to find Rocky Pool. 

Rocky Pool is located in Kalamunda in the Perth Hills along a watercourse known as Piesse Brook, which is best flowing in June and August. Begin your journey by setting your GPS to ‘Rocky Pool and NP PARKING AREA’ located on Schipp Road. 

An image screenshot of Google maps to demonstrate location of Rocky Pool NP Parking Area on Shipp Road
Rocky Pool and NP PARKING AREA located on Schipp Road. Google Maps (2020).
Rocky Pool Parking Area

From here, a Kalamunda National Park sign indicates the beginning of your hike. Strap on your hiking boots – it’s time to get walking!

When I visited Rocky Pool, my friend Morgan and I weren’t too sure if we were headed in the right direction due to a big metal gate at the start of the track – but you needn’t worry, this is just to stop vehicles from driving along the gravel road. 

Soon after our feet had trudged a little ways along the dusty gravel, we spotted some information signs about our location and the flora and fauna here, which was a good sign (pun-intended). 

We continued forward, surrounded by the stunning Australian bush, not really knowing the distance we had to travel or how to find Rocky Pool. But the surroundings were beautiful enough to soak in and enjoy along the way.  

To avoid having to spend ages blowing up our floaties once we arrived at Rocky Pool, we saved time by carrying them with us. But it wasn’t completely practical…

More information signs along the way let us know we were headed in the right direction, so we trudged on along the gravel track and crossed a small bridge and stream. 

Pay attention to your surroundings, because there are many indicators to help guide the way. 

Parts of the track were flat, while others headed steeply uphill and downhill. 

We passed rushing water with a smile – this is a good indication that Rocky Pool will be flowing. June to August is the best time for a steady stream, while September and October are good times for swimming in the warmer weather. Sadly, during November to May in summer, Rocky Pool is usually dried up. 

In the hot October sun, we headed uphill for a steep section of the track. 

But more water on either side of us reassured us that the hike would be worth the effort. 

While walking this 2km trail, the beautiful biodiverse flora and fauna surrounding us was in abundance. 

We didn’t see any animals, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there… 

A section of the Bibbulmun track crosses here, so we knew we were in true hiking territory. 

We continued on the straight and narrow, until we found the sign we’d been looking for!

Before we knew it, Rocky Pool appeared as if from nowhere, in a clearing among the trees. The water in the pool was brimming, and we wanted to sit a while and admire the view. 

But then it was time to get a little closer. The stream was flowing clear and fresh over the rocky terrain – an indication of where this place may have got its name. 

And yet the pool itself remained as clear as glass. 

We couldn’t wait any longer, so we hopped into the freezing-cold waters. Though cold,  they were a refreshing relief from the hot sun of the day. 

Person in floatie in Rocky Pool, Gooseberry Hill

It was such a tranquil and beautiful spot where we could be immersed by nature. I highly recommend the hike! When you’ve finished soaking in the beauty of Rocky Pool, you might like to explore the nearby Lesmurdie Falls. 

Quick Facts

Last visitOctober 2017
Best TimeJune-August for flow, September-October for swimming. Dries up in summer (Nov-May)
Start / FinishRocky Pool and NP PARKING AREA on Schipp Road (return trail)
Unsealed RoadsYes, in winter months become stony and loose with wet potholes, spring time are recovered and smooth
Walking distance2kms (one way)
Time30-40mins (one way)
DifficultyModerate
FacilitiesNone
Lat & Longunknown 
NearbyLesmurdie Falls 
WatercoursePiesse Brook 

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Girl sits with MacKenzie Falls in the Grampians National Park in background

3 Melbourne Waterfalls Perfect for Swimming When Summer Begins

Where to go for the best Melbourne Waterfalls

With summer approaching, it’s a perfect time to plan water-filled adventures to embrace (and escape) the heat. As any Melbournian will know, this city is notorious for four seasons in one day and a year dominated with cold wind and rain. So when summer finally rolls around, we can’t wait to hit the beach. But it’s not just beaches that serve up all the fun – there are a few waterfalls too! Why not hit one of these three Melbourne Waterfalls Perfect for Swimming When Summer Begins? Here they are:

Turpins Falls Water Swimming Hole

Turpins Falls has an amazing, large pool at their base which is great for swimming. However, the water here is freezing cold, even in summer, so be prepared. It’s also rather dangerous to jump from rocks here, as deaths have occurred in the past. Be smart about it and don’t take any risks and you’ll be sure to have a fun time.

Tips 
Bring floaties for extra relaxing fun.
Unsealed road with small car park. 

2. MacKenzie Falls, Grampians National Park

Girl sits with MacKenzie Falls in the Grampians National Park in background

Although you’re not actually allowed to swim at MacKenzie Falls, a lot of people do. If you’re not game enough to break the rules, the falls are powerful enough that if you find a nice spot to sit, you’ll get the fresh cool spray delicately landing on your skin. It’s bound to cool you down on a warm day while you sit and admire the beauty that is these falls. 

Tips 
Roughly 3 hours from Melbourne.
No cell phone reception at base.
Steep, strenuous descent with lots of stairs.
Bring lots of water and snacks.
There are plenty of other hikes and waterfalls in the Grampians, so make the most of your trip there. 

3. Beauchamp Falls, Great Otway National Park

Beauchamp Falls visited during Chasing Waterfalls trip in Lorne

Not exactly a ‘swimming pool’ but still one of the great Melbourne waterfalls, Beauchamp Falls in Great Otway National Park flow year-round. This makes it a perfect spot to visit for a refreshing splash or dip in this pristine river. 

Tips
Roughly 3 hours from Melbourne.
Steep, long trail with lots of deep stairs and a metal staircase at the end. 
Spend some time exploring the Great Ocean Road on your way there.
While you’re there, check out the many other nearby waterfalls such as Hopetoun Falls and Triplet Falls.

There you have it! Three Melbourne waterfalls perfect for swimming when summer begins – or just exploring at any other time really. 

If you want some waterfall itineraries, try my Itinerary for a Day in Lorne, Victoria pt 1, and A Day in Lorne, Victoria pt 2.

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Injidup Natural Spa Rock Pool Drone Photo

Injidup Natural Spa, Wyadup Rocks, Yallingup – Western Australia, Australia

HOW TO FIND INJIDUP NATURAL SPA & TIPS BEFORE YOU GO

Crystal clear waters. Wild, thick waves. A make-shift waterfall. A hidden rock pool treasure. The beauty that is, Injidup Natural Spa at Wyadup Rocks, Yallingup.

Injidup Natural Spa Rock Pool Drone Photo

While not technically a waterfall, there is a place where the ocean meets the land. Where wild rocks have moulded into a water-fall like formation. The water from the ocean crashes over the top of these rocks, and gushes down into the crystal clear pools near the beach. A beach water-fall, if you like. This is Injidup Natural Spa.

Getting there

Injidup Natural Spa is a highly sort after spot for West Australian’s delving into the beautiful South-West region. A must-visit if you’re ever close by. And if you know where you are going, it’s not too hard to find (you have to be pretty good at manoeuvring over rocks, though).

Driving down Caves Road, away from Yallingup you need to turn (right) onto Wyadup Road. Now this is where it gets confusing, if you refer to the map below it shows Injidup Beach as being further down, along Cape Clairault Road. Ignore this. Follow Wyadup Road until the very end, which will curve around to the right. Here, you’ll find a relatively small and not-very-well-structured carpark. (I’ve marked it on the map with a red circle). You may have to pull up on the edge of the gravel if it’s a busy day.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-9-23-37-am
Road Map. Wyadup Road. Google Maps (2016).

Once at the carpark, there is no real or clear path down to what is known as “Injidup Natural Spa”, but a few thin, windy dirt tracks. These begin off to the left and allow you to pick and choose your preferred route. After the initial descent, it is a lot of people’s first instinct to head to the left, towards where you can see visible, white sand. However, if you continue down to the right (which will turn into precarious rocks) you will find the sanctuary. 

Below you can see the ‘falls’, where huge waves from the ocean on the other side collide with the rocks, sending a wash of white water and spray over to this pool. Water trickles (or violently washes, depending on the size of the wave) down the grooves in the rock. And voila, waterfall! Or close enough.

What to bring

I’d suggest bringing along some good-grip sand shoes as opposed to thongs or sandals. However, I find the easiest way is actually with bare feet, using my toes to curl and grip and dance along the rocks, aiding my balance on the rocky terrain. Up to you, though.

It’s also imperative you bring along some sunscreen, a water bottle, towel, and of course, don’t forget your bathers. You’ll want to swim in the crystal clear waters, no matter how cold they are. Trust me.

15934532_10210346775918614_1349436441_n

As you can see, Injidup Natural Spa has become quite a popular spot, so there’s not a lot of privacy or opportunity for a people-less picture. At least not in the summer months, anyway. I mean, you can try your best and wait very patiently. Either that, or get up at 4am and venture for sunrise for a quiet shot.

Leave no trace

Another sad thing I noticed on a recent trip is the amount of rubbish left behind. Clothes, beer bottles, you name it, lie in the sand and in rock crevices. This sanctury will only last if we look after it. So please – LEAVE NO TRACE. Take your rubbish with you and help preserve this beautiful place so we can all enjoy it for years to come. 

Injidup Rock Pool with no waves, calm and clear water

But wait, there's more!

After doing my own exploring with friends, I found a quiet, peaceful rock pool tucked away in the endless mountains of rock. Now I won’t give away exactly where you need to go to find this one, because there needs to be some element of mystery, but if you (carefully) go exploring among the rock-mountains, I promise you will not be disappointed. Read more about my opinion on secret versus share phenomenon here. 

Girl climbing into blue rock pool
Mermaid in a rock pool taken from drone above
secretpoolyallingup2

thumb_img_4736_1024

Magical, right? I have no other words.

Quick Facts

Last visitSeptember 2019
Best TimeSeptember – March
Start / FinishWyadup Road Carpark, Injidup Beach
Unsealed RoadsNo
Walking distanceless than 100m from carpark
Time3hr drive from Perth
DifficultyEasy
FacilitiesNone
Lat & Longn/a
NearbyBoranup Forest
WatercourseIndian Ocean
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Kathmandu
Top 10 Waterfalls to Visit Great Ocean Road

Top 10 Waterfalls to Visit Great Ocean Road

A trip along Great Ocean Road wouldn’t be complete without paying a visit to the copious waterfalls in the area. You might not know it, but the coast is dotted with fabulous waterfalls, nestled in gorges, valleys and among the Beech forest. But which ones are worth visiting? Luckily, I’ve got that covered. So here are the Top 10 Waterfalls to Visit Great Ocean Road.

Erskine Falls are by far worthy of the Top 10 Waterfalls to Visit Great Ocean Road. Flowing pretty much year-round, Erskine Falls drop 30 meters into a luscious fern gully. A descent of 300-odd stairs only 100meters from the car park leads to a viewing platform at the base of the falls. 

Tips:
No facilities (nearest toilets at Blanket Leaf Picnic area)
No unsealed roads.
Wear waterproof boots if planning on taking river bank paths and river crossing to get closer to the falls (signposts advise against this).

Click here for more information on finding Erskine Falls.

Lesser known than Erskine Falls, Straw Falls can be found by crossing the Erskine River behind the viewing platform at Erskine Falls and following a thin muddy path along the bank. After about 400meters, Straw Falls will appear on the left, a sheer rock face with flowing water. 

Tips:
Look for the sign “Straw Falls” bolted into the rock. 
Wear appropriate footwear which will grip on the muddy banks.
It is likely that you won’t have mobile phone signal. 

Click here for more information on finding Straw Falls.

Another easily accessible waterfall which is largely underrated. The stunning gorge home to Sheoak Falls can be found by driving to a stopping bay on Great Ocean Road. The walk is roughly 500meters over a boardwalk structure that provides views of the ocean before cutting inland. The path turns to concrete and then heads up some earthy stairs before winding down to the falls.

Tips:
Visit after heavy rainfall for most impressive falls.
No facilities, but Lorne town centre only 12 minutes away.

Click here for more information on finding Sheoak Falls.

On the way to Sheoak Falls, a fork in the track gives options to head down to the base of Sheoak Falls (to the right) or up another set of stairs (to the left). Heading up the stairs leads to a viewing platform for Upper Sheoak Falls. The cascade begins from the river behind Swallow Cave and gushes down a sheer rock face. To get the above shot, I followed the track further to a river crossing and a second viewing platform. 

TIps:
Waterproof footwear required if river crossing. Only cross if it is safe to do so – when water levels are low.

Click here for specific information and directions to Swallow Cave (Upper Sheoak Falls).

The turquoise blue water of Phantom Falls is just the icing on the cake that is this pleasant walk. Beginning from the Allenvale Road Carpark (Allenvale Mill Campsite/Carpark), the 3.5km return trail meanders through lush forest before cutting across an orchard on private property. It then heads up an extremely steep gravel hill before reaching the staircase down to the falls.

Tips:
Facilities available at Allenvale Campsite. 
Unsealed roads are required, but suitable for 2WD.
Other loop trails exist in the area. To learn more about other trails, click here.
Or, if you’d like a step-by-step itinerary, click here. 

Click here for more information on finding Phantom Falls.

Henderson Falls make the Top 10 Waterfalls to Visit Great Ocean Road because they’re one of my favourites. No bias or anything…The track begins from the Sheoak Falls Picnic area and is a relatively flat and easy 1.8km walk. The biggest bonus? Access to walk right up to their base.

Tips:
The track can get extremely muddy. Be prepared with some gumboots like my Hunter gumboots – check out my Top 5 Things to Take on a Waterfall Adventure.
Make the short deviation to Won Wondah Falls on the way. Though no access to their base, it’s a quick 2mins to the viewing platform.
Unsealed roads required to get here, but suitable for 2WD.

Click here for more information on finding Henderson Falls.

A stunning waterfall with a cave behind it, Lower Kalimna Falls are found via a 6.5km return trail. This trail also begins from the Sheoak Falls Picnic Area (unsealed road to get there).

Tips:
Continue on for another 1.25kms to Upper Kalimna Falls (making the total hike 8.5kms return).
Track is extremely muddy at times and requires appropriate footwear such as gumboots. Check trail conditions before beginning.

Click here for more information on finding Lower Kalimna Falls. 

Beauchamp Falls are a beautiful sight located deep in the Beech Forest, roughly 50minutes from Apollo Bay. The 2.5km return trail is moderate with some steep sections and staircases. While there’s no official access to the base of the falls, it is possible to reach the riverbank if being careful. The best thing about Beauchamp Falls? They are fuelled by the Deppler Creek which provides significant water flow year-round.

Tips:
Camping is permitted at Beauchamp Falls.
Facilities include 2 drop toilets and picnic tables.
Unsealed road is bumpy with potholes so take extra care. However, a 2WD will survive.

Click here for more information on finding Beauchamp Falls.

Another 15minutes on from Beauchamp Falls, Hopetoun Falls are equally impressive. The 1km (ish) return trail is deceiving due to extremely steep stairs for the majority of the walk. A viewing platform provides a great view, though there are also ways to sneak down closer to the falls.

Tips:
No facilities available. 
Unsealed roads are bumpy with potholes but doable in 2WD. 

Click here for more information on finding Hopetoun Falls and getting closer to their base.

Last but certainly not least is Triplet Falls. Located another 25minute drive from Hopetoun Falls, the 2km return Triplet Falls trail begins from the car park at the end of Philips Track. 

Tips:
Facilities include drop toilets and picnic tables.
Little Aire Falls located another 2.5kms or so on from Triplet Falls.
Unsealed roads are bumpy with potholes but doable in 2WD.
It is likely you won’t have mobile phone coverage in this location.

Click here for more information on finding Triplet Falls.

And there you have it! The Top 10 Waterfalls to Visit Great Ocean Road. As a little disclaimer, these are all best visited after heavy rainfall. I visited these in September 2017 and the weather was perfect – not too cold, not too hot, and yet the waterfalls were in full flow! 

If you’re planning a trip, be sure to check track conditions before you go. If you’d like specific itineraries for day trips to these waterfalls, you can check out my Waterfall Itineraries! Happy waterfall chasing! 

xo 

kathmandu

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Waterfall itinerary for Another Day in Lorne

Waterfall Itinerary – A Day in Lorne, Victoria Pt.2

This Waterfall Itinerary for Another Day in Lorne will suit well if staying in Lorne. It is the perfect follow-on from my first Waterfall Itinerary, which you can find here. 

Before beginning this day trip, you should pack sufficient snacks, something for lunch, and plenty of water. 

Step 1: Drive to Allenvale Mill Carpark

The Allenvale Mill Carpark, as it is described in some material, is actually marked on Google Maps as the Allenvale Road Carpark. Allenvale Mill Bush Campground is further on from here. It is 6 minutes from Lorne’s town center. The road is unsealed and bumpy, but doable in a 2WD. However, if you are hiring a car, insurance will not cover you on unsealed roads. Just a pre-warning. 

The track to Phantom Falls begins further down Allenvale Road after the Allenvale Mill Carpark. It veers off to the right, and winds its way through the forest. It then cuts across private property – an orchard. Take extra care on these premises and follow the signs. 

After passing paddocks with horses and kangaroos, the track heads up an extremely steep gravel hill before levelling out and leading to a staircase down to the falls. The 3.5km return is well worth it for the gushing crystal-blue water on display. Allowing 1.5hrs for this trek is sufficient.

Click here for more information on finding Phantom Falls.

Step 2: Drive to Sheoak Falls Picnic Area (Lower Carpark)

Despite being called Sheoak Falls Picnic Area, Sheoak Falls are actually the furthest waterfall from here (7km return). The carpark is better used for accessing Won Wondah Falls, Henderson Falls, Upper Kalimna Falls and Lower Kalimna Falls. 

The road to get to the Sheoak Falls Picnic Area (named the Garvey Track) is unsealed with lots of potholes. However, it is doable in a 2WD. 

Won Wondah Falls are a mere pit-stop on the way to Henderson Falls. There is NO ACCESS to their base. Nevertheless, they are on the way, so it’s worth the quick deviation. 

To get to them, head across the picnic area of the Sheoak Falls Carpark and follow the track for 30 minutes (1km). 

Click here for more information on finding Won Wondah Falls.

After Won Wondah Falls, the track continues to Henderson Falls. It is another 800 meters or so along. The track here can get extremely muddy, so I would recommend something like my Hunter gumboots. 

Once at the falls, you can walk right up to their base. It is extremely beautiful. Consider allowing another hour to get to Henderson Falls and back to the carpark. 

If it wasn’t clear, total hiking distance to Won Wondah and Henderson is 3.6km return, allowing 1.5hrs

Click here for more information on finding Henderson Falls. 

Step 3: Head back to the Sheoak Falls Carpark for Lunch

So far, you’ve completed 7.1km of hiking, though none of it particularly strenuous. It’s a good time to take a break and eat lunch at the picnic area. (I ate a delicious salami and cheese sandwhich I’d made at my hotel room before I left for the day).

Recharged, it’s time for the next stop.

The track to Lower Kalimna Falls begins from behind the Sheoak Falls Picnic Area Carpark (as opposed to the tracks ahead of it, where you were before). 

It is a 6.5km return to Lower Kalimna Falls (8.5km if you also go to Upper Kalimna Falls – next on the list) but I promise you, it’s worth it. Don’t let the k’s scare you off. The extremely muddy track takes about 2.5hrs return (3.5hrs if Upper Kalimna too). However, it is relatively straight and flat. It leads you to a beautiful, lush pool where the falls have a cave behind them.

Click here for more information, tips & tricks to finding Lower Kalimna Falls.

As mentioned, Upper Kalimna Falls are on the same track to Lower Kalimna Falls. They are only 1km further along, so you may as well pay them a visit. It simply makes the return trek 4.25kms instead of 3.25kms. Allow a total of 3.5hrs if visiting Upper Kalimna Falls from the picnic area. 

Click here for more information on finding Upper Kalimna Falls.

Step 4: Back to Hotel or Head to Skenes Creek/Apollo Bay

Congratulations! You’ve done 15.6kms of hiking on this day trip, and visited 5 fantastic waterfalls.

When I did this day trip, I then headed to Skenes Creek where I had booked an Airbnb for two more nights. This is because I wanted to visit Beauchamp Falls, Hopetoun Falls, Triplet Falls and Little Aires Falls in the Great Otway National Park. Skenes Creek is only a 55 minute drive from Lorne, while Apollo Bay just over 1hr. Shop around for the best accomodation deals on: 

Airbnb
Hotels.com
Expedia 

If this is something that interests you, stay tuned for my Waterfall Itinerary for a Day in Great Otway National Park! 

Expedia

Quick Facts

Total Hiking Distance15.6kms
Total Driving Distance (if already in Lorne)50.2kms if to Skenes Creek after. Otherwise 8.5kms 
Total Driving Time (if already in Lorne)1hr 12 mins if to Skenes Creek afterwards. Otherwise 21 mins 
Unsealed Roads Yes
Average Total Cost for this day (AUD) 1 person $183
Car Hire Cost (small 3 door automatic with 300kms free per day, hired from Advanced Car Rental) $33 per day 
Fuel Cost (for this day trip) doable with half a tank – roughly $15-20
Accommodation Cost (per night, 1 double room) $100
Food and Drink Cost $25-30
Nearby TownsSkenes Creek, Apollo Bay 
Other Waterfalls in this Area Cora Lynn Cascades, Erskine Falls, Straw Falls, Splitter Falls, Sheoak Falls, Swallow Cave Falls, Cumberland Falls  

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