If you like waterfalls, Grampians National Park has some spectacular falls to tick off your waterfall list. From the popular Mackenzie and Silverband Falls to the lesser known but equally beautiful Beehive Falls and Fish Falls, touring the Grampian’s waterfalls is the perfect way to explore the area.
The best thing about the waterfalls in the Grampians is that they will also take you to some of the National Park’s top walks and attractions. As you do the waterfall circuit, you can stop in at Reed Lookout and the Balconies, Boroka Lookout, The Pinnacle and Venus Baths. Most of the waterfalls are accessible by short walks.
Featured Image: MacKenzie Falls © Ben Savage
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The Best Time to See the Grampians Waterfalls
If you are a waterfall watcher, you’d appreciate the motto – the wetter the better, and that is the case with waterfalls in the Grampians. Except for Mackenzie Falls which flow year-round, the other falls are best viewed in winter or after rain. That said, if the falls are only flowing lightly, it is a great chance to get up close to them – this is especially true of Silverband Falls, Fish Falls and Clematis Falls.
Grampians Day Tours
- Grampians Day Tour from Melbourne – Visit McKenzie Falls, Halls Gap, Boroka Lookout & See Kangaroos
- Grampians Small Group Tour from Melbourne – Visit Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre, The Balconies, Boroka Lookout + plenty of wildlife
- 3 Day Great Ocean Road + Grampians Eco Tour – Spend an amazing 3 days travelling along Great Ocean Road on Route to Adelaide. Explore natural beauty of 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, Mackenzie Falls, Halls Gap
Location – 25 minutes from Halls Gap. Follow Mt Victory Road out of Halls Gap and look for the turn off to your right. There are plenty of signs, you can’t miss it.
Getting to the falls – There are a couple of ways to view Mackenzie Falls and they couldn’t be more different. From the carpark there is either a 920m easy access path to a lookout with great views of the waterfall and McKenzie River or there is a steep 635m path, including 230 steps, to the base of the falls.
What will you see at Mackenzie Falls? Whether you go for the bird’s eye view form the lookout or venture to the base, Mackenzie Falls, at its best, is a spectacular display. Flowing year round, Mackenzie Falls is almost three falls in one as the water makes its way down different parts of the 35m high drop over the edge.
Cranages Lookout is at the start of the decent to the bottom of the falls. It has a good view of the river and the steps that lie ahead of you if you are going all the way down. From Mackenzie Falls there is also a 7km return walk to Zumsteins Picnic Area. On the walk you’ll see another set of falls, Fish Falls (see below).
- Grampians Day Tour from Melbourne – Visit McKenzie Falls, Halls Gap, Boroka Lookout & See Kangaroos
Mackenzie Falls is also home to another set of falls…
Location – 25 Minutes from Halls Gap. Broken Falls are in the same area as Mackenzie Falls
Getting to the falls – From the Mackenzie Falls Carpark, it is a 245m metre walk to Broken Falls
What will you see at Broken Falls? Not much! Even if you come after a good rain, nature is slowly taking over the view at Broken Falls. Five years ago, you would have had a nice view of the narrow fingers of water pouring down the rock face here. But there are a couple of young trees going out of their way to spoil the view. Still worth a look, even if you need to use your imagination to see the whole view.
Location – 25-35 minutes from Halls Gap. Follow Mt Victory Road to either Mackenzie Falls or Zumsteins Picnic Area.
Getting to the falls – Fish Falls are accessible from either Mackenzie Falls (1.4km one way) or Zumsteins Picnic Area (2.3km one way). The walk from Mackenzie Falls is shorter but steeper, the path from the other end is generally flat, there are just a couple of small hills. Although it is longer, we love the walk from Zumsteins. There is lots of wildlife. Keep an eye out for kangaroos, emus and wallabies.
What will you see at Fish Falls? These are beautiful falls, one of our favourites. The name comes from the fan, or fish tail shape of the water as it tumbles down the multi-tiered rock face. If the water levels are low, you can see the black fish tail shaped algae on the rock where the water usually flows.
The falls look great from the bottom but take the metal steps and part way along is a path where you can get out onto the second tier. If it is safe, it is a great vantage point to watch the water and see it drop down from the top, funnel along the second tier to bottom level and pour into the river below.
Location – Take Mt Victory Road form Halls Gap. Continue past the turn off to Mackenzie Falls and go left onto Rose Creek Road. Follow this dirt road for 8.3km and look for the turn off to the falls on your left. Strangely the sign says Borung Falls, but you are in the right place. From there it is a drive of a couple of hundred metres to a small carpark – you’ll likely be the only ones there!
Getting to the falls – From the carpark, it is 350m to the falls. The first part of the track is compacted dirt and rock then there are some steps. Closer to the falls the path is less obvious, but you can follow the sound of falling water.
What will you see at Burrong Falls? Burrong Falls are for real waterfall aficionados. They are a bit out of the way and if it has been raining the dirt road could be a bit slippery but in full flight, the falls would be spectacular. These 25-30m terraced falls had a sad dribble coming down the day of our visit, but you could see the potential. Just imaging what it could look like was enough for us, it is a pretty spot.
There are some tantalising vantage points from where you are two third of the way up the falls, but you need to take care. The jutting boulders that offer the best views are slippery when wet and stick out quite precariously from the hill side.
Location – The are two routes to Silverband Falls. From Halls Gap it is 10 minutes to Silverband Falls, head south along the shores of Lake Bellfield and follow the signs. If you have been exploring Mackenzie Falls or Reed Lookout, you can also get there from Mt Victory Road. Look for the hairpin turn off from Mt Victory Road and follow the signs. The road gets very narrow, but it is a one-way road, something we only realised when we went to go out the way came in. We also spotted a deer coming in from Mt Victory Road so keep an eye out.
Getting to the falls – From the carpark it is an 800m walk along a shady, flat dirt path to Silverband Falls. It is a lovely walk, there are lots of small birds flitting around, watch the flashes of colour from the wrens and robins.
What will you see at Silverband Falls? This is one the Grampians most popular waterfalls and it is easy to see why. For most of the year it is a narrow, single drop 25m tall falls and you can right up next to them. It is quite amazing; the thin stream of water seems to disappear into the pebbles at the base and you can stand right there with your hand in the falls. Kids and the young at heart will have a lot of fun being able to get so close to the falling water. It makes Silverband Falls a unique experience.
Pack a Picnic for your Day Out
Location – 15 minutes from Dadswell Bridge. Turn onto Roses Gap Road, cross over Mt Zero Road and look for the carpark on your left.
Getting to the falls – From the carpark it is a gentle 2.8km undulating return walk to the falls. Access is along a wide dirt track that goes along and across Mud Hut Creek. At the waterfall, there are some big rock steps to get up and down which is the toughest part of the walk.
What will you see at Beehive Falls? These falls in the Northern Grampians are beautiful. From 25m above, the single drop falls spill between orange and black coloured rock into a pool surrounded by bright green ferns. The deep orange-brown water at the bottom adds a final splash of colour to the scene, it is a pretty sight. The Beehive Falls carpark is also the trailhead for hikes to Briggs Bluff and Mt Difficult.
Location – Halls Gap, start at the back of the (kangaroo) recreation area near the Halls Gap Petanque Club.
Getting to the falls – It is a 2.4km gentle uphill walk along a dirt track. It gets a little rougher and steeper near the end and there are a few boulders to get over at the falls. The walk to the falls goes through forest which comes to life in spring with wildflowers.
What will you see at Clematis Falls? The walk brings you to the main base of the falls, but the water continues to tumble further down the gully. How much water there is will depend a lot on recent rain, if it has been dry, maybe give Clematis Falls a miss. The base is surrounded with ferns and for our visit the sound of croaking frogs filled the air.
When there is not a lot of water you can get up close to the falls and cross them to make your way down the gully from the other side. From the top of the falls all the way down to where the water settles it would be 40-50 metres, the main falls have a drop of 15-20m. It is a pretty spot and worth the effort after rain.
Location – Wonderland carpark, take the turn off at the roundabout on Mt Victory Road about 5 minutes from Halls Gap.
Getting to the falls – The trailhead is at the far end of the Wonderland Carpark, look for the sign. That sign says it is 1.2km to the falls – so a 2.4km return walk – but it feels longer. The path is a moderate incline. There are great views of the sandstone cliffs and sound of running water is ever present as you make your way there.
What will you see at Turret Falls? It is an interesting approach to the falls. You cross a bridge over the top of the falls – take care, the bridge and surrounding rocks a super slippery – then you hook back around to see a set of twin falls. It is a beautiful sight, one which some Eucalypt saplings are working hard to spoil! The view of the cliffs to your right on the way back is great – maybe better than the somewhat obscured falls.
Location – Also at Wonderland Carpark, take the turn off at the roundabout on Mt Victory Road about 5 minutes from Halls Gap. You can also get there via Venus Baths starting at the Halls Gap Botanic Gardens, but the shorter walk is from the Wonderland Carpark.
Getting to the falls – The sign at Wonderland Carpark says it is 700m to Splitters Falls. I don’t know if we were having a bad day when we did it, but it feels twice that far, which still isn’t long, but it was not a 10 minute walk! It was a good walk though. It starts easily before you walk down steep steps between two boulders to a set of mini falls then up some more steps and onto Splitters Falls.
What will you see at Splitters Falls? It had rained the night before so there was a nice amount of water cascading down the tiers of Splitters Falls. The mossy rocks and ferns framing the falls made for a lovely view. The falls dry up to just a trickle in summer so plan your visit here or incorporate the falls into a walk to the Pinnacle from the Botanic Gardens. If it has been wet though, the falls are a good sight in their own right.
Bridal Veil Falls
Location – Wonderland carpark, take the turn off at the roundabout on Mt Victory Road about 5 minutes from Halls Gap. You can also get to the falls from the Sundial Carpark.
Getting to the falls – You see Bridal Veil Falls as part on the walk to the Pinnacle, they are just 500-600m before you reach the Pinnacle. You cannot miss them; the path goes right next to them.
What will you see at Bridal Veil Falls? If it has not rained recently, you will see an impressive looking rock over-hang above a smooth rock platform. If there is a water around, you will see a small, pretty, single drop falls. They are a nice bonus on your way to the Pinnacle.
Waterfalls near the Grampians
- Ferntree Falls – Located in Mt Buangor State Park 30 minutes east of Ararat. The falls are surrounded by giant tree ferns and mossy rocks. It is a 45 minute return walk from the Ferntree Campground. You’ll also see Cascade Falls on the walk.
- Nigretta Falls – These easily accessed falls are on the Wannon River, there are lookouts at the top and base of the falls with a few wooden steps to negotiate to get up and down. There is a picnic area nea4rvby too. The falls are about 20km northwest of Hamilton on the Wannon-Nigretta Falls Road. They are 75 minutes south of Halls Gap.
- Wannon Falls – These 30m wide single drop falls in the Wannon Falls Scenic Reserve are a great sight. They are just 10 minutes from nearby Nigretta Falls near Hamilton and have the same volcanic, basalt landscape. There is a multi-level lookout to view the falls as well as interpretive information and camping, picnic and BBQ facilities at the reserve.
Halls Gap Accommodation
- Breeze Holiday Parks – In the heart of Halls Gap enjoy mountain views in your self contained cabin
- D’Atons Studios – Cute little self contained cabin set in natural bushland surrounded by wildlife
- Marwood Luxury Villas – With breakfast, a spa bath and a fireplace, each villa offers a relaxing escape
- Blaze Rock Retreat – With a fully equipped kitchen and a patio with a BBQ and garden views
- Grampians Villas – Each villa offers a patio, self contained kitchen, fireplace, enjoy hiking and fishing nearby
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