If you’re sick of sticking to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to, we suggest ditching TLC’s advice and go chasing the best waterfalls in Victoria. This state is peppered with cascading rivers, some with plunge pools you can swim in and some dotted beside awe-inspiring bush walks. Take a look at our favourites below.
Explore more of the state at the best campsites in Victoria or hit the road and visit these incredible national parks all within driving distance of Melbourne.
Best waterfalls near Melbourne
The coastal region close to the Great Ocean Road is filled with waterfalls, and Erskine Falls is certainly one of the best. Located a short 10km drive from Lorne, this thunderous waterfall plunges about 30 metres down into the gully of the Erskine River. You can view it from two lookouts: the upper lookout is an easy five minutes from the car park, and the lower lookout is a steeper descent to the base of the falls. For the adventurous types, there’s a 23-kilometre hike that takes you past a few smaller falls near Erskine as well.
There’s nothing quite like the walk towards Mackenzie Falls. Found smack bang in the middle of the dry and craggy Grampians National Park, Mackenzie Falls is a gorgeous surprise. You’ll hear the falls before you actually see them as you descend down the steep yet well-marked path. Eventually, you’ll set eyes on the cascade, which thunders over a vertical slab of rock into a deep pool of fresh water. Signs say that you’re not allowed to swim here, but if it’s the middle of summer and you’re sweating through your capri pants, we would turn a blind eye if you wanted to dip your toes in.
Trentham Falls is located in the Hepburn Shire, near Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, and has the distinct honour of being one of the longest single drop waterfalls in Victoria. Head in after a good downpour and you’ll see water gushing some 32 metres over 40,000-year-old basalt cliffs. The falls are also very easy to get to. Follow signs to the Trentham Falls car park, then it’s just a short walk down a signposted path towards the viewing area.
If you’re looking to avoid the crowds at Erskine Falls, we’d suggest Triplet Falls. Located in the Great Otway National Park a little further down the coast, it features three cascades that flow through mossy tree ferns and lush green rainforest. Follow the allocated two-kilometre loop train from the Triplet Falls car park for an easy to moderate one-hour walk in the wild.
Another Otway National Park wonder is Hopetoun Falls, a 30-metre-tall waterfall that plummets into the Aire River. Visitors can descend via a well-maintained set of stairs that lead to a viewing platform that’s within spitting distance of the foot of the falls. And when we say spitting distance, we mean it. Prepare to get wet. The walk is a one-kilometre return trip, which should only take about 30 minutes.
Up north towards Beechworth is where you’ll find Woolshed Falls, in the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park. Woolshed is only a ten-minute drive from Beechworth, and it’s in this area where thousands of miners lived during the height of the Gold Rush in the 1850s. The falls themselves are a short walk from the car park, and you’ll be able to see water gush over weathered rocks into waiting rock pools below. The water can be especially gushy after a heavy rain, but be careful on the rocks as they will be slippery.
Descending towards Beauchamp Falls can feel a little like you’re falling deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. The good news is the reward is one of Victoria’s best-hidden waterfalls. Take the marked path through mountain ash forests, down a constructed staircase and over a few rocks and you’ll reach this awe-inspiring 20-metre tall cascade. The rocks will be slippery when wet, and keep in mind the walk back is a little steep, so take your time.
There are three very good reasons you should visit Fish Falls in the Grampians. One: the falls themselves, which cascade about 60 metres over several terraced rocks and collect in a gorgeous black pool down below. Two: the walk is just challenging enough to make a day of it. It’s a 4.6-kilometre return walk that starts at the Zumsteims car park and follows the MacKenzie River upstream with pleasant views across deep gullies. And three: it’s a significantly less crowded spot than the neighbouring Mackenzie Falls – score!
Near Euroa in North East Victoria lies Gooram Falls, a thunderously loud waterfall that includes several cascades that fall over rock pools. Park at the nearby car park and it’s only a 400-metre stroll towards the falls, which is the perfect spot for a picnic (or a cheeky dip if the weather’s nice).
Wannon Falls is classified as a punchbowl waterfall, meaning water descends in a single 30-metre-tall flow into a big “punchbowl”-looking pool. It’s located just west of Hamilton, in western Victoria. The waterfall is fed by the Wannon River, and you’ll learn a lot about the local flora, fauna and Koori history while there. While in the area, we suggest visiting the local Nigretta Falls as well.