Sailors Falls is a semi-circular sink in the landscape, with tall exposed columns of basalt, over which Sailors Creek falls.
You can view the falls from the picnic area, which is situated next to the road in an elevated position on the side rim of
the sink. When the falls are flowing well, you can see from here how it splits into multiple segments. The steps down to
the base of the falls that were damaged in a landslip in 2016 have now been replaced, so as of August 2017 you can also walk
down to the base of the waterfall again. Outside of flood periods, a little track alongside the creek leads you over the
fallen rocks to get you close enough to touch the water trickling down from overhead.
From the base of the falls you can continue walking further downstream, all the way to Daylesford if you want. There is a mineral spring about 400 metres
downstream of the falls. However, you don't need to walk that far, because a bore was installed at the picnic ground in 2013, so you can get your fix of tangy, fizzy
mineral water only a few steps from the car park.
Bring your own water bottles and a couple of lemons. I have tasted the water here and it is delicious.
The refurbished picnic area has both sheltered and unsheltered picnic tables and a wealth of information about the history of the falls and surrounding region.
It can be a little bit noisy from the cars passing along the Ballan-Daylesford Rd, but it is neat and tidy with a picturesque view looking out over the gorge.
Here is a video of the falls in the late afternoon in spring. The flow over the falls was moderate, but you could easily cross the bridge and
walk up close to the base of the falls:
Your Seasonal Guide:
|Reliable flow in winter/spring. The falls can dry up in summer/autumn.
||Visit mid morning to mid afternoon to see the falls in full sun. Being a sink, the light disappears
quickly at the base of the falls from mid afternoon onwards.|
Other Essential Information:
Ballan-Daylesford Road (C141), Sailors Falls, 110 km (approx. 70 minute drive) north-west of the Melbourne CBD.
Exit north from the Western Fwy (M8) at Ballan along the Ballan-Daylesford Rd (C141). Travel for 24 km until you
reach Sailors Falls. The car park is just past Telegraph Rd. If you are coming from Daylesford, the falls are 6 km south of the
1-5 m depending on flow conditions, with a second stream to the left at higher flows
Swimming available at the falls:
Car park, toilets, sheltered picnic tables, information boards, mineral spring, walking trails
Shade available at the falls and in the picnic area
Yes to picnic area and view of the falls from the picnic area. No to the base of the falls.
Dogs must be on a lead
There is no camping at Sailors Falls, with the only designated camping area in the adjacent Hepburn Regional
Park at the Mt Franklin Reserve, which is only accessible by road from Sailors Falls. If you are planning to stay overnight in the area you can try
accommodation near this waterfall.
The rest of the Hepburn Regional Park, including The Blowhole
Before you head out, make sure to read the
waterfall safety information
. Specific to this site, a recent visitor (see comment below) advised that the
mesh leading to the new steps can be very slippery after rain, so take care approaching the steps.
The marker indicates the location of the car park at the falls.
Change of Conditions:
According to the managing authority, after many months of hard work, as of mid-August 2017 the staircase to the base of
the falls has now re-opened. The lower mineral springs downstream of the falls are still closed, and seem to have been that
way for a while, with no immediate plans to re-open them. You can still draw water from the upper spring at the
carpark that is featured in my video. Thanks to all those who kept me up to date during the staircase construction period.
Here is a comment from one visitor to the falls after the refurbishment of the steps:
"Great to see Sailors Falls after the rain last night and today. Beware that the mesh downward slope leading to
the new stairs is very slippery after rain and I fell, as did another person soon after me!"
M. Stafford, Highton, 16/11/2017
Thanks also to K.Clarke of Melbourne who alerted me that there was no flow over the falls at the start of May 2016 after a very dry year,
confirming my comments above about the best time of year to visit.
If you would like to leave a comment about this waterfall, please fill in the comment box below.
I'm particularly interested in your experiences after visiting, and any changes in conditions, etc.
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© Brad Neal 2018. All rights reserved.