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Best Waterfalls in the Melbourne Metro Area
Waterfall Seasons - The Waterfall Guide


 
Here are my top 7 waterfalls within the Melbourne metropolitan area, ranked from least to most favourite. Most of them are a considerable distance from the city centre, but all are technically within the city's boundaries, as defined in current planning strategies for Melbourne. To assess them, I have taken into account how impressive the falls are in terms of their height, width and volume of water throughout the year, ease of viewing, ease of access to the water, and the facilities and environment at the falls. You can click or tap on the links provided for more detailed information about each individual waterfall, and there is a compilation video of each of the falls in action at the bottom of this article.

Coming in at Number 7 is Wombelano Falls close to Kinglake in the Kinglake National Park, north of the city. From the roadside parking area, the falls are relatively easy to reach via a 1.5 km circuit walk along a well defined walking trail through the forest. However, when you get there, the viewing platform is a long way from the falls and the view is heavily obscured by vegetation. Access to the base of the falls along a mountain goat track down the gully wall is prohibited. The waterfall sounds are clear, but the view is not, so close your eyes and fill in the gaps with your imagination at this tranquil part of the Kinglake National Park. Wombelano Falls Above: The view of Wombelano Falls, obscured by trees, from the viewing platform (Order this image)

Number 6 in Melbourne is Sherbrooke Falls on Mount Dandenong, east of the city. The walk through the forest is first class, with dead straight, towering eucalypts that reach up to dizzying heights in this oxygen rich environment. The falls themselves (at least the visible part) are however tiny, and they shrink further when in comparison to the surrounding forest. Being able to view the upstream section of the falls from a bridge across the creek is a plus, but the lower section of the falls is obscured by vegetation. So if petite, quaint and bonzai-like are your style, these could be the falls for you. Sherbrooke Falls Above: Zooming in on quaint Sherbrooke Falls (Order this image)

The only genuine suburban waterfall in Melbourne is Number 5 in Abbotsford, roughly 5 km north-east from the city centre. Dights Falls was a natural rock bar upon which a bluestone weir was built. At only a couple of metres high and flat straight across, it is really a weir overflow rather than a waterfall. But being the only waterfall-like feature in the suburbs of Melbourne, we affectionately claim it to be a genuine waterfall. This is the only waterfall on this list that you can readily access by public transport or along one of Melbourne's bike paths. Dights Falls Above: Dights Falls - Melbourne's favourite suburban waterfall (Order this image)

For Melbourne's Number 4 waterfall it is time to head down the Mornington Peninsula to Arthurs Seat, where you will find Kings Falls. If you are down at the beach in the summer time and a storm puts a dampener on your beach plans, take in this short nature walk to a ravine that drops off the side of Arthurs Seat. The orange and black colours on the rocks are vibrant, as is the fizzle of the water running over them. These falls are only at Number 4 because they run dry much of the time, and because the two viewing areas do not allow you to get close enough to the waterfall to fully appreciate it. Kings Falls Above: Kings Falls in the rain on the Mornington Peninsula (Order this image)

Number 3 is ranked highly for its height. Masons Falls in the Kinglake National Park drops 45 metres into a ravine, similar to Kings Falls but larger in scale, both in terms of the streamflow volume and the size of the ravine. Masons Falls also boasts the best picnic facilities of the waterfalls on this list, and whilst the picnic area is back at the car park, remote from the falls, there are barbecues and undercover spaces that can cater for big family picnics or get-togethers with friends. This could have been number one, if not for the lack of up close access to the falls. Masons Falls Above: Looking into the sun at Masons Falls (Order this image)

Close to the best is Number 2 in the upper Yarra Valley at La La Falls in Warburton. It is a long way from the city centre, but not too far if you are based in the eastern suburbs. The walk through the forest here is magical, with gorgeous moss-covered stone bridges that look like perfect homes for little trolls. This waterfall is not particularly high or wide, but unlike the waterfalls above, you can touch and feel the water and breath in the waterfall mist. Park yourself down on the little bench beside the falls and enjoy. La La Falls Above: Getting up close to La La Falls in the Yarra Valley near Warburton (Order this image)

Finally my Number 1 waterfall in the Melbourne metropolitan area can be revealed and it is Olinda Falls in the Dandenong Ranges. The walk from the car park is short, but steep, so it helps to shake out the city cobwebs from your body without exhausting you for the rest of the day. The upper falls are the main attraction and have a steel footbridge that puts you directly over the creek. In summer, if the creek is running, you can dangle your feet in the water or rock hop around the little rivulets. In winter when the creek is gushing, you can watch the water bouncing around the rocks from the water's edge, or safely from the elevated viewing platform next to the creek. The sensory waterfall experience here is the best in Melbourne. There are also picnic facilities, although be aware that they are on the damp side of the mountain, so bring some damp proof coverings for the picnic tables. Olinda Falls Above: Olinda Falls - my favourite waterfall in Melbourne (Order this image)

If you want to see each of these waterfalls in action, here is a compilation video with a snapshot of each one.



I hope you can experience all of these waterfalls in Melbourne and appreciate them for their unique qualities. Before you head out, make sure to read the waterfall safety information. If you are planning a half or full day trip from Melbourne to other parts of Victoria, you can also visit waterfalls in North East Victoria, waterfalls in Western Victoria, or waterfalls in Gippsland.

© Brad Neal 2019. All rights reserved.