Cumberland Falls flows around a giant mound of exposed rock into a circular pool, several kilometres inland from Lorne in the Great Otway
National Park. These falls are only accessible during dry weather, with four river crossings along the walking track to the falls.
Above: Cumberland Falls on the Cumberland River near Lorne
(Order this image)
The falls can be heard from some distance downstream, but first come into view when scrambling over the last hillock, from which there
is a commanding view of the falls.
Find a comfortable boulder to sit on or wander around to the angled rock shelf on the southern edge of the waterfall pool to watch the two
streams of water flow into the pool - one gently flowing to the side in a delicate fan that spreads out over the rock shelf and one crashing its way
down over rocks and fallen logs as it announces itself on the centre stage. It is also possible to climb above the falls under dry conditions and
with extreme care on the slippery rocks near the water's edge.
Above: The secondary waterfall segment at Cumberland Falls in the Otways
(Order this image)
Reaching these falls takes a little more effort than many on the Great Ocean Road, so you are more likely to be able to spend time in nature here
without bumping into too many other people, particulalry once you get past Jebb's Pool. The track was well maintained and in good condition when I visited, with the
river crossings of varying degrees of difficulty. The first and last crossings were relatively easy, but the second and third crossings were difficult to
traverse without getting at least one foot wet, so be prepared for this possibility.
Your Seasonal Guide:
|Avoid higher flow periods in winter/spring and after heavy rainfall, when it can be dangerous to cross the river. The Cumberland River
has not dried up completely in past summer/autumns, even in drought years.
||Any time of the day is fine|
Other Information Before You Go:
Cumberland River Holiday Park, Great Ocean Road, 7 km south-west of Lorne and 150 km (approx. 2 hr 15 mins) drive south west of the
Melbourne CBD. Cumberland Falls is part of the Great Otway National Park.
Lorne can be reached from either the Great Ocean Road (B100) or inland via Deans Marsh (C151). From Lorne, head south along
the Great Ocean Road until you reach the Cumberland River Holiday Park. Park in the visitor car park and follow the instructions in the text
above to reach the falls.
Swimming available at the falls: Yes, see my swim here
None at Cumberland Falls or Jebbs Pool. There are picnic tables at the visitor car park, but no public toilets. If you are staying at the holiday park,
there are a range of facilities available.
Always open except during high river flows when the track is unpassable
Shade available over the pool in the morning and middle of the day. Limited shade in the afternoon and around the edge
of the pool.
No dogs, removal of firewood prohibited
There is no camping at Cumberland Falls itself, but there are campsites and cabins at the start of the walk in the
Cumberland River Holiday Park (see link below). In the options below, all distances to the start of the walk are by road, not as the crow flies.
Nearby attractions: Jebbs Pool
, roughly 2 km to the south along the same walking track.
Before you head out, make sure to read the
waterfall safety information
and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions.
Specific to this site, the managing authority advises against trying to walk to the falls when river levels are high,
and recommends "experienced walkers only from Jebbs Pool" to Cumberland Falls. Use particular caution when using the stepping stones
to cross the river, as they can be unstable and slippery when wet, and be very careful on the sloping rock faces around the pool at the falls,
which can be slippery when wet.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the visitor carpark at the start of the walk to Cumberland Falls, noting that the walk is along the river,
not via the Cumberland Track. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can occur with some browsers, simply refresh this web page.
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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 2021. All rights reserved.