Dights Falls was originally a natural rock barrier in the Yarra River that was first converted into a weir in the 1840s. The purpose of the weir was to
divert water to drive a flour mill on the northern bank of the river. Remants of the old mill and the water race are still evident at the site. The
weir has been modified several times, including the construction of a fishway, viewing platform and shoring up of the weir in 2012.
Above: A tree stump lodged in Dights Falls
(Order this image)
The falls are short in height, but they are the only waterfalls on offer in inner Melbourne. The site is reasonably picturesque if you can ignore the
muffled drone of cars on the nearby Eastern Freeway. There is plenty of bird life and native vegetation around. The exposed geological folds of the rock hill
opposite are also worth a look for budding geologists. The site is popular with inner city kayakers wanting to train against a strong, turbulent current
of water, but genuine picnickers are few and far between. Most people take a look around and then move on shortly after.
My favourite time to visit is just after the rain has stopped when the river is in flood. You can watch the cormorants drying out their wings on the bike path,
which is usually cut off in floods. Walk up to the junction of Merri Creek where you can see the grey soup from Merri Creek mixing with the brown mud of the
The falls can be viewed from any angle on the northern side of the river, including from the viewing platform beside the falls.
You can also view the falls from the walking trail above the southern side of the falls. You cannot touch the waterfall because of a viewing platform blocking
access to the water. Prior to the construction of the viewing platform you could walk out along the bluestone wall during summer and autumn low flow periods.
Here is a video of the falls, taken on a sunny spring morning, when the Yarra River was high, but not in flood:
Your Seasonal Guide:
|Reliable flow all year due to upstream flow regulation at Upper Yarra Reservoir
||Visit in the afternoon to see the falls in full sun|
Other Information Before You Go:
Trenerry Crescent, Abbotsford, 5 km north east of the Melbourne CBD
Ride your bike along the Yarra Trail from Flinders Street Station; or take the train to Victoria Park station
and walk 900 metres north along Lulie St to Abbot St and then left on Trenerry Crescent; or drive along Johnstone St to Trenerry
Crescent. The car park for the falls is just around the 90 degree bend in Trenerry Crescent. Note that you cannot turn right
into Johnstone St from Hoddle St during morning and evening peak hours. You can also view the falls from walking tracks off Yarra Boulevard on the southern
side of the falls.
2 m Approx. width:
Swimming available at the falls:
Viewing platform, toilets, bike path, sheltered picnic tables, information boards, boat ramp
Limited to no shade at the falls. Shade available in picnic areas away from the falls.
Yes, including accessible toilets
Dogs must be on a leash and BYO pooper scooper. Swimming is not advised by the managing authority.
There is no camping at Dights Falls. If you are visiting Melbourne and want to stay near these falls, you can try
accommodation in nearby Abbotsford
Visit Collingwood's former AFL footy home ground at Victoria Park
or walk/ride directly upstream of the falls to visit the Yarra River at Deep Rock
, home to a former
swimming pool and cliff diving site in the Yarra River.
Before you head out, make sure to read the
waterfall safety information
and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions.
The marker indicates the location of the falls.
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 2019. All rights reserved.