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Hopkins Falls, Warrnambool
Waterfall Seasons - The Waterfall Guide

Step from the car out onto several viewing platforms overlooking these wide, frothy falls in the rolling hills behind Warrnambool. They work up a lather in winter, then die down to a trickle in summer. Hopkins Falls, Warrnambool Above: Hopkins Falls (Order this image)

Visiting in winter, as I approached the falls, I was immediately excited driving over the bridge across the Hopkins River, a mere 100 metres upstream of the falls. Fortunately the bridge is only wide enough for one vehicle at a time to prevent head on collisions as you roll down the passenger side window and gawk at the water rushing down over the precipice, disappearing into a sea of mist.
Once in the car park, it is easy to get a close up view of the falls, with three elevated viewing platforms located alongside the falls that feel very close to the action. There is also a dirt path that leads down to the base of the falls, with a couple of park benches to rest a while and admire the view. Hopkins Falls, Warrnambool Above: The precipice at Hopkins Falls (Order this image)

According to the information board on site, at 100 metres across, the falls are one of the widest in Australia. When the river is flowing strongly, it fills up the whole width of these falls, creating a noisy, frothy, misty spectacular. Playful clouds of bubbles, generated from natural detergents in the water, swirled on the updrafts of wind created around the base of the falls.
Having also visited in summer, the width of the falls can work against it when the river is reduced to only a trickle. At that time, the water appears visually insignificant against the expanse of rock over which it falls. The water beneath the falls can also become fairly stagnant, with strips of algae forming on some of the rocks overhead. Hopkins Falls, Warrnambool Above: The picnic area at Hopkins Falls (Order this image)

The ease of access at these falls also extends to the small picnic area, which is located right next to the car park. There is only one bbq, but it is sheltered, and there are a couple of picnic tables and plenty of lawn area for a blanket.

Here is a video of the falls, taken in winter after steady but not torrential rainfall.

Your Seasonal Guide:
Best Time of Year to Visit:Best Time of Day to Visit:
Winter and spring, because the falls often dry up in summer and autumn. Anytime of the day is good to visit this waterfall.
Other Information Before You Go:
Location: R.A.Crothers (Hopkins Falls) Reserve, Hopkins Falls Road, Cudgee, 16 km north-east of Warrnambool and 240 km (approx. 3 hrs drive) south-west of the Melbourne CBD.
Latitude:-38.332969 Longitude:142.619167
Getting there: From the Princes Hwy west of Panmure, take Hopkins Falls Road for 8 km until you cross the Hopkins River. The falls reserve is directly on your left after crossing the bridge.

Water source: Hopkins River
Approx. height: 11 m
Approx. width: 100 m
Approx. length: Vertical drop
Swimming available at the falls: You probably could swim at the base of the falls, but the Hopkins River has a high sediment load and can get stagnant in summer, so not that attractive for swimming.
Facilities: Car park, rubbish bins, viewing platforms, public toilets, sheltered public bbq, sheltered wooden picnic platform, unsheltered picnic tables, park benches, lawn area, information board
Entrance fee: None
Opening times: Always open
Sun shade: No shade at the viewing platforms. Shade available in the picnic area.
Wheelchair access: The viewing platforms are wheelchair accessible. The picnic ground and toilets are on flat ground with no steps, but there was no signage that the toilets are wheelchair accessible and I did not go inside. The path to the base of the falls is not wheelchair accessible.
Prohibitions: No camping, no sleeping in vehicles.
Accommodation options: See my accommodation suggestions including where I stayed (as a paying guest) and some other tours and activities that I enjoyed while visiting Warrnambool.
Managing authority: Moyne Shire Council
Nearby attractions: Deep Blue Hot Springs in Warrnambool
Before you head out, make sure to read the waterfall safety information and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the location of the car park the falls. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can sometimes occur when loading, simply click or tap on "View Larger Map" below.
View Larger Map
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I camp at Hopkins Falls? No, camping is not permitted. Sleeping in your vehicle is also not permitted.

Can I swim at Hopkins Falls? Swimming is permitted, but not particularly attractive here, because of the high sediment load and because the water can become quite stagnant during warmer months.

Can I bring my dog to Hopkins Falls? Yes, dogs are permitted and can wander onto the viewing platforms with you if they are on a lead. There is a little lawn in the picnic area where you can take them for a wee. Bring your own poo bag, with a rubbish bin provided for the used bags.

Can I go fishing at Hopkins Falls? Yes, however you are more likely to catch a short-finned eel than a fish here. According to the information boards on site, the Hopkins River has brown trout, river blackfish, tupong, and common galaxias, in addition to the eels. Make sure you have a fishing licence.

How tall are Hopkins Falls? Hopkins Falls are 11 metres high, but their most impressive feature is their width, not their height.

If you have any other questions not answered above, leave a comment for me using the comment box below.
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