The Erskine River rapids (also known as the Lorne rapids) is a solidified lava flow over which the Erskine River flows shortly before it reaches the sea.
The water moves in many different directions across this large slab of rock, following little crevassas and dropping into circular holes. In low flow months
you can explore the length and breadth of the rapids, following the lava rock upstream into the Little Erskine River, which bends up to the right, above the
Erskine River main stem. In high flow months it is not possible to negotiate the rapids by foot, and it is best to observe the fast flowing water from the bank
or the walking track above the river.
Above: The lava flow at the Erskine River Rapids
(Order gifts or prints of this image)
Compared to Erskine Falls, which can sometimes be overrun by tourists, there is a good chance you will have this place all to yourself. The fact that
you can immerse yourself in this site, rather than just being a passive observer, is a big plus. Leaf racing and body sliding can also be part of the experience,
but make sure you bring suitable protective gear if you are body sliding. There are plenty of flattish sections of rock for a picnic or afternoon tea next
to (or in between) the rushing waters.
You can continue on from the rapids up to the Erskine Falls around 7km further on, but the walk is uphill, so it is much easier doing it in the other direction.
Here is a video of the rapids, taken in autumn when the flow was low enough to walk across the rapids, but there was still enough flowing water
to listen to and slide around in:
Your Seasonal Guide:
|Reliable flow all year except during summer/autumn in drought years.
||Visit in the late afternoon to see the sun falling directly onto the rapids.|
Other Information Before You Go:
Erskine Falls Walking Track, Lorne.
Lorne is located along the Great Ocean Road, 140 km south west of Melbourne (approx. 1 hr and 50
minute drive). Once you arrive in Lorne, park in Erskine Avenue and then walk across the bridge or rock hop across the river to
the caravan park on the other side. Parking is available in front of the caravan park, but it is time limited. Walk alongside
the river through the caravan park until the end of the park, when the public
walking track to Erskine Falls commences. At the fork in the track about 500 m along, head down to the river, where you will see
the sign announcing the Erskine River rapids.
20 m Approx. width:
Gradual fall over 200 m
Swimming available at the falls:
Bring sun protection in the middle of the day when there is no shade on the rapids.
The managing authority recommends not walking on or sliding down the rocks for your safety.
If you are planning to stay overnight in the area you can try
accommodation in Lorne
Surf Coast Shire Council
The shallow, warm waters of the
St George River estuary
, 4 km
to the south.
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 rapids.
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.