The falls are around 15 m high and 2 m across with a continuous but not torrential stream of water that exits
through a small cut gorge at one end. There are near vertical rock walls on all sides that create a beautiful little grotto. The walls are
covered in lush green ferns and moss, with lots of fallen logs and rocks scattered around that you can sit on.
Direct sunlight into the alcove only occurs in the middle of the day, when it can get quite hot due to the absence of any trees within the grotto walls.
Sunlight filters through the surrounding forest during daylight hours at other times.
Above: Marriners Falls, as accessed prior to the track closure
(Order this image)
The last 5 km of the route to Marriners Falls is a gravel road. From the car park it is a 1.7 km walk along the river.
The walk is initially through a grassy track kept mown by a herd of cows, but as you get nearer to the falls, the track
becomes quite muddy, even in summer.
There are 8 creek crossings that you can rock hop if you can keep your balance,
otherwise expect to get your feet wet up to your ankles. You may also notice the native fish darting in the water as you cross the stream.
The walk to the falls was closed by the managing authority in 2011 due to falling trees. One tourist was injured from a tree fall in 2008
and the managing authority has publicly stated that tree falls often occur along the track. The closure occurred after I last visited.
I definitely do not want people to be injured while visiting waterfalls, but personally I do not see the risk being any different to
walking through the bush, which is what you might have to do to reach this waterfall in the future.
A local woman walked
the track in 2014
in spite of the closure, and managed to make the trek. Parks Victoria have now excised any references to Marriner's Falls
in their online publications, so don't expect to find its location on their park maps anymore.
Your Seasonal Guide:
|Summer/autumn when the water level is low and the creek crossings on the way to the falls are possible.
||Visit around midday to see sunlight penetrate into the grotto|
Other Information Before You Go:
Barham River Road, 12 km inland from Apollo Bay and 190 km (approx. 2.5 hr
drive) south west of the Melbourne CBD.
Follow the sometimes confusing signs from Apollo Bay. A map from the visitor
centre in Apollo Bay is recommended. From the visitor centre, keep driving through town and
turn right up Gambier St, then left onto Barham River Rd, which you follow to the very end to
reach the car park for the start of the (now closed) walk to the falls. Apollo Bay is located along the Great
Tributary of the Barham River
15 m Approx. width:
Swimming available at the falls: Yes, I swam at the falls when the track was open
Car park, no other facilities
The falls are always open but the access track is permanently closed
No shade in the middle of the day
No cats or dogs. Access track to the falls is closed.
Apollo Bay surf beach
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 approximate location of the car park at the start of the walking trail.
I was fortunate enough to receive a comment from a relative of the woman mentioned above in the Colac Herald article:
Comment:"I am hoping that sanity prevails and Parks Victoria open this track again so I can visit (legally).
Sue McKenzie (the "local woman") was my sister. Sue was passionate about many, (many!) things, but close to her heart
were trees, nature, learning, people... and waterfalls - Wish she was here to advocate for a spot I know was in her heart."
- L. MacDonald, Victoria, Australia 23/4/2019
If you would like to leave a comment about this waterfall, please fill in the comment box below.
I'm particularly interested in your recollections of visiting prior to the track closure.
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© Brad Neal 2019. All rights reserved.