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Marriner's Falls, Apollo Bay, VIC
Waterfall Seasons of Australia - The Waterfall Guide


 
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. Marriners Falls near Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road Above: Marriners Falls, as accessed prior to the track closure (Order gifts or prints of 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:
Best Time of Year to Visit:Best Time of Day to Visit:
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:
Location: Barham River Road, 12 km inland from Apollo Bay and 190 km (approx. 2.5 hr drive) south west of the Melbourne CBD.
Latitude: -38.715992 Longitude: 143.641047
Getting there: 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 Ocean Road.
Water source: Tributary of the Barham River
Approx. height: 15 m     Approx. width: 2 m

Approx. length: Vertical drop
Swimming available at the falls: Yes, I swam at the falls when the track was open
Facilities: Car park, no other facilities
Entrance fee: None
Opening times: The falls are always open but the access track is permanently closed
Sun shade: No shade in the middle of the day
Wheelchair access: None
Prohibitions: No cats or dogs. Access track to the falls is closed.
Managing authority: Parks Victoria
Nearby attractions: 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.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the car park at the start of the walking trail.
Comments:
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

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