Take in three separate waterfalls on this grassy walking trail across open plains, finishing at the 27 metre single drop waterfall of Moorabool Falls.
From the Moorabool Falls Trail car park, after only a few hundred metres the track runs alongside
Lal Lal Falls
. For those who have already visited the Lal Lal Falls picnic area on
the opposite bank, the Moorabool Falls Trail offers a different perspective, including views of the gorge wall that are not accessible from the picnic area.
Above: The grassy track to Moorabool Falls
(Order this image)
Continuing on, I was shadowed by a mob of kangaroos bounding through the grass, checking my position before disappearing under a clump of trees in the distance.
On the right hand side there are views of Lal Lal Reservoir at the base of the hills. All of the three waterfalls along this trail drain into Lal Lal Reservoir, which is part of Ballarat's water supply.
There are a couple of well positioned park benches to rest and check the city's water levels.
The second waterfall, Granite Falls, is not accessible from the walking trail. Look out for the park bench after around 1.6 km from the car park, as the trail heads north-west, away from
Lal Lal Reservoir. On my visit after heavy rainfall, Granite Falls was drowned out and was only visible as a section of turbulent water. Granite Falls is unique in that unlike both Moorabool and Lal Lal Falls,
Granite Falls flows over the underlying hard granite rock, with the overlying basalt eroded away. The falls are characterised by grey, rounded boulders with small fissures cut through the rock. Visiting
Granite Falls up close is not encouraged by the managing authority, with no defined access path down the valley wall to the falls, and notices to stay on the main path that runs along the rim of the valley.
The last stop is Moorabool Falls. Just before you reach these falls, there is an option to walk along the Salt Creek Track, which is a narrower and less well maintained trail that does not offer any
particular advantages over the main trail. At the falls there are a couple of viewing platforms at different elevations that offer clear views of the falls within close proximity of the water. On a windy day
you are near enough to feel the spray. The basalt columns are less well defined here than at Lal Lal Falls, however the ledge at the top of the falls creates a single drop that generates a fine curtain of
water. The water plunges into a swirling circular pool before heading off down the creek on its way to Granite Falls and Lal Lal Reservoir.
Above: Moorabool Falls near Ballarat
(Order this image)
On the way back, the winding path can seem a little bit tortuous given that the much shorter, straight route back to your car along Harris Road comes within sight a couple of times.
However the managing authority asks that you stick to the mown path, so enjoy the walk back and take the time to enjoy the sights a second time around.
Here is a video of the falls, taken mid-morning in early winter, when the creek was flowing well after a heavy dump of rain earlier in the week.
Your Seasonal Guide:
|Reliable flow in winter/spring. The falls can dry up in summer/autumn.
||Avoid late morning on sunny days as you might be looking directly into the sun at the viewing platform. Otherwise any time
of the day is suitable to visit.|
Other Information Before You Go:
Moorabool Falls Trail, Lal Lal Falls Reserve, off Harris Road, Lal Lal, 120 km (approx. 90 minute drive) west of the Melbourne CBD.
Coming from Melbourne, exit the Western Fwy (M8) at Ballan, head south and then west along the Ballan-Egerton Rd to
Egerton. Then continue west along the Yendon-Egerton Rd to Yendon, and then the Yendon-Lal Lal Rd to Lal Lal Falls Rd. Just before you
reach Lal Lal Falls, head down Harris Road until you see the sign for the Moorabool Falls Trail car park. It is a 2.5 km walk (one-way) from
the car park to the falls.
Moorabool River West Branch
27 m (sourced from information boards on site)
Swimming available at the falls:
Car park, viewing platform, information boards, walking track. Other facilities such as public toilets and barbecues are available
at Lal Lal Falls
, also in Lal Lal Falls Reserve.
Limited to no shade over most of the walking track
No climbing, no abseiling, no rapelling, no camping, no pets, no access to the falls beyond the viewing platform.
There is no camping at Moorabool Falls. If you are planning to stay overnight
in the area near these falls you can try the following options. All distances below are by road, not as the crow flies.
Central Highlands Water
Nearby attractions: Lal Lal Falls
, also in the Lal Lal Falls Reserve
Before you head out, make sure to read the
waterfall safety information
and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions.
Specific to this site, the managing authority warns to keep clear of cliff edges, take care of the slippery rocks, always supervise children,
beware of falling tree limbs and beware of uneven ground. The managing authority warns than the columnar basalt gorges are fragile and should not
be approached, and visitors are asked to remain on the designated track to respect the conservation values of the area.
The marker indicates the location of the car park at the start of the walk to the falls. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can occur with some browsers, simply refresh this web page.
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I'm particularly interested in your experiences after visiting, and any changes in conditions, etc.
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© Brad Neal 2021. All rights reserved.