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Moorabool Falls, Ballarat
Waterfall Seasons of Victoria - The Waterfall Guide


 
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. Moorabool Falls, Ballarat 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. Moorabool Falls, Ballarat 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:
Best Time of Year to Visit:Best Time of Day to Visit:
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:
Location: Moorabool Falls Trail, Lal Lal Falls Reserve, off Harris Road, Lal Lal, 120 km (approx. 90 minute drive) west of the Melbourne CBD.
Latitude:-37.652642 Longitude:144.034099
Getting there: 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.
Water source: Moorabool River West Branch
Approx. height: 27 m (sourced from information boards on site)

Approx. width: 5 m
Approx. length: Vertical drop
Swimming available at the falls: No
Facilities: 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.
Entrance fee: None
Opening times: Always open
Sun shade: Limited to no shade over most of the walking track
Wheelchair access: None
Prohibitions: No climbing, no abseiling, no rapelling, no camping, no pets, no access to the falls beyond the viewing platform.
Accommodation Options: There is no camping available at Moorabool Falls. If you want to stay overnight in the area, you can try accommodation near Moorabool Falls. Ballarat is only 25 km by road to the north-west of the falls.
Managing authority: 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.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the location of the car park at the start of the walk to the falls.
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