The river at Turpins Falls flows over a wide, high rock wall that surrounds the downstream pool on three sides. During my visits, the falls have ranged from a gentle trickle to a small but steady stream, but they can
produce a torrent of water after heavy rain. During moderate flow conditions, the falls split into two streams. There is a viewing platform at the top of the falls
and you can also walk down to the base of the pool directly in front of the falls.
Above: Turpins Falls
(Order this image)
The falls could easily be a significant tourist attraction in the region, such is the impressive size of the rock ledge over which
the falls flow, but road access and signage (although it has improved over time) is poor. You may need to rely on a GPS or map to get here.
The steps down to the falls are quite steep, and there are also some rocks to scramble over to reach the water's edge. I really enjoy the colours embedded in the rock formation,
and the sense of enclosure at the water's edge. Turpins Falls are probably one of Victoria's best examples of a basalt column waterfall.
On one visit here, I came across a snake in the water, on its way across the pool to sun itself on the rocks on the opposite side. Whilst snakes
will generally avoid rather than confront people, and this one avoided me despite being quite close, I'd suggest wearing enclosed footwear on the way down the steps
and to the water.
Above: Turpins Falls billabong
(Order this image)
The managing authority sometimes closes the track down to the base of the falls in Autumn if water levels are very low, so check with them before
heading out in Autumn. The falls have been a popular cliff diving location, but after a spate of deaths and severe head/spinal injuries, the managing authority has prohibited the practice.
Low visibility in the water means that it is impossible to see underwater hazards and further deaths and injuries from jumping/diving would be difficult to prevent.
Here is a video of the falls taken in early winter after light rainfall in the area, including some speculation on one of the greatest mysteries at the falls.
The falls were flowing, but not gushing, with the pool completely full:
Your Seasonal Guide:
|Reliable flow in winter/spring. The falls can dry up in summer/autumn and the managing authority
occasionally closes the falls in Autumn if the billabong is very shallow.
||Visit early morning to mid afternoon to see the falls and the billabong in full sun.|
Other Information Before You Go:
Shillidays Road, Langley, 100 km (approx. 70 minute drive) north-west of the Melbourne CBD.
Exit north from the Calder Fwy at the Edgecombe Rd (C326) turnoff near Kyneton. Travel for 11 km then turn left at
the East Metcalfe-Langley Road. Follow this road for 4 km, crossing the Campaspe River, then turn right at Shillidays Road. The Turpins Falls
turnoff is 1.3 km further, on the right hand side. Roads near the falls are dirt road, but accessible to 2WD vehicles.
1-15 m, depending on flow conditions
Swimming available at the falls: Yes
Car park. No other facilities, so bring a spare plastic bag to take your rubbish home with you
Plenty of eucalypts
No jumping or diving off the falls, no camping
Camping is not permitted at Turpins Falls. If you want to stay overnight near these falls, you can try the following options.
All distances below are by road, not as the crow flies.
Historic town of Kyneton
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 car park at the falls. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can occur with some browsers, simply refresh this web page.
View Larger Map
Here is one visitor to the falls who had a slightly spooky experience in the water that adds to the mystery of this spot:
Comment:"When we were treading water at the falls, I (and our friend who had decided to
watch us at the shore also saw) saw something rather sizeable bubble from the depths, kind of nearby at the middle
of the pool. I saw it bubble at least twice (my friend at the shore said she saw it at least three times), I stayed to
see if anyone would submerge because I had seen some reckless people diving from the top, but no one was swimming there.
I was wondering if you knew of any creatures living in the water? I remember freaking out and gently nudging my sister,
back down the wall so we could leave, since she had not seen the bubbling. I did also have something brush by my leg and foot,
and I did not look down to see what it would be...I kicked at it immediately and decided to brush it off as just plants since
my imagination motor was already running to ridiculous conclusions. I am forever curious about mysterious places, and this
particular lake was indeed a mystery, engulfed in murky darkness. God knows what lurks down in the depths."
- Audrey from Box Hill, Victoria, Australia 29/3/2020
This was a paraphrased version of Audrey's experience, and adds to the peculiar vibe that
can surround this place at times. Away from the edge, anything brushing your leg in the middle of the pool would definitely
not have been plants, because the water is too deep and turbid. I have been brushed by a large fish in a nearby waterfall
pool with similarly murky water, and it freaked me out too, so it could have been a fish. On the bubbles, hmmm, that is
weird. Sometimes bottom dwelling creatures and/or bacteria can release gases into the water column, but when the bubbles come in
threes, I wonder whether they could have been deliberate?!
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 2021. All rights reserved.