Stevenson Falls

Great Otway National Park / Colac-Otway Shire / Great Ocean Road / Barramunga, Victoria, Australia

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 2
Stevenson Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Stevenson Falls was kind of a throw-in waterfall that Julie and I treated as a bonus waterfall. It promised to be an easy and very short excursion, but when we showed up, we learned that the access to the shorter walk looked a bit flooded at the Gellibrand River crossing (see directions below). We didn't have the confidence to get through the river in our low clearance 2wd vehicle, but fortunately there was an alternate access though this meant we would have to extend our hiking here from something on the order of a few minutes into something that was more like an hour. Nonetheless, as you can see from the photo at the top of this page, the effort was well worth it.

In fact, another thing that seemed kind of uncharacteristic of waterfalls we had seen so far on our drought-ridden trip was that this one had a brownish color in its stream - the Gellibrand River. We weren't sure if the falls was permanent or seasonal, but the brown color in the river would be typically indicative of a watercourse in flood. Since we were in the midst of a severe drought throughout the southeast of Australia during our visit in November 2006, we were a bit incredulous at what we were seeing. Perhaps the strange crazy weather we had been experiencing could very well have swelled up the river to the point that it was performing very well for us (possibly muddying it up as well).

Anyways, from the alternate more distant track start (1.8km return walk), we took a path that was quite flat and easy as we passed through a partly grassy partly forested setting. Eventually, the track put us on the other side of the river crossing where shortly thereafter, we showed up to the closest car park for the Stevenson Falls.

From this official car park, we then crossed a short metal bridge over the river before going on a track that followed the Gellibrand River the rest of the way to the waterfall. We were aware in our pre-trip research that the ecosystem around the river was being rehabilitated by poisoning non-native species while replanting the area with native species. It was similar to the Mainland Island concept that some parts of New Zealand were implementing. We noticed some of this effort was manifested in the form of labeling on some of the vegetation by the track.

When we eventually reached the end of the track, we noticed there were many large boulders that blocked the view of the falls in some way shape or form. It wasn't until we were practically right in front of the waterfall beyond the boulders that we were finally able to get a clean look at the falls (as shown at the top of this page). Overall, the out-and-back hike that we did took Julie and I a little over 45 minutes. We were walking fairly fast since it was getting late in the day.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

About 91km west of Barramunga (12km east of Port Campbell) along the Great Ocean Road was the Twelve Apostles, which we thought was the signature attraction of the Great Ocean RoadAbout 91km west of Barramunga (12km east of Port Campbell) along the Great Ocean Road was the Twelve Apostles, which we thought was the signature attraction of the Great Ocean Road
Between Warnambool and Port Campbell, there were other parts of the Great Ocean Road that contained dramatic coastal scenery, and this all preceded Stevenson Falls north of Apollo BayBetween Warnambool and Port Campbell, there were other parts of the Great Ocean Road that contained dramatic coastal scenery, and this all preceded Stevenson Falls north of Apollo Bay
Incredibly, the city of Melbourne was roughly a couple of hours away from the dramatic parts of the Great Ocean Road so it's understandable why this drive is so well known in AustraliaIncredibly, the city of Melbourne was roughly a couple of hours away from the dramatic parts of the Great Ocean Road so it's understandable why this drive is so well known in Australia
The start of the track from the alternate car park by a picnic areaThe start of the track from the alternate car park by a picnic area

The alternate track started off in a somewhat open area alongside part of the Gellibrand RiverThe alternate track started off in a somewhat open area alongside part of the Gellibrand River

Continuing along the open terrain on the slightly longer track to Stevenson FallsContinuing along the open terrain on the slightly longer track to the falls

This was the other side of a ford (not sure if there was more than one) that turned us back and made us take the longer track to get hereThis was the other side of a ford (not sure if there was more than one) that turned us back and made us take the longer track to get here

A much safer crossing of the Gellibrand River beyond the closest car park for Stevenson FallsA much safer crossing of the Gellibrand River beyond the closest car park for the falls

Trail now hugging the brown Gellibrand RiverTrail now hugging the brown Gellibrand River

Massive boulder before the Stevenson FallsMassive boulder before the Stevenson Falls

Beyond the huge boulder and looking at Stevenson Falls fronted by smaller bouldersBeyond the huge boulder and look at the falls fronted by smaller boulders

Another look at Stevenson Falls from the end of the trailAnother look at Stevenson Falls from the end of the trail

Back at the open area on our way to the car parkBack at the open area on our way to the car park


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

We reached Stevenson Falls from Apollo Bay so we'll describe how we got here using that town as the starting point.

From Apollo Bay (by the Beech Forest Rd and Great Ocean Rd junction), we drove about 6km east on the Great Ocean Road (B100) before turning left onto Skenes Creek Rd. We followed Skenes Creek Rd for about 26km north (becoming Forrest-Apollo Bay Rd along the way) until we turned left at an easy-to-miss turnoff, which I believe was called Roadknight Creek Road.

After about 1.3km, we then turned left onto a state forest road, which was a narrow (practically single-lane), curvy, unsealed mountain road that ultimately headed into a camping area. At this camping area, there was a fork in the road where going left would have taken us directly to the nearest car park for the falls. Unfortunately, it forded the Gellibrand River, which was swollen when we were there. It was probably more of a dry weather only route.

So we ended up taking the fork on the right, and followed this road, which eventually went around the river towards a different car park by a picnic area. This was where we picked up the track to get us back to the other side of the ford that turned us back.

For geographical context, Apollo Bay was about 200km (over 2.5 hours drive) southwest of Melbourne along a more inland route, but it was about 189km (about 3 hours drive) southwest of Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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