Trentham Falls

Wombat State Forest / Ballarat Division / Macedon Ranges / Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Trentham Falls
We came to Trentham Falls with a bit of anticipation and hope considering that it seemed to be one of Victoria's more famous waterfalls. Some of that notoriety could be due to its claim to be the tallest single-drop waterfall in the state where the Coliban River would plunge 32m. It was also roughly 90 minutes drive from Melbourne (pronounced like "MEL-bun") to get here so perhaps its relative close proximity to the city meant high volumes of visitors. Of course, those statements would ring true under more normal conditions, but our visit happened to be during one of Australia's worst droughts in November 2006. Thus, we saw the falls in a rather disappointing state and consequently there were few visitors here.

A very noticeable feature about this waterfall was the intriguing basalt cliff formations giving rise to the falls' plunge. Since we visited Trentham Falls shortly after visiting the Organ Pipes, it seemed fitting to see the faint hexagonal columns exposed to the elements. Even though Julie and I had seen basalt columns in other parts of the world, the ones here seemed to be more distintive in that the cliffs were more brownish and red in color (as opposed to black or grey).

From the car park (see directions below), it didn't take long before we started to get top down views of the falls, The views improved the further downstream along the cliffs that we walked, but we wanted to get all the way to the base for the best unobstructed views. Eventually, we reached a junction where a spur path went right down to the base of the falls. However, this spur trail was closed during our visit. Apparently, there was a landslide that wiped out a good part of the lower parts of the trail. The aftermath of the landslide was a very rough scramble through foliage with sharp thorny stems with the possibility of continued cliff instability (so for sure you'd be going down there at your own risk).

So in the end, we never really got a clean view of Trentham Falls, but we did get slightly better views past the trail barricade (but not past the landslide). Nonetheless, I'd imagine we're due for a return trip to the falls under more benign conditions and perhaps that might finally enable us to bump up its scenic rating score, which we acknowledge was quite harsh given how it should normally flow.

Directions: From the Melbourne CBD, we found our way north to Hwy 79 westbound. Although this was by no means the best way to get there, the route we took to get to Hwy 79 was to go north on Elizabeth St becoming Royal Pde then Sydney Rd. We then went left onto Bell St (Hwy 40), which then junctioned with Hwy 79 (Calder Fwy).

About 10.5km on the Calder Fwy northwest of the M80 was the Organ Pipes National Park, which was a worthwhile detour on the way to Trentham Falls. About 43km north on the Calder Fwy (M79) was the Woodend Rd (C324) exit in the town of Woodend. Going left at the exit, continue on Woodend Rd then turn left onto the A79 before turning right onto Forest St (C317). Follow the C317 for 22km to the turnoff for the falls on the right. The car park was at the end of the turnoff.




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PHOTO JOURNAL
The impressive Organ Pipes just northwest of the city of Melbourne on the way to Trentham Falls
Trentham Falls would typically be a very popular waterfall probably because it wasn't far from the city of Melbourne
Looking down at the Trentham Falls from the cliffLooking down at the falls from the cliff

Our first full look at Trentham Falls with disappointing flowOur first full look at the falls with disappointing flow

This was about as close to Trentham Falls as we were able to get to before the landslide stopped usThis was about as close to the falls as we were able to get to before the landslide stopped us

The sun started to make its appearance while we were at Trentham FallsThe sun started to make its appearance while we were at the falls

Zoomed in look at Trentham FallsZoomed in look at the falls


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS



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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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