Kalymna Falls was one of those waterfalls that had eluded us over the years. The first time we attempted to come here in November 2006, there was a total fire ban so there was a gate blocking access to its trailhead. On a subsequent visit 11 years later, we only considered coming here when we saw that a fairly heavy rain storm revived many of the "minor" waterfalls (basically those with temporary flows of a few weeks or less between significant rains) in the Grampians National Park. So that effect, I considered this 20-25m segmented waterfall in that "minor" category, and this was further corroborated when we finally did get to have a successful visit and observe its slender segmented appearance as you can see in the photo at the top of this page.
Compared with most of the waterfalls in the Grampians National Park, this one felt like it was the most out-of-the-way since it required leaving the park boundaries then re-entering from the east via the route to Mt Williams (see directions below). Thus, this excursion had that wilderness feeling that we really were far from the most touristed spots in the reserve. The 3km return hike, which was somewhat moderately uphill on the way there, took us about 75 minutes to complete. Perhaps the hardest part of this excursion was driving here after being led astray by our GPS on several occasions due to the maze of backroads in the Eastern Grampians.
From the Mt William Picnic Ground and Kalymna Falls Campground, we crossed an overflowing section of Mt William Creek, which was a fairly tame rock hop before getting onto the former 4wd track that would comprise most of the hike to the falls. After a fairly flat and mostly gradual ascent for the first 500m, we encountered a signed fork, where we had to keep left on the 4wd track to continue to the falls. Beyond this sign, the track climbed more steeply and somewhat relentlessly for the next 700m or so, and this stretch was the most time consuming. Throughout the hike, we saw dark trees that had obviously been part of a bush fire or two. Beneath these trees were ferns and new sproutlings that would undoubtedly take their place as the main forest vegetation in the years to come.
The track continued its climb as the imposing knob of Mt William became more into view even despite the low hanging rain clouds that still lingered in the area during our visit. After about 1.3km from the car park, we then followed a signposted spur track to our right that descended down a narrower and more overgrown path right down to the base of the Kalymna Falls and its reddish cliffs. This was our turnaround point, and after all the uphill climbing it took to get here, Julie and I looked forward to riding the momentum of the mostly downhill track on the return to the car park. We didn't continue up to the peak of Mt William, which was closed anyways during our visit.
The shapely mountains of Mt Abrupt and Mt Sturgeon backed the town of Dunkeld, which was further south from our Kalymna Falls detour on our way to Hamilton from Halls Gap
Staying in one of the accommodations in Halls Gap yielded some unexpected benefits like seeing these kangaroos happily grazing at the Halls Gap Recreation Oval
Off the C222 between Halls Gap and Zumsteins was the Reeds Lookout area, which featured expansive panoramic views like this one towards some kind of lookout tower and the rugged scenery below
Finally making it to the car park, picnic ground, and campground for the falls
The track started behind this gate, where there was a short rocky stream crossing immediately behind it
Shortly after the short overflowing stream crossing, we noticed this water tank
Now on the hiking track to the falls, which appeared to be a former 4wd road
Approaching a signposted fork at about the 400m point of the hike
Beyond the signed fork, the next 750m or so was mostly uphill
The uphill climb was somewhat moderate in grade but it consumed most of the time we spent on this excursion
With so much peace and quiet in this more remote part of the Grampians, we couldn't help but notice birdsongs breaking the silence of the forest. This green bird was one such character breaking the silence
Continuing on the uphill hike towards the falls
That knob in the distance was probably the peak of Mt William. Clearly on a cloudy day like today, it wasn't feasible to get views from there, but the track to get there from Kalymna Falls was closed anyways
Approaching the signed fork telling us to leave the 4wd track and descend to the falls
The final leg of the hike was considerably narrower and more overgrown than hiking on the 4wd track
Finally arriving at the Kalymna Falls
Julie scrambling closer to the bottom of the falls for a closer look
Looking up at the falls from its base
The return hike to the car park was pretty much all downhill
To save you from the trouble of fighting with the GPS (which we had to contend with on our visit) in reaching this waterfall from Halls Gap, Stawell, or Ararat, I'm going to describe the easiest route even though it may not be the shortest distance-wise. The key is to first reach the town of Moyston along the C222 Road. From Halls Gap, we would follow the C222 for about 33km to the east to get to Moyston. From Ararat, it would be a little over 15km to the west of town along the C222. From Stawell, it's probably easiest to take the A8 southeast to Ararat, then follow the C222 to Moyston.
From Moyston, we'd then follow the Moyston-Dunkeld Road to the west-southwest for about 10km. Then, we'd follow the Kalymna Falls Campground sign, which pointed us to the right to go onto the Mt William Picnic Ground Road. After about 3km, there was a four-way intersection where the route to the falls continued straight on.
There was also a gate there that was closed on our first visit due to a total fire ban (something worth inquiring about at the Halls Gap Visitor Centre to save you the trouble of driving here only to be turned back by the closure). After another 2.5km beyond the four-way intersection, the road (which became increasingly rougher and more rutted) ended at the Kalymna Falls Campground or the Mt William Picnic Ground.
Although our frustrating detour took us about 45 minutes from Halls Gap via a confusing and unsigned detour that went directly south from Pomonal, we could have saved ourselves a bit of wear and tear on the rental car and perhaps shaved off another 10 minutes by taking the slightly longer way we're recommending above.
For geographical context, Halls Gap was about 28km (under 30 minutes drive) west of Stawell, 75km (over an hour drive) southeast of Horsham, 50km (about 45 minutes drive) west of Ararat, and 96km (over an hour drive) north of Hamilton. Melbourne was roughly 205km (2 hours 15 minutes drive) east of Ararat and 300km (about 3.5 hours drive) east of Horsham.
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