Marriners Falls

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

Rating: 1     Difficulty: 2
Marriners Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Marriners Falls was a small but quaint 7m waterfall nestled in the forest lands in back of the coastal town of Apollo Bay. It was the last waterfall we were able to squeeze in on a day when we visited at least five others before darkness fell. Being on the Barham River East Branch, it seemed to have pretty reliable flow though we were also helped by a few consecutive days of a freak Antarctic storm that seemed to dump more rain in the Otways than anywhere else in Victoria. That said, our visit here in November 2006 was in the midst of a major drought in the southeast of Australia so the waterflow we witnessed here was definitely not the norm compared to our other waterfalling experiences throughout the state.

The thing about accessing this waterfall was that we had to earn it with a relatively long one-hour walk (roughly 3.4km round trip) involving several stream crossings (we counted about 5). We followed the signs and the track was pretty straightforward to follow so we knew exactly where we were supposed to cross the river each time. Fortunately, most of these crossings involved just a bit of nifty boulder hopping to keep our feet dry though we did come prepared with some trekking poles to make these stream crossings even more of a breeze.

Given the fairly primitive nature of the track and even the unsealed access roads to get here, we felt like we were in an area that wasn't very well visited. The area was surrounded by a native growth rainforest more typical of the Otways and contrasted mightily with the beach town vibe of Apollo Bay. Then again, given its close proximity to the coastal town, I reckon it ought to be a very popular spot, and we just happened to be there towards the end of the day when it was rather quiet.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Marriners Falls was nestled along the Barham River Road behind Apollo Bay, which was an attractive beach town on the Great Ocean RoadMarriners Falls was nestled along the Barham River Road behind Apollo Bay, which was an attractive beach town on the Great Ocean Road
About 92km west of Apollo Bay (12km east of Port Campbell) along the Great Ocean Road was the Twelve Apostles, which in addition to the sea stacks had some interesting arches and caves like this oneAbout 92km west of Apollo Bay (12km east of Port Campbell) along the Great Ocean Road was the Twelve Apostles, which in addition to the sea stacks had some interesting arches and caves like this one
East of Apollo Bay was Carisbrook Falls, which was right off the Great Ocean RoadEast of Apollo Bay was Carisbrook Falls, which was right off the Great Ocean Road
This was the famous view of the Twelve Apostles, which was the signature landmark of the Great Ocean Road near Port Campbell (further west of Apollo Bay)This was the famous view of the Twelve Apostles, which was the signature landmark of the Great Ocean Road near Port Campbell (further west of Apollo Bay)
The car park at the end of the Barham River Road for Marriners FallsThe car park at the end of the Barham River Road for the falls

As of November 2017 (11 years after our first visit here), I tried to come back to the Marriners Falls to see how much had changed, and I was surprised to see that the track was closedAs of November 2017 (11 years after our first visit here), I tried to come back to the falls to see how much had changed, and I was surprised to see that the track was closed

Looking at the Marriners Falls Track past the closure signs at the car park. The rest of the photos on this page will just serve as a reminder of what this place used to be likeLooking at the falls track past the closure signs at the car park. The rest of the photos on this page will just serve as a reminder of what this place used to be like

Sign at the trailhead for Marriners Falls telling us what we were in forSign at the trailhead for the falls telling us what we were in for

This paper sign was not kidding about the river crossingsThis paper sign was not kidding about the river crossings

Julie getting past the first stream crossing which had lined up boulders making this crossing easyJulie getting past the first stream crossing which had lined up boulders making this crossing easy

Julie on a stream crossing making use of the trekking poles to keep her balanceJulie on a stream crossing making use of the trekking poles to keep her balance

Heaps of flowers in bloom alongside the trailHeaps of flowers in bloom alongside the trail

Julie on another stream crossingJulie on another stream crossing

Julie on one of the easier stream crossingsJulie on one of the easier stream crossings

Julie going right up to Marriners FallsJulie going right up to Marriners Falls

Closer look at the Marriners FallsCloser look at the falls


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From the Great Ocean Road in Apollo Bay, we'll describe the most straightforward route. First, we took Nelson St (just south of the main drag through town) inland for a few blocks (about 600m) to MacLachlan St. Turning left onto MacLachlan St, we then drove out of Apollo Bay as the road became the Barham River Rd. We pretty much continued on the Barham River Road to its end about 12km later. For the last 5-6km, the road was almost single-lane unsealed road so we had to be careful about blind turns and fast cars (usually locals who know these roads) going the other way.

This drive took us roughly about 20 minutes.

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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RELATED PAGES



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