Straw Falls was a slender but tall waterfall in a seasonal creek feeding the Erskine River. Since it was on such a thin-flowing creek, I'd imagine that seeing this waterfall flow would require some serious timing. The picture you see at the top of this page was taken during a clearing storm immediately after a couple days of rains had hit Western Victoria, including the Great Ocean Road area. The falls might only last a few days (maybe a week or two after the last significant rainfall) before it would reduce to a trickle without any further replenishing rains. It's this ephemeral or fleeting behavior that caused me to think of this falls as more of an optional side attraction to the more well-known and well-developed walk to Erskine Falls.
Given that the path to reach this waterfall almost bordered on scrambling while it was a bit of a detour from the main attraction, we made a separate writeup (i.e. this page) instead of integrating it with the Erskine Falls writeup. Julie and I actually didn't bother to visit this falls on our first visit back in November 2006, but I did manage to do this side excursion on my own in November 2017.
Starting from the same car park and trailhead as that of Erskine Falls, we descended the nearly 220m path to get to the familiar lower lookout for the Erskine Falls. Just before the built-up track ended, there was a side track to the right that initially followed along the Erskine River before crossing it to get to the other side. Needless to say, while Straw Falls may be more attractive under higher flows, the river crossing may not be trivial (or downright dangerous) under such conditions. Some poles were set up right where the path deviated from the Erskine Falls Track to indicate how high the water level can be before giving up the attempt to cross.
Once on the other side of the river, the track continued along the slick bedrock flanking the Erskine River before the dirt track picked up and meandered amongst ferns and fallen logs. The path continued on like this for the next 500m or so as I found myself ducking under some of the overgrowth while climbing over some of the fallen logs and rocks along the way. Eventually, the path opened up right before the falls on the left, and there was a sign here indicating that I had finally made it to the Straw Falls. It took me about another 30 minutes or so to get here from the end of the Erskine Falls Track.
Both Erskine Falls and Straw Falls were within a 20-minute drive further inland from the coastal town of Lorne and its beaches
The Great Ocean Road between Lorne and Apollo Bay was a very scenic stretch where it was very easy to randomly pull over and get the kind of coastal views you see pictured here
If Lorne and Apollo Bay were too busy for a Great Ocean Road coastal town, there was also Port Campbell further to the west, which was even quieter and perhaps even more beautiful as a result
Just under a couple of hours drive to the east of Lorne was the city of Melbourne, which was busy with festivals and events during our visit in November 2017, like the Noodle Night Market shown here
The start of the Straw Falls excursion pretty much coincides with the Erskine Falls Track
That means we had to descend for the first 220m or so to reach the Erskine River below
Once we made it down to the lower viewing deck for Erskine Falls, that was when we noticed an opening to the right of this lookout that led to the Straw Falls as well as some informal scrambling paths leading to the base of Erskine Falls
When I made my visit to the other waterfall, I did it alone as Julie was heading back to the car park. Notice the opening to her left, which was the trail that crossed the Erskine River and ultimately went to the Straw Falls
Looking across the Erskine River as I was about to continue towards Straw Falls. Clearly, if the Erskine River was swollen, then it would be unwise to attempt to continue past this point
As I was making my way to Straw Falls, these hikers were just wrapping up their side excursion
The Straw Falls Track was much narrower, more primitive, and more overgrown than that of the Erskine Falls Track
Looking right up at the falls in decent flow
Slightly more distant view of the falls from closer to the Erskine River
When I reeturned to the Erskine Falls vicinity, I was surprised to see that Julie didn't go up after all though she did have to do this part of the scramble prior to crossing the Erskine River
Crossing back over the Erskine River
Going all the way back up to the Erskine Falls car park
The car park for Straw Falls is the same as that of Erskine Falls. See that page for specifics on driving directions. It took us roughly 20 minutes from the town centre of Lorne to the Erskine Falls car park.
For context, Lorne was 47km (a little over an hour drive) east of Apollo Bay, 142km (under 2 hours drive) southwest of Melbourne or 68km (over an hour drive) southwest of Geelong.
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