Trentham Falls

Wombat State Forest / Macedon Ranges / near Daylesford / Hepburn Shire, Victoria, Australia

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Trentham Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Trentham Falls was one of the more well-known and popular waterfalls in the state of Victoria. And as you can see from the photo at the top of this page, it was little wonder why this was the case. Indeed, this falls possessed that classical rectangular shape (which Julie tended to be partial to) as the Coliban River plunged some 32m over a basalt cliff. Being in close proximity to the spa and wine country of the Macedon Ranges near Daylesford, it seemed to attract Melburnian weekenders as it was around 90 minutes drive (depending on traffic) from one of Australia's largest cities. My only regret on our second visit to the falls was that we drove out here from Melbourne (pronounced like "MEL-bun") instead of spending the night in Daylesford or elsewhere in the vicinity (a suggestion that some Melburnians made us aware of after the fact). Otherwise, we could have really lived it up in Victoria's answer to Napa Valley, California.

As you might have gleaned from the paragraph above that Julie and I actually made a pair of visits to this waterfall. The first visit occurred in November 2006 when we were disappointed to see it was barely flowing over the faint hexagonal columns underlying the Coliban River. That was because most of southeastern Australia was experiencing the country's worst drought in its recorded history that consumed the better part of that decade. So this waterfall didn't really have a chance against the climate anomaly that threatened the very existence of many of the country's cities and agriculture at the time. And we really felt like we needed to come back to this part of the country under more "normal" circumstances, where that opportunity didn't present itself until 11 years later.

Anyways, as for visiting the falls, all it took was a short 150m walk from the well-signed car park down a gentle slope to an overlook at the rim of the gorge carved out by the Coliban River. As far as Parks Victoria would be concerned, that should be sufficient in terms of viewing the attractively classical waterfall. There were barricades and signage urging visitors not to proceed any further, but that didn't stop numerous other people from continuing on, which was quite easy to do as it was possible to continue walking further upslope along a road, then bypassing a gate before rejoining the walking track further beyond the barricade. After another 50m, that track would eventually junction with the spur track leading down to the base of the falls.

As of our last visit in November 2017, it appeared that this track was well-used enough that the access was improved and fairly straightforward to walk the remaining 100m right down to the base of the waterfall. When we were first here in November 2006, access to the base was a lot more difficult due to a recent landslide that wiped out a good part of the lower parts of the trail. The aftermath of this landslide was a very rough scramble through foliage with sharp thorny stems to proceed. So even though over the years the path appeared to have been corrected since that landslide, I'd imagine that to be safe, the authorities wanted this track to remain closed as they can't guarantee any further landslides wouldn't occur here.

If the overlook was the only goal of a visit here, then the difficulty score should be lower. However, I also counted the additional time to go to the unsanctioned base of the falls just to give you an idea of how compact and short a visit here ought to be.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

As we left Melbourne and headed northwest out of the city, we made a stop at the impressive Organ Pipes, which featured the kind of faint basalt columns that could be underneath Trentham FallsAs we left Melbourne and headed northwest out of the city, we made a stop at the impressive Organ Pipes, which featured the kind of faint basalt columns that could be underneath Trentham Falls
I'd imagine Trentham Falls would typically be a very popular waterfall probably because it wasn't far from the city of MelbourneI'd imagine Trentham Falls would typically be a very popular waterfall probably because it wasn't far from the city of Melbourne
Contrasting the laid back vibe of the Macedon Spa and Wine Country, Melbourne possessed more of a vibrant energy as it hosted numerous festivals and events like the Noodle Night Market shown hereContrasting the laid back vibe of the Macedon Spa and Wine Country, Melbourne possessed more of a vibrant energy as it hosted numerous festivals and events like the Noodle Night Market shown here
Further adding to the energetic vibe of Melbourne, the beach at St Kilda was quite the popular hangout spot when the weather was hot and sunny as it was when this picture was takenFurther adding to the energetic vibe of Melbourne, the beach at St Kilda was quite the popular hangout spot when the weather was hot and sunny as it was when this picture was taken
Picnic tables and a restroom facility at the Trentham Falls car parkPicnic tables and a restroom facility at the Trentham Falls car park

Julie descending this gentle ramp down towards the official lookout for Trentham FallsJulie descending this gentle ramp down towards the official lookout for the falls

Julie following along the basalt cliffs towards the official viewpoint of the Trentham FallsJulie following along the basalt cliffs towards the official viewpoint of the falls

Context of the official viewpoint of Trentham FallsContext of the official viewpoint of the falls

This was the view of Trentham Falls from the official lookout as of our most recent visit in November 2017This was the view of Trentham Falls from the official lookout as of our most recent visit in November 2017

Broad view of Trentham Falls from the official lookoutBroad view of the falls from the official lookout

To compare our first visit with our second visit, here's a photo of Trentham Falls taken from the overlook in November 2006To compare our first visit with our second visit, here's a photo of the falls taken from the overlook in November 2006

A full look at Trentham Falls from the overlook with disappointing flow in November 2006A full look at the falls from the overlook with disappointing flow in November 2006

Barricades erected to discourage or prevent people from continuing furtherBarricades erected to discourage or prevent people from continuing further

About 50m beyond the barricade, there was this signposted junction (note the closure sign was even erected out here)About 50m beyond the barricade, there was this signposted junction (note the closure sign was even erected out here)

Back in November 2006, this was about as close to Trentham Falls as we were able to get to before the landslide stopped usBack in November 2006, this was about as close to the falls as we were able to get to before the landslide stopped us

View of Trentham Falls as I was getting closer to its base where there were already dozens of people down hereView of the falls as I was getting closer to its base where there were already dozens of people down here

Looking up from the base of Trentham FallsLooking up from the base of the falls

Checking out Trentham Falls from a liitle further upstream of the plunge poolChecking out the falls from a little further upstream of the plunge pool

Last look at Trentham Falls before I headed back up. I realized by this time that the access to the base was much easier than it was back in November 2006Last look at the falls before I headed back up. I realized by this time that the access to the base was much easier than it was back in November 2006


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Left to right sweep checking out the falls from the official lookout before zooming in on the falls and following its drop towards the end


Back and forth right to left sweep of the cliffs flanking the falls before following the flow of water down over the falls towards the end


Longer video checking out the profile of the falls and the alcove behind it before scrambling further down for a more direct look at the falls


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Since we stayed in the Melbourne CBD, we'll describe the driving route that we took from there. Keep in mind that we won't be able describe all the specifics about driving through the maze of one-way streets, roundabouts, and hook turns given the inevitable traffic congestion and numerous traffic lights just to get in and out of the city.

So from the Melbourne CBD, we found our way to Elizabeth St and drove north towards Flemington Rd. At around 2km along Flemington Rd, we had a choice of turning right to go onto the CityLink Tollway (M2) or to continue on Flemington Rd to avoid paying the toll. Flemington Rd would eventually join up with the M79/M2 interchange near the Melbourne International Airport after 6.5km. From there, we took the M79 for about 58km to the Woodend exit (C324). Note that along the way just northwest of the airport was the signed turnoff for the Organ Pipes.

We then turned left to go onto Woodend Road (C324) and drove for about 1.2km before turning left onto High Street (C792). After 900m, we then turned right to go onto Forest St, which then became Tylden Rd (C317). We followed this road for 12km before turning left onto the Kyneton-Trentham Rd (C317/C318). Next, we followed this road for the next 7.5km before turning right onto Trentham Falls Rd (C317). After 2.3km driving went on Trentham Falls Rd, we then followed the signed turnoff on the right taking us the final 400m to the car park.

Overall, this drive took us 1 hour and 45 minutes (without using the CityLink Tollway) though using the M2 could have shaved off another 15-30 minutes.

For some additional context, Trentham Falls was about 22km east of Daylesford (under 30 minutes drive). Daylesford was 112km (90 minutes drive; depending on traffic) northwest of Melbourne CBD.




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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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Trentham Falls Dec 2016 
The track down to the Bottom of the falls is now closed permanently with a sign saying works vehicles only and all hand rails have been removed. But there …

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