Triplet Falls

Great Otway National Park / Colac-Otway Shire / Beech Forest, Victoria, Australia

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 2
Triplet Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



[Back to top]

INTRODUCTION

Triplet Falls far exceeded our expectations as Julie and I were becoming conditioned to think that just about all the waterfalls west of Melbourne would be dry or trickling during our drought-stricken November 2006 visit in the southeast of Australia. However, as you can see from the photo at the top of this page, the falls was flowing quite well, living up to its name as we could clearly see three segments running side-by-side amidst the lush and dense native growth. On a subsequent trip in November 2017, Young Creek actually had a little less water despite the area not being as affected by drought compared to that first visit. In any case, of the three columns of water, only the far right one yielded the most unobstructed views as the other two were somewhat covered by the foliage. We also needed a wide angle lens to try to capture all three falls in one shot.

Regarding the flow of the falls, we were in the midst of some wild Antarctic weather on our first visit. It was even raining during that first visit, which might have explained why it had better flow than it did on our second visit 11 years later. With the Otways having a reputation of being one of the rainier spots in Victoria (in fact, Young Creek was said to have been sourced by Weeaproinah, the wettest region of Victoria and most known for the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk), I believe that Young Creek and the Triplet Falls would tend to have pretty reliable flow with the difference being how many segments we'd be seeing.

In order to visit the falls, we had to go on a 2km clockwise loop walk. According to the signage, the walk was said to take about an hour to complete, which was pretty spot on based on the duration of each of our visits. The track started off with a steep descent down several steps leading us well into the depths of the old growth forest as we were flanked by tall trees and ferns (usually a good indicator that we were in a high rainfall area). After about 400-500m into the hike, most of the descent was over and we passed by a signed trail junction with the Little Aire Falls Track.

We didn't pursue the Little Aire Falls in any of our visits to the Triplet Falls (as it would have extended the hike by another 90 minutes) so we continued along the forest floor as the track made its gradual loop before descending a few more series of steps revealing Young Creek. At around 1.2km from the start (another 200m beyond a misleading sign indicating a lookout with a view of the falls), we finally arrived at the actual lookout for the Triplet Falls. It was from here that we were able to get the views you see pictured at the top of this page.

Beyond the lookout for the falls, the track then ascended a steep series of steps as it meandered alongside the sloping watercourse of Young Creek. At about 300m beyond the falls lookout (or 1.5km from the start of the loop), we encountered relics of an early 1900s operation known as the Knotts No.1 sawmill. It appeared that the forest reclaimed the area we couldn't see much of the former operation besides the old relics. However, it was said that the sawmill here operated for more than 20 years. So given the history of deforestation that occurred in a place as pristine as the Otways, it was hard to believe that Triplet Falls was the site of vandalism in 2003 when loggers chainsawed a chunk of the native forest and forced the closure of the track.

It was rumoured that the incident may have been a result of the ongoing battle between those in favor of preserving and expanding the native forests versus those who want to continue logging to sustain or produce income. Fortunately for us, the walk was re-opened by the time we arrived on our first visit in November 2006. In fact, in either of our experiences here, we couldn't see any evidence of the chainsaw attack that caused the closure in the first place.

Nevertheless, such conflicts between profit and the health of our ecosystems point to an inherent dysfunction in our economic policies that create perverse financial incentives to pursue short term profits at the expense of long term sustainability. In this instance, by not properly pricing in the impacts or resulting clean-up of said economic activities, people are often at odds with themselves and each other making such a choice between money to sustain modern living whilst destroying the land that sustains them or forsaking profit opportunities based on principles only to have someone else seize such opportunities instead.

Beyond the relics, the track continued along metal bridges and tracks designed to minimize the impact of foot traffic on the fragile soil. Eventually after the remaining 500m, we regained the original start of the track to complete the loop walk.




[Back to top]

PHOTO JOURNAL

We went to Triplet Falls after leaving Port Campbell, and about 12km east of the town along the Great Ocean Road was the Twelve Apostles, which we thought was the signature attraction of the roadWe went to Triplet Falls after leaving Port Campbell, and about 12km east of the town along the Great Ocean Road was the Twelve Apostles, which we thought was the signature attraction of the road
About 7km west of Port Campbell was the London Bridge Arch, which used to look like the one in the UK, but one arch collapsed years ago and now looked like what was in this photoAbout 7km west of Port Campbell was the London Bridge Arch, which used to look like the one in the UK, but one arch collapsed years ago and now looked like what was in this photo
Roughly 4km before the car park for Triplet Falls was the Otway Fly, which was said to be the tallest tree top walk in the world and provided a unique perspective of the Otway RainforestRoughly 4km before the car park for Triplet Falls was the Otway Fly, which was said to be the tallest tree top walk in the world and provided a unique perspective of the Otway Rainforest
Around 3km east of the Twelve Apostles was the Loch Ard Gorge, which was another dramatic section of the Great Ocean Road. The Island Arch shown here collapsed in 2009Around 3km east of the Twelve Apostles was the Loch Ard Gorge, which was another dramatic section of the Great Ocean Road. The Island Arch shown here collapsed in 2009
A look at the spaciousness of the Triplet Falls car parkA look at the spaciousness of the car park

The start of the loop track to Triplet FallsThe start of the loop track to the falls

The arrow at this junction encouraged us to do the walk in a clockwise mannerThe arrow at this junction encouraged us to do the walk in a clockwise manner

Julie descending into the forest along the Triplet Falls Loop TrackJulie descending into the forest along the loop track

Julie donning a rain poncho due to the rain whilst descending down the stairs into the rainforest. This photo was taken during our first visit back in November 2006Julie donning a rain poncho due to the rain whilst descending down the stairs into the rainforest. This photo was taken during our first visit back in November 2006

Julie continuing the long descent towards the forest floor en route to Triplet FallsJulie continuing the long descent towards the forest floor en route to the falls

Forsaking the Little Aire Falls Track and continuing on the loop walk to Triplet FallsForsaking the Little Aire Falls Track and continuing on the loop walk to Triplet Falls

The track was now flanked by tall trees and lots of ferns on the forest floorThe track was now flanked by tall trees and lots of ferns on the forest floor

The track continued to descend, which made us keenly aware that we'd have to get back all this elevation towards the end of the loopThe track continued to descend, which made us keenly aware that we'd have to get back all this elevation towards the end of the loop

Julie on the flat metal grate portion of the rainforest track. The metal grating was necessary to reduce the impact of foot traffic on the fragile soilJulie on the flat metal grate portion of the rainforest track. The metal grating was necessary to reduce the impact of foot traffic on the fragile soil.

A misleading sign made us believe that we were supposed to see Triplet Falls at this viewing deckA misleading sign made us believe that we were supposed to see Triplet Falls at this viewing deck

Looking towards Young Creek as we were getting closer to Triplet FallsLooking towards Young Creek as we were getting closer to the falls

Julie checking out Triplet Falls from the official viewing deckJulie checking out Triplet Falls from the official viewing deck

Broad look at the entirety of Triplet Falls except the middle tier appeared to be the least visible of the bunchBroad look at the entirety of Triplet Falls except the middle tier appeared to be the least visible of the bunch

Looking at the far right drop of the Triplet FallsLooking at the far right drop of the Triplet Falls

Looking towards the more hidden segments of Triplet Falls as we were ascending back up to the car parkLooking towards the more hidden segments of Triplet Falls as we were ascending back up to the car park

Right after the viewing area for Triplet Falls, we had to get back all that elevation loss in a long series of stepsRight after the viewing area for Triplet Falls, we had to get back all that elevation loss in a long series of steps

We had to traverse metal bridges like this one on the final leg of the loop walkWe had to traverse metal bridges like this one on the final leg of the loop walk

When we made it back to the car park for Triplet Falls, there were a lot more cars parked here than before when we were the only onesWhen we made it back to the car park, there were a lot more cars parked here than before when we were the only ones


[Back to top]

VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Examining the segments of the falls from the main lookout


[Back to top]

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

We'll describe the driving route from Port Campbell via Lavers Hill to the west and Apollo Bay via Beech Forest to the east. Both approaches minimize the amount of unsealed driving. That said, there was an even shorter route coming from Apollo Bay going through the Aire Valley involving mostly unsealed roads. We'll describe that route last.

From Port Campbell, we drove about 51km (taking about an hour) on the Great Ocean Road (B100) towards Lavers Hill. At a junction, we then continued east as we left the Great Ocean Road (B100) and continued on the C155 (Colac-Lavers Hill Road) for another 15km towards a signed turnoff on the right. After a little over 7km on the Phillips Track Road, we descended to the dead-end where the car park for Triplet Falls was.

Along the Phillips Track, we saw the car park for the Otway after around 3.7km and the last 2km before the car park for the falls was unsealed. Overall, this drive took us roughly an hour (not counting some road construction delay that costed us 15 minutes).

From Apollo Bay, we'd drive east on the Great Ocean Road for over 5km to Skenes Creek. We'd then turn left onto the Skenes Creek Road (C119) and follow this twisty road north for under 15km before turning left onto the Turtons Track Road (C159). We'd then follow this narrow and winding road for the next 21km (passing by Beech Forest in 17.5km) before turning left at the sign for the Phillips Track Road. Once on this turnoff, we'd follow the Phillips Track Road to its end as described above.

Finally, from Apollo Bay, the shortest route but one requiring the most unsealed driving involved taking the Great Ocean Road (B100) west for about 13km before turning right onto the unsealed Binns Road. We'd continue on the Binns Road for about 20km before turning left onto the Beech Forest-Mt Sabine Road (C159). We'd then continue on the C159 due west for 5km (passing through Beech Forest en route) before turning left onto Phillips Track and following the directions to its end as above.

For context, Port Campbell was about 61km (about an hour drive) east of Warrnambool, 98km (over 90 minutes drive) west of Apollo Bay, 227km (2.5 hours drive via the M1 and A1) west of Melbourne taking the inland route, and 291km (4.5 hours drive) west of Melbourne taking the Great Ocean Road.




[Back to top]

ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




[Back to top]

MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





[Back to top]

TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




[Back to top]

TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




[Back to top]

NEARBY WATERFALLS




[Back to top]

RELATED PAGES



Have You Been To This Waterfall?

Share your experience!

Click here to see visitor comments for this waterfall

Click here to see visitor comments for other waterfalls that we've visited in this region

Click here to go to the Comments Main Page

You can use the form below, but if you find our host's interface too troublesome to use (especially if you're trying to upload photos), then just send a text submission anyways using the form, but also let us know that you'd like to attach photos. If you've provided an email address via the form, then we can reply back acknowledging your request, and you can then reply to that email with your photo attachments. We're very sorry about this, but there's not much we can do about SBI's terrible interface.



[Back to top]

[Go to the Victoria Waterfalls Page]

[Go to the Australia Page]


[Return from Triplet Falls to the World of Waterfalls Home Page]