Woolshed Falls

Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park / near Wangaratta / near Albury-Wodonga / near Beechworth / Indigo Shire, Victoria, Australia

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 1
Woolshed Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Woolshed Falls was a cascading waterfall over a granite surface that gave it an interesting multi-tiered characteristic. While the falls itself was attractive and reason alone to make a visit, it was actually an important part of Australia's European settlement history, especially when it came to gold (discovered in the area at the end of 1852) and later the modernization of Victorian bushlands. Aided by favorable geology as the waterfall's plunge pool collected alluvial gold from further upstream throughout Woolshed Valley, this was ultimately the site of the establishment of what would become the Woolshed Goldfields (one of the richest and most significant in the history of Victoria). Although Spring Creek (also known as Reids Creek at the falls) appeared to have been restored by the time we made our visits, prospectors used to divert Spring Creek past the waterfall's plunge pool to facilitate the extraction of gold. According to the maps, the creek was renamed Reedy Creek beyond the gold-rich plunge pool.

The Woolshed Valley was also the site of the beginning of the chain of events that would end in Ned Kelly's last stand in Glenrowan. The event that was the beginning of the end of the bushrangers' resistance to succumbing to the crown (i.e. the police, the Victorian government, and ultimately the British Empire) was the killing of Aaron Sherritt by Joe Byrne both of whom were bushrangers growing up in Woolshed. The rationale for the killing was that Byrne suspected Sherritt of spying for the police. Ned Kelly and his band of bushrangers were controversial folk heroes representing the last of the wild Victorian bushlands. In that vain, he was seen as sort of a revolutionary Australian Robin Hood or Che Guevara figure and glorified in the arts to this day.

As alluded to earlier, we've made a couple of visits to this waterfall. The first visit took place in November 2006 when we witnessed for the first time the adverse effect of the Great Australian Drought that dominated that decade. Even though the waterfall was flowing at the time, Spring Creek's low flow left much to be desired. I made a return visit in November 2017 and Spring Creek (or Reids Creek) was flowing much better, which you can see in the photo at the top of this page. I suspect that this state of the waterfall would be average flow in a non-drought year although that visit was said to have taken place after an unusually dry and warm Winter and Spring.

The most obvious way to experience the falls was from an overlook at the end of the McFeeters Rd (see directions below). I was also able to do a short walk from the main car park to the top of the lowermost drop of Woolshed Falls though I had to be careful not to get too dangerously close to the slippery surface by the dropoffs and the creek itself. There were other historic walks and hikes along the creek, but they were closed during my visit, and thus I can't say anything more about them.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Woolshed Falls was just north of the historic town of Beechworth, shown here looking towards the post office in the centre of townWoolshed Falls was just north of the historic town of Beechworth, shown here looking towards the post office in the centre of town
Woolshed Falls was not far from the twin towns of Albury and Wodonga, which were right on the NSW-VIC border roughly half way between Canberra (shown here) and MelbourneWoolshed Falls was not far from the twin towns of Albury and Wodonga, which were right on the NSW-VIC border roughly half way between Canberra (shown here) and Melbourne
We visited Woolshed Falls as part of the long drive to Melbourne from Sydney via Canberra. Melbourne was full of sights and activities along with a definite international vibeWe visited Woolshed Falls as part of the long drive to Melbourne from Sydney via Canberra. Melbourne was full of sights and activities along with a definite international vibe
The short walk leading to the Woolshed Falls LookoutThe short walk leading to the Woolshed Falls Lookout

This was the view from the Woolshed Falls LookoutThis was the view from the Woolshed Falls Lookout

Contextual view from the Woolshed Falls Lookout in November 2017Contextual view from the falls lookout in November 2017

This was what Woolshed Falls looked like from the viewing platform on our first visit back in November 2006This was what Woolshed Falls looked like from the viewing platform on our first visit back in November 2006

Signage directing us on where to go back in November 2006Signage directing us on where to go back in November 2006

The main car park for Woolshed FallsThe main car park for the falls

Picnic tables neighboring the Woolshed Falls car parkPicnic tables neighboring the car park

On the track leading me closer to Woolshed FallsOn the track leading me closer to the falls

Looking over the top of the lowermost drop of Woolshed FallsLooking over the top of the lowermost drop of the falls

Looking upstream towards some of the upper tiers of Woolshed FallsLooking upstream towards some of the upper tiers of the falls

Looking towards the track leading to the water race diversion ditches and the rest of the historic walkLooking towards the track leading to the water race diversion ditches and the rest of the historic walk


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Sweep from the falls lookout before zooming in on the trajectory of the falls towards the end


Right to left sweep from near the top of the falls


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

The key to finding Woolshed Falls was to first drive towards Beechworth town centre, where there was a roundabout by the post office intersecting the C315 and C525 roads. From there, we'd drive north on Ford St (C315) for about 750m before the road bent to the left and became Sydney Rd. After another 750m or so along Sydney Rd, we then veered right to remain on the C315 (now the Beechworth-Wodonga Rd) as we left Beechworth's northern limits.

After 1.2km on the C315 Road, we then turned left onto the Beechworth-Chiltern Road (C377). Then, we remained on the C377 for about 1.9km before turning left onto the McFeeters Rd (there was a sign for Woolshed Falls at this point). After another 1.4km, we then obeyed the signs and turned right and proceeded 200m on the access road to a junction.

To the right of the junction was the main car park for Woolshed Falls. To the left of the junction was a dead-end in 150m with small car park for the Woolshed Falls Lookout. The walk to the lookout from there was practically negligible. Meanwhile, the walk to the top of the falls from the main car park was on the order of 150m (300m round trip). The Reids Creek Track and the historical walks branching from it veered more to the right and went upstream along Spring Creek or Reid Creek.

Overall, this drive took on the order of 10-15 minutes.

For geographical context, Beechworth was about 35km (under 30 minutes drive) southwest from the twin towns of Albury-Wodonga, 39km (about 30 minutes drive) east of Wangaratta, 383km (4 hours drive) southwest of Canberra, and 285km (3 hours drive) northeast of Melbourne.




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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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Woolshed Falls in full flow 
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