Agnes Falls was an impressive multi-tiered waterfall in the quiet South Gippsland region. Both times we’ve been to this waterfall, it was seen as part of a long day trip that looped throughout the Gippsland Region in the eastern part of Victoria. The effort was richly rewarded as a short 200m walk from the car park led us to a pair of overlooks where we could witness the Agnes River drop 59m into the narrow gorge below. A sign here claimed that this was the highest single span falls in the state of Victoria though we truthfully weren’t sure what exactly they meant by “single span” considering it had multiple drops like the 84m Steavenson Falls and it certainly had more tiers to it than the plunging 32m Trentham Falls.
Julie and I had made two visits to this waterfall. Our first visit occurred in November 2006, which happened to be during one of Australia’s longest and worst droughts in its recorded history. Yet despite the stressing conditions, the falls still had somewhat decent (albeit low) flow during that time. When I returned here 11 years later in November 2017, the Agnes River had a little more volume, but it still seemed like it could have really put on a show had the Gippsland Region not been subject to an anomalously dry Winter and Spring that year.
It was worth noting that the Agnes River happened to be a key water catchment for the Toora area and other nearby towns. Thus, swimming and fishing were prohibited here though we did witness a weir near the top of the falls that appeared to have altered the shape of the brink of the falls with its unnaturally straight dam-like wall that the Agnes River would drop over. Indeed, this weir was but one intervention in a system of dams (dating back to 1924) throughout the Agnes River system designed to aid with the water supply. We weren’t sure if these interventions might have adversely impacted the flow of water over the years, but in each of our visits, much of the rocky underbelly beneath the falls was exposed.
Overall, Julie and I managed to fully experience this falls in a matter of 30 minutes or less. Other visitors to the area appeared to have spent even less time than that. Indeed, for such a short visit, it was definitely worth the quick detour if driving in the area.
Since we visited Agnes Falls from Melbourne, I’ll focus on just the driving directions directly from the city centre even though I’m aware that there are many other ways to reach the falls from all over Gippsland.
From the Melbourne CBD, I drove southeast on Batman Ave (which was actually a CityLink Toll Route), which eventually joined up with the Monash Freeway (M1) bound for Warragul. I continued driving on the M1 east for about 31km before taking the exit for the South Gippsland Hwy (M420).
Once on the South Gippsland Hwy (M420), I then continued on this road for about 51km before continuing on the South Gippsland Hwy as the A440. Continuing on the South Gippsland Hwy (A440) for another 94km, I’d finally enter the town of Toora (about 10km east of Foster, which was the main town linking up with Wilson’s Promontory to the south).
Once in Toora, I followed a sign that had me turn left onto the Toora-Gunyah Road. After nearly 4.5km on the Toora-Gunyah Rd, the signs then pointed me to turn right onto the Toora-Wanyip Rd. Then, I’d follow this road to the Creamery Valley Rd, which then became Hazel Park Rd. And after 6.5km from the turnoff from Toora-Wanyip Rd, a sign then had us turn right onto the Agnes River Rd.
We then followed the Agnes River Rd to its end after 2.3km (roughly 15km from Toora).
Overall, this drive took me on the order of 3 hours (45 minutes of it due to traffic in Melbourne).
It’s worth noting if you happened to be coming from the east, it was reasonable to take the Slades Hill Rd from the west end of Welshpool, then head west on Hazel Park Rd to the Agnes River Rd.
For overall geographical context, Toora was 10km (10 minutes drive) east of Foster, 13km (10 minutes drive) west of Welshpool, 69km (1 hour drive) north of Tidal River, 97km (over an hour drive) south of Traralgon, and 182km (2.5 hours drive without traffic) southeast of Melbourne.
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