About Clematis Falls
Clematis Falls was what I considered to be one of the “minor” waterfalls of the Grampians National Park. As opposed to the “major” waterfalls in the park which would have pretty reliable flow throughout the year (like MacKenzie Falls and Silverband Falls), minor falls like this tended to have more temporary flow such that seeing it with sufficient water would entirely depend on when the last major rain storm would have occurred prior to making a visit. In my case, the falls was trickling when I first showed up, which was at least a month after the last major rain storm in the area. However, after a persistent and heavy rain storm hit the Halls Gap area overnight, the following morning, I was able to capture the falls in a state you see in the photo at the top of this page.
Under satisfactory flow, the falls appeared to be on the order of 25-30m tall (possibly taller). Indigo Creek fell on a bare sloping cliff face with a slight overhang towards the bottom so with care it might be possible to stand behind the last cascading drop of Clematis Falls. Needless to say, serious timing was necessary to properly experience this waterfall, and it was this lack of reliable flow and temperamental nature that resulted in the reduced scenic rating score. I’d imagine the same could be said of a couple of other nearby waterfalls that I didn’t get a chance to visit like Turret Falls and Splitters Falls.
From the Halls Gap Recreational Oval (a cricket ground that tended to have lots of kangaroos grazing in the field; see directions below), I followed a gently uphill track that led up to a signed junction flanked by large rocks roughly 200m or so from the official trailhead. I then kept left at this junction and continued on the uphill track for the remaining kilometre gaining the remainder of the 70m or so of grade. The falls track passed by another junction with the Chatauqua Peak Track (which was closed during my visit) before rounding a bend and going over a slippery exposed section of rock fronting the base of the Clematis Falls. I was able to tell if the falls had flow before reaching its base because I could hear it on the approach. When it was trickling on my very first visit prior to the rain storm, I couldn’t hear the falls until I saw it trickle right at its base.
After having my fill of the falls, I then returned back the way I came to complete the 2.4km out-and-back excursion. My hike was slightly longer than the official track (roughly 2.6km round trip) because I did the hike from the Kiramli Villas on Warren Road on the opposite end of the cricket field. In either case, I spent between 55-70 minutes, where the difference in time spent revolved around how long I hung around to take pictures (i.e. it was the second visit that took longer than the first visit when the falls was trickling).
The trailhead or car park for Clematis Falls was from the Halls Gap Recreational Oval just 150m from the C222 and C216 junction along the C222 on the north side of the road. This junction was about 300m north of the main throughfare for the town of Halls Gap.
I also managed to start my hike from the end of Warren Rd, which was accessed another 600m north of the C222/C216 junction along the C216 (Grampians Rd). Starting the hike from there added another 200m round trip to the overall hiking distance.
For context, Halls Gap was about 28km (under 30 minutes drive) west of Stawell, 75km (over an hour drive) southeast of Horsham, 50km (about 45 minutes drive) west of Ararat, and 96km (over an hour drive) north of Hamilton. Melbourne was roughly 205km (2 hours 15 minutes drive) east of Ararat and 300km (about 3.5 hours drive) east of Horsham.
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