Erskine Falls

Great Otway National Park / Lorne, Victoria, Australia

Static Google Map of Erskine Falls

About Erskine Falls


Hiking Distance: 440m round trip (to base)
Suggested Time: 25-35 minutes

Date first visited: 2006-11-17
Date last visited: 2017-11-19

Waterfall Latitude: -38.50693
Waterfall Longitude: 143.91337

To Julie and I, Erskine Falls was probably the most impressive waterfall amongst the cluster of waterfalls around the town of Lorne in the Angahook-Lorne State Park (part of the larger Great Otway National Park). It possessed a 30m drop (some signage here might have suggested it was 38m tall) though it looked slender probably because it was a little bit on the light side in terms of its flow. That said, the recent rains that seemed to have precipitated in most in the Otway Ranges appeared to have momentarily fought off the drought that really impacted our waterfalling experiences during our November 2006 trip. We also saw the falls in a similar condition on a more recent November 2017 visit, where Western Victoria was hit by a few storms prior to us showing up. Had the rains and the wild weather not occurred, then who knows whether the falls would have looked anything close to the condition you see in the photo above?

This was one of the easier waterfalls to visit as the route to its car park was all paved, the walk encompassing both the upper and lower viewing areas was short and easy to follow, and everything was well-signed. Overall, Julie and I spent about 35 minutes to check out both viewpoints and all the walking in between. We also had the option to visit Straw Falls, which was further downstream. Given that it involved a bit of a detour on a much rougher track and it wasn’t a necessary part of a visit to Erskine Falls, I made a separate writeup describing that experience, which you can read here.

The upper viewpoint, which was a mere 80m from the car park, provided us with a top-down view of the Erskine Falls. Unfortunately, there was a lot of foliage that was in the way that kept this viewpoint from being anything special. In fact, it left us wanting more so we continued on the walkway for the remaining 140m, which went down several steps eventually getting down to the level of the Erskine River. That was where the main track terminated at the second lookout area yielding a more frontal view of the falls (as pictured at the top of this page). Although the official track ended somewhat set back from the waterfall, we witnessed numerous people continue the scramble to get all the way up to the plunge pool and base of the falls. We didn’t pursue this in either of our visits, but we’ll leave it up to you to decide if you want to do this or not.

Finally, being a Triple J Radio listener since our first trip to Australia back in June 2006, it’s worth noting that Erskine Falls has the distinction of being the waterfall referred to in the annual Falls Festival (a very popular music and arts event taking place around the New Years holiday). The original location of the festival was located in Lorne though the more recent venues in the area were off the Erskine Falls Road (not far from the waterfall above the Lorne Township). The event had grown from the single-day “Rock Above The Falls Festival” in 1993 into the multi-day, simultaneous-multi-location event that spans Australia in places like Byron Bay, Marion Bay, Freemantle, and others.

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Although there are many ways to get to the Erskine Falls Road from the main drag through Lorne, we’ll first describe what we think would be the most straightforward route (i.e. involving the fewest turns). Even though the signs had us go on a more indirect route (which we’ll describe later), we felt going this route was less confusing.

From the intersection of William St and the Great Ocean Road / Mountjoy Parade (B100) in the town centre of Lorne opposite the main part of the beach, we took William St inland. We stayed straight on Williams St for about 600m before continuing to go straight onto Erskine Falls Road.

We then followed Erskine Falls Rd for the next 8km before following a sign having us turn right to leave the Erskine Falls Rd for the Erskine Falls Access Road. We then followed the descending access road for the final 1.3km to the car park at its end. This drive took us about 20 minutes.

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Looking back at the descending Erskine Falls Access Rd from the Erskine Falls car park

Given the narrow residential nature of William St, we noticed that the signage actually encouraged us to take different local routes to reach Erskine Falls Rd. From the roundabout opposite the visitor centre on the north end of town, we would take the Otway St for about 850m to a roundabout connecting with Gay St. We’d then follow the last (3rd) exit to get onto Gay St, which then eventually joined up with the Erskine Falls Rd (as well as William St) in another 200m or so.

Coming from the south end of town along the Great Ocean Road (B100), we could turn left at the roundabout onto Bay St. Then we could follow Bay St 450m up the hill to George St, turning right. Shortly after going on George St, we’d then encounter the roundabout where we’d take the 2nd exit to continue straight onto Gay St. Then, we’d follow this street as above to the Erskine Falls Rd.

For context, Lorne was 47km (a little over an hour drive) east of Apollo Bay, 142km (under 2 hours drive) southwest of Melbourne or 68km (over an hour drive) southwest of Geelong.

L-shaped sweep from the lookout area of the falls before zooming in or a closer look at the falling water


Brief sweep showing the Erskine Falls from an upper lookout while also showing some people already at the base for a sense of scale

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Tagged with: surf coast, lorne, great ocean road, otway, otways, angahook, victoria, australia, waterfall, straw falls, erskine river

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