Hopetoun Falls

Great Otway National Park / Beech Forest, Victoria, Australia

About Hopetoun Falls


Hiking Distance: 1km round trip
Suggested Time: 30-45 minutes

Date first visited: 2006-11-16
Date last visited: 2017-11-18

Waterfall Latitude: -38.66809
Waterfall Longitude: 143.56910

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Hopetoun Falls was certainly one of the more pleasing waterfalls that we visited during our drought-stricken trip to Victoria in November 2006.

And it performed equally well during a follow-up trip that took place in November 2017.

Hopetoun_Falls_17_030_11172017 - Hopetoun Falls
Hopetoun Falls

Like other drought-defying waterfalls in the Otway Rainforest area (such as Beauchamp Falls and Triplet Falls), this waterfall had a healthy flow and the rainforest setting was misty, green, and lush.

Being on the heritage listed Aire River, it was little wonder that the healthy drainage coupled with the wet climate resulted in the reliable flow of the falls.

As we were touring the Great Ocean Road, we would consistently see Hopetoun Falls appear frequently on post cards and calendars.

And after having seen it in person, we could understand why this was the case.

Hopetoun_Falls_021_11152006 - Hopetoun Falls as seen in its lush surroundings during our November 2006 visit
Hopetoun Falls as seen in its lush surroundings during our November 2006 visit

After all, it featured a pretty satisfying 30m plunge with a classic rectangular shape, but its lush fern-fringed surroundings was really what made the falls stand out in our minds.

Hiking to Hopetoun Falls

From the little parking bay for Hopetoun Falls (see directions below), we began by taking a very short 30m stroll (wheelchair-accessible I’m sure) to the upper viewing deck.

From here, we were able to look down at the waterfall through some foliage blocking a fair bit of our line-of-sight.

It wasn’t the greatest of views and it certainly left us wanting to see more.

Hopetoun_Falls_17_004_11172017 - Looking down at the brink of Hopetoun Falls from the Upper Viewing Deck
Looking down at the brink of Hopetoun Falls from the Upper Viewing Deck

So we continued on the walking track which required us to descend some stairs until it eventually flattened out alongside the Aire River.

After a short stint walking in the upstream direction alongside the river, we ended up at a lookout platform containing a bench and the signature view of the falls.

With such peaceful settings and sturdy railings to facilitate attempting long exposure photographs without a tripod, this was a very photo-friendly waterfall.

After having our fill of the falls, we would go back up the steps to the car park to complete the 1km walk.

Hopetoun_Falls_17_016_11172017 - Context of Julie checking out Hopetoun Falls from the lookout at the bottom of the short track
Context of Julie checking out Hopetoun Falls from the lookout at the bottom of the short track

Overall, on our first visit here, we had spent about 40 minutes away from the car at a very leisurely pace.

Broken Ankle and Visitor Safety

On our second visit to the Hoopetoun Falls in November 2017, one unfortunate visitor managed to break her ankle on a misstep.

That resulted in some additional delays so the medics could do their job to help stabilize the ankle and stretcher her out.

Perhaps more importantly, that underscored the notion that even on a simple track like this, care must be taken to wear sturdy shoes with traction and to pay attention to one’s surroundings.

Hopetoun_Falls_17_051_11172017 - Emergency vehicles at the trailhead for Hopetoun Falls to tend to the lady who broke her ankle on the trail during our November 2017 visit
Emergency vehicles at the trailhead for Hopetoun Falls to tend to the lady who broke her ankle on the trail during our November 2017 visit

You never know when Murphy strikes.

Authorities

Hopetoun Falls resides in the Great Otway National Park near Apollo Bay, Victoria. It is administered by Parks Victoria. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Hopetoun_Falls_17_003_11172017 - Approaching the upper lookout for Hopetoun Falls just 30m from the car park as seen during our November 2017 visit
Hopetoun_Falls_17_007_11172017 - Julie descending towards the Aire River for a closer look at Hopetoun Falls during our November 2017 visit
Hopetoun_Falls_17_009_11172017 - Julie continuing on the descent to the Aire River for a more satisfying look at Hopetoun Falls during our November 2017 visit
Hopetoun_Falls_17_014_11172017 - Julie getting closer to the end of the track and the closer view of Hopetoun Falls during our November 2017 visit
Hopetoun_Falls_17_028_11172017 - The lookout at the bottom of the Hopetoun Falls Track definitely had the more pleasing view as of our November 2017 visit
Hopetoun_Falls_17_037_11172017 - Knowing that someone was injured with a broken ankle and medics were tending to her, we chilled out at this spot for a bit (especially since we had Hopetoun Falls all to ourselves) before heading back up during our November 2017 visit
Hopetoun_Falls_17_042_11172017 - This was what Hopetoun Falls looked like when the late afternoon sun showed up during our November 2017 visit
Hopetoun_Falls_17_045_11172017 - Julie making the climb back up to the car park after having had our fill of the Hopetoun Falls in November 2017
Hopetoun_Falls_001_jx_11152006 - Sign telling us how much time we can expect to put in to see Hopetoun Falls during our November 2006 visit
Hopetoun_Falls_003_11152006 - Obstructed view of Hopetoun Falls from the upper viewing deck as seen during our first visit in November 2006
Hopetoun_Falls_005_11152006 - At the bottom of the descent, we then followed the path alongside the Aire River beneath tall ferns en route to the lower lookout for Hopetoun Falls in November 2006
Hopetoun_Falls_009_11152006 - Looking at the full context for Hopetoun Falls from the lower lookout during our November 2006 visit
Hopetoun_Falls_011_11152006 - Broad view of the Hopetoun Falls as seen during our visit in November 2006
Hopetoun_Falls_024_11152006 - Closer look at the pleasing Hopetoun Falls from the lookout platform
Hopetoun_Falls_029_11152006 - Context of the viewing deck near the base of Hopetoun Falls as seen in November 2006
Hopetoun_Falls_031_11152006 - Looking back down at the steps for the steepest sections of the Hopetoun Falls Track as seen from back in November 2006

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We’ll describe the driving route to Hopetoun Falls from Beech Forest, which was about 67km (an hour drive) east of Port Campbell or 40km (under an hour drive) north-northwest of Apollo Bay.

Both approaches minimize the amount of unsealed driving.

Hopetoun_Falls_17_001_11172017 - Limited parking at the trailhead for Hopetoun Falls
Limited parking at the trailhead for Hopetoun Falls

From Beech Forest, we drove east on the Beech Forest-Mt Sabine Road (C159) for about 1.3km to the Binns Road turnoff on the right.

There was signage for both Beauchamp Falls and Hopetoun Falls at this junction.

After turning right to go onto the unsealed Binns Rd, we then drove another 4.5km or so to another signposted junction.

We then turned right at this junction to go onto the unsealed Hopetoun Falls Road, and we followed this narrow road for the final 400m to its end, where there was a limited parking bay.

Hopetoun_Falls_001_11152006 - This was the Hopetoun Falls car park when we first came here back in November 2006
This was the Hopetoun Falls car park when we first came here back in November 2006

An alternate approach from Apollo Bay would be to take the Binns Road directly from the south at about 13km west of town along the Great Ocean Road (B100).

Then we’d follow the unsealed Binns Rd for roughly 15km or so before turning left onto the unsealed Hopetoun Falls Road.

Finally, we’d follow that road as above for the final 400m to the car park at its end.

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.

Right to left sweep of the Aire River leading up to the falls, where the video ended with a zoom-in on the falls itself

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Tagged with: otway, otways, colac, great ocean road, lavers hill, warrnambool, port campbell, victoria, australia, waterfall, beech forest, apollo bay, aire river



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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Hopetoun Falls April 30, 2010 3:05 am by Avalanche - Hopetoun Falls: After winter would be the best time to capture this beauty through the camera lens. I liked the volume of water flow during this period. A moderate walk for about 15 mins should take you to the base of the waterfall. ...Read More
That’s Pretty High! (Hopetoun Falls) August 10, 2008 9:46 am by Dillan - Hey there! This website is just absolutely great! I love waterfalls and I have learnt much more from this website. Anyway, just come to talk about Hopetoun Falls in the "Otways". We've been there and we all liked it. I didn't know it was 30 metres high though. That's pretty high! The walk to the… ...Read More

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