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: 143.56857

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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 this waterfall appear frequently on post cards and calendars.

And after having seen it in person, we could understand why this was the case, especially given its pretty satisfying 30m plunge with a classic rectangular shape.

The Upper Lookout for Hopetoun Falls

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

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 the line-of-sight.

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

Hiking to the bottom of Hopetoun Falls

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

Hopetoun_Falls_024_11152006 - Hopetoun Falls as seen from the bottom during our first visit back in November 2006
Hopetoun Falls as seen from the bottom during our first visit back in November 2006

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.

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, one unfortunate visitor managed to break her ankle on a misstep.

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
Emergency vehicles at the trailhead for Hopetoun Falls to tend to the lady who broke her ankle on the trail

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.

You never know when Murphy strikes.


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

Hopetoun_Falls_001_11152006 - The parking bay for Hopetoun Falls
Hopetoun_Falls_17_003_11172017 - Approaching the upper lookout for Hopetoun Falls just 30m from the car park
Hopetoun_Falls_003_11152006 - Obstructed view of Hopetoun Falls from the upper viewing deck as seen in November 2006
Hopetoun_Falls_17_007_11172017 - Julie descending towards the Aire River for a closer look at Hopetoun Falls
Hopetoun_Falls_17_009_11172017 - Julie continuing on the descent to the Aire River
Hopetoun_Falls_031_11152006 - Checking out the stairs for the steepest sections of the track from back 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
Hopetoun_Falls_17_014_11172017 - Getting closer to the end of the track and the closer view of Hopetoun Falls
Hopetoun_Falls_17_016_11172017 - Julie at the end of the track checking out Hopetoun Falls
Hopetoun_Falls_029_11152006 - The viewing deck near the base of Hopetoun Falls as seen in November 2006
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 before heading back up
Hopetoun_Falls_17_042_11172017 - This was what Hopetoun Falls looked like when the late afternoon sun showed up
Hopetoun_Falls_17_028_11172017 - Last look at the pleasing Hopetoun Falls before we headed back up
Hopetoun_Falls_021_11152006 - This was the nearly picture-postcard view we got from Hopetoun Falls on our first visit back in November 2006
Hopetoun_Falls_17_045_11172017 - Julie making the climb back up to the car park


We’ll describe the driving route 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.

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_17_001_11172017 - Limited parking at the trailhead for Hopetoun Falls
Limited parking at the trailhead for Hopetoun Falls

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. Then, 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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