Marriners Falls

Great Otway National Park / Great Ocean Road / Apollo Bay, Victoria, Australia

About Marriners Falls

Hiking Distance: 3.4km round trip
Suggested Time: 60-90 minutes

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

Waterfall Latitude: -38.69952
Waterfall Longitude: 143.64645

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Marriners Falls was a small but quaint 7m waterfall nestled in the forest lands in back of the coastal town of Apollo Bay.

It was the last waterfall we were able to squeeze in on a day when we visited at least five others before darkness fell.

Marriners_Falls_024_11152006 - Marriners Falls
Marriners Falls

Being on the Barham River East Branch, it seemed to have pretty reliable flow though we were also helped by a few consecutive days of a freak Antarctic storm that seemed to dump more rain in the Otways than anywhere else in Victoria.

That said, our visit here in November 2006 was in the midst of a major drought in the southeast of Australia so the waterflow we witnessed here was definitely not the norm compared to our other waterfalling experiences throughout the state.

The thing about accessing this waterfall was that we had to earn it with a relatively long one-hour walk (roughly 3.4km round trip) involving several stream crossings (we counted about 5).

We followed the signs and the track was pretty straightforward to follow so we knew exactly where we were supposed to cross the river each time.

Fortunately, most of these crossings involved just a bit of nifty boulder hopping to keep our feet dry though we did come prepared with some trekking poles to make these stream crossings even more of a breeze.

Marriners_Falls_007_11152006 - Julie on one of a handful of stream crossings en route to Marriners Falls
Julie on one of a handful of stream crossings en route to Marriners Falls

Given the fairly primitive nature of the track and even the unsealed access roads to get here, we felt like we were in an area that wasn’t very well visited.

The area was surrounded by a native growth rainforest more typical of the Otways and contrasted mightily with the beach town vibe of Apollo Bay.

Then again, given its close proximity to the coastal town, I reckon it ought to be a very popular spot, and we just happened to be there towards the end of the day when it was rather quiet.


Marriners 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.

Marriners_Falls_17_005_11182017 - The car park at the end of the Barham River Road for Marriners Falls
Marriners_Falls_17_006_11182017 - As of November 2017 (11 years after our first visit here), I tried to come back to the Marriners Falls to see how much had changed, and I was surprised to see that the track was closed
Marriners_Falls_17_010_11182017 - Looking at the Marriners Falls Track past the closure signs at the car park. The rest of the photos on this page will just serve as a reminder of what this place used to be like
Marriners_Falls_002_jx_11152006 - Sign at the trailhead for Marriners Falls telling us what we were in for
Marriners_Falls_001_jx_11152006 - This paper sign was not kidding about the river crossings
Marriners_Falls_001_11152006 - Julie getting past the first stream crossing which had lined up boulders making this crossing easy
Marriners_Falls_002_11152006 - Julie on a stream crossing making use of the trekking poles to keep her balance
Marriners_Falls_004_11152006 - Heaps of flowers in bloom alongside the trail
Marriners_Falls_006_11152006 - Julie on another stream crossing
Marriners_Falls_013_11152006 - Julie going right up to Marriners Falls
Marriners_Falls_018_11152006 - Closer look at the Marriners Falls


From the Great Ocean Road in Apollo Bay, we’ll describe the most straightforward route. First, we took Nelson St (just south of the main drag through town) inland for a few blocks (about 600m) to MacLachlan St. Turning left onto MacLachlan St, we then drove out of Apollo Bay as the road became the Barham River Rd. We pretty much continued on the Barham River Road to its end about 12km later. For the last 5-6km, the road was almost single-lane unsealed road so we had to be careful about blind turns and fast cars (usually locals who know these roads) going the other way.

This drive took us roughly about 20 minutes.

For geographical context, Apollo Bay was about 200km (over 2.5 hours drive) southwest of Melbourne along a more inland route, but it was about 189km (about 3 hours drive) southwest of Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road.

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Tagged with: apollo bay, colac, otway, otways, great ocean road, victoria, australia, waterfall, barham river, east branch

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