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: 143.65307

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

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.

Marriners_Falls_002_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

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.

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.

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

We just happened to be there towards the end of the day when it was rather quiet.

Finally, one thing worth mentioning was that we tried to do this hike again on a visit in November 2017, but signs mentioned that it was closed indefinitely.

We are not sure whether there will be a re-opening of the track in the future, but it didn’t seem like Parks Victoria was interested in working on it from what we could tell.


Marriners Falls resides in the Great Otway National Park near Apollo Bay, Victoria. It is administered by Parks Victoria, which has informed us that the trail is closed indefinitely. 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, which was now just a picnic area during our attempted November 2017 visit
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 in November 2017. The rest of the photos on this page will just serve as a reminder of what this place used to be like when we visited in November 2006
Marriners_Falls_001_jx_11152006 - This paper sign was not kidding about the river crossings on the Marriners Falls Walking Track back in November 2006
Marriners_Falls_002_jx_11152006 - Sign at the trailhead for Marriners Falls telling us what we were in for during our November 2006 visit
Marriners_Falls_001_11152006 - Julie getting past the first stream crossing en route to Marriners Falls in November 2006, which had lined up boulders making this crossing easy
Marriners_Falls_004_11152006 - Heaps of flowers in bloom alongside the Marriners Falls Trail in November 2006
Marriners_Falls_006_11152006 - Julie on another stream crossing on the way to Marriners Falls in November 2006
Marriners_Falls_012_11152006 - Julie standing before the Marriners Falls during our November 2006 visit
Marriners_Falls_013_11152006 - More zoomed in look at Julie going right up to Marriners Falls in November 2006
Marriners_Falls_018_11152006 - An even more zoomed in look at the Marriners Falls in November 2006

To reach 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.

Marriners_Falls_17_004_11182017 - Approaching the car park for Marriners Falls
Approaching the car park for Marriners Falls

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.

Marriners_Falls_17_002_11182017 - Looking back at the car park for Marriners Falls
Looking back at the car park for Marriners Falls

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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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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