Newtown Falls

Albury-Wodonga / Wangaratta / Beechworth, Victoria, Australia

About Newtown Falls


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2006-11-10
Date last visited: 2017-11-21

Waterfall Latitude: -36.36523
Waterfall Longitude: 146.68155

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Newtown Falls was an unexpected waterfall attraction as it sat relatively hidden in the historic mining town of Beechworth.

I noticed that in some of the literature out there, this waterfall may also be called Newton Falls.

Newtown_Falls_17_018_11202017 - Newtown Falls
Newtown Falls

However, from looking at the signage by a viewpoint overlooking this falls, the bridge further upstream on Spring Creek was known as the Newtown Bridge.

Thus, I believe the official name of the falls came from that bridge.

The stone bridge that was currently in use was designed to “be in service for the next 200 years” (it was completed in 1875), and it replaced the original wooden bridge.

In any case, visiting this waterfall was easy as it was essentially a roadside waterfall.

Newtown_Falls_17_013_11202017 - Looking downstream over the Newtown Falls
Looking downstream over the Newtown Falls

The hardest part was probably making the three-point turn on the narrow side street it was on (more on this later).

Photographing Newtown Falls

As far photographing the Newtown Falls, the best lighting occurred in the early- to mid-afternoon.

We knew this because the first time we came here in November 2006, we witnessed the underlying reddish bedrock really contrasted the white of Spring Creek.

The Newtown Bridge above the falls also received the benefit of the sun’s soft backlighting in the afternoon.

Newtown_Falls_001_11092006 - Newtown Falls benefitting from decent afternoon lighting
Newtown Falls benefitting from decent afternoon lighting

In fact, the photo you see above came from our afternoon visit in November 2006, where you can clearly see how much better the sun’s backlighting was.

The photo you see at the top of this page came from a return trip in November 2017, when I had arrived in the late morning and the sun was almost on top of the falls and somewhat against my line of sight.

Resilient Flow of Newtown Falls

It was actually a miracle that Spring Creek was flowing at all during our first visit in November 2006 because Southeastern Australia was in the midst of a severe drought that lasted for the better part of the decade.

Spring Creek was one of the feeding watercourses for the endangered Murray-Darling River basin (an important system for agriculture as well as the city of Adelaide in South Australia).

Newtown_Falls_17_001_11202017 - Context of Newtown Falls and its lookout as seen during the late morning of my November 2017 visit
Context of Newtown Falls and its lookout as seen during the late morning of my November 2017 visit

On my second visit in November 2017, Spring Creek appeared to have had better flow after a mild recovery from that drought, but even that visit apparently took place after a drier-than-normal Winter and Spring.

Newtown Falls and the Scenic Gorge Drive

Finally, there was one peculiar thing about my visit to Newtown Falls.

The overlook was at the wrong end of a one-way road.

It bugged me that I had to make an awkward three-point turn in order to return to the main road leading to the Beechworth town centre after viewing the falls.

Beechworth_002_11202017 - The one-way Scenic Gorge Drive provided views over the town of Beechworth as well as the surrounding landscape, and it ended at the Newtown Falls within Beechworth
The one-way Scenic Gorge Drive provided views over the town of Beechworth as well as the surrounding landscape, and it ended at the Newtown Falls within Beechworth

After all, there was no immediate access to the start of that one-way road.

Well, it turned out that I was at the end of the 4km Scenic Gorge Drive that started on the north end of Beechworth and ended at this waterfall below the town’s south end.

Along that drive, there were panoramic views over Beechworth as well as a Scenic Gorge Bridge providing a view of some attractive intermediate cascades on Spring Creek.

It was almost as if the town authorities would have preferred to have me drive the whole one-way road before reaching the waterfall (so the three-point turn wouldn’t be necessary).

Beechworth_010_11202017 - These were cascades on Spring Creek just upstream from the Scenic Gorge Bridge in the Beechworth Historic Park. It was one of the attractions on the optional one-way Scenic Gorge Drive
These were cascades on Spring Creek just upstream from the Scenic Gorge Bridge in the Beechworth Historic Park. It was one of the attractions on the optional one-way Scenic Gorge Drive

I’ll discuss more about this drive in the directions below.

Authorities

Newtown Falls resides in the Beechworth Historic Park in Beechworth, Victoria. It is administered by Parks Victoria. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Newtown_Falls_17_003_11202017 - Partial broad look at Newtown Falls with the Newtown Bridge above it
Newtown_Falls_17_007_11202017 - Looking downstream from the Newtown Falls and the ravine carved out by Spring Creek
Newtown_Falls_17_011_11202017 - Context of the small pullout by the overlook of Newtown Falls during my November 2017 visit
Newtown_Falls_003_11092006 - A focused look at Newtown Falls in nice afternoon lighting during our November 2006 visit
Newtown_Falls_001_jx_11092006 - Signage about the history at the Newtown Falls at the overlook as seen during our November 2006 visit

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The key to finding Newtown Falls was to first drive towards Beechworth town centre, where there was a roundabout by the post office intersecting the C315 and C525 roads.

From there, we’d drive west on Ford St (C315) for about 900m to Pritchard St on the right. This small street was just past the Newtown Bridge.

Beechworth_012_11202017 - The post office by the roundabout in the centre of Beechworth
The post office by the roundabout in the centre of Beechworth

Once on Pritchard St, the overlook for the falls was about 100m to the right.

Driving the one-way Scenic Gorge Drive

In order to go on the optional one-way Scenic Gorge Drive, starting from the roundabout in the town centre (again, where the C315 and C525 roads intersect), we’d drive north on Ford St (C315) for about 1.6km to the north end of town.

Then, a signposted turnoff on the left would lead us onto the Gorge Rd.

The road became one-way after about 400m.

Newtown_Falls_17_009_11202017 - The wrong end of the one-way Scenic Gorge Drive right at the Newtown Falls
The wrong end of the one-way Scenic Gorge Drive right at the Newtown Falls

From that point forward, I had to drive 4km to the end of the drive at Pritchard St.

In the first 600m or so of this drive, I was able to start getting overviews of parts of Beechworth as well as some of the bushlands further to the north and west.

The Scenic Gorge Bridge was about 1.8km from the start of the one-way section of the drive.

For geographical context, Beechworth was about 35km (under 30 minutes drive) southwest from the twin towns of AlburyWodonga, 39km (about 30 minutes drive) east of Wangaratta, 383km (4 hours drive) southwest of Canberra, and 285km (3 hours drive) northeast of Melbourne.

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Right to left sweep of the falls while examining the waterfall itself much closer

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Tagged with: albury, wodonga, wangaratta, beechworth, indigo, gold, mining, reedy creek, victoria, australia, waterfall, spring creek



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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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