Sailors Falls

Daylesford / Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia

About Sailors Falls


Hiking Distance: 140m round trip (to best view); 300m round trip (to lower lookout)
Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Date first visited: 2006-11-13
Date last visited: 2017-11-20

Waterfall Latitude: -37.39097
Waterfall Longitude: 144.11931

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Sailors Falls was a convenient (almost roadside) waterfall situated in the Hepburn Regional Park just south of the historic town of Daylesford.

In our experiences, the falls would be most impressive during or immediately after significant rain storms would saturate Sailors Creek.

Sailors_Falls_17_040_11192017 - Sailors Falls
Sailors Falls

In some of the historical photos shown in the signage nearby, there could be twin waterfalls flowing side-by-side (as opposed to the singular drop you see above).

In any case, getting the view that you see pictured above only required a mere 150-200m walk towards the top of the steps leading down to the ravine carved out by Sailors Creek.

At the bottom of the descent, there was a bench and another lookout, but the view of the falls from down there was obstructed.

We learned after the fact that some of the locals in the know were able to cross Sailors Creek (as part of the Mineral Springs Walk) then scramble upstream towards the base of the main segment of Sailors Falls.

Sailors_Falls_17_016_11192017 - Steps leading down to the lookout near the base of Sailors Falls
Steps leading down to the lookout near the base of Sailors Falls

We didn’t do this on either of our visits, but we wished that we did.

Timing Sailors Falls

Speaking of which, the first time we visited Sailors Falls was in November 2006, which was during the Great Australian Drought that lasted for the better part of the decade.

As a casualty of the drought, the falls was bone dry during that visit.

It wasn’t until 11 years later when we finally had the opportunity to witness the falls in a flowing state.

Sailors_Falls_002_11122006 - Sailors Falls was dry as a bone on our first visit in November 2006
Sailors Falls was dry as a bone on our first visit in November 2006

However, this had followed a rain storm that lasted for a couple of days prior to our arrival to Spa Country.

Prior to that storm, the Winter and Spring had been unusually dry, and the previous rains had occurred over a month before that latest storm.

So indeed, these observations further reinforced the notion that it was all about timing when it came to seeing this falls perform.

Sailors Falls History

Finally, Sailors Creek was once the site of a gold rush in the 1850s.

Sailors_Falls_17_026_11192017 - Sailors Falls as seen during our November 2017 visit where the twin segment wasn't flowing on this day
Sailors Falls as seen during our November 2017 visit where the twin segment wasn’t flowing on this day

Much of the surrounding timber was denuded to support the mining activities and the growth of neighboring settlements, including the town of Daylesford to the north.

These days, the mineral content of the waters in the region had been recognized as possessing healing qualities.

Therefore, the watercourses became protected in the name of spa tourism with the ancillary benefit of experiencing waterfalls such as this one.

Authorities

Sailors Falls resides in the Hepburn Regional Park near Daylesford, Victoria. It is administered by Parks Victoria. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Sailors_Falls_17_001_11192017 - The start of the short walk to the views of Sailors Falls as seen during our November 2017 visit
Sailors_Falls_17_011_11192017 - Interpretive signs depicting the history of the area amongst these shelters at the top of the gorge containing Sailors Falls in November 2017
Sailors_Falls_17_012_11192017 - Signs pointing the way towards the views of Sailors Falls during our November 2017 visit
Sailors_Falls_17_013_11192017 - The start of the steep descent to the bottom of Sailors Falls as seen during our November 2017 visit
Sailors_Falls_17_015_11192017 - Context of the descending steps and the Sailors Falls in the background during our November 2017 visit
Sailors_Falls_17_021_11192017 - From this lower lookout as of November 2017, the view of the Sailors Falls was obstructed and disappointing
Sailors_Falls_17_022_11192017 - After the descent to Sailors Falls' lower lookout, this was the view looking back up at the steps we had to take to return to the car park to end our November 2017 visit
Sailors_Falls_17_026_11192017 - This view of the Sailors Falls in November 2017 shows that there could be a second twin waterfall side by side with the main falls if Sailors Creek had enough water in it
Sailors_Falls_17_035_11192017 - Focused on the main drop of Sailors Falls during our November 2017 visit
Sailors_Falls_17_046_11192017 - Looking at just the flowing segment of Sailors Falls during our November 2017 visit
Sailors_Falls_17_050_11192017 - Back at the car park to end our Sailors Falls visit in November 2017
Sailors_Falls_009_iPhone_11202017 - When we came back to the car park, we noticed this house that was on fire right across the street from Sailors Falls during our November 2017 visit
Sailors_Falls_003_jx_11122006 - Sign indicating that we found the right place though we had some trouble finding the actual Sailors Falls since it was dry on our November 2006 visit
Sailors_Falls_001_11122006 - On our first visit back in November 2006, it took a while to figure out that this was supposed to be the Sailors Falls
Sailors_Falls_002_11122006 - The path going down to the base of Sailors Falls though we didn't proceed past this point since the falls wasn't performing on our November 2006 visit
Sailors_Falls_003_11122006 - Context of Sailors Falls as it was not flowing in November 2006

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Sailors Falls was near Daylesford so I’ll describe the driving directions from there.

From the roundabout connecting the A300 and the C138 in the heart of Daylesford, we took the C138 (Vincent St becoming Ballan-Daylesford Rd) south for about 6km.

Sailors_Falls_17_002_11192017 - The car park for Sailors Falls, which was right along the C138
The car park for Sailors Falls, which was right along the C138

By then, we encountered a signpost for Sailors Falls pointing to a car park on our left just before the junction with Telegraph Rd.

For some geographical context, Daylesford was 41km (over 30 minutes drive) west of Woodend, 46km (about 45 minutes drive) northeast of Ballarat, and 112km (about 90 minutes drive) northwest of Melbourne.

Long video showing the obstructed views of the falls from the lookout at the bottom before going back up the steps for a more direct view at the falls

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Tagged with: ballarat, macedon, daylesford, hepburn, victoria, australia, waterfall, spa, hepburn



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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

2016 Rains bring Sailors Falls Alive October 7, 2016 5:55 am by Leo Vredenbregt - I came out to fish the many small dams and reservoirs around the region and thus left my heavy camera gear at home. I stopped off at Sailors Falls on the way back to Melbourne and was delighted to see them in full flow. I say 'them' because there are actually two falls next to… ...Read More
The Wet Season (Sailors Falls) October 20, 2010 7:08 pm by Aaron Nuffer - I visited Sailors Falls in August 2010, during a seasonal wet pattern. Both sides were flowing, with the western drop in a segmented form. ...Read More

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