Silverband Falls was a waterfall that Julie and I didn’t seriously consider visiting given the drought that had a major impact on our waterfalling during our November 2006 trip. However, that changed when we paid a visit to the Halls Gap Visitor Centre and a lady working there told us that it was an unusual waterfall and worth checking out. What was so unusual about the falls was that most waterfalls tended to splash into a plunge pool at its base before the watercourse would continue further downstream. But with this waterfall, it didn’t have a plunge pool as its flow practically disappeared into the ground and wouldn’t re-emerge until quite a bit further downstream. In any case, we realized that this was one of the more reliably flowing waterfalls in the Grampians so it would be worth a visit if the area hadn’t seen recent heavy rainfall (a principle we applied on our second visit to this waterfall in November 2017).
Given that Silverband Falls was in a low flow state during our first visit, we could immediately see this unusual property of Dairy Creek disappearing underground. However, under higher flow, this quirk might not be as apparent since the flow of the creek might exceed the underground tunnel through which the falls would typically disappear. The re-emergence of Dairy Creek was said to be about 50m further downstream of the falls. Nevertheless, we tend to think of this falls as another one of the resilient waterfalls worth checking out if the last heavy rainfall hadn’t occurred in over a week or two or longer.
Julie and I embarked on a 1.6km return walk from the car park (see directions below) to reach this waterfall. The walk was mostly flat and somewhat exposed to the sun through terrain that appeared to have seen a bushfire or two (probably the very reason why the track was so exposed to the sun in the first place on our first visit but not as much on our second visit). In fact, we learned that devastating wildfires had previously closed access to the falls back in January 2006 and again shortly after the bushfires in 2014. Anyways, along the track on our first visit, we saw some deer (or reindeer according to some folks we saw while on the trail), which seemed to be an unusual sight to us since we always thought kangaroos were kind of analogous to deer in Australia. We never knew they had deer here as well.
The track dead-ended at the falls where the cliffs responsible for the 20m drop of the falls prevented any further progress. The track allowed us to get right up to the very base of the Silverband Falls, where we could examine the disappearing Dairy Creek more closely. On our second visit, there was a little more water on the creek so there was some overflow above the surface though nowhere near the volume seen going over the falls. In any case, it took us just under an hour to complete the round trip out-and-back hike, including all the picture-taking along the way.
From Halls Gap in Grampians National Park, we went south on the Grampians Rd (C216) for about 7km towards the Silverband Rd. The turnoff was on the right across from Lake Bellfield. We then followed the Silverband Road for about 1.3km to the well-signed car park for Silverband Falls. This car park was right at the end of a one-way north-to-south stretch of road leading from the C222 towards the Silverband Road.
Overall, this drive from Halls Gap took us about 15 minutes.
Alternately, we could have also gone west from Halls Gap along the C222 for about 4.8km to the Silverband Road on the left. Then, we could have taken the one-way Silverband Road for roughly 6km to the Silverband Falls car park. Once at the car park, there’s no way to go against the one-way road back to the C222 except to go all the way around via Silverband Road to the C216 and then back to the C222 junction in Halls Gap.
For context, Halls Gap was about 28km (under 30 minutes drive) west of Stawell, 75km (over an hour drive) southeast of Horsham, 50km (about 45 minutes drive) west of Ararat, and 96km (over an hour drive) north of Hamilton. Melbourne was roughly 205km (2 hours 15 minutes drive) east of Ararat and 300km (about 3.5 hours drive) east of Horsham.
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