Strath Creek Falls (Murchison Falls)

Mt Disappointment State Forest / Broadford / Murchison Gap, Victoria, Australia

About Strath Creek Falls (Murchison Falls)


Hiking Distance: 140m round trip (to lookout); 500m round trip (to top of falls)
Suggested Time: 15 minutes (lookout); 30 minutes (top of falls)

Date first visited: 2006-11-18
Date last visited: 2017-11-20

Waterfall Latitude: -37.30769
Waterfall Longitude: 145.18985

Strath Creek Falls (I’ve also seen it referred to as Murchison Falls; not to be confused with the one in Uganda) was barely hanging on to its last flows when we made a second visit here in November 2017.

On our first visit, the 50m falls was practically invisible due to the Great Australian Drought that affected our November 2006 trip.

Strath_Creek_Falls_17_015_11192017 - Strath Creek Falls during our visit in November 2017
Strath Creek Falls during our visit in November 2017

It was a drought that had persisted for the better part of that decade!

For some strange reason, it seemed fitting that the falls resided in the Mt Disappointment State Forest for either of our visits here could certainly be characterized as such.

That was because the region containing this waterfall didn’t benefit from much rain in neither of our visits to the country in November 2006 nor November 2017.

The Mt Disappointment State Forest sat in a fairly remote and rugged part of the Murrindindi Shire north of Melbourne.

Strath_Creek_Falls_004_11172006 - Strath Creek Falls was bone dry during our visit in November 2006
Strath Creek Falls was bone dry during our visit in November 2006

Like with many waterfalls in the fickle hinterlands of Central Victoria, seeing this falls flow would require a good deal of timing.

In other words, you can’t wait for long after the last significant rain storm if the intent is to see any waterfalls here.

Experiencing Strath Creek Falls

Once we reached the signed trailhead off Falls Road (see directions below), it was a mere 70m to descend to the Strath Creek Falls lookout.

This was where the photo you see at the top of this page was taken from.

Strath_Creek_Falls_17_019_11192017 - The descending track skirted the rim of the ravine carved out by Strath Creek
The descending track skirted the rim of the ravine carved out by Strath Creek

That photo was taken in the late afternoon so the shadows were long on this north-facing waterfall.

In order to avoid shadows, I’d imagine that the height of the morning or midday would be best since the sun was be directly above us.

In any case, the track continued to descend for the next 430m eventually reaching Strath Creek just above the top of the falls.

Aside from semi-obstructed views downstream, there really wasn’t much reason to go this far past the lookout.

Strath_Creek_Falls_17_022_11192017 - Approaching the end of the trail right at the brink of Strath Creek Falls
Approaching the end of the trail right at the brink of Strath Creek Falls

And from seeing some of the shrines set up here to remember those who happened to lose their lives here, I’d imagine it wouldn’t be worth exploring beyond the sanctioned track either.

Strath Creek Falls History

Given our disappointing experiences at Strath Creek Falls, it was hard to believe that this was the inspiration and subject of some historical art masterpieces by Eugene von Guerard in 1862 and William Delafield Cook in 1979.

According to a sign here, both their works could be found in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Such influential works could very well have established the Goulburn Valley as important places for agriculture, occupation, and tourism during the days of European settlement.

Authorities

Strath Creek Falls resides in the Murrindindi Shire near Broadford, Victoria. It is administered by the Murrindindi Shire Council. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Strath_Creek_Falls_17_003_11192017 - If there was no parking space available for Strath Creek Falls at the bottom, apparently, there were additional pullouts further up the hill. These steps would make it easier to walk down and up the steep road
Strath_Creek_Falls_17_004_11192017 - The start of the short descending track to the lookout for Strath Creek Falls as seen during my November 2017 visit
Strath_Creek_Falls_17_006_11192017 - Closer look at the context of the sign and the trail to Strath Creek Falls during my November 2017 visit
Strath_Creek_Falls_17_007_11192017 - On the descending track to the Strath Creek Falls Lookout during my November 2017 visit
Strath_Creek_Falls_17_008_11192017 - Approaching the Strath Creek Falls Lookout on my November 2017 visit
Strath_Creek_Falls_17_016_11192017 - Finally checking out the Strath Creek Falls while it was flowing (barely) during my November 2017 visit
Strath_Creek_Falls_17_018_11192017 - Beyond the Strath Creek Falls Lookout, the track continued to descend
Strath_Creek_Falls_17_024_11192017 - Looking across the top of Strath Creek Falls during my November 2017 visit from the end of the trail
Strath_Creek_Falls_17_027_11192017 - Looking over the top of Strath Creek Falls into the canyon downstream as of my November 2017 visit
Strath_Creek_Falls_17_029_11192017 - After having my fill of the top of Strath Creek Falls in November 2017, it was time to head back up to the car park
Strath_Creek_Falls_17_030_11192017 - Continuing the ascent to get back all that elevation loss at Strath Creek Falls during my November 2017 visit
Strath_Creek_Falls_17_035_11192017 - Finally back at the trailhead for Strath Creek Falls during my November 2017 visit
Strath_Creek_Falls_001_11172006 - Strath Creek Falls was dry when we first visited back in November 2006
Strath_Creek_Falls_003_11172006 - More zoomed in look at what was supposed to be Strath Creek Falls back in November 2006

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We’ll describe the most straightforward route from the Melbourne CBD since I’d imagine this would be the most common approach.

While there are other rural approaches from the west, north, and east, this section could be very verbose if we addressed all those possibilities.

The key is to get to the town of Broadford, which is right off the M31.

Strath_Creek_Falls_17_037_11192017 - This was the view from the Murchison Gap Lookout, which was on the way to Strath Creek Falls from Broadford
This was the view from the Murchison Gap Lookout, which was on the way to Strath Creek Falls from Broadford

From Melbourne, we had to find our way out of the city and onto the Hume Highway, which eventually accessed the Hume Freeway (M31) from the M80 (Metropolitan Ring Road).

At about 60km from the start of the M31 freeway, we took the Broadford Flowerdale exit (C382) then turned right to go east on the Strath Creek Road (C382).

After about 11km on Strath Creek Road, we then turned right onto the unsealed Murchison Spur Road.

In 100m to the left, there was the Murchison Gap Lookout (a photo op as well as a chance to stretch out for a bit).

Strath_Creek_Falls_001_jx_11172006 - Back on our first visit to Strath Creek Falls in November 2006, there was this sign pointing the way
Back on our first visit to Strath Creek Falls in November 2006, there was this sign pointing the way

After over 4km on the Murchison Spur Road, we then kept left to continue on the Murchison Road.

We continued on the unsealed Murchison Road for the next 3.5km (entering Mt Disappointment State Forest along the way) before a sign pointed us to the left for Strath Creek Falls.

We then turned left onto the unsealed spur road and after 300m, we kept right at the fork to go anticlockwise on the one-way loop road.

After another 350m of driving, the road then steeply descended the remaining 200m to the trailhead for Strath Creek Falls.

Strath_Creek_Falls_17_001_11192017 - Looking back up at the steep descending one-way road leading to the trailhead for Strath Creek Falls
Looking back up at the steep descending one-way road leading to the trailhead for Strath Creek Falls

I recalled the first time we were here in November 2006 that this steep section made me uncomfortable enough to turn back the wrong way and walk all the way down.

However, on our most recent visit in November 2017, this steep section of road wasn’t so bad, and I managed to make it down to the trailhead without any issue with the 2wd rental car.

To get out of here, we just followed the rest of the anticlockwise loop to return to the fork that started the one-way driving.

Then, we returned to the Murchison Road and return back the way we came.

Overall, it took us just under 2 hours to make this drive from the city to the falls.

However, at least 30-45 minutes of this drive was consumed in snarling traffic and numerous long traffic lights in Melbourne.

Trying to examine as much of the falls as I could from the official viewpoint

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Tagged with: disappointment, murrindindi, melbourne, broadford, victoria, australia, waterfall, murchison gap



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Strath Falls recovery following 2009 fires November 29, 2010 5:41 am by Lucas Russell - Strath Falls was severely burnt during the 2009 fires in Victoria. Almost 2 years on, and after a year of almost record rain, the falls are recovering well. ...Read More

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