About Trentham Falls
Trentham Falls was one of the more well-known and popular waterfalls in the state of Victoria. And as you can see from the photo at the top of this page, it was little wonder why this was the case.
Indeed, this falls possessed that classical rectangular shape (which Julie tended to be partial to) as the Coliban River plunged some 32m over a basalt cliff.
Being in close proximity to the spa and wine country of the Macedon Ranges near Daylesford, it seemed to attract Melburnian weekenders as it was around 90 minutes drive (depending on traffic) from one of Australia’s largest cities.
My only regret on our second visit to the falls was that we drove out here from Melbourne (pronounced like “MEL-bun”) instead of spending the night in Daylesford or elsewhere in the vicinity (a suggestion that some Melburnians made us aware of after the fact). Otherwise, we could have really lived it up in Victoria’s answer to Napa Valley, California.
Our First Visit to Trentham Falls
As you might have gleaned from the paragraph above that Julie and I actually made a pair of visits to this waterfall.
The first visit occurred in November 2006 when we were disappointed to see it was barely flowing over the faint hexagonal columns underlying the Coliban River.
That was because most of southeastern Australia was experiencing the country’s worst drought in its recorded history that consumed the better part of that decade.
So this waterfall didn’t really have a chance against the climate anomaly that threatened the very existence of many of the country’s cities and agriculture at the time.
And we really felt like we needed to come back to this part of the country under more “normal” circumstances, where that opportunity didn’t present itself until 11 years later.
Visiting Trentham Falls
Anyways, as for visiting the falls, all it took was a short 150m walk from the well-signed car park down a gentle slope to an overlook at the rim of the gorge carved out by the Coliban River.
As far as Parks Victoria would be concerned, that should be sufficient in terms of viewing the attractively classical waterfall. Thus, it could only be a visit of a few minutes if one would be satisfied enough with the experience from the sanctioned lookout.
Indeed, there were barricades and signage urging visitors not to proceed any further.
However, I noticed that didn’t stop numerous other people from continuing on, which was quite easy to do as it was possible to continue walking further upslope along a road, then bypassing a gate before rejoining the walking track further beyond the barricade.
After another 50m, that track would eventually junction with the spur track leading down to the base of the falls.
As of our last visit in November 2017, it appeared that this track was well-used enough that the access was a lot more straightforward (than it was on our first visit here back in November 2006) to walk the remaining 100m right down to the base of the waterfall.
On that first visit, access to the base was a lot more difficult due to a recent landslide that wiped out a good part of the lower parts of the trail.
The aftermath of this landslide was a very rough scramble through foliage with sharp thorny stems to proceed.
So even though over the years the path appeared to have been corrected since that landslide, I’d imagine that to be safe, the authorities wanted this track to remain closed as they can’t guarantee any further landslides wouldn’t occur here.
If the overlook was the only goal of a visit here, then the difficulty score should be lower. However, I also counted the additional time to go to the unsanctioned base of the falls just to give you an idea of how compact and short a visit here ought to be.
Trentham Falls resides in the Coliban River Scenic Reserve. It is administered by Parks Victoria. If you’re looking to do this excursion and want more information or inquire about current conditions, you can check out the Parks Victoria website or their Facebook page.
Since we stayed in the Melbourne CBD, we’ll describe the driving route that we took from there. Keep in mind that we won’t be able describe all the specifics about driving through the maze of one-way streets, roundabouts, and hook turns given the inevitable traffic congestion and numerous traffic lights just to get in and out of the city.
So from the Melbourne CBD, we found our way to Elizabeth St and drove north towards Flemington Rd. At around 2km along Flemington Rd, we had a choice of turning right to go onto the CityLink Tollway (M2) or to continue on Flemington Rd to avoid paying the toll. Flemington Rd would eventually join up with the M79/M2 interchange near the Melbourne International Airport after 6.5km. From there, we took the M79 for about 58km to the Woodend exit (C324). Note that along the way just northwest of the airport was the signed turnoff for the Organ Pipes.
We then turned left to go onto Woodend Road (C324) and drove for about 1.2km before turning left onto High Street (C792). After 900m, we then turned right to go onto Forest St, which then became Tylden Rd (C317). We followed this road for 12km before turning left onto the Kyneton-Trentham Rd (C317/C318). Next, we followed this road for the next 7.5km before turning right onto Trentham Falls Rd (C317). After 2.3km driving went on Trentham Falls Rd, we then followed the signed turnoff on the right taking us the final 400m to the car park.
Overall, this drive took us 1 hour and 45 minutes (without using the CityLink Tollway) though using the M2 could have shaved off another 15-30 minutes.
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