Gunstner Waterfall

Krakaudorf, Styria (Steiermark), Austria

About Gunstner Waterfall


Hiking Distance: about 600m round trip
Suggested Time: 30-45 minutes

Date first visited: 2018-07-15
Date last visited: 2018-07-15

Waterfall Latitude: 47.18727
Waterfall Longitude: 14.06568

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The Gunstner Waterfall (or more accurately Günstner Wasserfall or Guenstner Wasserfall in German) was certainly another one of the quieter waterfalls that I’ve encountered during our epic Summer 2018 trip to Austria.

With a cumulative drop of 65m over at least three main drops having an average flow of 200-250 L/s, it was also said to be the highest waterfall in the state of Styria.

Gunstner_Waterfall_084_07142018 - The Guenstner Waterfall or Günstner Wasserfall
The Guenstner Waterfall or Günstner Wasserfall

That’s saying something because I swore I saw something taller at the Steirischer Bodensee earlier on in the trip.

Nevertheless, even with this superlative to hang its hat on, I think the main reason why this particular waterfall didn’t quite have the same fanfare as most of the other waterfalls was its location.

It didn’t seem to be on any route that tended to get a lot more tourism traffic, since it sat towards the mountainous and less-populated south-central part of Austria near Krakaudorf.

Still, the relative peace and quiet of this excursion was very refreshing.

Guenstner Waterfall Trail Description

Gunstner_Waterfall_031_07142018 - Passing by this animal farm on the trail to the Guenstner Waterfall (or Günstner Wasserfall)
Passing by this animal farm on the trail to the Guenstner Waterfall (or Günstner Wasserfall)

There were actually a pair of parking areas to start the walk to the Gunstner Waterfall (see directions below).

The nearest one was in a clearing by a cafe and little animal park, but I happened to start at a more distant car park which passed by the nearest one anyways.

That added an additional 600m (maybe 10-15 minutes) of walking in each direction.

From the nearest car park, after only 160m or so, I reached a signed fork, which turned out to be the beginning and end of a loop.

Gunstner_Waterfall_042_07142018 - Context of the walkway skirting alongside the Guenstner Waterfall (or Günstner Wasserfall)
Context of the walkway skirting alongside the Guenstner Waterfall (or Günstner Wasserfall)

So I kept right, which put me on a path that went right to the Guenstner Waterfalls immediately.

After passing a little money drop (which was strangely open so anything you put in there might surely be taken unless it’s cheap change), I found myself on a boardwalk hugging the adjacent cliff wall.

Then after a few paces more, I was right in front of the bottom of the Gunstner Waterfall with its multi-tiered drop while also spanned by a bridge over its brink.

The trail continued as it climbed up a series of steep steps alongside the waterfall before reaching a junction.

Gunstner_Waterfall_066_07142018 - Continuing the steep climb above the Guenstner Waterfall towards even more elevated overlooks
Continuing the steep climb above the Guenstner Waterfall towards even more elevated overlooks

At this junction, I couldn’t go straight and follow that path to the footbridge spanning the brink of the falls because it was closed due to repair work that was going on.

So instead, I went left and up another steep series of steps before I found myself at the top.

At that point, I then descended towards the cliff edge on the left, where there were a couple of top down lookouts over the entirety of the Gunstner Waterfall.

That said, there were some some cliff and foliage obstructions ensuring that I’d never really get a clean look.

Gunstner_Waterfall_094_07142018 - Comprehensive top down look at a couple of the drops of the Guenstner Waterfall (or Günstner Wasserfall) from an overlook opposite the steep gorge
Comprehensive top down look at a couple of the drops of the Guenstner Waterfall (or Günstner Wasserfall) from an overlook opposite the steep gorge

After having my fill of these spots, I then descended the slope some more before rejoining the start of the loop.

Finally, I continued back the way I came to complete the excursion.

Overall, I had spent about an hour away from the car even with inadvertent extra hiking so I’d imagine that it would take most people less time to fully experience the Guenstner Waterfall.

Authorities

The Guenstner Waterfall resides near the town of Krakaudorf in the state of Styria (Steiermark), Austria. It may be administered by a private owner residing in Krakaudorf. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Krakaudorf website.

Gunstner_Waterfall_005_07142018 - Looking across the spillover car park as I was starting the walk to get closer to the Guenstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_010_07142018 - Looking back towards the spillover car park as I started walking towards what turned out to be a longer-than-necessary route to the actual car park and trailhead for the Gunstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_016_07142018 - This was the narrow Krakaudorf Road between the spillover car park and the unpaved turnoff leading to the Gunstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_018_07142018 - Continuing along the Krakaudorf Road between the spillover car park and the unpaved turnoff leading to the Gunstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_021_07142018 - Walking on the unpaved road leading to the Gunstner Waterfall car park and trailhead
Gunstner_Waterfall_024_07142018 - A couple of houses by the clearing where the nearest car park for the Gunstner Waterfall was
Gunstner_Waterfall_029_07142018 - Taking the path to the Gunstner Waterfall from the nearest car park
Gunstner_Waterfall_032_07142018 - Looking towards a small-scale hydro scheme nearby the trailhead for the Gunstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_033_07142018 - Following the wooded trail leading up to the Gunstner Waterfall Loop
Gunstner_Waterfall_035_07142018 - Going up this rocky and rooty incline towards the boardwalk fronting the Gunstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_039_07142018 - This was a curious money drop slot where it appeared the trail caretakers were looking for a donation, but the drop slot is all open-air
Gunstner_Waterfall_044_07142018 - Hiking up on the boardwalk alongside the lower tiers of the Guenstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_047_07142018 - Looking up at the lower two tiers of the Gunstner Waterfall from the boardwalk
Gunstner_Waterfall_051_07142018 - Looking back at the boardwalk as I was now starting to climb alongside the Gunstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_052_07142018 - Looking up at the upper tier of the lower two tiers of the Guenstner Waterfall while climbing alongside it and revealing a little hint of even more upper tiers of the waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_053_07142018 - Broad look up at part of the Guenstner Waterfall revealing parts of the hidden upper tiers beyond the footbridge
Gunstner_Waterfall_060_07142018 - Looking up towards the top of the second drop and a hint of the third (uppermost) drop of the Gunstner Waterfall while climbing alongside it
Gunstner_Waterfall_063_07142018 - Going up steep steps alongside the Gunstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_065_07142018 - At the top of the initial flight of steps, there was this trail closure preventing me from accessing the bridge right above the Gunstner Waterfalls
Gunstner_Waterfall_070_07142018 - Looking back down through the foliage towards all the drops of the Gunstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_074_07142018 - This photo kind of tells you how steep the stairs I had just gone up around the Guenstner Waterfall was
Gunstner_Waterfall_077_07142018 - Checking out a partial view of the Guenstner Waterfall from one of the cliffside lookouts
Gunstner_Waterfall_080_07142018 - Broad view of the upper tiers of the Guenstner Waterfall surrounding that footbridge that I couldn't access during my visit
Gunstner_Waterfall_085_07142018 - Context of one of the cliffside overlooks of the Gunstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_086_07142018 - Looking down towards the context of the steep trail that didn't involve the wooden steps by the Guenstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_087_07142018 - Descending these steps towards another one of the intermediate lookouts towards the Guenstner Waterfall
Gunstner_Waterfall_088_07142018 - Broad look towards perhaps the tallest of the drops of the Guenstner Waterfall from the intermediate lookout
Gunstner_Waterfall_098_07142018 - Descending this flight of stairs as I was making my return from the Gunstner Waterfalls
Gunstner_Waterfall_111_07152018 - Walking back along the unpaved road as I left the trailhead for the Guenstner Waterfall and headed back towards the spillover parking
Gunstner_Waterfall_112_07152018 - Walking back along the narrow Krakaudorf Road between the spillover car park and the unpaved turnoff leading to the Gunstner Waterfall

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It’s hard to say what would be the strategic starting point on a drive to reach Krakaudorf and subsequently the Gunstner Waterfall.

So I’m just going to describe how I did it from Zell am See.

For other starting locations, I’d imagine if you do a town-to-town routing on an app like GoogleMaps using Krakaudorf as one destination, then I think you’re well on your way.

Driving from Zell am See to the Guenstner Waterfall

So from Zell am See, I headed south on the B311 to the junction with the B311.

I then followed the B311 for about 46km towards Bischofshofen before taking the ramp to get onto the A10 autobahn heading east.

Gunstner_Waterfall_115_07152018 - This was the spillover car park for the Gunstner Waterfall, which extended the hike about 600m in each direction
This was the spillover car park for the Gunstner Waterfall, which extended the hike about 600m in each direction

Once on the A10, I continued driving east for about 16km before taking the exit 63 (Altermarkt) on the right, which would get me onto the B320 Road.

Note that while it was possible to go faster by staying on the A10 autobahn, there was a very long tunnel and toll to pay by going that way.

Given the relative lack of amount of time difference on this drive, I opted not to take it.

In any case, I continued on the B320 before turning right onto the B99 at Radtstadt.

Gunstner_Waterfall_020_07142018 - The signed turnoff leading to the closest car park for the start of the short trail encompassing the Guenstner Waterfall (or Günstner Wasserfall)
The signed turnoff leading to the closest car park for the start of the short trail encompassing the Guenstner Waterfall (or Günstner Wasserfall)

I then followed this road for about 38km before keeping left to switch onto the B95.

After 11km, the B95 joined up with the B96 at Tamsweg, and then I continued driving east on the B96 for about 19km before making a sharp left turn onto the L522 road towards Krakaudorf.

I then followed this narrow and winding road for nearly 3km, then I turned right onto the Krakaudorf Road (there was a waterfall sign at this point).

Next, I followed the Krakaudorf Road for about 3km to a spillover car park in a large pullout on the left.

Gunstner_Waterfall_023_07142018 - Approaching the nearest car park for the Guenstner Waterfall (or Günstner Wasserfall)
Approaching the nearest car park for the Guenstner Waterfall (or Günstner Wasserfall)

In another 400m, there was another turnoff on the left, which led onto a short unpaved road leading to the nearest car park after another 200m.

Overall, this drive took me about 2 hours.

Driving from Millstatt to the Guenstner Waterfall

If you’re coming from Millstatt, I’d recommend driving west on the B98 towards the A10 autobahn heading north.

Then, I’d continue north on the autobahn for about 37km to the exit 104 (St Michael im Lungau), which joined up with the B96 heading east.

Gunstner_Waterfall_109_07152018 - This was the clearing for the car park closest to the Gunstner Waterfall
This was the clearing for the car park closest to the Gunstner Waterfall

Next, I’d follow the B96 east through Tamsworth and eventually to Krakaudorf as described earlier.

This route would take about 83km (a little over an hour) though it might be subject to tolls.

There was also a more inland route from here on the B95 and B97 to Murau, but that meant a longer drive taking over 90 minutes.

For context, Krakaudorf was about 83km (over an hour drive) northeast of Millstatt, 148km (2 hours drive) east of Zell am See, 105km (between 1.5- to 2-hour drive) southwest of Admont, and 107km (2 hours drive) east then south from Hallstatt.

Video examining the main drops of the Gunstner Waterfall from within the gorge


Video revealing a more elevated view of the Gunstner Waterfall

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Tagged with: krakaudorf, styria, steiermark, murau, austria, waterfall



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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Günstner Waterfall (Austria) September 5, 2014 7:52 pm by Ruth Williams - You will find the Günstner Waterfall located in the Austrian province of Styria between the villages of Schöder and Krakaudorf. From the road an unpaved track leads to a parking area and then it is only a ten minute walk to the fall. The Günstner Waterfall is 65m high and approximately 250 litres of water… ...Read More

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