Majestic Hopetoun Falls
If you could name any of the Otways' dozens of waterfalls, then chances are it would be Hopetoun Falls. This stunning waterfall roars over its impressive rock face and pounds into Aire river below.
Hopetoun Falls sits on the Aire River a few Kilometres past the small town of Beech Forest, situated high in the Otway Ranges. If you're only going to visit a few waterfalls, make sure this is one of them!
The top photo is one of my best shots of the falls, and costliest! I drowned 2 cameras as I navigated my way across rocks and slipped. Luckily I managed to salvage this shot!
Look high, look low
There is an impressive view of the Falls from the wheelchair accessible car park lookout, looking down into the valley below.
The walk to the falls is short but steep, taking about 10 minutes to navigate down the stepped path. Getting back up will take you about 20 minutes though!
The valley is breathtakingly beautiful! The path flattens out once you reach the valley floor, and continues through a lush canopy of tree ferns to the viewing platform near the foot of the falls. The platform is an addition in recent years, which is great for conservation and visitor safety, but rather frustrating for a landscape photographer wanting to explore different angles!
Be sure to check out nearby Beauchamp Falls which is similarly beautiful, and only a few kilometres away.
How to get here
To get here from the Great Ocean Road, you would divert at Lavers Hill, heading inland. Once you're past the township of Beech Forest, turn right a few kilometres later at Aire Valley Road.
Look for the signs to Hopetoun and Beauchamp Falls. Take the right turn at the fork and continue for a few more kilometres until you see the sign to the right.
You can also cut across from near the Cape Otway turnoff on the Great Ocean Road. Look out for the sign to Beech Forrest. This is a 20 minute drive through lush forests and ferns, but is winding and can be rough after heavy rain.
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