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Magazines : Breakaway Autumn 2011
Falling for our cascades Surf Coast publisher and Lonely Planet guidebook writer RICHARD EVERIST wonders about waterfalls Kalimna Falls Another of the (too) many falls behind Lorne, this is a more ambitious 3.5 hour return walk. The lower falls that you reach first aren’t large, but they are undercut, so you can climb in behind them and look out through the falling water to a large pool surrounded by mossy logs and rocks. Marriners Falls Behind Apollo Bay, a 30-minute walk to the falls starts in open country but soon leads into a steep-sided valley with trees towering overhead. There are some beautiful tree ferns. Ruler- straight mountain ash trees have fallen from the steep hills and lean against cliffs forming archways over the path. Triplet Falls Close to the Otway Fly, Triplet Falls, as the name suggests, is three spectacular cascades. They are set among a rainforest of ferns and myrtle beech trees, and are reached by a 30-minute walk on a well-constructed track through tall mountain ash trees. WATERFALLS – everybody loves them, but nobody can tell you why. Is it because they are beautiful, dramatic, hypnotic? Perhaps it’s their green secrecy or the strangeness of a river falling off a cliff? Perhaps it’s the water’s endless repetition? But why are they so restful, so strangely rejuvenating? Perhaps it’s the negative ions given off by water molecules colliding ... Ever since the 1890s waterfalls have attracted visitors into the Otways. Even Rudyard Kipling, the Nobel Laureate and author of The Jungle Book, was sufficiently impressed to mention the Erskine Falls in one of his poems. A more jaundiced guidebook published in 1890 went so far as to say: “If anything Lorne has too many waterfalls. They dominate the social arrangements of the place ... A Lorne picnic is incomplete unless the campfire be lit within range of the spray of a waterfall. No better reason can be given than it was so in the beginning, and the tourists have become slaves to custom.” Perhaps the writer missed the point. There are good reasons, we’re just not sure what they are. And whatever the reasons might be, waterfalls are definitely magnetic. They simply are. There are literally dozens of waterfalls in the Otway Ranges. The main ridge catches clouds racing off the Southern Ocean and creates creeks and streams that have to fall 500m before they reach the sea. Every single stream is punctuated with waterfalls. Erskine Falls With a nod to Rudyard, Erskine Falls behind Lorne is one of the most popular falls in the Otways. The 30m falls are attractive even when they’re barely trickling into the deep pool at the bottom. It’s an easy 15-minute walk to the first lookout where there’s a spectacular view. It’s a short but steep climb to the second lookout but the reward is a view down a beautiful fern valley. INFO Details of all these walks – and a forest and waterfalls drive (behind Apollo Bay) - are available at Visitor Information Centres and in Richard Everist’s The Complete Guide to the Great Ocean Road – a 414-page book that unlocks the region’s sights, activities and history using maps and hundreds of photos. It’s available at all good bookshops and Surf Coast and Otway tourist information centres. RRP $49.95. bestshot.com.au DRIVE GEELONG ADVERTISER I 23
Breakaway Summer 2010
Our Place - Geelong Region Magazine 2011