10 Of The Best Waterfalls In Lorne (With Easy/Moderate Walks)
Find below 10 waterfalls in Lorne to visit while visiting the Great Ocean Road. Each of these beautiful waterfalls have easy to moderate walks to arrive, so they are perfect for all abilities including families.
Did you know the Great Ocean Road is not just popular for its beaches, but thanks to the diverse terrain the region is also famed for its waterfalls? Especially if you head for the coastal town of Lorne, around 2 hours from Melbourne.
There are 10 waterfalls within 10km of Lorne and over 60km of walking trails home to koalas, wallabies, echidnas and birds waiting to be discovered.
10 Waterfalls in Lorne
There is a long list of waterfalls in Lorne, however not all of them are easy to access. So we have chosen the 10 of the best waterfalls in Lorne which the entire family will enjoy.
1. Phantom Falls
Distance from Lorne: 4.5km (15-minute drive)
Trail Distance: 3.5km return (90-minute walk)
Kicking of our list of waterfalls in Lorne is Phantom Falls.
Starting at Allenvale Mill, pack plenty snacks and sturdy shoes for this 90-minute trail which will lead you to the St George River then uphill on a loose gravel track before lush forest where there is plenty wildlife to be found. Before long, you will arrive at the striking Phantom Falls towering 15 metres high.
For the adventurous ones, you can continue the same circuit to Henderson Falls and Won Wondah Falls – two more of the most popular waterfalls in Lorne.
2. Kalimna Falls – Upper & Lower
Distance from Lorne: 7.1 km (17-minute drive)
Trail Distance – upper kalimna Falls: 4.1km
Trail Distance – lower Kalimna Falls: 2.9km (allow 3 hours to do both)
Park at the Sheoak Picnic Area and take the historical Kalimna Falls walk which was the route of a timber tramway between the 1890s & 1920s. The trail is suitable for young children as it’s flat nearly the entire way and only takes 40 minutes to reach Lower Kalimna Falls. Gumboots are still advised as it can get very muddy during Winter.
Lower Kalimna Falls are one of the best waterfalls in Lorne for kids as it offers the unique experience to access behind the falls and watch the water cascade down the overhanging rock into the large pool. Upper Falls are then a further 1.3km walk, and these cascades can be viewed from a platform as they are far more powerful.
3. Sheoak Falls & Swallow Cave
Distance from Lorne: 5.9km (9-minute drive)
Trail Distance: 2.2km return (1 hour total)
A perfect waterfall in Lorne for a Sunday afternoon stroll, as Sheoak Falls are a short and easy 30-minute walk around the picnic area. The trail will take you through towering ferns and gum trees so keep your eye out for wildlife as you walk.
For a special treat, visit at dusk where you will see glittering glow worms emerge after dark along the trail.
At 15 metres high, Sheoak Falls are impressive, but they are also seasonal. Like many Lorne waterfalls, they dry up in Summer so for the best views visit in Winter.
Although some refer to Swallow Cave as waterfalls, it’s actually the upper part of Sheoak Falls. As you take the trail from the picnic area, there’s an option to head up a stair to the left, but instead go down to the right to visit Swallow Cave which is home to tranquil falls and nesting birds.
Note, you will need to cross a creek over steppingstones – do not attempt in high water or with very small children.
4. Cumberland Falls
Distance from Lorne: 6.4km (16-minute drive)
Trail Distance: 6km return (2.5 – 3 hours)
Although not as spectacular as other Lorne waterfalls, Cumberland Falls trail is ideal for families as you pass many potential swim spots along the way.
A favourite is the Jebs Pool which has a smooth rockslide. The trail begins at Cumberland River Holiday Park and involves river crossings with a few unsteady rocks so isn’t ideal for very small children but a fun afternoon for adventurous families.
5. Henderson Falls
Distance from Lorne: 5.1km (12-minute drive)
Trail Distance: 1.8km (approx. 1 hour each way)
As one of the most popular waterfalls in Lorne, the gentle track to Henderson Falls is a favourite with families.
Starting at the Sheoak Picnic Area, you will pass Won Wondah Falls before arriving at a lush fern gully in front of Henderson Falls.
The falls are an impressive 8-10 metres high, and the base is the perfect place for a picnic as you admire the cascades – although beware of snakes which are notorious in the area.
6. Won Wondah Falls
As mentioned, Won Wondah Falls are on route to Henderson Falls. They offer a platform to view the beautiful fern gully and falls below, although depending on the time of year the views can be obstructed by dense overgrowth.
The area comes alive in Spring and Autumn, especially after heavy rainfall when children will love spotting the fascinating fungi and playing in puddles on route.
7. Erskine Falls
Distance from Lorne: 10.1km (14-minute drive)
Trail Distance to 1st lookout: 300m return (15 minutes)
Trail Distance to 2nd lookout: 700m return (30 minutes)
Erskine Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Lorne. This is mainly because they are one of the highest at 30 metres, but also because it’s one of the quickest trails in the region.
The best thing about Erskine Falls is that there are two lookouts so you can view these spectacular falls from both above and below. Both lookouts are accessible to children but the second is slightly more strenuous as you head down steps to the base of the falls although the walk is worth it for the view from within the luscious fern gully.
8. Straw Falls
Distance From Lorne: 10.1km (14-minute drive)
Trail Distance: 400metres from Erskine Falls (2.2km return – 1 hour)
Despite Erskine Falls’ popularity, very few people know of its neighbouring waterfalls – Straw Falls. From the bottom of the stairs down to Erskine Falls, you’ll notice a smaller staircase to the right, from here if you cross the river and follow the bank 400m downstream where you will reach this hidden gem.
9. Cora Lynn Cascades
Distance from Lorne: 5.4km (8 minute drive)
Trail Distance: 2.1km (1.5 – 2 hours)
Cora Lynn Cascades are a little off the beaten track which makes them one of the best Lorne waterfalls for a tranquil afternoon as it’s likely there’ll be very few other visitors.
The walk is more strenuous than other Lorne waterfalls, but it is also one of the most scenic trails. Starting from Blanket Leaf Car Park, you will be led through exposed shale ledges and a myriad of flora and fauna.
Don’t forget appropriate footwear after heavy rainfall as the trail is notorious for turning to sludge, which is all part of the fun.
10. Stevenson Falls
Distance From Lorne: 56.4km ( approx. 1-hour drive)
Trail Distance short walk: 500m return (15-30 minutes)
Trail Distance long walk: 4.6km (2-3 hours)
Although an hour from Lorne, Stevenson Falls are an unmissable addition to this guide as they are one of the tallest waterfalls in Victoria. Depending on your time limit (and age of your little ones) there are two trails to Stevenson Falls – a short option and longer option.
The short walk starts at the picnic area, which is located over the second bridge (left of the first bridge.) At only 500m long, it is ideal for all ages to explore the beautiful Gellibrand river and its lush surroundings.
The long walk is a little more disappointing as parts of the luscious forest have been replaced by timber plantations, and at certain points you are walking alongside the road which is not as picturesque.
Regardless of the route you choose, both are equally rewarding as you arrive at the spectactular waterfalls which not only showcase five cascades but tower 122 metres high. As a tip, there is also a nearby campground for an even better adventure!
So many beautiful waterfalls in Lorne!
With so many beautiful waterfalls in Lorne, you will be spoiled for choice. Whether you only have time for a quick stop during your Great Ocean Road trip or you have the entire weekend in Lorne to find as many falls as you can, hopefully our guide will point you in the right direction.
If you are looking for more waterfalls, check out our list of Must see Waterfalls near Melbourne.