Map: Not needed (once you find the carpark, you can’t go wrong)
Last Visited: 09/01/2010
Length (km): 6 km
Time (hrs/min): 2 hours 30 mins
Grade: Moderate
Return / Circuit / One-Way / Partial Circuit: Return
Region: South-West Victoria
Park: Great Otway National Park
Closest Town: Lorne (7 km)
Maximum Elevation: approx. 110 m (according to
Total Ascent: approx. 106 m (according to
Further Details / Source(s): We set out to do walk #1 in Daywalks Around Melbourne (by Glenn Tempest – available in many bookstores) which is a circuit walk but due to the heat we changed our minds and just did the return hike to the falls. I haven’t been able to find any significant details about this walk elsewhere.
Car Access: From Lorne, follow the Great Ocean Road west for 7 km until you see signs for the Cumberland River Holiday Park. Turn right and park in the carpark, just near reception.


Head into the caravan park and follow the track along the river until you find yourself strolling through the picturesque Cumberland Gorge, surrounded by blue gums, tree-fern and (at least when we were there) thousands of small lizards (probably skinks) and crimson rosellas).

Cumberland Falls - Great Otway National Park - Lorne - Victoria
The cliffs surrounding the river are spectacular


At the first track intersection, you can choose either track as they meet not very far along anyway and you can take the other track on your return. From here the track is reasonably easy to follow and but if you start to head out of the gorge then you’ve taken a wrong turn. As far as I know there’s only one other track junction anyway, which heads north to Garvey Track (the sign was broken off at the time of my visit).

Cumberland Falls - Great Otway National Park - Lorne - Victoria
Part of the track through the gorge


The track crosses the river a few times so I would advise against it after heavy rain. When the track seems to dissappear on the side of the river you’re on, look out for it’s continuation on the opposite bank and there will usually be an easy way across. After the first 1-1.5 km the track turns from a dirt walking track to rock-hopping along the banks of the river so it does become moderately technical.

Cumberland Falls - Great Otway National Park - Lorne - Victoria
The Cumberland River (just beyond the falls)


From this point, we actually continued to rock-hop our way up the river for a short distance to explore but there is no track so it’s up to you whether you venture beyond the falls. Return via the same track.

Have you visited Cumberland Falls? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.


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