Last Visited: 06/04/2009
Length (km): approx. 2.6 km (according to MapMyHike.com)
Time (hrs/min): 1 hour
Return / Circuit / One-Way / Partial Circuit: Return
Park: Dandenong Ranges National Park
Closest Town: Olinda
Maximum Elevation: approx. 452 m (according to MapMyHike.com)
Total Ascent: approx. 140 m (according to MapMyHike.com)
Car Access: Olinda is accessible via the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road. From Olinda, I turned east onto the Olinda-Monbulk Road and then took the first left onto Falls Road. After crossing a bridge, I came across the Olinda Falls Picnic Ground on my right. I’ve now noticed on the map that Falls Road appears to meet the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road just north of Olinda, so you could try and access the carpark from here. (Melways Ref: 66 K2)
One of Melbourne’s closest waterfalls, Olinda Falls can be admired via a very short hike from the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road. Whether staying in the Dandenong Ranges, or day-tripping from anywhere in Melbourne, this and Sherbrooke Falls are essential as part of any sight-seeing visit.
This walk begins at the Olinda Falls Picnic Ground. From the carpark, head past the toilet block and a 300 metre (approx.) down-hill walk brings you to a junction, where you have the option of visiting the upper or lower falls viewing platforms or taking Cascade Track to the north. I started with the lower falls, followed by the upper falls and then moved on to Cascade Track, which I followed to Barbers Road (returning via the same path).
The lower falls viewing platform was definitely a nicer spot than the upper falls but both are worth a visit. If you just wanted to visit the falls and skip Cascade Track, the walk would be reduced to approximately 600 metres / half an hour. However, the Cascade Walk section is a little more rugged and will give you a better idea of what the surrounding forest is like. Due to the rain, there were a few muddy/slippery bits along Cascade Track but the tracks to the falls were gravelly so they were fine.
The sun came out for a short section of my walk and the plethora of different bird species could suddenly be heard. I also spotted a wallaby alongside Cascade Track (I think I gave it a real shock as I’ve never seen one take off so quickly – I must have been walking extra quietly).
Have you visited Olinda Falls yourself? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.