Last Visited: 08/01/2012
Length (km): 8.5 km
Time (hrs/min): 3 hours
Return / Circuit / One-Way / Partial Circuit: Partial Circuit
Region: South-West Victoria
Park: Great Otway National Park
Closest Town: Lorne (approx. 2 km)
Further Details / Source(s): I followed the walk titled “The Canyon Walk” in the second edition of Daywalks Around Melbourne (by Glenn Tempest – available in many bookstores or from Open Spaces Publishing).
Car Access: From Lorne, head west on Allenvale Road. After passing Allenvale Mill Campground, continue 2 km further and park at Sheoak Picnic Area.
The Canyon (aka. Lorne Waterfalls Circuit) is one of the nicest spots I’ve ever visited in the Great Otway National Park. Manoeuvring your way around, over and under its giant moss-covered boulders is undoubtedly what makes this hike so worthwhile. When it comes to waterfalls around Lorne, though, there’s no other hike in the area that will show you this many of them all in one go. So many reasons to take on this relatively easy hike. Especially if you’re the waterfall chasing type.
To get to The Canyon, follow the track at the north side of Sheoak Picnic Area. Crossing Allenvale Road and then Sharps Track, you will find yourself at Wonwondah Falls. There is a viewing platform at the falls but this isn’t the most spectacular of the falls.
Next up is Henderson Falls, which is a short detour from the circuit but easy to find and well worth the visit. My photo will do it far more justice than my words could. This fern lined mossy gully is the perfect spot to have some lunch or just relax and take in the sound of the water and abundant birdlife, before returning to the circuit and continuing on through The Canyon.
The Canyon itself is an incredible site that you’d never guess is hiding away here just outside Lorne. It’s another spot where you’ll just want to sit and take it all in, surrounded by the geological history of this beautiful part of the world.
The next stop is Phantom Falls. Unfortunately for us, there was barely a trickle of water here on our last visit. This is no doubt due to Allen Dam, which is situated not far above the falls. We took the track down to the base of the falls anyway, to check out the beautiful amphitheatre. When Phantom Falls is flowing it’s a spectacular sight.
Although the majority of the trip back to the car from Phantom Falls is on dirt roads, there are plenty of interesting sights, wildlife (particularly birdlife), and even an apple orchard to keep you entertained. We spotted Rainbow Lorikeets, Crimson Rosella and Kookaburra’s, just to name a few. The entire walk is very well signed, but bring along a map just in case.
Have you visited The Canyon? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.
Exploring the Great Ocean Road?
You won’t see the best sights from your car. Get the definitive guidebook, featuring the 25 best walks in the area with detailed instructions and maps.