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 is one of the nicest spots I’ve ever visited in the Great Otway National Park. Maneuvering your way around, over and under its giant moss-covered boulders is undoubtedly what makes this hike worthwhile.
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 the view was obscured by trees, so this was rather disappointing. Being the hilarious guy that I am, I couldn’t help but making jokes about the name. “Won-wondahs why they bothered to build that platform at all”, etc. etc… Cue riotous laughter.
Henderson Falls is a short detour from the circuit and well worth the visit. My photo will do it far more justice than my words could. This would be a nice spot to have some lunch, before returning to the circuit and continuing on through The Canyon.
The next stop is Phantom Falls but we were disappointed again on our visit, since there was no water at all. 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 amphitheater (and to try to imagine what it would be like if there were water).
The majority of the trip back to the car from Phantom Falls is on dirt roads. It wasn’t the most interesting walking but there was plenty of bird-life to keep us entertained. We spotted Rainbow Lorikeets, Crimson Rosella and Kookaburra’s, just to name a few. The entire walk is very well signed, so getting lost should not be an issue.
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