The most incredible thing about the Great Ocean Road trip is the diversity of the landscape you have to explore. This epic Australian road trip is not just coastal views and winding roads, there is also a secret and secluded side to the beauty. If you venture inland from the vast horizon of the Southern Ocean, you will find completely different landscape awaits you. Tropical rainforests, endless swamps and marshlands, and crashing waterfalls are the more hidden side to the Great Ocean Road, so let’s go and find them!
This is your ultimate guide to finding the Erskine Falls in Lorne, including everything from what they are to how to get there and what to expect.
Listed below are some of the main points discussed in this guide. We will explore each of these in greater detail later on in the article.
- What is the Erskine Falls Walking Track?
- How to Find the Lorne Erskine Falls
- When is the Best Time to Visit Erskine Falls
- What You Will Find at the Erskine Falls
- Other Sights Along the Great Ocean Road
- How to Prepare for the Great Ocean Road
Discover Erskine Falls, Lorne – Secrets of the Great Ocean Road
What is the Erskine Falls Walking Track
One of the most popular waterfalls in the Great Otway National Park sits just outside of the town of Lorne. The 30m tall Erskine Falls is an incredible spot to visit during your Great Ocean Road trip, surrounded by lush green jungle and ancient forests.
One of the highest waterfalls in Victoria, the Erskine Falls feeds the Erskine River, which stretches all the way to Lorne, before it finally joins the ocean. There is a walking track that leads from Lorne to the base of the Erksine Falls, however, this is a difficult walk and is not possible during high water levels. The easiest way to reach the falls is by following the Erskine Falls Road to the car park at the end.
How to Find the Lorne Erskine Falls
Sitting 10km inland from the small town of Lorne, Erskine Falls is roughly 30km past the official starting point of the Great Ocean Road. Given its off-the-beaten-path location, this spot is actually less popular than many of the other tourist destinations. Due to this, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to find a quiet time to visit this beautiful waterfall and enjoy the serenity alone.
There are two real options for getting to Erskine Falls during your trip along the Great Ocean Road and they both require you to have your own vehicle. Seeing as how organised tours will very rarely visit this waterfall, you will have to tour the Great Ocean Road on your own itinerary to visit this incredible place.
Lucky for you, we have a full two day itinerary for the Great Ocean Road that will take you along all of the best sights,
For a vehicle to get you along the Great Ocean Road, you have the choice of renting a car or van for a weekend or buying a campervan and touring the Great Ocean Road, along with the rest of Australia. If you would like to buy a campervan of your own, check out our complete guide to buying a campervan in Australia for all the information you will need.
If renting is what you are interested in there are a couple of companies that we would recommend.
Car and Van Rental
The most popular way of renting a car from Melbourne or Adelaide is with Europcar rentals. These guys provide cheap and reliable rental vehicles of all shapes and sizes, perfect for a weekend trip away. If you do decide to rent a car or van, we recommend you rent for 48hrs to make the most of your time on the road.
The rental offices will not open until 9am, which means you will not be able to hit the road until 9.30am at the earliest. By renting for two days you will be able to spend a full day exploring the Great Ocean Road and then get up early the next day for another full day of adventure.
The best way to rent a campervan in Melbourne or Adelaide is by using the platform Camplify. This is like the Airbnb of campervan rentals, offering cheap and reliable rental vehicles for short or long term users. This platform allows owners to rent out their campervans when they are not using them, which means they are well looked after and a lot cheaper than van rental companies.
Also Read – The Twelve Apostles – The Complete Guide
When is the Best Time to Visit Erskine Falls
As discussed earlier, Erskine Falls in Lorne is one of the Great Ocean Road’s quieter tourist attractions. Due to this, there is no real optimal time to visit the waterfall, as during the quiet seasons it will most likely be quiet all of the time, and during peak season it will be moderately busy all day long.
As with any visitor attraction, the best time to visit is always at sunrise, as not only do you get the place to yourself you will also be able to enjoy the waterfall views in the beautiful, golden morning light.
What You Will Find at the Erskine Falls
The Erskine Falls are reachable from Lorne in two different ways, either by car or by foot. The waterfall itself is very well developed and suitable for families of all ages. There are a lot of steps leading down to the base of the falls, however, there is a viewing platform from the top that is very easy to reach, so don’t let the stairs out you off.
Erskine Falls by Car
This waterfall is a short, 10-minute drive from the small town of Lorne, with a car park at the very end of the adequately named, Erskine Falls Road. Here you will find a small car park and a clear path towards the falls.
There are two lookout points over the Erskine Falls, one from the top and one from the bottom. The first lookout is an easy 5-minute walk from the car park and provides simply gorgeous views of the Erskine Falls as it empties water into the lush green gully 30m below. The next lookout is from the very base of the falls, 240 steps down. Although this may sound intimidating, the steps and paths are very well maintained and there are frequent stopping spots for resting your legs.
At the very base of the waterfall, you will be rewarded for your efforts with a cool mist and stunning views of the cascading water as it crashes to the ground. The area at the bottom of the waterfall features a well-maintained boardwalk, with non-slip treatment and high guard rails to prevent you from falling off the path. This walk is therefore very suitable for young children and is perfect for a family day out exploring the wonder of nature.
Erskine Falls by Foot
For the hardier walking adventurer, there is a route from the town of Lorne that leads to the base of the Erskine Falls, winding along the Erskine River and past a couple of other waterfalls too. This walk is very strenious as it winds back and forth across the Erskine River and stretches a total of 7.5km to the waterfall. It should also not be attempted after high rainfall, as the river will be too high to safely navigate.
Of course, if you walk all the way the falls you will have to walk all the way back, so schedule a full day for this expedition.
Also Read – Free Camping Great Ocean Road – A Complete Guide
Other Sights Along the Great Ocean Road
In addition to this incredible spot, the Great Ocean Road is filled with other amazing sights and coastal views. If you are a fan of the incredible power of nature and its crashing waves, then here are some other sights that you should not miss!
The Twelve Apostles
Perhaps the Great Ocean Road’s most famous tourist attraction, the Twelve Apostles are a group of limestone sea columns just off the shore of Australia. This incredibly beautiful location shows off the impressive power that the sea possesses as it batters against these giant stacks of rock, wearing them away day by day.
Not too long ago there used to be 9 columns, however, today you will only be able to count 8 after one collapsed after years of relentless punishment by the sea.
The Twelve Ocean Road has a large amount of parking, wheelchair access, well-kept restrooms and even a visitor centre with a cafe for snacks and drinks. It is most busy at sunset as the organised tours finish their day with the stunning sunsets over the columns.
Another stunning area of the Great Ocean Road, the cliffs of Gibsons Steps are truly jaw-dropping. If you visit this spot at low tide you will be able to walk down the steps to the beach, where you can marvel at the size of the cliffs above.
Be careful when you are on the beach, however, as the waves are large and strong and if you are not paying attention you will easily get your feet wet, or possibly worse..
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Split Point Lighthouse
Sitting just before the start of the Great Ocean Road and outside the small town of Lorne, this old lighthouse is a beautiful spot to admire the coastal views below. Built in 1891, this lighthouse was constructed to warn passing ships of the rocky shores nearby.
There are daily tours of the lighthouse, showing you the fascinating history and culture behind this part of the country. These must be booked online, which can be done here.
Bay of Islands
An area of the Great Ocean Road coastline that is littered with dozens of smaller limestone sea stacks. Over time, the soft coastal cliffs of Victoria have been eroded by the sea, leaving behind small islands of rock. These islands will, in turn, erode and collapse into the sea one day.
The viewing platform over the Bay of Islands has beautiful views of the southern Victoria coastline as it stretches for as far as the eye can see. Silhouetted against the sea mist from the crashing waves are the outlines of these beautiful sea stacks.
How to Prepare for the Great Ocean Road
Before you set off on your coastal adventure, there are a number of things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. This includes packing all the necessities, sorting out travel insurance and organising your accommodation.
Applying for an Australian Visa
If you have yet to leave for Australia then this is a section of interest for you. There are a LOT of different visa options for people arriving into Australia, from tourist visas to permanent residence visas. The most common visas, however, are the 3-month tourist visa and the Working Holiday Visa.
If you are only visiting Australia for a short period of time then a tourist visa is your best option. These are easily obtained and relatively cheap, costing roughly $140AUD, and allow you to stay in the country for up to 12months. These can be applied for on the government website here.
If you wish to work and travel in Australia, a working holiday visa is your best option. These cost around $480AUD and allow you to stay in Australia for up to 12months, whilst working and earning money to travel. This visa also gives you the opportunity to extend your stay in Australia by up to 24months by working in certain job sectors.
What Clothes to Pack for the Great Ocean Road
Depending on the time of year that you will be exploring this coastal route, you will either be packing a lot of warm clothing or nothing at all. Since the Great Ocean Road runs along the southern coast of Victoria, the winter temperatures can plummet to below freezing as the Antarctic winds blast the mainland. However, during the summer months, the temperature along this route can reach beautiful levels, perfect for a dip in the water.
Regardless of the season, we recommend you bring a good waterproof jacket with you, as you may experience the odd rain shower. Sunscreen and good walking boots are also a must all year round as the sun is strong and the walks are beautiful.
You don’t want to forget your camera when you visit Australia and especially when you are driving along the Great Ocean Road. We brought our Canon camera, GoPro and Drone with us on this trip. Bear in mind that drones are not permitted between Gibson Steps and London Bridge due to helicopters flying in this area.
You can check out what other travel tech we bring with us on our adventures here.
What Food to Pack for the Great Ocean Road
When it comes to food, there are some restaurants in the towns on the Great Ocean Road. Some of these are listed below. We would recommend that if you are planning on cooking your own food or even for buying snacks, that you stock up at one of the larger supermarkets (such as Aldi and Coles) in Torquay as you won’t reach another until the end of the Great Ocean Road in Warrnambool.
For cooking inspiration on your road trip, check out our recipes for delicious meals on the go.
Best Places to Stay for Erskine Falls
When visiting the Great Ocean Road and the small town of Lorne, you can choose between a luxurious hotel stay, a cosy campsite or an adventurous wild camping spot. No matter what your taste in accommodation, Lorne has just the thing for you! These are our top suggestions for hotels and campsites in the area.
Luxury – If a private cottage situated in the midst of Australia’s incredible wildlife is something you would be interested in, the Lorne Bush House Cottages & Eco Retreats are the best choice for you. With private cottages featuring a fireplace and spa pool, as well as luxury tents for the ultimate eco-retreat experience, this is a truly unique accommodation experience.
Mid-Range – Sitting right on the beach, the Cumberland Lorne Resort is a fantastic, mid-budget accommodation choice for visiting Erskine Falls. Featuring a private balcony, overlooking the nearby beach, each apartment also features a private spa bath to relax is at night.
Budget – The cheapest available accommodation that features four walls is the beautiful Anchorage Motel and Villas. Sitting just 15-minutes from Erskine Falls, these air-conditioned villas and apartments are just a 5-minute walk from the stunning Louttit Bay Beach. Included in the apartments is a swimming pool as well as laundry facilities free to use.
Personally, we like to travel as much as we can by wild camping. We can recommend using the Wiki Camp app for both sights in Australia and camping spots.
Camping along the Great Ocean Road can be a lot trickier and there are signs at every spot saying you can be fined for camping there. However, if you leave the B100 road, you will most likely come across spots for camping wild.
It’s up to you whether you are willing to risk the fine or find a campsite to stay for the night. Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park is an option for a campsite near Split Point Lighthouse. You can book your stay at Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park, here.
What is the Best Travel Insurance for Australia
Insurance is one of the most important purchases you can make when preparing for any trip. Healthcare in Australia is expensive and it’s not worth breaking the bank over an accident. For hassle-free travel insurance, we highly recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance.
These guys provide excellent cover, customer care, and worldwide support, all for a very reasonable cost.
FAQ’s on the Erskine Falls
How far is Erskine Falls from Lorne?
These spectacular waterfalls are situated within walking distance of Lorne and are very easily reached by car. It is a short 9km drive from the town centre, or if you have the time, it is a reasonably easy 7.5km, one-way walk.
How long does it take to walk to Erskine Falls?
If you are planning in walking the entire way to the waterfalls and back into Lorne, a round trip will take you around 3.5-4hrs. Be sure to pack enough food and drink to last you this trek and leave extra time to admire the beauty of the waterfalls themselves.
Can you take dogs to Erskine Falls?
The route and area around the waterfalls are a very dog-friendly place, however, be aware that a lot of the national park requires dogs to be on a leash at certain times of the year. This is mainly to do with the breeding seasons of local wildlife. Between December 1 – February 28 and Easter, dogs are only permitted off-leash between 7pm and 9am.
So there you have it, your ultimate guide to Erskine Falls in Lorne. If you are visiting this breathtaking place and have any other questions on what to expect, leave us a comment down below. We love to chat about this stuff! If you have already been, let us know how it was! What was your favourite part of the Great Ocean Road? Did you see the visit the incredible Erskine Falls? Let us know in the comments below!
Also remember to share this with your friends and family that you are going to tour with. Sharing is caring and we want to inspire as many people as we can to visit this unbelievable part of the world.
If you are planning an Australia trip soon then check out our other Australia content right here. Come and find us on social media to see where we are currently exploring. Tag us in your photos from the Great Ocean Road and we will share them with the rest of our community of explorers and backpackers.
- Great Ocean Road Itinerary – Two Days Along the Coast
- Free Camping Great Ocean Road – A Complete Guide
- Great Ocean Road Waterfalls – Best Walking Trails on the Great Ocean Road
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