Hopetoun Falls: A Natural Gem in the Heart of Victoria

When it comes to natural wonders, Australia has plenty to offer. From pristine beaches to lush rainforests, this country has no shortage of scenic destinations to explore. However, Hopetoun Falls in Victoria is a must-see for those seeking unspoiled beauty.

Located within the Great Otway National Park, Hopetoun Falls is a magnificent waterfall cascading into a serene pool, hitting a fallen tree on the way down. Surrounded by dense forest, this natural wonder offers a peaceful oasis in the heart of nature.

Hopetoun Falls is a must-see destination if you’re visiting Victoria or taking a road trip along the Great Ocean Road.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the wonders of Hopetoun Falls and what makes it an unforgettable destination.

Where is Hopetoun Falls?

Hopetoun Falls is situated in the Great Otway National Park, approximately 250 kilometres southwest of Melbourne and 40 km from Apollo Bay.

This pristine natural wonder is located near the small town of Beech Forest (only 5 km from it), which serves as the gateway to the falls. Surrounded by towering eucalyptus trees and fern-filled forests, Hopetoun Falls embodies the untouched beauty of the Australian wilderness.

A beautiful view of Hopetoun Falls among lush and green vegetation

How to Get to Hopetoun Falls?

To reach Hopetoun Falls, the most convenient option is to embark on a road trip.

From Melbourne, you can head southwest along the Princes Highway, passing through Geelong. Once you reach the town of Beech Forest, you’ll find signposts directing you towards Hopetoun Falls. It is only a 10-minute drive on Binns Rd before you arrive at Hopetoun Falls. The drive from Melbourne takes around three hours, but the scenic route through the Great Ocean Road rewards you with picturesque landscapes.

From Apollo Bay, keep driving on the Great Ocean Road, going through Otways National Park. You will pass by Glenaire and Johanna before you reach Lavers Hill.

To get to the falls, first turn right onto Colac- Lavers Hill Rd. (C155) at Lavers Hill. Drive for approximately 25 minutes, passing by Beech Forest before taking a right turn onto Binns Rd and arriving at the falls.

Need a rental car to explore Victoria and go on your Great Ocean Road itineraryBook here

The Hopetoun Falls Walk

The journey to Hopetoun Falls begins with a refreshing walk through the ancient rainforest.

The walking trail starts near the car park, easily accessible from Beech Forest. There, you will also see a viewing platform, perfect for those who can’t walk down to the falls. As you set foot on the track, be prepared to be immersed in a world of lush greenery, vibrant birdlife, and the soothing sounds of nature.

How long is Hopetoun Falls walk?

The hike to Hopetoun Falls is around 400m one way and relatively moderate. Sturdy footwear is recommended due to uneven terrain and potentially slippery sections.

Dani doing the walk down to Hopetoun Falls through a path among lush and green vegetation

How many steps are there in Hopetoun Falls?

Although there are about 200 well-maintained steps, they are relatively easy and do not require a high fitness level. They will take you deep into the heart of the Otway Ranges.

Along the way, you’ll encounter towering mountain ash trees, native tree ferns, and glimpses of the surrounding valleys, creating a captivating atmosphere.

Steps that take you down to Hopetown Falls base among green and lush vegetation

What is the elevation of Hopetoun Falls?

As you approach the waterfall, the sound of rushing water grows louder, building anticipation for the grand reveal. The final section of the trail leads to a viewing platform, offering a breathtaking panorama of the 30-meter-tall cascading falls.

Arriving at Hopetoun Falls

Witnessing the majestic curtain of water plunge into the fern-lined pool below is a truly mesmerizing sight that will leave you in awe of nature’s power and beauty.

There is a seat available where you can enjoy the view and a big platform that can accommodate approximately ten people.

We advise against jumping the fence and going to the base of the falls like most visitors do. You can still capture beautiful photos from the viewpoint without causing damage to the delicate ecosystem.

The hike back to the carpark takes the same route, but you will feel it a bit more going up the stairs.

Tips for Exploring Hopetoun Falls

The Best Time to Visit Hopetoun Waterfall

While the waterfall is accessible throughout the year, visiting Hopetoun Falls during the rainy season from May to September is our recommendation when the waterfall receives the increased flow of the Aire River.

During summer, the waterfall can dry up, and the vegetation can become sparse. Peak tourist season in Victoria is from December to February, but spring and autumn offer mild temperatures and fewer crowds.

We visited Hopetoun Falls in May of 2018 and again in October of 2022, and both times, the vegetation was incredibly green, and the waterfall was gorgeous.

Dani, her mom and her aunty standing at the end of the viewing platform in Hopetoun Falls surrounded by lush and green vegetation


Don’t forget your camera or smartphone to capture picturesque moments. The interplay of sunlight filtering through the foliage and the misty veil of the falls provides fantastic photo opportunities.

A beautiful view of Hopetoun Falls among lush and green vegetation

Respect Nature

Remember to follow Leave No Trace principles and be mindful of the environment. Help preserve this pristine paradise for future generations.

Is Hopetoun worth a visit?

Hopetoun Falls is a true gem within the Great Otway National Park, offering an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

The journey through the ancient rainforest and the captivating sight of the cascading waterfall and the fallen tree next to it create an enchanting atmosphere that will leave you feeling inspired and connected to the wonders of the natural world.

So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and embark on an unforgettable adventure to Hopetoun Falls—where tranquillity and natural beauty collide.

Happy travels, and may your journey to Hopetoun Falls be filled with awe and wonder!

Are dogs allowed at Hopetoun Falls?

No. Because Hopetoun Falls is within the Great Otway National Park, pets are not allowed there.

Swimming at Hopetoun Falls

Swimming at Hopetoun Falls is an exhilarating experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of this natural wonder.

While the pool at the base of the falls may seem inviting, it’s important to note that swimming is not recommended due to safety reasons. The force of the cascading water and the unpredictable currents make it potentially dangerous for swimmers. Additionally, the depth and temperature of the water can vary, further emphasizing the need for caution.

You can still enjoy the refreshing mist and the invigorating atmosphere as you stand on the viewing platform, allowing the waterfall’s spray to gently kiss your skin. This unique vantage point provides an up-close encounter with the falls, creating a sensory experience that will leave you feeling revitalized and connected to the power of nature. So, while swimming may not be an option, the sheer magnificence of Hopetoun Falls will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on your heart and soul.