Distance: 9.1 km
Average Gradient: 5%
Elevation gain: 464 meters
Traffic: Light traffic
Nestled deep in the sub-temperate rain forest of the Otway Ranges are Erskine Falls. They are the highest single drop of all the Otway waterfalls with a 30 meter cascade. The climb up to Erskine Falls is easily one of the Great Ocean Roads greatest climbs. Offering stunning views, challenging climbing & incredible descents.
The tourist road up to the Erskine Falls climb is via Ottway Street and is well signed. Alternatively you can start this climb from either Grove Road or William Street. No matter which street you decide to climb this from. It is guaranteed to be steep.
Erskine Falls climb
This is a truly stunning climb. Which takes you through the Eucalypt forest of the Ottway Ranges. The 5% average on this climb is quite deceptive as there are quite a few descents along the way. As you near the peak of the climb you will encounter several descents. After climbing for such a long time, each descent may lull into a false sense of security that the climb is over. You may be tempted to relax the legs. This is a climb that if you don’t pace yourself appropriately. It will hurt you.
The climb finishes at the Erskine Falls sign. If you continue down this road there is a 1.3km descent to Erskine Falls. Its only a short walk to the upper viewing platform. There is quite an impressive view of Erskine Falls. Just be mindful that there’s a nice steep hill to climb back out of (click here for preview of this climb)
I rarely advocate descents, but with quiet roads and a stunning descent, this is one that is quite fun!
Erskine Falls lookouts
Erskine Falls have two viewing platforms. The upper platform offers a top-down view of Erskine Falls and is easily accessible from the car park.
There is a second lookout at the base of the Falls. You will have to descend several hundred steep stairs to walk down to this lookout. It is a real lung buster. There is a man-made viewing platform which offers front on views of the falls. This platform was also built to stop people to walk in and amongst the rocks around the base of the falls.
Erskine Falls are located on the Erskine River. This river is less than five metres across at its widest and barely a metre across at some points, and is known for its Trout fishing. Photos don’t do justice to the beauty and serenity of this amazing place and is a must visit.
Whether you’re staying overnight or just passing through. Take time out to wander down Lorne’s main shopping strip filled with boutique gift stores. Cellars, eateries and galleries. Relax with a latte at a sidewalk cafe. Picnic under the trees on the foreshore. Or dine on freshly caught seafood at a local restaurant.
Make sure that you visit the Lorne surf beach, the only patrolled beach in town. Cool off in the sparkling waters of Loutit Bay or take a stroll up to Shelley Beach to explore the rock pools. The nearby Great Otway National Park is a nature lover’s playground with misty waterfalls, giant ferns and ancient forest. Discover the Erskine Falls cascading into a beautiful fern gully, one of ten waterfalls within ten minutes of town.
At sea. For those keen on a bit of fishing during their holidays, the Lorne Pier is a great place to cast a line for trevally, barracuda and whiting. Keep an eye out for migrating whales between May and September. Lorne is one of the best spots along the Great Ocean Road to see these giants of the deep as they make their journey along the coast.
How to get there
Lorne is a breathtaking seaside town where the bush meets the beach. It is situated in the Ottway Ranges on the Great Ocean Road. Located approximately 142 km south west of Melbourne and is accessed either via the Great Ocean Road or Deans Marsh Road.
During fire season
The Ottway Ranges are in a fire district. Anyone entering parks and forests during the bushfire season needs to stay aware of forecast weather conditions. Check the Fire Danger Rating and for days of Total Fire Ban at www.cfa.vic.gov.au or call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.