Marriners Falls, The Forbidden Waterfall

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Landscape photo of Marriners Falls flowingDescription

Despite being just a 25-minute drive from the stunning coastal town of Apollo Bay, you feel a world away at the base of Marriners Falls. Finding this waterfall contributes to the feeling of isolation. The winding access road and outdated walking track leads you deeper in to the back forests of the Great Otway National Park. The walking track is littered with large fallen trees that calls for your best limbo and hurdle skills. Not to mention, the slippery river crossings around each bend. But, the 1.8 kilometre trek proves its worthwhile as you come face to face with Marriners Falls. 

Water graciously tumbles down the 7 metre drop over and even through the trees that have fell at its base. This pretty waterfall is enclosed by a steep-walled cove, where a number of fallen trees now lay in the shape of an arch. It may lack the height and power of Erskine and Hopetoun Falls but this hidden location truly awakens your adventurous side.

Fallen Trees on track to Marriners Falls

This was once a very popular waterfall. However, in 2011 Parks Victoria made the decision to permanently close the walking track as falling trees posed a risk to visitor’s safety. It is evident that a number of trees do fall here, so visit at your own risk. Pay close attention to weather conditions in the area to avoid any strong winds or possible flash flooding. Among the locals, it is not frowned upon to visit Marriners, as most are furious with the closure. They claim the risk is no greater than other waterfalls in the area and that it is having a large negative impact on local tourism. For more information, visit our safety disclaimer. The barriers at the car park placed by Parks Victoria are easily bypassed. 

Another hidden waterfall in Victoria is the Morwell River Falls.

River Crossings at Marriners Falls

Key Information

  • 1.8km walk: Roughly 30 minutes
  • Shallow river crossings
  • Gravel access road
  • Best visited in Winter or Spring

Getting to Marriners Falls

  1. Use the address 1135 Barham River Road, Apollo Bay.
  2. Follow Barham River Road all the way through until you reach the end.
  3. Park in the car park on your right hand side
  4. Begin walking upstream, keeping the river on your right and the farm on your left.

Portrait photo of Marriners Falls behind a number of fallen treesWant to find more hidden gems near Melbourne, Victoria? Search The Trail and follow us for updates and new places on Instagram: @humble.trail




I love filling my weekends with outdoor adventures. I spend a lot of time at Phillip Island surfing and have a dream of converting a van into a sleeper for some serious down under trips.

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