Here’s our guide to exploring MacKenzie Falls in the Grampians National Park – the largest and most visited waterfall in this incredible part of Victoria.
The Gariwerd / Grampians National Park is home to many waterfalls. The mountain range stretches from north to south and is a water catchment area amongst the surrounding plains. Because of this there are lakes and rivers, and many waterfalls.
The most famous of these is MacKenzie Falls. It is a popular destination to visit in the National Park as there are different walking trails and lookouts. Standing at the base of the falls will leave you in awe and tracing your steps back up out of the gorge will surely get your heart pumping.
The best way to explore the Grampians National Park is on foot. Get out and explore the mountains, valley and gorge on the endless walking trails.
On our Grampians Day Tour from Melbourne we visit the central Grampians region and explore the many attractions.
MacKenzie Falls is a waterfall that flows year round and is one of the main attractions in the Grampians. Originating in Lake Wartook, the MacKenzie River flows first over Broken Falls and then the grand MacKenzie Falls, before continuing down the gorge.
During the winter and spring months (June to November), is when the region gets the most rain and MacKenzie falls is flowing at its fullest. However, because of the size of Lake Wartook and the MacKenzie River, this is a waterfall that flows all year round.
There are a few different walking trails to explore the area. Here’s our guide to exploring:
MacKenzie Falls Visitor Area
To get to the Grampians National Park, it is just under a 3 hour drive from Melbourne, to reach the main Grampians township of Halls Gap. From there you can explore the surrounding attractions such as waterfalls, walking trails and wildlife.
To visit MacKenzie Falls take Mt Victory road out of Halls Gap and follow until you see the signs to turn off to MacKenzie Falls and Lake Wartook. The MacKenzie Falls Visitor area has ample car parking, toilets and picnic tables. It is the starting point for walking to Broken Falls, MacKenzie Falls and the Bluff Lookout.
While in the Visitor Area, keep an eye out for local wildlife. It is not uncommon to spot emus, kangaroos, wallabies and birds such as magpies and cockatoos. It might just add that extra special experience to your visit to MacKenzie Falls!
MacKenzie Falls Base Trail
Starting at the Visitor Area, you can walk right down into the gorge, to the base of MacKenzie Falls. It is a moderate 2km return walk, with many stairs, that should take about 1 hour in total. We think this is the best way to admire the falls up close. You can cross the rocks to stand opposite the falls in the gorge. It is a great location for photos and to marvel at the sheer volume of cascading water.
Bluff Walking Trail
From the Visitor Area you can also walk to The Bluff viewing platform. This overlooks the gorge with excellent views of MacKenzie falls and the surrounding area. This is an easy walk that is 1.9km return on a flat, sealed path. It is a nice way to take in the surround bushland at the top of the gorge, and you can look out for kangaroos and wallabies along the trail as you walk.
You can view a second waterfall in the MacKenzie River – as it tumbles over the wide rocks of Broken Falls. The Broken Falls lookout can be accessed via a walking track from the MacKenzie Falls carpark. Take a short walk through bushland to the Broken Falls lookout. It is an easy 500 metre return walk that will take approximately 10 minutes.
Other waterfalls in the Grampians National Park
Silverband Falls is a seasonal waterfall, accessed via a scenic walking track. The waterfall was named from its resemblance to a silver band. When water flows in the falls, it then disappears into the rocks at the base of the falls, travelling underground until the creek resurfaces about 50 metres away. The track is fairly flat, and an easy 1.4km return walk to the falls from the Silverband Falls Carpark.
Grampians Region Waterfalls
There are other waterfalls that you can view in the GRampians National Park including:
- Beehive Falls
- Splitters Falls
- Wannon Falls
- Nigretta Falls
- Fish Falls
Other attractions in the Grampians
Our tour is great for animal-lovers as kangaroos, wallabies, emus and native birds are abundant in the region. Emus and kangaroos can be seen in the main township of Halls Gap, or in the picnic area at the top of MacKenzie Falls. Also keep an eye out for wallabies in the bushes alongside the trails and cockatoos in the trees above.
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to nature walks in the Grampians National Park. This area is renowned for its hiking trails and bushland tracks. One great example is the Grand Canyon Trail in the Wonderland Range. This trail showcases the incredible rocky mountain range that is at the heart of the Grampians Range.
The Grampians mountain range has many different viewpoints to take in the panoramic mountain views. On tour we visit Reeds Lookout for views over the Victoria Valley and Boroka Lookout for views over Halls Gap and the surrounding Western Plains.
Tour the Grampians National Park from Melbourne
Our Grampians day tour is a chance to connect with Australian nature and marvel at the waterfalls, wilderness and wildlife. Walk with your guide along some of the trails as you look for native Australian wildlife such as wallabies, emu and cockatoos. Take in panoramic views of tree-covered mountains, rocky summits and undulating valleys from the scenic lookouts. You’ll even get a chance to say hello to the local kangaroos – they come into the town of Halls Gap in the afternoons to feed.
Here are the highlights of our Grampians Day Tour:
- Take a stroll through eucalyptus forest to Silverband Falls
- Explore the wildlife and surroundings of Grampians township of Halls Gap
- Take a short walk in the Wonderland Range into the spectacular Grand Canyon
- Explore one of the Grampians most famous sites, MacKenzie Falls
- Enjoy panoramic views from Reeds Lookout and Boroka Lookout
- See wild kangaroos in Halls Gap
Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au