It’s hard not to start a walk summary without talking about how much I love the Otways. I’ve done Melba Gully and Maits rest a couple of times, when visiting with both friends and family. So many of these walks need to be done multiple times, at different times of the year, to be explored properly.
Carolyn and I had decided to go here during our birding adventure in the Otways. I had decided to focus on enjoying the walk rather then taking photos of everything but despite this, managed to get quite a few lovely photos.
Now – one thing to note is that this is located 3km away from the Otway Fly. Many people choose to visit both areas on the same trip. When I did this walk, it was quite busy. This made it hard to fully savour the area as I love wandering and pausing to look at things, without worrying I’m blocking someones path.
One of the highlights of this was was how the trees just felt different to the other walks I’ve done in the area. I think it because the walk had more inclines and declines – it allowed me to see the trees from different angles. It probably doesn’t make sense, but it was a welcome change.
Original Timber mill
This site was one of the largest timber mills in the Otways. The mill processed over 3,600 tons of centuries old Mountain Ash per year, producing timber for the homes of servicemen returning from World War One.
You can find the remains of a steam boiler and train cart (pictured above) towards the end of the walk. Both are overgrown by ferns and make for brilliant photography opportunities.
These remains provide a hint of an industry that lasted for over 20 years here. Fortunately, the area has had time to recover and the wildlife has returned.
Contrast this to the areas in the proposed Great Forest National Park. Such biodiversity and they are just cutting it down for paper. What will they be saying about us in 100 years?
You can also see evidence of the original timber work, such as in the tree above. Timber workers would cut grooves into the side of a tree to support planks. They would climb up and stand on these planks to wield their axe and crosscut saw to harvest these strong, straight trees.
There are three sets of cascades, and two viewing platforms. When you get to a first cascade you will see a sign. I ignored the sign and instead, got cranky about the non existent view. It turns out, you can get a decent view at a later platform… which the sign explained. Oops.
This area can get quite busy on weekends, especially because of its proximity to the Otway Fly. It can be hard to get a decent view of the falls as everyone wants their photo. I’d recommend doing this on a weekday if possible.
Nature nerdy aside – it is a fantastic walk. It wasn’t as awesome as Toolangi, but I had a different spiritual connection. While I have seen better waterfalls, the walk itself was quite lovely. I’d love to show my family.
I was tentative about doing it because of the potential steepness. It wasn’t as steep as I thought, it was quite manageable despite my low fitness levels. I was very, very grateful for the rest areas. The truly steep bits are after the falls though.
The photographic opportunities here are different to other areas of the Otways, but you will definitely need a filter. I also I recommend timing your visit for the best time of day for lighting.