Warrnambool Stories and Tips

Hopkin's Falls

Hopkin's Falls Photo, Warrnambool, Australia

I had been trying to find Hopkin's Falls for many years but kept looking in the wrong places. I had seen a painting of the falls a number of times in the National Gallery of Victoria. I can't remember off-hand if it was done by one of the Heidelberg school of Australian painters (Streeton comes to mind as he was born at Warncoort, just up the road, where they have a memorial), or one of the earlier Australian landscape painters maybe Buvelot or von Guerard. Anyway here I was in Warrnambool and only thirteen kilometres out of town was Hopkin's Falls, a definite must-see. Most of the distance, is covered by the highway, until you turn off to a country road that becomes country lanes, some of the signage can leave a bit to be desired as we turned back a couple of times to get back onto the right lane. Once there it was all a bit of a surprise as the waterfall appears to be part of someone's farm, there is a farm on one side of the falls and a parking/picnic area on the other. There are a couple of lookouts and you can walk down to the water's edge, but the whole are is surrounded by open fields. A bridge crosses further up from the road and below the bridge are various rocks and waterholes for the stream to play through. Our reference map states that in early summer, the annual migration of the eels takes place, and you can see tiny elvers by the hundreds fighting their way up the steep slippery slopes. Alas, we were too late for this unique experience, though some amongst our company had no regrets at missing the opportunity. We took the road over the bridge to make our way home, and seemed to come out further down the highway-- mysterious.

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