Trentham Falls VIC
Freshwater Swimming Holes in Australia

 
The towering basalt columns provided an amazing backdrop for this former swimming hole at Trentham Falls. When the falls were flowing gently, you could float in the middle of the pool and watch the spray streaming down from the sky. According to information boards at the falls, they are the tallest single drop waterfalls in Victoria. For swimmers the view did not however compensate for an otherwise average swimming experience. The pool at the base of the falls was surprisingly cold, murky, and lots of angular rocks under the water tested your balance when getting in and out of the water. Swimming in the Coliban River at Trentham Falls As of late 2015, the track down to the base of the falls was closed, so access to the billabong is no longer permitted. According to Parks Victoria Area Chief Ranger Ballarat, Siobhan Rogan (13/1/2017):

"The access to the base of the waterfall is closed due to hazards on the former walking track, in part due to the fact it hugs the side of a ravine, erosion that is occurring from weathering and the number of people using it over time. While we recognise this then negates swimming, this is the unfortunate outcome. It is our intent, if suitable funding were to come available then the experience offered could be reviewed. It is not however, a quick and cheap fix and is not in its immediate future."

The falls themselves are a 32 m high rock formation with a small pool at the base, roughly 15 m long and 15 m wide. When swimming there prior to the track closure, I found the rocks to be sharp and slippery, and sandals were required, particularly as visibility was poor. Last time I swam there it was painfully cold and a sizeable fish brushed my thigh, obviously surprised to have a visitor in its pool, but the pool tended to warm up in summer after the falls had stopped flowing.

The falls are a popular stopover with day trippers. According to information boards at the falls, they are the tallest single drop waterfalls in Victoria. Without the swimming experience, most people have a look at the falls, and then keep moving.
There are picnic tables at the car park, but they are without a view of the falls.

In summer, the stream of water over the waterfall is gentle and thin, despite its height. You could previously walk behind the water underneath the rock overhang, which also provided shade during the day. Whenever I had visited on hot days prior to the track closure, there was usually someone in the water. The falls themselves are at their most spectacular after heavy rainfall, and whilst this was never a good time to swim here, it is probably the best time for sightseers to visit now that access to the water is no longer permitted.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Location: Trentham Falls Scenic Park, Trentham Falls Rd, Trentham, 95 km (approx. 1 hr 10 min drive) north west of the Melbourne CBD.
Latitude: -37.369963 Longitude: 144.324705
Getting there: From Melbourne take the Calder Fwy and then Black Forest Drive to Woodend. In Woodend turn left at Forest St and follow it to Tylden. At Tylden turn left at Trentham Rd and then right after 8 km at Trentham Falls Rd. The falls are 2-3 km along this road.
Facilities: Public toilets, car parking, picnic tables
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Cold
Water clarity: Murky
Under foot: Rock and mud
Maximum water depth: Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Swimming is no longer possible due to closure of the access track
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: The 70 metre walking track to the base of the falls is closed (see notes above). Dogs must be on a lead. No firearms.
Sun shade: Shade was previously available in the overhang behind the falls. Tall eucalypts provide shade in the picnic area.
Opening times: Always open. May be closed during extreme weather conditions (e.g. for fire safety)
Wheelchair access: To the picnic tables at the car park. Wheelchair accessible toilets.
Managing authority: Parks Victoria
Accommodation Options: Camping is not permitted at the falls. If you are staying overnight in the area, you can try accommodation in Trentham.
Nearby attractions: Lake Daylesford
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the car park at the falls.
Change of Conditions:
Apart from the closure of the walking track to the base of the falls mentioned above, I am not currently aware of any other change of conditions reported at this site by the managing authority, or by visitors to this website. If you are visiting this waterfall and have any further updates on any change of conditions, let me know via the comment form below.
Comments:
If you would like to leave a comment about your experiences of previously swimming at this swimming hole, please fill in the comment box below.

Your name:

Your email:

From (city, country):

Your comment:

I consent to having these comments published on this website



© Brad Neal 2016. All rights reserved. This work is not to be sampled, copied, modified, adapted or reused for commercial purposes without the written consent of the author.