12 December 2014

Erskine & Cora Lynn Valleys Circuit

Lorne Waterfalls - Walk One
Length: 22km
Duration: 6 -7 hours
Grade: Medium
Elevation: 433m
Style: Walking track with many river & creek crossings over stones
Start/Finish: Lorne
Melbourne: 140km
Best time: Late winter & early spring (when the waterfalls flow at their best)

Track & map info: Walks & Waterfalls, Surfcoast Shire.
Topographic map: optional.
Erskine River Track and Cora Lynn Creek Track are well marked.

The walk starts from Kia Ora Caravan Park, which is located opposite to the Lorne Visitor Centre.  The entrance is on Erskine Avenue and there is Parks Victoria signpost showing the 7km length of the Erskine River walking track.

There is no doubt that this track is popular because of the starting point in the Lorne township, the attractive waterfalls and the wild Erskine River and gorge.  The path winds through the Erskine Valley, which is filled with tall trees and ferns.  It follows the river upstream and there are some river crossings.  The track passes The Rapids, Splitter Falls, Straw Falls and finishes at the base of the Erskine Falls, 300m past Straw Falls.  Erskine Falls is one of the highest and most attractive waterfalls in the Otways, Victoria.

After having fun with the camera and a chat with tourists at the Erskine Falls, we had a steep climb up steps, which led to the car park, where there is a signpost to Blanket Leaf Picnic Area.  This is the start of the 3km track, which links the Erskine Valley to the Cora Lynn Valley and saves about 3kms of road walking.  A big thank you.

On reaching the Erskine Falls Rd, cross the road to get to the start of the Cora Lynn Creek Track.  Then, a short gentle descent goes past a hike-in campsite and leads to the Cora Lynn Cascades.  From here, the track goes through a beautiful narrow gorge and the creek that feeds the cascades, is crossed many times before reaching Cora Lynn car park.  After checking out the map from the “Walks & Waterfalls” brochure, we followed the road SSE out to Green Break Tk, turned right and walked down to Allenvale Rd, and then turned left onto Otway St to get back to the start in Lorne.

 Erskine Valley (L)         At the base of Erskine Falls (R)

Cora Lynn Cascades

Erskine & Cora Lynn Valleys Circuit Walk
A video YouTube of the waterfalls in the valleys

It was rather a long day to do this two valleys circuit and I would suggest an early start to take it all in especially when days are short.  We ended up having a late dinner at “Chopsticks” restaurant in town.  Wear comfortable walking boots and avoid this walk after heavy rain, when the tracks and rocks become muddy and very slippery.  This walk can be done as an overnight hike using the walk-in campsite, which is located below the Blanket Leaf Picnic Area.  Moreover, with a few hike-in campsites and many other waterfalls walks nearby, it is also possible to have an extended hike of 3 to 4 days in the area.

(Lorne Waterfalls - Walk Three)