Saturday, 5 January 2019

Eurobin Falls (Mt Buffalo National Park)

A short but beautiful walk in Mt Buffalo National Park, the Eurobin Falls walk takes hikers to two excellent waterfalls along the lower slopes of Mt Buffalo. Heading past granite boulders and lovely forest, the trail passes the smaller Ladies Bath Fall and its swimming hole before visiting the epic Lower and Upper Eurobin Falls. Far from an epic or serious hike, this is nevertheless a worthwhile short walk to check out while in the area

Distance: 1.5 km (return)
Gradient: A short but steep climb over most of its length, then a steep descent back to the car park
Quality of Path: Generally clear and well maintained trail over its entire length with well constructed stairs
Quality of Signage: Clear trailhead at the start of the walk, with location signs at the waterfalls
Experience Required: No Bushwalking Experience Required
Time: 30 mins - 1 hour
Steps: Many Steps
Best Time to Visit: All Year 
Entry Fee: No
Getting There: From Great Alpine Rd and 8.8 kilometres northwest along the road from Bright, take the turn west at the roundabout onto Mt Buffalo Rd. Continue on Mt Buffalo Rd for 8.4 kilometres to the car park shortly after a sharp bend in the road

Back on the mainland after our time in Tasmania, Alissa and I eased our way into a new year of hiking with a weekend up in the Victorian High Country. With our home in Western Australia being too hot and too dry to enjoy most walks at their best, this weekend in Victoria gave us the opportunity to get in a couple of hikes before having to face the inevitable heat and uncomfortable conditions.

On my last visit to the area to climb Mt Feathertop, I had become really intrigued by the massive granite formations of Mt Buffalo and with an interesting looking walk in the area listed in Glen Tempest's Daywalks around Victoria, we set out sights on a night in Bright to tackle the longer walk the next day. With a long drive into town, we agreed to tackle the 1.5 kilometre Eurobin Falls Walk in the afternoon of our arrival in Bright after the slightly inclement weather died down.

From the car park, the walk follows a well graded trail trough a lovely mix of Eucalypts and large granite boulders. Coming from the granite-dominated landscape of Western Australia's South West, Alissa and I felt right at home.

That being said, the overall appearance of the trees, ferns and granite bore a striking resemblance to another place altogether - Cathedral Rock along Waterfall Way in the New England region of New South Wales. This resemblance would be even more pronounced when we did the Mt Buffalo Circuit the next day.

Five minutes into the walk, Alissa and I reached the bridge that passes over Eurobin Creek as the track levels out near the foot of Ladies Bath Falls.

The smaller of the two waterfalls along the walk, Ladies Bath Falls is a beautiful little waterfall that flows into a pool that presumably has been a popular swimming hole with the local ladies. With the cold weather, the pool was quite quiet at the time of our visit, however there were two ladies swimming in the area as we arrived. Wanting a clear photo of the falls without other people in it, Alissa and I decided to keep on the track and spend a bit more time appreciating the waterfall on the way back.

From Ladies Bath Falls, the track continues steeply as it heads towards Lower Eurobin Falls.

A massively wide waterfall, the Lower Eurobin Falls is basically a huge granite slope with water flowing down into the creek below. The water flow is quite evenly distributed over its surface, and at the time of our visit it wasn't particularly heavy. As a result, the granite had a slick sheen from the water without having the raging torrent it can have after seriously heavy rains. 

From Lower Eurobin Falls, the track continues to climb up even more steeply to reach Upper Eurobin Falls. 

At the time of our visit, Eurobin Falls had undergone some recent construction work, with some fairly serious fencing going in. Notifications about the area suggest that a lot of visitors had been heading off the track and getting severely injured. It is a shame that these kind of barriers have to go up as I'm a big believer in people being personally responsible for themselves in the outdoors, but swimming holes tend to attract a lot of unprepared people who have no idea about when they've crossed the line into risky behaviour. 

Upper Eurobin Falls is a much steeper part of the waterfall, with water cascading down a very steep rock face. And that's the end of the official trail! Photos on Instagram suggest that there is a lot more to this area with some fair stunning looking pools that must be off-track. Given that this was a low key day, we were not really aiming to do much more than the official trail, however it had me wondering if the areas that we had seen photographed were in the newly verboten sections.

Having reached the end, Alissa and I had an easy descent back to Ladies Bath.

As we arrived at Ladies Bath Falls, the two girls who had been swimming earlier were gathering the things and were heading out. As such, Alissa and I had the falls to enjoy to ourselves.

After appreciating the waterfalls, Alissa and I headed back along the bridge to the car.

Alissa, always an advocate for Leaving No Trace, decided to pick up a few pieces of rubbish that were very inconsiderately left behind and discarded near the waterfall. It is a real shame that people cannot pick up after themselves and ruin the environment for other people. 

From there it was a short walk of less than five minutes back to the car and the end of our first walk for 2019. 

While hardly an epic walk, the Eurobin Falls walk did features two lovely waterfalls in 1.5 kilometres and proved to be a scenic and enjoyable start to our hiking year. While very short, the steep stairs would make it a challenge for those who are very unfit, however we found this to be a nice short and sharp walk to slot into our somewhat limited schedule for a driving day. While there are definitely much longer and more fulfilling walks elsewhere in the park, the easy access and stunning quality of the waterfalls makes this a worthwhile side trip to smash out in 30 minutes to an hour. 

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