Dreaming of chasing waterfalls with your pup by your side? These six dog-friendly waterfalls in Victoria are ideal for visiting with your dog. While some are reached by a short stroll, others require a hike, although also on the short side. Visit one of these waterfalls on your next dog-friendly adventure…
#1 Agnes Falls, South Gippsland
Agnes Falls are tucked away in a small reserve in South Gippsland, near Wilsons Promontory. Nearly 200km from the centre of Melbourne, they’re just a short 10 minute drive from the town of Welshpool.
The 59m high waterfall was once surrounded by a mixture of Blue Gum and Mountain Ash Forest, with rainforest in the gullies. In 1925 a weir was constructed on top of the falls to supply water to local communities, which still takes place to this day. Regardless, when visiting the falls in November 2021 after a few days of heavy rain, they were thundering!
Dogs are welcome to join you when visiting Agnes Falls Scenic Reserve, as long as they stay on a leash. It’s a short 220m walk to the lookout, or take the longer 340m long track along the bank of the river above the falls. It’s an easy stroll, but there are some steps.
The reserve is also home to a picnic ground, including a picnic shelter with two covered tables, and toilets. Keep an eye out for wildlife, with echidnas and platypuses sometimes spotted, plus possums common after dark falls.
#2 Trentham Falls, near Daylesford
Trentham Falls are located just outside of the charming town of Trentham, about 20 minutes down the road from Daylesford. Just an 80 minute drive from the centre of Melbourne, the falls and surrounding district are an ideal day trip destination for Melbournites.
The falls are the longest single-drop waterfall in Victoria, plunging 32m in a single fall. The water cascades over beautiful basalt columns, that were formed around 5 million years ago from a volcanic eruption near present-day Newbury to the south and the gradual cooling of the lava. Over the years the river has gradually worn away the columns.
It’s just a short stroll from the carpark to the lookout at the top of the falls, either down steps or a slope. Note that the older walking track to the bottom of the falls has been closed for a number of years, due to previous rockfalls around the falls and ongoing danger. Dogs need to be kept on a leash.
The surrounding Coliban River Scenic Reserve also contains a picnic area, with picnic tables and fire pits provided (just supply your own wood). The falls are usually at their best in the winter and spring months.
#3 Toorongo and Amphitheatre Falls, West Gippsland
Toorongo and Amphitheatre Falls are a pair of waterfalls located close to each other near the town of Noojee, about a two hour drive east of Melbourne. They’re located in the dog-friendly Tooroongo Falls Reserve, just south of the the Yarra Ranges National Park where dogs are not permitted.
During our road trip with our dog around Victoria, I was really looking forward to visiting the falls. However, they’re located in one of the wettest areas of Victoria and after days of torrential rain, not to mention previous reviews mentioning how muddy the track gets (and leeches!), it was not ideal conditions for a hike with our dog.
Viewing platforms for both Toorongo and Amphitheatre Falls are accessed by a circular walking track that is 2.2km long and should take you an hour to hike. The walking track passes through forest and is meant to be well-formed, although with some steps. A shorter return path of 1.5km takes you just to Toorongo Falls. Dogs are allowed off-leash, as long as they are kept under control.
If visiting on the weekend, it’s best to visit in the morning, before day-trippers arrive. There’s two free bush camping grounds just back down the access road, which are free and naturally popular. Toilets and a picnic area are located at the trailhead.
#4 Beauchamp Falls, Otways
The waterfalls located along the Great Ocean Road are a popular attraction, but unfortunately the majority of them are off limit to dogs. Most are located in areas of the Great Otway National Park where dogs are generally not allowed, including the popular Erskine Falls and Sheoak Falls near Lorne.
However, there are some dog-friendly waterfalls. One of the best dog-friendly waterfalls close to the Great Ocean Road is Beauchamp Falls, located in the Beauchamp Falls Reserve, part of Otway Forest Park. Confusingly, the website for the reserve currently states no pets are allowed, while elsewhere it states dogs are allowed in all of Otway Forest Park. Recent visitors have confirmed dogs are definitely allowed on a leash, with onsite signs stating this.
To access this waterfall when driving along the Great Ocean Road, turn off at Skenes Creek. It’s then a 50-minute drive along a narrow, windy road to the carpark, located off the Aire Valley Road from Beech Forest Road. The final 3km stretch is unsealed, so probably skip this spot if driving a rental car.
To access these 20m falls, follow the 3km return walking trail which passes through magnificent mountain ash forest. Previous reviews mention the trail is quite strenuous, with many steps that may be difficult for smaller dogs, and become slippery when wet. Allow about 1 to 1.5hr to return.
At the carpark there is also a small, recently renovated campground – get in quick to nab a spot, with no fees charged. There are also toilets, picnic tables and fire pits.
#5 Stevensons Falls, Otways
Beauchamp Falls are not the only dog-friendly falls in this part of the Otway Ranges. Another nearby dog-friendly waterfall is Stevensons Falls.
To access Stevensons Falls, also turn off at Skenes Creek, but then turn north towards the town of Forrest. It’s a 45 minute drive from Skenes Creek. The turn-off onto the 6km long unsealed access road is 5 minutes before Forrest. The road is fine for 2WD cars except for after heavy rain.
From the day-use area, it’s just a short, easy stroll to the waterfall, although it can be muddy after rain. There’s also a camping ground further back up the access road. Back in Forrest, don’t miss the dog-friendly Forrest Brewery.
Unfortunately, access to the falls, including the camping ground, has been closed since late 2022, while the day-use area is upgraded. The upgrade is expected to take until the end of March 2023, although may take longer. The upgrade will include a new boardwalk and wheelchair access to the waterfall viewing platform.
Read more about what to do with your dog when driving the Great Ocean Road
#6 La La Falls, Warburton Valley
La La Falls in the Warburton Valley has been delighting visitors since the 1880s. About an hour east of the outskirts of Melbourne, the falls are located south of the town of Warburton.
Park in the small carpark just off Old Warburton Road, then start the gently inclined walk up to the falls. About 1.6km in each direction, the track meanders alongside Four Mile Creek through lush forest. Allow 60 to 90 minutes for the return walk.
The falls are at their best during Autumn and Winter after heavy rain. Although, this is also when the track becomes rather muddy. Dogs are welcome along the track – double check whether they need to be leashed as I’ve heard conflicting reports.
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About the Author
Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.