Great Ocean Road Waterfalls - Phantom Falls Loop

Posted by Joey C on

Great Ocean Road 

Allenvale Mill carpark to Phantom Falls, The Canyon, Henderson Falls and Won Wondah Falls


The journey for this hike begins at the site of the old Allenvale Mill - a campground with around 15 sites alongside the Saint George River. Our friends at Visit Great Ocean Road provide a well detailed map which indicates the moderately difficult circuit at 8.6km and 3 to 4 hours in length. We recommend allowing the maximum time for full enjoyment.

Phantom Falls

The circuit to Phantom Falls begins at the Allenvale Mill Car Park on Allenvale Road in Lorne. You can begin the walk by either heading towards the information sign and turning right to head north along the trail - crossing the road, or you can exit the car park, across the road and the trail begins just next to the bridge.

From there, follow the trail across the creek and into the locals backyards, sticking to the signed areas and eventually making it alongside Saint George River and enroute to the falls.

It’s the perfect place for a quick pit stop depending on the river flow, with a path heading straight down to the river, and rocks exposed so you can get up nice and close to photograph as you please. Enjoy the pit stop as it goes uphill from here as the trail heads up and around until you reach Phantom Falls - but trust me, it’s so worth it! 

Once you’ve reached the falls, there are some steep and sometimes slippery steps heading down to the base, combined with a trail that follows along the creek (trail eventually heads to the Cora Lynn Car Park) where you can enjoy a view of the falls heading downstream.

The Canyon

Once you’ve spent enough time to appreciate and admire Phantom Falls and the Saint George River, it’s time to head back up those steep steps and continue following the trail  to The Canyon. We had never heard of this place and only imagined an opening amongst the bushland that became a canyon with a view across the area. We were so wrong!

It’s around 1.5km, with some more uphill walking from Phantom Falls to the Canyon, with the entrance found only as steps that lead downwards into what looks like a cave. What opens up on the other side has to be seen to be believed. The most breathtaking rainforest canyon with the most luscious shades of green surrounding you.

We were so overwhelmed with what we saw, that we took this as an opportunity to have a lunch break, with part of the canyon opening up for an area where you can sit and enjoy a little break off your feet.

Henderson Falls

After enjoying the beauty of the hidden gem of The Canyon, it’s a long walk through the forest and bush until you reach Henderson Falls. You can hear the roar of the water as you get closer to the creek, however don’t be fooled by the fork in the road. Ignore the waters roar and temptation of downstream and trust the signage that indicates right for Henderson Falls. It is around a 500m walk from here (track can be quite wet and muddy) to the falls.

Surrounded by luscious green ferns it’s definitely best suited for Winter and Spring for exploring, with the flow being nothing too powerful, however, extremely beautiful. 

Won Wondah Falls

The last stop on this enjoyable hike is Won Wondah Falls. Following the trail back down from Henderson Falls, past the fork in the road and treating yourself to the thrill of the downstream roar, you come across the landing viewpoint for Won Wondah Falls.

Henderson Creek flows down the falls, however it is an almighty drop down with the landing area the best suited place to view the falls. 


Once you have taken it all in, continue the trail downstream until you reach Sharps Track, the trail for the Sheoak Picnic Ground is across the track and continuing straight, however to return to Allenvale Mill Car Park, turn left and within 200m you’re back on Allenvale Road. From there you just follow the road all the way back to the car park.

Key Information

  • 8.6km Circuit.
  • 3 to 4 hours in length - allow 4 so you can truly enjoy
  • Moderate difficulty - some steep areas, general fitness recommend.
  • You can complete the trail in reverse if you please - head up Allenvale Road first and make Won Wondah Falls your starting point.
  • Camping available at Allenvale Mill Campgrounds - see Parks Victoria.
  • Alternative options if you don’t want to complete the full hike are:
    • Sheoak Falls Picnic Ground with a shorter route to Won Wondah Falls and Henderson Falls.
    • Allenvale Mill Car Park to Phantom Falls - 3.5km
  • Other falls nearby which we will be sure to explore and share including:
    Kalimna Falls (Upper and Lower) and Cumberland Falls. These can be accessed via the Garvey Track (off shoot from Allenvale Road) and also from Sheoak Picnic Ground.
  • Assisted by Visit Great Ocean Road’s waterfall map here:
  • Combine the day with a visit to Teddy’s Lookout - a short drive away from the roundabout that connects the drive through town to Allenvale Road. With views of where the river meets the sea, it’s another photograph opportunity.



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