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Mackenzie Falls, Grampians: The Complete Visitor Guide

Mackenzie Falls, Grampians: The Complete Visitor Guide

Mackenzie Falls is the most visited waterfall in the Grampians National Park. It’s no wonder really, given how epic it is. But, there are a few other reasons for its popularity. For one, it’s the only waterfall in the Grampians that flows year-round, meaning it’s not seasonal. So, you can enjoy the Mackenzie Falls spectacle all year round.

It’s also one of the biggest waterfalls in Victoria, and there are even plenty of wonderful walks to take around the area. That all sounds great to me. I’m sure it does to you too! So, in this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about visiting Mackenzie Falls.

For more waterfalls in the Grampians, check out 12 Must-See Grampians Waterfalls: The Complete Guide

Where Is Mackenzie Falls?

Mackenzie Falls is found in the Grampians National Park in the state of Victoria, Australia. To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map of the area on Google Maps.

The Mackenzie Falls address is Northern Grampians Road, Zumsteins, VIC, 3401.

About Mackenzie Falls

Mackenzie Falls is a magnificent waterfall in the Grampians National Park. The thundering cascade drops around 40 metres into the Mackenzie River below, making it not just the largest waterfall in the Grampians, but also one of the biggest waterfalls in the whole of Victoria. Indeed, we don’t think photos do this waterfall justice at all.

At the waterfall, you’ll find two viewing platforms giving great vantage points towards the waterfall. In addition, you can take the steep steps to the base of the falls for even better views. Just remember, you’ll need to climb back up them too.

The waterfall is named after Captain Mackenzie, one of the first Europeans to colonise the area. But, its indigenous name is Migunang Wirab.

Mackenzie Falls

Useful Things to Know Before You Go

Below, we’ll cover a few useful things to know before visiting Mackenzie Falls in the Grampians.

Facilities at Mackenzie Falls

The Mackenzie Falls Car Park has ample parking spaces, but, it can quickly fill at busy times of day and at the weekends and holidays. It’s also just a short walk away from another waterfall called Broken Falls, as well as the viewing platforms overlooking Mackenzie Falls. There are also toilets and picnic facilities at the Mackenzie Falls Car Park.

Best Time to Visit Mackenzie Falls

One of the best things about Mackenzie Falls is that it’s the Grampian’s only year-round waterfall. Mackenzie Falls isn’t seasonal, so you should be able to see a decent cascade any time of year. That also makes the waterfall an extremely popular Grampians attraction.

To avoid crowds, try visiting early in the morning or later in the day. Of course, despite Mackenzie Falls not being seasonal, a decent bout of rainfall always does wonders for a waterfall, so visiting after heavy rain will give you a seriously impressive cascade.

Swimming at Mackenzie Falls

On a hot day, that rather large pool at the base of Mackenzie Falls can look pretty enticing. But, swimming is strictly prohibited. The water is dark and there are many unseen and hidden dangers when swimming. There’s also a pretty strong current in the Mackenzie River. So, you’ll have to head elsewhere to places like Venus Baths to get your wild swim fix in.

Mackenzie Falls Walks

So now you’ve made it to Mackenzie Falls, let’s take a look at the different walking options for viewing the waterfall, as well as exploring a little more of the wider area.

1. Mackenzie Falls Lookout Walk (Bluff Lookout)

For a family-friendly and wheelchair and pushchair-accessible option for viewing Mackenzie Falls, the lookout walk is perfect. This 2km sealed track passes through pretty woodland to reach Bluff Lookout, from where you can view the powerful cascade of Mackenzie Falls. From this lookout, you’ll be able to see the numerous cascades which tumble down the Mackenzie River.

Follow the trail and complete the circuit to return to the car park.

2. Walk to Broken Falls

From the car park, you can take a different trail to Mackenzie Falls, which first gives you a chance to see another waterfall called Broken Falls. Before heading straight for Mackenzie Falls, we recommend checking out Broken Falls first. The lookout for Broken Falls is only a few hundred metres from the car park on a side trail away from the track to Mackenzie Falls.

Unfortunately, the viewing platform for Broken Falls can be a little obscured by the trees. But, to the side of the viewing platform is a fairly hidden but well-walked track that leads you through the scrub to a better vantage point. You can’t access the base of the falls along this track, or in general, but the views are much less impeded. Certainly, you get a much better sense of the size and scale of the waterfall. Be sure to take care of your footing and don’t go too close to the edge.

Dan and I were pleasantly surprised by Broken Falls, once we could see it, unimpeded. Instead of plunging into a pool at its base, Broken Falls was just that, broken. Laid out ahead is a huge dam of layered rocks, almost piled carefully one on top of the other. The water fighting to flow over the edge then has to split to find cracks and crevices in which to find its way down. The result is a stunning display of water flowing in all directions, showing the curves of the rock to its fullest, as it trickles down like rainwater.

Broken Falls

3. Broken Falls to Mackenzie Falls (Via Cranages Lookout)

After the detour to Broken Falls, the adventure to Mackenzie Falls can begin. Backtracking towards the car park, you’ll keep left and first head to Cranages Lookout. The viewing platform here offers views almost directly above the top of Mackenzie Falls. The views of the surrounding forest are beautiful and you’ll get a good look at the steep steps heading down to the base of the waterfall. Don’t be put off!

Arguably, the best views of Mackenzie Falls are from the base, and accessing the base involves a steep climb down some 260 stone steps and a leg burner of a climb back up them! But, it’s totally worth it.

Mackenzie Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the whole of Victoria. So, as you can imagine, it’s a very popular attraction in the Grampians National Park. At the base of the steps, there’s a fun set of stepping stones leading you across Mackenzie River. The embankment on the other side offers great head-on views of Mackenzie Falls in action. The spray fills the air and throws out rainbows when the light hits just right.

We have to admit, this is definitely the best waterfall to see in the Grampians.

4. Mackenzie Falls to Fish Falls

If you’re up for it, and the trail is open (sadly it was closed when we visited) you can take a trail that continues along Mackenzie River to another waterfall called Fish Falls. This waterfall was recommended to us so we can only imagine it’s a pretty decent waterfall to check out.

From the base of Mackenzie Falls, it’s a return journey of around 2km and should take no more than 40–50 minutes. You can follow the trail here.

5. Mackenzie Falls to Zumsteins (Mackenzie River Walk)

If you want an even longer walk along Mackenzie River, then you can continue along the trail to Fish Falls and head all the way to Zumsteins Park and Historical Site. This 7km walk involves the odd river crossing and enjoys beautiful eucalypt forest and plenty of wildlife. Once you get to Zumsteins, you can rest and explore the old historical settlement, before returning the way you came.

You can also begin this walk from Zumsteins and walk the route the other way around. You can follow a map here.

Mackenzie Falls

More Grampians Waterfalls

Of course, just because many of the waterfalls in the Grampians are seasonal, doesn’t mean they’re not worth checking out, especially if you time it just right with the weather. Below, are a handful to consider.

  • Silverband Falls: a beautiful shimmering sliver of a waterfall dropping down pastry layer rocks.
  • Beehive Falls: this excellent waterfall is made even better by hiking to Briggs Bluff too.
  • Clematis Falls: an easy to reach waterfall from Halls Gap.
  • Splitter Falls: visit this underrated waterfall on a walk to the Pinnacle.
  • Turret Falls: a quiet waterfall found along Silverband Road.
  • Burrong Falls: a hidden waterfall that at some times of year may require a 4WD to get to.
  • Bridal Veil Falls: as seasonal as they come, keep your eyes peeled for this cascade on the Pinnacle Walk.
  • Wannon Falls: just outside of the Grampians is this fantastic waterfall dropping into a cauldron-like basin.
  • Nigretta Falls: next to Wannon Falls is this rugged and picturesque waterfall.

Read more: 15 Best Hikes In The Grampians: The Complete Guide and 12 Must-See Grampians Waterfalls: The Complete Guide

How to Get to Mackenzie Falls, Grampians

Mackenzie Falls is located along Mt Victory Road, just a 20 minute drive outside of Halls Gap in the Grampians National Park. The Grampians lie around 250km west of Melbourne and take around three hours to drive to.

Although it’s possible to take public transport from Melbourne to the Grampians, you’re looking at an extremely long journey. Instead, it’s best to have access to your own set of wheels. If you need a car, we recommend using DiscoverCars.com. It’s a fantastic search engine for finding the cheapest car hire. Search for cheap car hire in Melbourne today. A 2WD will suffice for this adventure.

Getting to Melbourne

Of course, you’ll first need to fly to Melbourne to visit the Grampians if travelling from abroad. We recommend using Skyscanner to search for the cheapest flights. When flying abroad, we always get the ball rolling with a Skyscanner search. Check out cheap flights to Melbourne today!

Where to Stay Near Mackenzie Falls

Halls Gap is the main hub of the Grampians and the closest town to Mackenzie Falls. So, you’ll find plenty of accommodation options here. Below, we’ve put together the best budget, mid-range and luxury accommodation options to help plan your trip.

  • Budget Grampians Eco YHA: the main hostel in town is the Grampians Eco YHA. Although the price feels a little steep for a hostel, it’s hard to beat the super clean facilities and enjoy the spacious common rooms.
  • Mid-range Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park: relax in the pool and admire the brilliant mountain views at Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park.
  • Luxury Grampians Chalets: enjoy lake views, friendly kangaroos and a fantastic location at the Grampians Chalets modern and comfortable holiday lets. Also, try the Marwood Villas for a stay in an individual luxurious villa.

Mackenzie Falls Camping

Camping is not allowed at Mackenzie Falls. But, the nearest campsite is Smiths Mill Campground, just 1km away. The unpowered campsite accommodates 28 tents and 5 caravans. Bookings can be made through the Parks Victoria website.

If you want to camp with a few more amenities in the Grampians, then head to Halls Gap. Here you’ll find Halls Gap Caravan Park, Lake Fyans Holiday Park and Breeze Holiday Parks.

More Grampians Accommodation

Five Gear Essentials For Mackenzie Falls

Osprey Skarab 30
Osprey Skarab 30

The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.

Osprey Ultralight Raincover
Osprey Ultralight Raincover

A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.

GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle

The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.

BUFF Original Ecostretch
BUFF Original Ecostretch

The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII
Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Capture epic photos and videos with the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. This is hands-down the best compact camera. We love using this simple point-and-shoot camera when we’re hiking as it’s lightweight and durable.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

FAQs

Below, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about visiting Mackenzie Falls in the Grampians.

Mackenzie Falls

How Long Is Mackenzie Falls Walk?

From the car park to the base of the falls and back again is around 2km.

How High Is Mackenzie Falls?

It’s around 40 metres high.

Can You Swim at Mackenzie Falls?

No, swimming isn’t allowed.

How Many Steps to Mackenzie Falls?

260 stone steps.

Bonus Tips

  • Slippery terrain: the stone steps and base of Mackenzie Falls can be quite slippery when wet. Take care if it’s rained or the waterfall is particularly powerful.
  • No dogs: sorry, your furry friend will have to sit this attraction out. Of course, assistance dogs are allowed.
  • More of Victoria: some of our favourite places in Victoria include exploring along the Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula and of course, Wilsons Prom (guides coming soon).

Bookmark or save this post ready for your trip to Mackenzie Falls and the Grampians.

Beck Piggott

With an art and design based background, Beck uses photography and writing to help inspire readers to climb mountains, hike coastal trails and chase waterfalls around the globe.

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