Having completed the Boroondara Track in the Murrindindi Scenic Reserve and our walking club colleagues having left to drive home, we decided to take an early evening drive from our campground to the Cascades, about 10 minute ascending drive to the south, where there is a short walk from the Picnic Area to the rather impressive Cascades. However, having completed the walk, I think it would be better described as a climb!
Car Parking is available at the Cascades Picnic Area, on the opposite side of Murrindindi Road to the entrance of the Cascades Walk. This is actually the start of the Murrindindi River Walk that extends for 12km to the north, but the Cascades is only a short 600m from the road. From the start, the well-formed track descends continuously to the base of the cascades where there are two footbridges from which there are good views of the river. The track, incorporating some sections of properly formed steps, is a very easy walk for anyone who is happy to climb back up to the car park.
I guess it would have been a lot easier for us had we not already completed the 10km Boroondara Track. Nonetheless, having made the effort, it was a thrill to see this powerful flow of water, which is more like a waterfall than cascades. Most of the way down, the Cascades are hidden from the track by the thick vegetation. This served to heighten our expectation as the noise of the water intensified towards the base. Standing on the footbridges at the base of the flow gave us a real sense of the speed and volume of water rushing under our feet!
On the way back up the track, there is one spot with a sign blocking a gap in the foliage that warns walkers not to approach to water. As it was clear there was plenty of dry rock at the side of the river, we ducked under the sign. Perhaps if there was a lot more water flowing this would have been risky, but, as it was, we were safely presented with good view down and up the Cascades.
I took the opportunity to play with the shutter speeds on my Nikon D810. In order to get that soft image of flowing water, I normally set up the tripod, attach a neutral density filter and take a long exposure of 10 seconds or more. On this occasion, I set my shutter speed at 1/13 second and took the shots hand-held. Such is the quality of the vibration control of the camera and lens that the images, surprisingly, are very sharp where they need to be and I have still managed to soften the flow of the water. All the shots here: ISO 100, 1/13 sec, f8.
As this is a short walk, it can easily be completed in conjunction with one of the other circuit tracks for day visitors and is certainly a must for anyone camping in the area.