If you are looking for a spot to cool down your feet in the Bunyip State Forest, you can access Lawson Creek
at either the Lawson Falls picnic ground or the Lawson Falls itself, 2-3 km upstream. This little creek has a
coarse sandy bed with clear water in amongst thick forest at both spots, with each offering a slightly different
Above: The vibrantly coloured creek at the Lawson Falls Picnic Ground
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Wander down the dozen steps at the northern end of the Lawson Falls Picnic Ground to find a gorgeous, vibrantly coloured meandering
stream that flows like orange cordial in amongst the tea tree forest. You can sit on the makeshift tea tree bridge over the creek and dangle your feet
in the water, or just step straight in off the bank.
Whilst the bed is sandy and firm, the banks of this little creek ooze with soft, dark mud, so avoid treading near the water's edge. Typically the
water depth is not more than shin deep at this spot.
To access the second cooling off spot, located at the base of the falls, it's a 2-3 km uphill walk along a well defined track that can be
challenging at times due to the vegetation. Towards the end of the walk there is a short but steep spur track that leads back down to the water.
In this compact area, spend some time sitting on the rocks and stretching your legs out into the water while the falls tumble down above you.
There's not a lot of room here, but on a hot day it is cool and well shaded, and is a great way to finish off the uphill trek to the falls.
Above: The sandy shallows at the base of Lawson Falls
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If you are walking to the falls from Lawsons Falls Picnic Ground, the start of the walk is up the steps at the north-eastern end of the picnic ground.
Walk along the left branching road for a few hundred metres until you cross the creek, where you will see the sign for the walking track. You can also
drive about 3 km further along Forest Road and then walk a much shorter distance (only 5-10 minutes) to the falls, but parking on the roadside at that end
of the track is very limited, and really only suitable for smaller to medium sized vehicles, as SUVs and 4WDs will protrude partly out onto the road.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Forest Road, Bunyip State Forest near Gentle Annie, 100 km (approx. 2 hr drive) east of the Melbourne CBD.
From Melbourne head along the Monash Fwy (M1) to the Sand Road exit at Longwarry North. Head north
to the T-intersection, then right into Princes Way and left into Labertouche Road. Follow Labertouche Road for 4 km then
veer right into Forest Road. After passing through Labertouche the road becomes gravel. To reach the Lawson Falls
Picnic Ground follow the road for 12 km. There is a car park at the picnic ground. The falls are a further 3km by
car (along Forest Road) or by foot (along the Lawson Falls Track).
At the picnic ground there is a toilet, picnic tables, wood fire barbecue (BYO firewood),
untreated tap water (do not drink), lawn area. No facilities at the falls.
Baby change facilities:
Shade available in and out of the water.
There is no wheelchair access to the water at the falls or the picnic ground. The picnic area is flat with
a smooth gravel path, but there is a cable fence and deliberately placed large boulders that would prevent access.
No camping, no disposing of rubbish down the toilet at the picnic ground, no drinking the water from the tap at the picnic ground,
no dogs, no firearms, no collecting of plants or animal specimens, no trailbikes
No camping is permitted at the picnic ground and there is no space to camp at the falls.
The Forest Road Unloading Area, 6 km by road to the south, offers free camping on a first come first served basis, with no bookings
required. According to the managing authority, the unloading area is not suitable for caravans. If you are planning to stay
overnight in the area, and don't want to camp, you can try
accommodation in nearby Drouin or Warragul
Tarago River at Picnic Point
, which is 20 km to the south near the freeway exit.
Before you head out, make sure to read the water safety information
. Specific to this site,
because this is a river, don't venture into the water here when the river level is high or in flood, when currents can be dangerous and the
banks and access tracks can become slippery or unstable. I also spotted a leech on my boot when walking along Forest Road before I reached
the creek, so it's a good idea to have your favourite leech remedies on hand to remove them safely.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the car park at the Lawson Falls Picnic Ground.
If you would like to leave a comment about this shallow water play area, please fill in the comment box below.
I'm particularly interested in your experiences after visiting, and any changes in conditions, etc.
Make sure you let me know whether you consent to having your comments published on this website.
© Brad Neal 2017. All rights reserved.