Cycling Tour // Wannon and Nigretta Waterfalls (VIC)

The Wannon and Nigretta waterfalls are a handsome pair. This epic ride takes you through rolling countryside, endless waterfalls and rocky playgrounds to scramble and discover.

Highlights

  • 42 km’s of peaceful country cycling
  • Majestic waterfalls
  • Eucalyptus bushlands
  • River swimming holes
  • Rock scrambling

This ride can be linked into a 42kms bike circuit from the town of Hamilton, in Victoria’s South West. The first section takes you from Hamilton to the Wannon. It’s 17kms of gently undulating asphalt, framed by sweeping scenery of farms and giant gum trees.

Thirty metres of freefalling water await you at the Wannon Falls, dropping from the lip of an old lava flow into a vast valley of basalt boulders. A viewing platform leans out over the cliff edge and gives you a tingling feeling of exposure as the water plunges past you. If you’ve ever dreamed of standing behind the curtain of a waterfall, don a cheeky smile and follow the fence line to the left. Jump over the old gate, and follow the tracks through the bush (along the base of the cliff is easiest). With a bit of scrambling you’ll reach a grand cavern, where you can gaze out to the valley through the translucent wall of water.

The second cycling section takes you 9kms from the Wannon to Nigretta. This is the best section of riding. The road floats and bends through native bushland, eucalypts sway hypnotically, and the hills roll softly into a hazy distance.

Above the falls at Nigretta is a labyrinth of rocks, layered and criss-crossed with channels and dips. It’s a joyous outdoor obstacle course for water and humans alike. A staircase leads to the base of the falls where you can watch up close as the water weaves in fits of laughter through the staggered, jilting rock face.

The final 16km cycle takes you home from Nigretta to Hamilton. Turn left as you leave Nigretta and follow peaceful back roads, lined in shady trees and curious kangaroos, till you rejoin the highway.

Both waterfall areas have BBQs, bathrooms, and picnic areas. They often dry up in the peak of summer, but venture upstream any time of year and you’ll find calm currents for a swim.

Essential Gear

  • Bike, bike helmet, bike lights, reflective jacket
  • Water, snacks, lunch
  • Bathers
  • Camera

Note: I rode this circuit on an antique 1940’s pushbike, any old bike can get you there and back.

How To Get There

The circuit begins from Hamilton, a 3.5hr (300km) drive from Melbourne toward Victorias South West. Vline also offer a train+bus service.

Map of the 42km circuit.

Activities

  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Rock scrambling
  • Photography

Skill Level

Waterfall exploring – Beginner

Cycling – Good level of fitness required

Distance Covered / Elevation Gain

42km of cycling, gentle changes in elevation