Cape Otway to Rainbow Falls walk

Cape Otway

Cape Otway to Rainbow Falls walk

Cape Otway
Staff Pick
2 h 52 m
11.49 km
Directions to walk Directions


An amazing walk to Rainbow Falls, which is spring-fed and trickles through algae to the rock platform below, which includes fantastic views to Bass Strait.

Cape Otway to Rainbow Falls walk

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The fabulous walk starts at Cape Otway Lighthouse carpark and goes through sand dunes and then down along Station Beach to the colourful cliff that is Rainbow Falls, which is spring-fed and trickles through algae to the rock platform on the beach below. Return the same way. This is an unpatrolled beach and swimming is not recommended.

Station Beach can be a little difficult to walk on as your feet sink into the soft sand and the beach is at an angle. Ideally, the walk should be done at low tide as the waves can rush up the shore line, particularly in stormy weather. You can check the Cape Otway tides here before you go.

The Falls are a sight to behold and very much worth the walk, particularly on a sunny afternoon as the sunlight accentuates the colours of the algae. The water comes from a spring and drops come down over the rock face.

We walked on a windless, sunny winter's day which was perfect. In summer, take water, hats and suncream as it can get quite hot walking over the sand dunes and along the beach.

Here are two great nearby circuit walks: Parker Hill & Inlet walk Cape Otway; and Crayfish Bay, Cape Otway. Also worth a walk is the longer Great Ocean Walk - Blanket Bay to Cape Otway lighthouse which is a fabulous 10km one way walk (unless you want to do 20km return you will need a car shuffle).



Points of Interest

1. Cape Otway Lighthouse lookout

Wonderful to see the Lighthouse peaking through the trees.

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2. Cape Otway Cemetery

Historic cemetery containing over 20 graves of early settlers, shipwreck victims and children. Most are not marked.

3. The walking path

This is typical stretch of the path over the walk; sandy and not a lot of shade, which was great when we walked in July.

4. The ocean

We were certainly lucky with the weather when we walked this time, but even with wild stormy seas the view is fantastic.

5. Path through the dunes

The path doesn't have a lot of shade but it is a relatively easy walk.

6. Boardwalk

There is a boardwalk as the path descends to Station Beach which makes walking easier and protects the fragile dunes, so keep to the boards.

7. Station Beach

Not for swimming as it is a remote and isolated beach and is very hazardous with high waves and strong rips, plus a few rocks and reefs dominating the surf.

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8. Along the beach

Hard going at times as your feet sink into the sand and the waves can rush up the beach, particularly at high tide, so be careful and keep an eye on the waves.

9. Channels in the rocks

You get to walk along some really interesting rock formations, including channels like this where the rushing waves can be a bit mesmerising.

10. View to Rainbow

The Falls look magnificent even from a distance.

11. Rainbow Falls

It is hard to capture the falls in one photo, this is only the side section that you see first as you approach.

12. Looking up

There are lots of different angles and spots to view the falls, this one is from underneath so the water drops fall from above.


Natural Trail Natural Trail
Coast/River/Lake Coast/River/Lake
General General


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