Waterfall watching and lyrebird spotting near Kinglake
Although the walk to Masons Falls is just 700 metres long, it's one to wander along slowly, letting your senses take in the smells, sights and sounds of the surrounding forest. Regenerating after the bushfires of 2009, the tall eucalypts and the dense undergrowth are home to all manner of interesting life, including fungi (best seen in winter), birds, insects, mosses, lichen, reptiles and wildflowers (best seen in spring). Quiet walkers might be lucky enough to hear or even see a lyrebird, especially earlier in the morning.
On the cool winter's morning that we walked the track, we heard a male lyrebird close by in the undergrowth. It was singing its way through a comprehensive repertoire of other bird calls, including kookaburras, magpies and black cockatoos. The first part of the walk actually follows one half of the 500 metre-long Lyrebird Circuit, so keep your eyes and ears open along this part of the walk.
From the viewing platform, Masons Falls can be seen on the right where it cascades 45 metres down rocks into Running Creek, which flows into other tributaries before eventually reaching the Yarra River. To the left is an impressive view over a deep gorge. It's a nice spot to sit, rest and observe. There are also interpretive signs about the waterfall. The falls are most spectacular after recent heavy rains, and can be a bit more of a trickle in drier periods.
On the return walk back to the carpark, turn left at the junction with Lyrebird Circuit for a different and slightly longer route back to the carpark. Just after the junction, a short detour to the left leads to Running Creek at the top of the falls. Interpretive signs along the track provide information about the natural and human history of the area, such as Carmen's Mill site, which operated between 1919 and 1922, and the timber tramway.
The track is clearly marked, wide and well-made, and is mostly gravel. There are handrails in several sections, and steps leading down to the waterfall viewing platform.
Masons Falls is located in Kinglake National Park, and is approximately a 13 km drive from Kinglake. Take care and keep a look out when driving along Masons Falls Road as there may be wallabies grazing along the roadside.
Parking for the walk is at Masons Falls Picnic Area, where there is a large carpark. The picnic area is spacious and picturesque, with plenty of tables, undercover shelters, BBQs and toilets, located under majestic eucalypts. Artwork by local school children is another lovely addition to the area. There are also several information boards, with maps of the area and information on lyrebirds.