Lower Kalimna Falls, Great Otway National Park

Damn, I think I stuffed up with my gloating photos of the Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet in my last post. The reason being is some of those images were originally going to be in this one. Kalimna Falls near Lorne had been my main target for the day and the lighthouse was a quick stop-off on the way. The trouble is I got greedy and decided to create a standalone lighthouse entry, so now it seems I’ve only scraps of pictures instead of the glorious coastal ones to show off.

Also, besides the dilemma of low-brow photos, I’ve been well and truly off the boil blog-wise. Sometimes I sit down to write and am so disappointed at my output I spit at the screen in disgust. Mind you, I only did this once, as I missed and hit Ben in the head by accident whilst he was immersed in GTA.

One reason I’m down on power is it’s a year since dad died. Actually, the anniversary is on the 18th October. Hang on, that’s tomorrow! Talk about a fast moving year. Sometimes I suddenly feel like the bloke whose locker is next to me at work. At the end of the day he wearily reaches for a coat hanger as he takes his shirt off and says, “Well, that’s another day closer to the grave.” If you didn’t notice by now, he’s a real bundle of laughs.

In one way he’s right. As I rapidly approach 50 (next year!) I’m amazed how zonked out my joints feel. If you’re in your 30’s and reading this, then it will make no sense. At 35 I was as fit as any time in my life. Sub 40 minute 10 km and 20 minute 5 km runs were doable. Now, I’m struggling to do a sub five minute run to the gents from my lounge room. I just did a stocktake whilst writing this and currently feel pain in my lower back, neck, knees, elbows and fingers. Um… I think that’s most of the body? There’s no doubt about it. I’ll be keeping an eye out for an ultralight walking frame to hike with soon.

What else? I dithered in writing this post for so long, I’ve decided the only way to get it done is to knock it out in one hit. With one exception though. I need toast to sustain me through the crap I’m about to write. You know what though? I’ve been called many things in my life. Wanker, not a wanker, aloof, not aloof, a wanker who is aloof, but when you get to know me I’m not a wanker, but only said to make me feel good and not aloof, but most of all a controversial toast maker. I kid you not, but my toast making abilities have been questioned quite a few times.

It’s been alleged I apply the spreads haphazardly. Not enough butter and not buttered to the edge. Spread not applied evenly. Too much spread, but on other occasions, not enough. I never thought making toast would be so tough and even after all these years I still haven’t nailed it. Even my process of combining normal toast and dessert toast is contentious. Here’s what I mean.


Main meal toast combined with dessert toast.

If I’m having Vegemite, well, that’s the main course and the marmalade is the dessert to follow. See what I mean? There are crazy going-ons out here in the western suburbs. I just know in blog-land someone is looking at the above photo and going off their head. “Why isn’t the spread applied evenly??!!” I know this, as my al-foil helmet is humming.

Hang on, I’m just picking up something else through my helmet…

“Can you stop talking crap and get to the walk…?”

No. I’ve got plenty more to bang on about. Remember, the beauty of blogging is it’s not democratic. I get to write whatever rubbish I want and the audience can’t do anything about it. Oh yeah, they could not read it, but it’s too late. I’ve scored the page view already!

As an example, I had an anti-hiking comment left on a post the other day. Some bloke went absolutely nuts, whilst combining so much swearing even I was impressed. Essentially, he was saying all hikers should die and inferred I was a wanker. Well, we covered the, ‘am I wanker’ bit just before, so I guess he was topical. The beauty of blog dictatorship though was I had a laugh and then deleted it.

Yeah okay, as he’d left his name, I did suggest to someone I’m going to track him down and perform a hook shot on his head with my Gray-Nicolls Super Scoop from my old cricket days, but after a fistful of Valium I calmed down and hit delete instead.

Is that it? No, one more thing. I was aimlessly looking at Twitter whilst driving my car and there was one of those tweets, which I think everyone has seen. It went along the lines of, “How to maximise your blog!!” I must be a masochist, as I always click on those things and without fail, taken to the lamest online article ever written in the history of the universe. This one was no different, as it covered the length a blog post should be to ‘maximise your audience’. Guess how many words this self-proclaimed expert reckons? 500.

I’ve blown 500 just talking about toast, let alone the walk this entry is meant to be about. My thought is, if someone can’t concentrate for more than 500 words, as they need their information ‘fast and on the fly’ (as the article put it) then I’d gladly loan them my Super Scoop, so they can beat themselves around the head with it. Sometimes I wish other bloggers would put some meat in their posts instead of a couple of photos and few paragraphs. People, I need some material to read when I’m in the office, otherwise I’m forced to work! The outrage. One day, I’ll write a ‘how to blog’ post and also make myself an expert who knows what he’s talking about, whilst in reality I’d just make it up as I go along. The use of smoke and mirrors is my specialty.

Okay, the walking bit. The savvy reader who got past the 500 word limit, might pick up the reason for the elongated intro of padding. Is it because nothing of note happened on this particular walk? Well done savvy reader. Would you like some toast?

Upper and Lower Kalimna Falls has been visited before. Way back in the rubble of early posts within the blog, I visited the waterfalls.

Bloody hell. Go easy on the link I gave you, as I saw a frightening sight. It was definitely in the old blogging days, as the pictures are microscopic. It must have been when I could see, instead of having to rely on portable Hubble telescopes for glasses now. A lot of the early posts I cleaned up when I changed the pictures to Godzilla size, but the Kalimna one must have snuck through my slippery keyboard fingers. Oh yeah, by the way, if you do look, you’ll notice the Split Point Lighthouse is in it. I told you I always stop at that joint!

Anyway, when I last did the walk, the track was closed. Actually, it seemed everything around the Lorne area was closed, and not just shut for a few weeks, but verboten for what seemed like DECADES. I kid you not, but Kalimna Falls was shut for over a year due to a dodgy bridge. Since reopening this year, I’ve been meaning to get down there for a while, as spring is a good time to see what the waterfalls are up to.

It’s a bit of a painful drive to Lorne though, so I was keen to leap into action when reaching the Sheoak carpark. Can you imagine a bloke leaping out of a car in eagerness with back arched and both feet in unison at shoulder height? Well, that’s not me. I just stepped out.

Rain was around and I quickly gathered up photographic weapons of war and hit the muddy track. Actually, it was really muddy. My feet were quickly drenched as I powered towards my first port of call, the Lower Kalimna Falls, Great Otway National Park.

I did stop a couple of times to tune in my eyeballs, by taking a few shots of Sheoak Creek…


…and who doesn’t like rotating bubbles in a long exposure?


Moving on, I reached the waterfalls in good time and faced a dilemma. How do I take photos, which look remotely different than the last visit? Answer? I didn’t. I reckon I stood in exactly the same spot and took identical pictures.


The thing is, Lower Kalimna Falls is one of my favourite waterfalls within the Milky Way. It’s undercut, meaning you can walk around beneath a rocky shelter and stand behind the falling water. It seems quite unique?


There’s a catch though, which has fiasco written all over it. I was happily taking snaps, but the long exposure caper can suck the life out of a camera battery. Guess what happened? Yes, I was aiming up the greatest photo ever about to be taken when the camera went dead. Mm… Okay, flat battery. Lucky, being the photography guru I always carry a spare. It just so happens it was sitting in the boot of my car. In the light rain and eagerness to hit the track, I’D LEFT THE BLOODY THING IN THE CAR.

Well, that was dumb. It was a few kilometres back, so I packed up and began the trudge to the carpark. Whilst doing so, I took my shirt off and whipped my back in self-flagellation with a sharp fern branch, as punishment for making such a fundamental, rookie photography error.

The muddy track was sending my toes numb from the cold, so I had a change of plan on the way back. Tramline Track is an alternative path back to the carpark and as it’s only marginally further, I decided to follow it for some new scenery. You know what? I enjoyed it more than the main track. It’s drier and there are more views of Sheoak Creek, with the odd small waterfall along the way. I was so impressed, I reached the car, re-battery-ed up and headed back to Tramline Track.

One advantage of it being wet, is my leaf-in-water fetish. There were plenty on offer. A mix…


…a nice tan number…


…and a glowing green.


Oh yeah, there were plenty of creek shots also.


The whole area was logged back in the ‘ye olde’ days and at spots it’s easy to see the man-made route created to lug the trees out on rudimentary, horse-drawn timber trolleys.


I continued to follow Sheoak Creek…


…and stopped every few minutes to plonk down the tripod.


I did face one obstacle in this. An enormous tree across the track had me scrambling under it. I tend to walk completely upright, as an marginal bending makes my lower back feel as if it’s about to snap. There’s no flitting over fallen trees like this when I’m around.


Speaking of trees, enormous mountain ash are in this area and they’re real neck-snappers if you want to gaze up to the top of them.


A bit further on, I thought I was in for another scramble, but luckily this one had the manners to be above head height.


This little track was delivering some nice views of the creek…


…including this small waterfall…


…complete with a logjam of branches and leaves.


The huge physical size of a mountain ash tree trunk always makes a nice comparison with a more delicate fern frond…


…and with a final look at Sheoak Creek…


…I was done for the day.

I can’t say it went to plan. Remember, I’d reached Lower Kalimna Falls, but barely took any photos before the camera died and as a result I missed going to Upper Kalimna Falls altogether. From what I remember, the lower is the more photogenic of the waterfalls, so it wasn’t a total disaster. Initially I was going to collect the battery and head back upstream, but after having so much fun on the Tramline Track I gave it away as the day slipped by.

All in all, it was okay. I’d snagged the lighthouse on the way, took a few identical photos from my previous trip of four years ago of Lower Kalimna Falls and got wet from passing showers. What more do you want in a walk?

Phew. Post is done. I hope I didn’t go over 500 words. I’d hate to lose readership and especially people who need their information on the fly…