Hidden away in country Victoria is a waterfall with an alluring name. For much of the year it is just a trickle, but in winter or spring, after rain or snow melt, Paradise Falls can live up to that name.
I found Paradise Falls when I was staying at Beechworth, in the mountainous north east corner of Victoria. A spell of inclement wintry weather restricted me to exploring roads which didn't go up mountains - a blessing in disguise, since there is much to enjoy in this area apart from the mountains.
Anything named Paradise arouses my curiosity, and so I set off up the quiet back road past the town of Whitfield to check it out. The last part is gravel, but okay for normal cars. What I found was a ten minute walk trail leading to a 31 metre waterfall plunging into a secluded pool amidst native forest. Lovely.
The inclement weather which had deterred me from the mountains was generating a reasonable flow of water. There were two main streams plus some minor trickles, which together were picturesque and produced a decent amount of sound up close. I suspect it could be much better after heavy rains.
What made these falls unique was the overhang they plunged over. At the time of my visit you could walk behind the plunging streams of water, and look out at the surroundings through the waterfall itself. This was a rare opportunity to see a waterfall from behind as well as in front.
Nowadays the walk trail ends at a viewing platform in front of the waterfall - clearly visitors are no longer welcome to go wandering around and behind the base of the falls. I think this is to protect the environment close to the falls, or to reduce the risk of injury (and liability claims) by visitors, or most likely a combination of both. While I can see the logic in this, it still seems a shame to me that the freedom to explore - and look out from behind a plunging torrent of water - has been inhibited.
Even so, Paradise Falls can be a lovely spot to visit in winter or spring, or after rain. Just be aware that during dry periods there might only be a trickle, not a waterfall.
See footer for links to interactive maps