I have this vague memory of going somewhere amazing when I was a kid. I remember loads of rocks and little pools. I remember dressing my barbies in their togs my Nan had made for them and playing for what felt like hours – thinking all the while that this was the most amazing place I’d ever been. I must have been about 8 and I’ve never found that place again (and my parents can’t remember it) but McLaren Falls feels like the closest to this half remembered memory that I’ve been.
It’s the sense of discovery and adventure as you hop over the boulders like a seasoned Parkour practitioner.
It’s the awe your feel when you look up the valley of rocks and trees, the mist rolling down into the crystal clear pool at the bottom where everything reflects.
It’s the feeling that although it’s busy, everyone is on their own path and that includes you.
It’s the graffiti covered wall that always ends up in these kind of places as a juxtaposition to the natural beauty. And the accompanying teens that always seem to know how to find the best spots to sit and do nothing for the day.
James as usual knew the best place to swim and despite it being only September within minutes James and the two youngest girls had jumped in.
James told me it was like icy needles stabbing at him after. But they did it!
I on the other hand was like a badly weighed down mountain goat with my tripod as I clambered around to get a great shot and then decided not to bother setting it up and just enjoy the spectacular view and the sun.
The pedestrian bridge is new and James tells me stories of his cousins jumping off it in the 80’s. Much before the warning signs went up telling of those who didn’t live to tell the tale. I can’t imagine how anyone jumped off it and we certainly weren’t.
We only just scratched the surface with the park spreading out over 190 hectares and it is definitely on my list of places to explore more. McLaren Falls is much, much more than your usual waterfall visit.