Buried deep in the Wombat State Forest, you may just find Trentham Falls, Victoria’s highest single drop waterfall. Get soaked by the spray, this moss-covered wonderland is especially magical in winter when every sleek rock and fern frond drips with water.
The short walk down to the board walk to the viewing platforms you spot a glimpse of the natural beauty, and deafening sound of water cascading over the basalt columns hitting the quartz gravel some 32 meters below.
Until 2016, the waterfall was more well known to locals with only the smallest of trickles, although flowing most of the year, year after year. Locals had no idea what was about to hit the small idyllic town in the form of a selfie invasion. Although boardwalks line the top of the falls, the desire to walk to the bottom is far too tempting for visitors who have forged their own path to the base ignoring signage warning of unstable cliffs. “Posting of the ultimate selfie at the base of the falls on the giant moss covered rock or the long view along the Colliban River resulted in thousands of tourists wanting to replicate the same shot” Thomas Robinson (local resident).
The sharing of stunning photos on social media became a destructive force as thousands of Instagram trophy hunters beat paths to the natural gem. The once dense fern lined river is now trampled underfoot and the selfie rock bears no remanence of the once thriving moss covering.
A brief snapshot of the problem currently facing Trentham.
The Real Impact
The trail of destruction. A closer look into showing how this destination is being impacted.
Click images for captions and larger images (Lightbox)
“The most devastation can be seen on the paths to and from the ‘selfie rock’ at the base of the falls. The grey stains on the rocks are remnants of the once thriving moss”