Victorian waterfalls are booming after sustained heavy rainfall, with large crowds flocking to drawcards such as Trentham Falls near Daylesford.
Trentham Falls is putting on a spectacular natural display, making "a deafening sound" and virtually creating "its own weather" because of the force of the water, said Des Peters, district operations co-ordinator with Parks Victoria.
The torrent of water at Trentham Falls – which plummets 32 metres and is known as the largest single-drop waterfall in Victoria – is expected to continue until at least November.
"It's looking spectacular. There's a large volume of water coming over it," Mr Peters said.
Trentham Falls, which flowed well throughout winter, now looks vastly different to eight or nine months ago.
"Last summer, it was just the smallest of trickles, but that was exceptional. It generally does flow all year round, but it can be reduced to a trickle in the dry years," Mr Peters said.
Lal Lal Falls near Ballarat is alos proving hugely popular.
Having previously been bone dry for years, there is currently a massive torrent of water flowing through.
South-west of Trentham Falls, major waterfalls in the Otway Ranges such as Hopetoun Falls, Triplet Falls and Little Aire Falls are also shining brightly.
"The sound and the view is just mesmerising," said James Gorman, of Parks Victoria. "You can just sit and watch and enjoy."
"When I got here in January they were all much of a trickle in the dry – and there were lots of comments from locals about how they had never seen them so dry. And now we've got thunderous waterfalls. The contrast between the dry time to the wet time is huge."
The three main waterfalls in the Otways are readily accessible to visitors and all in walking distance from visitor car parks, Mr Gorman said. At Triplet Falls there are "viewing platforms, and you can sit and watch and listen to the sound of it.
"It's just roaring at the moment. There are fern gullies, you've got the mountain ash, you go through some magnificent rainforest and then you come across these waterfalls just to put the icing on the cake," he said.
Paul Sinclair, of the Australian Conservation Foundation, said a waterfall created its own unique habitat around the fall of water, thanks to the spray created.
A flowing waterfall also created connections between different parts of the river. In contrast, a dry waterfall was a barrier in a river system, he said.
"When water is pounding down that waterfall and spray is going everywhere, that spray is creating moisture and habitat for species of plants and other animals that live at the base of the waterfall," he said.
A rushing waterfall was also "pounding oxygen into the river system, that gives fish and other critters stuff to live off. So it's this massive boost of life into the river," he said.
Flowing waterfalls also benefit onlookers.
"Other critters known as human beings draw immense psychological and emotional wellbeing from watching water go over a waterfall," he said.
Hepburn Shire councillor Sebastian Klein said the flow over the Trentham Falls was the largest since 2011. "At times like these they're absolutely spectacular," he said.
The story Crowds flock to visit thunderous waterfalls after heavy rainfall | photos first appeared on The Age.