Mathinna Falls January 1918
If you go straight down the principal street of Healesville you find two roads leading to Mathinna Falls. The road to the left is apparently not so steep as the one that continues the street in which you stand. You a city man not used to much climbing, decide to travel by the road to the left. The journey under the shade of gums and wattles, which grow in great profusion on both sides of the track, is cool and pleasant, and Maroondah Weir,five miles from the township, is reached almost before you are aware of it. Having refreshed yourself with a drink of cold crystal water of the Watts River, you think as you resume the journey with a light, swinging stride,that the Falls are only two miles further up the side of the mountain.
The character of the path has changed; instead of being smooth an level, it is rocky, and beginning to rise rapidly. The sun, too, after being partially clouded over during the early portion of the morning has begun to blaze forth with great heat. You perspire, and sincerely wish that there are no provisions to carry. The track is now meandering up the almost inaccessible incline of Mt. Monda. You are ascending in real earnest, and walking is becoming a tedious, mechanical operation. The track is growing steeper and steeper, and your breathing is becoming labored through the violent exertion. You pick up a stout stick to help yourself in the determination not to stop. It is in vain; you have to rest. Courage, however, returns with you breath and you go forward for a while; but it is no use, you are compelled to rest again. After having used all the energy you possess in forcing yourself over rocks and roots of trees, and up difficult twists in the track, you arrive at last, hot, breathless and tired, at the summit of the mountain, from which the track descends to the Falls. Two miles! It has been more like ten; and utterly fatigued you just sink down to rest your aching body. At that moment you do not care if Mathinna Falls be the most beautiful spot on earth; all you desire is rest, rest.
When sufficiently recovered, you eat your dinner with the utmost satisfaction, and then are desirous, once again, of seeing the Falls. Your curiousity asserts itself with renewed intensity, and you wonder if the enthusiastic reports of the great beauty of the cascades were exaggerated or not.
The recent rains having made your foothold very uncertain you partly stumble and partly slide down the track into the gully, catching hold of the vegetation here and there to save yourself from falling. To view the upper part of the Falls you walk rather unsteadily out on a log stretched across the stream; but as it has been emphatically stated that the lower part of the cascades is far more beautiful than the portion you are gazing at, you, as a good citizen wishing to see everything and to form a correct opinion, clamber down the side of rocks, scramble over wet, old tree trunks and crawl down parts of the way on hands and knees. If you should slip into the rapids, or fall over the rock or bruise yourself any way, well, that is part of the fun, and you endure it with a grim smile, making no comment.
You pause at the bottom of the gully, and look at the most beautiful scene in Healesville - Mathinna Falls!
A magnificent sight! The water leaps over the rocks, rushing and dashing and splashing down a height of two hundred feet, splintering, hissing, roaring; all uniting to produce a most entrancing melody. Listen to the music of the water fall - how it trills and enraptures! What harmony. majesty, and sublimity is created by the water triumphantly descending over all obstacles, like a lover in abandonment throwing himself at his lover's feet into the superb scenery of the gully - the tall stately gums, the soft - looking wattles, the bright-green outspreading tree fern, the thick undergrowth of shrubs, wildflowers and grasses through which the stream whirls, now dancing over rocks, now racing under tree trunks which in their age have fallen across the stream, imparts to the view such grandeur that frail man, in the midst of such beautiful surroundings, is filled with awe. It is a most impressive sight - once seen, never to be forgotten.