Travelling Australia
Hopkins Falls
Hopkins Falls, Vic
Hopkins Falls is a waterfall in the Hopkins River near Warrnambool. This waterfall is 90 metres wide and 11 metres high. Hopkins Falls can be reached on bitumen roads from Warrnambool, there is a sealed car park and picnic area above the falls. Two viewing platforms overlook the falls and an easy path leads down to another viewing area below the waterfall.
Hopkins Falls, Vic
Hopkins Falls presents an obstacle to short finned eels (Anguilla australis) which spawn somewhere in the Coral Sea off Queensland; their hatchlings are carried to the continental shelf by currents. Eventually (after two to three years sometimes) the currents transport them to Australian river mouths, including the Hopkins.

Hopkins Falls - page 2
By then the leaf-shaped larvae have developed the normal tubular eel shape but are transparent without pigment so they are known as glass-eels. They enter the river, adapt to fresh water, grow pigmentation to become elvers, and begin making their way upstream to grow into adults. The elvers travel at night, stay close to the banks and avoid fast flowing water. Hopkins Falls presents a challenge to the elvers but they can travel overland for short distances in damp conditions by moving like a snake.

Once they reach the upper waters they grow into adults. Females reach up to 1.1 metres long and weigh up to 7 kilograms, males are about half that size.

Eventually, adults (females 10 years or more old and males at least 6 years old) leave the upstream fresh water. They swim down the Hopkins River and congregate inside the mouth of the river which is closed by natural sand movement. When seasonal rains open the river then pour out to swim to the Coral Sea to continue the cycle. Adults are understood to die after reproducing.

  "Short-finned eel" at - accessed on 2 May 2010.
   Information panels at Hopkins Falls and Hopkins River mouth - April 2010.