Dights Falls (pronounced /ˈdɑets/) is located in Melbourne, Victoria just downstream of the junction of the Yarra River with Merri Creek. At this point the river narrows and is constricted between 800,000 year old volcanic, basaltic lava flow and a much older steep, silurian, sedimentary spur. The north side also contains abundant graptolite fossils in sedimentary sandstone.
Prior to European settlement, the area was occupied by the indigenous Wurundjeri tribe of the Kulin nation. The rock falls would have provided the Aboriginal people with a natural river crossing and place to trap migrating fish. It was also a meeting place for many clans where they would trade together, settle disputes and exchange brides.
In the 1840s, an artificial weir was built on the natural bar of basalt boulders to provide water to the “Ceres” flour mill, one of the first in Victoria. Situated by the Yarra River in Collingwood is the industrial relic known locally as “Dight’s Mill”, one of Melbourne’s oldest and most significant industrial sites. In the early 1840’s John Dight established Melbourne’s first water-powered flour mill on the site. In 1888 ‘Yarra Falls Roller Mills’ built a water-turbine powered mill, which was the largest and most sophisticated of the thirty two water powered mills built in Victoria before 1900.
On a ridge above the falls, 250 metres to the east, is an historic marker commemorating the “first white men to discover the river Yarra reaching Yarra Falls on 8th February, 1803. Also to make the first crossing near here with the cattle by the first overlanders John Gardiner, Joseph Hawdon and Captain John Hepburn in December 1836”.
The area can be readily accessed from the Yarra River Trail.
The rapid has been used many times for the Victorian Canoe Slalom Championships and has been used regularly for training by Australian Olympian Warwick Draper.
Camera: Canon EOS 5D mkII
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM @ 24mm
Filters: circular polariser
Shutter Speed: 3.2 sec
Exposure Compensation: + 2/3rds of a stop
When: 5:00pm on 8/7/09
For other shots from this area check out my Urban Landscapes gallery.