Tourism Tasmania and Scott Sporleder, Matador
Tourism Tasmania and Scott Sporleder, Matador
Travel Tip

9 of the best Tassie Waterfall Walks

Kathryn Leahy
When forests are lush and rivers are full, this is your cue to walk to waterfalls in wild places. Why so? Because this is when the falls look their best. There are 230 known waterfalls in Tasmania. Here’s a handful of the best to get you started.

1. Russell Falls

Venture a little over an hour west of Hobart to Mount Field National Park to witness Russell Falls. Tilt your head skyward and it’s not hard to see why it’s Tasmania’s most photographed waterfall. There are three tall tiers to take in. Take the walk at night with a torch to guide you and see glow worms by the falls.

Waterfall in the rainforest
Kathryn Leahy
Russell Falls

2. Horseshoe Falls

Also in the Mount Field National Park, and only a short uphill climb from Russell Falls is Horseshoe Falls. People often spot platypus here, overturning pebbles on the hunt for food. Stay quiet and these webbed wonders will happily forage while you watch on.

Waterfall in winter flood
Lee Henley
Horseshoe Falls in flood

3. Lady Barron Falls

Mount Field’s third and final waterfall walk will lead you to Lady Barron Falls. The track passes through rainforest under a canopy of Swamp Gums, one of the world’s tallest flowering trees, eventually arriving at the base of a multi-tiered waterfall.

A waterfall in flood in winter
Kathryn Leahy
Lady Barron Falls in flood in winter

4. Snug Falls

Just a 30-minute drive south of Hobart is the tiny town of Snug. Blink and you’ll miss it, let alone the sign that points towards your next waterfall walk. It’s all downhill to Snug Falls, which means it’s uphill all the way back. At the end of the track, there are a few slippery rocks to navigate so wear your walking shoes.

Woman standing by a waterfall in a rainforest
Kathryn Leahy
Snug Falls in winter

5. Liffey Falls

Travel for just under an hour from Launceston and you’ll arrive at Liffey Falls. We suggest you call into Deloraine Deli first. The friendly staff will help you pick out some tasty Tassie picnic supplies. You’re going to want to stay a while at this waterfall, for more reasons than one. There are a number of smaller falls to take in leading up to the final tier and main attraction, Liffey Falls – all of them encircled by lush ancient rainforest.

A waterfall in the forest
Kathryn Leahy
Liffey Falls in winter

6. Montezuma Falls

If you want tall waterfalls, Montezuma is Tasmania’s largest at 104 metres. This waterfall is deep in the wilderness ­– 2 hours and 30 mins from Devonport or just over an hour from Strahan. The area is rich in mining and railway history and the base of the track was once part of the Dundas Tramway. Look for the original sleepers from the old tram line. An unsealed road delivers you to the track, which is also shared by mountain bikers.

Two mountain bikers watching a waterfall in the rainforest on the West Coast of Tasmania
Flow Mountain Bike
Montezuma seen from the base of the falls

7. Nelson Falls

This waterfall is nestled in a Wilderness World Heritage Area. About three hours into your trip between Hobart and Queenstown, Nelson Falls is surrounded by ancient plant species thriving in the cool-temperate rainforest. Follow the boardwalk until the falls are finally revealed.

Nelson Falls world heritage wilderness short walk tasmania
Tourism Australia and Graham Freeman
Nelson Falls

8. St Columba Falls

In the island’s north-west corner, about 2 hours from Launceston, water from the South George River takes an impressive 90-metre tumble down steep granite ledges over St Columba Falls. The track to the falls is met by fast-flowing streams and sheltered by giant century-old man ferns. Feel peckish after your walk? Call into Pyengana Dairy for some cheese on the drive out.

A river in the rainforest in northern Tamania
Andrew McIntosh, Ocean Photography
On the St Columba Falls walking track

9. Horsetail Falls

Horsetail Falls, near Queenstown, is dependent on recent rainfall to inspire awe. As Queenstown rarely gets four days without rain, it flows most weeks. The view as you walk to see if the falls are flowing or not is worth the trip. Drive 5km out of Queenstown to the small town of Gormanston to find the start of the track. Built near the foothills of Mt Owen, the vista from the track takes in the winding road down to Queenstown, the mountains to the south and the ocean to the west.

elevated walking track to Horsetail Falls
Jess Bonde
The boardwalk track to Horsetail Falls

It might be tempting to explore further into the forest, but keep in mind the Tasmanian bush is a delicate ecosystem, so stay on the paths provided to keep our forests pristine for years to come.

 

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