12 Waterfalls to keep you out of hibernation this winter
It’s no secret that waterfalls are at their best after rain
(be careful, tracks can get muddy), which is why winter is the best time to go out and explore.
You’ll be pleased to note we’ve picked waterfalls close to Hobart and out in the Derwent Valley, Huon Valley, the Channel and Tasman. They’re a great excuse to break up the drive on a road trip, especially with kids!
Please note, any waterfalls situated within Tasmanian National Parks require a Parks Pass. Happy chasing!
1. Three Falls Circuit: Russell Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Lady Barron
Falls Access via: Mount Field National Park, Derwent Valley
Walk time/distance: 2-2.5 hrs circuit, 6km circuit
This 6km circuit takes in not only Russell Falls, but also Horseshoe Falls and Lady Barron Falls. Most do the circuit anticlockwise, starting with the short walk to Russell Falls, then climbing to the beautiful Horseshoe Falls. The track continues through the Tall Trees walk, taking in some magnificent specimens of swamp gums (Eucalyptus regnans)—the world’s tallest flowering plant. Winter is a great time to spot lots of colourful fungi, so if you’re looking for things to do with kids on walks, try getting them to spot weird and wonderful fungi.
2. Wilsons Falls / Tarraleah Falls
Access via: Oldina Drive, Tarraleah (Near the Lookout).
Walk time/distance: 1-1.5 hours return, 2.3kms.
If you’re looking for a rest stop on your drive with a nice walk, Tarraleah Falls (also known as Wilson Falls) is a beautiful waterfall walk in the township of Tarraleah, in central Tasmania. The falls are around 40 – 50 metres in height. The track takes you to a viewing platform that is situated on the edge of a cliff, high above the waterfall it faces.
3. Waterfall Bay, Tasman Peninsula
Access via: Drive to the lookout itself via Waterfall Bay Road, or, walk from Devil’s Kitchen, Tasman National Park
Walk time/distance: 1-1.5 hours return, 3.4 km return
Waterfall Bay is one of the most unique scenic locations in Tasmania, indeed Australia. It features a tall waterfall plunging over 100 metres directly into the sea while being flanked by ancient sea cliffs. The walk ends at a high lookout with views across to a waterfall that drops over perpendicular cliffs into the sea. After heavy rain, the falls can put on a spectacular display. You can do this as a return walk or a one-way walk (car shuffle required). If the waterfall isn’t pumping, it’s still a spectacular location to watch the ocean smash against the cliffs.
4. Snug Falls
The popular walk to Snug Falls gradually descends through pleasant bushland to the cool, fern-lined gully beneath the waterfall. Pause at some great lookout points along the way and take in the view of the bush. This is a dog-friendly waterfall. Dogs are allowed on-lead.
Birders, keep an eye out for eastern spinebills, yellow-throated honeyeaters, green rosellas, strong-billed honeyeaters, and the pretty pink robin.
In case you needed a reason to come back again, native orchards bloom in spring and summertime.
5. Pelverata Falls
Pelverata Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in Tasmania, plunging 114 metres at the head of a large gorge in the Snug Tiers Nature Reserve. The falls are best seen in winter (they are sometimes completely dry in summer and early autumn).
Bushwalking experience is advantageous, as the track has some narrow bits, winds through some small gullies which can be wet and muddy, and also involves some steep scrambling in the rockiest parts. Along the way, keep an eye out for Slippery Falls in the distance. The view of Pelverata Falls from the lookout, rugged cliffs, and gorge scenery are worth the effort!
6. Billy Brown Falls
Billy Browns Falls are nestled in the hills of the Huon Valley, on the northern side of Judbury. The tiered waterfall drops about 30 metres over an unusually-shaped drop. The walk to the falls winds through dry and wet sclerophyll forest. Some parts of the track are narrow, steep and rocky. Along the way, keep an eye out for fungi (macro photographers will have fun).
7. Arve Falls
Arve Falls is a pretty waterfall located within the Hartz Mountains National Park. The track follows the path of the Arve River to the viewing platform. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through alpine herbfield and snowgum woodland, with highlights including a variety of wildflowers, silver banksia and Tasmanian snow gum.
8. Adamsons Falls
Adamsons Falls is located on the eastern edge of the Southwest National Park. The track gradually climbs through rainforest to the scenic waterfall. The falls are accessible at different levels and look most impressive from the top. The track can get muddy and slippery, so do take care.
9. Myrtle Gully Falls
Access via: Old Farm Rd (to the end behind the Cascade Brewery)
Walk time/distance: 1-1.5 hours return, 3.4 km return
This is a great walk to do with kids. Just park at the gate and prepare yourself for a very easy walk into one of the local area’s most accessible falls. The 10 minute walk along the Myrtle Gully Track is worth the trip itself, never mind the site of amazing Myrtle Gully Falls, which is nestled in the foothills of kunanyi/Mt Wellington. You can walk along several different tracks to find Myrtle Gully Falls and the area is very popular for mountain bikers and bushwalkers with numerous tracks leading up through Mt Wellington.
10. Strickland Falls
Access via: Strickland Avenue, South Hobart
Walk time/distance: 5 minutes
Just a hop, skip and a jump from the Hobart CBD lies the beautiful Strickland Falls. Head towards Mount Wellington up Strickland Avenue and there is a carpark approximately halfway between the start of the ascent and Huon Rd. Literally a minute walk from the carpark will have you surrounded by beautiful forest and an impressive stream which is formed below Strickland Falls. While this waterfall is one of the most accessible of all of them on this list, it is still relatively unknown to many locals, but is a great photography spot for those who do know of its location.
11. Myrtle Forest Falls
Access via: Myrtle Forest Road
Walk time/distance: 15 minutes from the carpark
The Myrtle Forest is home to this beautiful little wonder of nature. Myrtle Forest Falls can be found by taking a 15 minute walk from the main Myrtle Forest carpark. Take a 20-minute drive through the winding mountains towards Collinsvale and enjoy the lovely green hills before turning left along Myrtle Forest Rd. A short trip later and you will be standing on the border of Wellington Park. The walk into Myrtle Forest Falls takes you past a popular picnic area and through some very lush and dense rainforest. The track can be a little slippery after rain, but the effort will be well rewarded as you stand above the falls at the viewing platforms.
12. New Town Falls
Access via: Lenah Valley Track
Walk time/distance: 2.5 – 3 hours
Out of all of the waterfalls on this list this may require the most physical effort to see. The two and a half hour return trip from the start of the Lenah Valley Track takes you from sea level to 430m in elevation to meet this lovely waterfall. It is highly recommended to be prepared for this walk by taking plenty of water and some food with you. Once you do arrive you will be greeted by multiple tiers of cascades and a beautiful view out across Lenah Valley towards the Derwent River. There are multiple sections to New Town Falls with the main path leading to the middle tier. You can ascend higher to see the top or descend to the very lower-tier via a track approximately 5 minutes back from the main section of the fall. It flows best after heavy rain and is part of the New Town Rivulet. There is plenty to see on the way as you follow a different section of the rivulet to eventually end up at New Town Falls.
If you’d prefer a guided walking experience, there are some fantastic options to choose from.
(Please note: the COVID-19 travel restrictions have impacted local businesses—check directly with the operators for details.)
Walk on kunanyi
Walk on kunanyi take small groups on premium day walks exploring kunanyi/Mt Wellington. Celebrate the rich cultural and natural wonders in Wellington Park with your experienced guide. Walks are fully catered and transport is included. Walks to places like the disappearing tarn or specific waterfalls are available on request. Don’t be shy, reach out to Andy and let him know what you’re wanting to discover.
Tasmanian Photography Workshops
Tasmanian photography workshops run hands-on experiences and workshops to help you better your photography skills in the best classroom on offer; Tasmania. As well as running organised tours and workshops, they also offer personalised or small group workshops around the state (including the spectacular Mt Field National Park) where you name the national park and they’ll take you there. Transfers are included.
Shutterbug Walkabouts offer private, photography-oriented nature walks. Their expert guides are highly-accomplished nature and wildlife photographers who are keen to show you Tasmania’s spectacular natural environment and its native wildlife and birds. Photographers of all levels are welcome.
Snapshot Tours offer fully guided day tours. Their friendly team will take you on a journey of discovery from historical Hobart to the top of Mt Wellington, the underground tunnels of Penitentiary Chapel, Pirates Bay lookout, convict settlement of Port Arthur, wine and cheese tasting in the scenic Coal Valley region and to an award-winning wildlife sanctuary. We hear they know a few waterfalls too.
Before you go, please read the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service safety guidelines, check current conditions, and adequately prepare for your walk. On your adventure, please stick to pathways, take only photos, leave no trace, and don’t feed the wildlife.
All walks within Tasmania’s national parks require a valid Parks Pass.
Image Credit : Jason Charles Hill