Southwest Tasmania is famous for its rugged landscape. Hardy bushwalkers recommend walking it for days for the best experience, but you can catch a glimpse from your car if you drive to Red Knoll, on the southern edge of Lake Pedder.
Red Knoll lies within the Southwest National Park, so visitors will need a current National Parks Pass.
As of January 2014, there was no place to buy petrol southwest of the town of Maydena. From there, the drive was along Gordon River Road for 31 winding kilometres followed by turn south onto Scotts then a turn onto Scotts Peak Road and 38 kilometres from there.
All of these roads were built to admit construction vehicles for dams and power stations. They were wide, solid and had smooth bends. However, the entire length of Scotts Peak Road was unsealed.
Continue reading “The view from Red Knoll Lookout”
The Tasman Highway connects Hobart to Launceston in a wide loop around Tasmania’s east coast. Between Scottsdale and Launceston it winds over the Sideling Range and is called “The Sideling”. This road is not the easiest to drive, but from the north-east edge of the ridge a car park and lookout offer impressive views over Scottsdale and Mount Stronach.
The car park was hard to miss while driving from either direction. It contained one of the few patches of grass in a road otherwise surrounded by treeferns, plantations or steep drops. It was on the east side of the road, so on the right while driving from Launceston and on the left while driving from Scottsdale.
Continue reading “The view from The Sideling Lookout”
During the late 19th Century, railways were a vital economic and social link. They still took some time to spread across Tasmania, due to the inconvenient number of mountains and rivers. This is evident in the history of the North-Eastern Line, which opened from Launceston to Scottsdale in 1889, with extensions to Branxholm in 1911 and Herrick in 1919. The North-Eastern Line included a rare feature: a 704-metre tunnel. This was so unusual for Tasmania that the locality was named “Tunnel” and the nearby station was named “Tunnel Station”.
With increased use of road vehicles, use of the North-Eastern Line slowed from the 1960s onwards and ended in 1992. However, many sections of the old line may be walked. A 24 kilometre section of line from Tulendeena Station at Billycock Hill to Scottsdale opened in 2015. This was the North East Rail Trail, with plans to eventually cover the full length of the old North East Line for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. As of March 2017 North East Rail Trail work to replace tracks with gravel had not reached Tunnel, but the area was accessible to walkers who didn’t mind stepping between sleepers.
The roads to the tunnel were helpfully named “Tunnel Road” (which passed over the top of the tunnel) and “Tunnel Station Road” (which led to the car park). Both were unsealed, with a combined length of 2.2 kilometres. Tunnel Road began about 6.5 kilometres north of Lilydale, turning west off Golconda Road. Tunnel Station Road then turned south off Tunnel Road.
Continue reading “Walking through the Tunnel at Tunnel”
Pelverata Falls form where Pelverata Creek flows west off Snug Tiers on the Huon Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia. The walking track described here leads from Crosswells Road to a lookout below the falls.
Two road routes led to the start of the walking track. Both were slow driving due to the many bends.
- South from Sandfly on Pelverata Road. Drive through Kaoota and Pelverata, then turn left onto Crosswells Road. This half of Pelverata Road was narrow, but was sealed, unlike the other half.
- East from Woodstock on Pelverata Road. Drive through Upper Woodstock and across several bridges, then turn right onto Crosswells Road. This half of Pelverata Road was unsealed, but was wider than the other half.
Crosswells Road was also unsealed but only a kilometre long, ending in a car park at the start of the Pelverata Falls Track.
Continue reading “Walking to the Pelverata Falls Lookout”
Snug falls form where the Snug River flows off Snug Tier, near the town of Snug on the Huon Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia. A short walk leads to the base of the falls.
First we drove to the town of Snug, on the eastern side of the Huon Peninsula. Roads on the peninsula have more hills and bends than maps may suggest, so allow plenty of time for this part. From, Snug, Snug Tiers Road led west off the Channel Highway. This soon changed from sealed to unsealed, and split in two, with Snug Tiers Road continuing on the right and Snug Falls Road on the left. We took the left turn onto Snug Falls Road and followed it to the clearly signed car park.
Continue reading “Walking to Snug Falls”
The Fern Glade Track is a short walk through rainforest near Mole Creek, Tasmania, Australia. It follows Marakoopa Creek to the mouth of Marakoopa Cave.
The Fern Glade at Marakoopa Cave should not be confused with the Fern Glade Great Short Walk along the Emu River in Burnie, the Fern Glade at Fern Tree on Mount Wellington or the Ferndene fern glade in the Dial Range, Penguin.
The Fern Glade Track lies within the Mole Creek Karst National Park, so visitors will need a current National Parks Pass or to buy a ticket for the Marakoopa Cave tour.
To reach the start of the walk, we drove along Liena Road, then turned south onto Mayberry Road and followed it to the Marakoopa Cave ticket office. A car park here gave access to the north end of the Fern Glade Track. Another 500 metres beyond that was the car park for Marakoopa Cave itself, and the south end of the track. All roads and car parks were sealed.
Continue reading “Walking the Fern Glade Track, Marakoopa Cave”
Postmans Track is a walking track along the north coast of Tasmania, Australia. In the early days of the coastal towns of Burnie and Stanley, this track was the shortest land route between the two. It was only suitable for people on foot or on horseback.
The “Postmans Track” seen here was a short segment in the middle of that original route, passing along cliffs at the eastern edge of Rocky Cape National Park.
Postmans Track lies within part of the Rocky Cape National Park, so visitors will need a current National Parks Pass.
The route to both ends of the track began by driving along the Bass Highway, turning north onto Port Road, then following Sisters Beach Road after Port Road diverted to Boat Harbour. All of these roads were sealed.
The car park for the southern end of the track was on Sisters Beach Road itself. The car park for the northern end of the track was on Sisters Beach. The road to this car park was unsealed, with large ruts that would be inconvenient if filled with water. Drivers wishing to avoid this could park on Honeysuckle Avenue and walk an additional 1.6 kilometres along Sisters Beach.
Continue reading “Walking Postmans Track, Sisters Beach”
Update – 21st December 2015
Read the comments on this post for details on a new track to the Anchor Stampers site.
The Anchor Stampers is a piece of old tin mining equipment once used at the Anchor Tin Mine on the side of Blue Tier, Tasmania, Australia. A 20 minute walking track used to visit the site, but in April 2011 floods destroyed a dam that the track crossed. The photographs in this post show the damage state of the track in May 2013. As of April 2015 the track remained closed, with repairs under discussion.
The Anchor Stampers site was on the west side of Anchor Road. This road was unsealed for its entire length, and became progressively narrower and rougher as it continued north. The Anchor Stampers track was near the north end. Parking for the Anchor Stampers was on the side of Anchor Road and easy to miss.
Continue reading “Why we couldn’t walk to the Anchor Stampers on Blue Tier”
Halls Falls lie on the Groom River, near Pyengana, Tasmania, Australia. A short walking track leads to the falls, with branches leading to a few other features along the Groom River and in the nearby forest.
Unless you live in the town of Lottah (and, if you do, you don’t need directions to Halls Falls), the best route to Halls Falls is along the Tasman Highway. Drive to the junction with Anchor Road, and turn north there. The car park is on the east side of Anchor Road – on the right, if you are driving north.
Continue reading “Walking to Halls Falls, Tasmania”
Ben Nevis is a mountain in Tasmania, Australia, north of the higher and larger Ben Lomond. A rough walking track leads up the mountain.
The Ben Nevis in Tasmania should not be confused with the other mountains named Ben Nevis in Victoria, New Zealand and the United States. All are named after the Ben Nevis in Scotland, the highest mountain in the British Isles.
The Tasmanian Ben Nevis, at 1,368 metres above sea level, is slightly higher than its Scottish namesake (1,344 metres), but shorter than its New Zealand sibling (1,619 metres).
Ben Nevis was not easy to drive to, despite being only 42 kilometres east of Launceston. The walking track began off Telopea Road, which ran north-south. From the south, Telopea Road turned off Upper Blessington Road. To the north, it led to Ben Ridge Road and Diddleum Road. All of these roads were unsealed, although still wide and solid enough for two-wheel-drive vehicles. Both routes were about 1.5 hours from Launceston, and correspondingly longer from anywhere farther south or west.
The walk described here started from Telopea Road. The first kilometre of the track was along Schulhofs Road, which four-wheel-drive vehicles could travel with care.
Continue reading “Walking up Ben Nevis, Tasmania”