Walking the Fern Glade Track, Marakoopa Cave

Photograph of creek flowing under ferns and over mossy stones.

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.

Getting there

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.

Track

Fern Glade Track sloped gently uphill as it followed Marakoopa Creek upstream. There were a few steps and some narrow sections. The gravel surface was solid and easy to walk on.

From the Marakoopa Cave car park, a further track of 120 metres led to the mouth of the cave. This was wide, flat and suitable for wheelchairs.

Plants

As the name promised, the Fern Glade Track was rich in ferns, from treeferns standing over the track to small parasitic ferns on the trees.

Moss also covered many of the damper surfaces.

Marakoopa Creek

The sights and sounds of Marakoopa Creek provided a pleasant accompaniment to the ferns of the Fern Glade Track.

Facilities

Latest visit 13th December 2015
Road Sealed
Parking Large
Shelter Yes
Toilets Yes, although some wheelchairs would not fit through the narrow turns at the entrance

Opinions

Walking Stick

A good surface, but uphill all the way from the picnic area car park to the cave car park. Better to be dropped off at the cave and walk back to the ticket office. The flight of steps up to the cave car park was the only hard part of the walk. If in a wheelchair, just travel the 240 metre round trip from the cave car park to the cave entrance and back again.

Ambler

Walked 1.56 kilometres in 0:48. Travelled from the picnic area car park to the cave gate and back again. Enjoyed the walk, but could not have completed it one way in 10 minutes.

Should I visit?

Yes. If you are visitng Marakoopa Cave, walk the Fern Glade Track before or after your tour. Allow at least 15 minutes each way to fully enjoy the track. Even if you are not taking the cave tour, if you are in the area of Mole Creek and have an hour to spare, this track is a worthy diversion. Anyone not restricted to a wheelchair should be able to enjoy at least part of this walk. If you have little time or are short of energy, arrange to have someone drive to the other end so you only have to walk it one way.

References

Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania – Mole Creek Karst National Park

Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania – Northern caves closed due to flood damage [No longer applies, but explains the damage and repairs made]

Great Western Tiers – Fern Glade Walk

Map of this walk

All photographs from this walk

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