Walking to Halls Falls, Tasmania

Photograph of short waterfall in bright sunlight.

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.

Getting there

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.

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Walking up Ben Nevis, Tasmania

Photograph of jagged mountain from below

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).

Getting there

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.

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Walking to Duckhole Lake

Photograph of small lake surrounded by trees, with reflections.

Duckhole Lake fills a sinkhole near Hastings, Tasmania, Australia. The track to the lake is one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks.

Getting there

Duckhole Lake is over an hour south of Hobart, and a correspondingly longer drive from anywhere farther north. We stopped at the Hastings Caves Visitor Centre to enquire about the state of the track, then drove north. This was a scenic route, but the southern parts were very narrow, although still suitable for two-wheel-drive cars. The car park was a flat patch of ground next to Creekton Road, just east of a bridge over the Creekton Rivulet.

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Walking the Adamsons Tramway Track

Photograph of rainforest with long fallen mossy tree trunks.

The Adamsons Tramway Track is a short walk near Hastings, Tasmania, Australia. It overlaps with the much longer Adamsons Peak Track. The tramway portion passes the remains of various old forestry constructions.

Getting there

This track, like most in Tasmania’s far south, was not easy to reach. It began on the Peak Rivulet Road, west of Dover. We began even further south, at Hastings Caves, which meant a long drive north on unsealed forestry roads. The narrowest of these was Creekton Road where it turned north off Hastings Caves Road. As the roads continued north, they became wider and smoother.

The “car park” was a small flat patch at the side of Peak Rivulet Road, next to the sign shown above.

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Walking around Merthyr Park, Tasmania

Photograph of track meandering between eucalypts and cherry ballart trees.

Merthyr Park is a reserve near Lilydale, Tasmania, Australia. A gift from Lord Merthyr, of Saundersfoot in Wales, it was once a popular picnic area, was a rubbish tip from 1965 to 1995, and since then has been under ongoing rehabilitation by the Lilydale Landcare Association. Two walking tracks – the Large Circuit Track and the Small Circuit Track – allow visitors to see the park.

The Merthyr Park in Tasmania should not be confused with the multiple other Merthyr Parks in Australia and in Wales.

Getting there

The only road to Merthyr Park was the Second River Road, which passed through the middle of the park. From most of Tasmania, this was best accessed from Golconda Road, just north of Lilydale. The car park was at the east end of the Merthyr Park, opposite the Lilydale Waste Transfer Station.

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Walking in Honeycomb Cave, Mole Creek

The karst landscape of Tasmania’s Mole Creek area is famed for its caves. One of the most accessible is Honeycomb Cave.

Caves are not safe places, and the open nature of Honeycomb Cave can be deceptive.  In June 2015 a visitor to Honeycomb Cave suffered a serious fall.  Watch the ground and do not step anywhere you cannot see clearly.  Do not go out of sight of daylight if you are not a trained and equipped caver.

Getting there

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Walking to Westmorland Falls

Photograph of waterfall between tree ferns.

Westmorland Falls flow off the Great Western Tiers, south of Mole Creek, Tasmania, Australia. The falls are short but picturesque and surrounded by rainforest.

Parts of the walking track to the falls were destroyed by floods in January 2011. Replacement work in 2013 included a new bridge and lookout platform. As of January 2015, the repaired track was about 1.8 kilometres long (3.6 kilometres return).

Getting there

Westmorland Falls lie within part of the Mole Creek Karst National Park, so visitors will need a current National Parks Pass.

The simplest way to navigate to the falls was to drive to Mole Creek, then turn south onto Caveside Road (sealed). We turned west onto Wet Cave Road (unsealed), south at Honeycomb Cave, and then it was a short drive uphill to the Westmorland Falls car park.

If you are approaching from Launceston and are familiar with the area, turning onto Caveside Road at Chudleigh may be more scenic.

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Walking to Lost Falls, Tasmania

Photograph of water flowing down sloping rock in a gorge.

There are many places titled “Lost Falls” in the world. The ones in Tasmania are quite easy to find, flowing off Wingys Tier on the east coast. They are also quite accessible, being an easy drive from most parts of the state followed by a very short walk to the lookout.

Getting there

From almost anywhere in Tasmania, the best route to Lost Falls started on Lake Leake Road (sealed). From there, we turned south onto McKays Road. About three kilometres along this road, we turned east at the sign that said “Falls”, and drove for another three kilometres to the Lost Falls car park.

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Walking to Dip Falls

Photograph of water flowing across a sloping surface of basalt columns.

Dip Falls are found in the Dip River Forest Reserve, near Mawbanna in the northwest of Tasmania, Australia. They flow across two layers of black basalt columns, which give the falls a unique appearance among the hundreds of Tasmanian waterfalls.

Four short walks lead to the base of the falls, a viewing platform, an old sawmill boiler and the “Big Tree”. While the base of the falls involves a long flight of steps, the other three walks would admit wheelchairs with some effort.

The “Big Tree” in the Dip River Forest Reserve should not be confused with the “Big Tree” and “Bigger Tree” in the Styx Big Tree Reserve in Tasmania’s south.

Getting there

The route to Dip Falls began with turning off the Bass Highway onto Mawbanna Road, south and east of Stanley. The Mawbanna Road wound around farms and hills; it was sealed but not fast or easy to drive, especially when a loose cow wandered onto the road.

After about 24 kilometres, Mawbanna Road reached a right turn onto Dip Falls Road. This was unsealed, but wide and in good condition, and only two kilometres remained to Dip Falls. The Big Tree was another kilometre further on.
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What’s new in PBPhonics 2.0?

PBPhonics screenshot showing microphone button in action.

The microphone is the big new feature.  We also adjusted the colours and layout.  These updates were released on the 19th of November 2014, for both PBPhonics 1 to 3 and PBPhonics 1 to 7.

(If you are wondering what PBPhonics is, you can find a description on the PBPhonics page.)

The microphone

Because iOS tries to protect you from inadvertent privacy breaches, apps that use your microphone must first ask permission.  So, the first time you launch PBPhonics after the 2.0 update, you will see this:

PBPhonics screenshot saying '"PBPhonics" Would Like to Access the Microphone.  PBPhonics will offer spoken word practice if you allow microphone access.'  Buttons offer 'Don't Allow' and 'OK'.

PBPhonics requesting microphone access on first launch.

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