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. The bridge survived further floods in 2016 but the lookout platform did not. A replacement platform was built further downstream.

These photographs show the state of the track as it was in January 2015. As of January 2017, 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.

Track

The track sloped up and down a lot, but always gently, with no abrupt climbs. Many of the slopes were built out of stone steps. It crossed two bridges; the serious mud began after the second and longer bridge.

A mailbox containing a visitors’ book marked the boundary between the Mole Creek Karst Conservation Area and the Mole Creek Karst National Park. A recent walker had been inspired to write:

“24/1/15
Leeches leeches everywhere
We simply had no time to stare!
We ran, we ran one and all
And eventually found the Westmorland Falls!
(All lies, there were only flies!)”

Westmorland falls

Once over the long bridge, the track followed a creek upstream over several small cascades until it reached the falls lookout. The falls themselves were covered in streams of water, even in January (late summer).

Plants

The rainforest along the track was rich in ferns and bracket fungi. The only clearings were around the creek and in the spaces left by recently fallen trees.

Animals

Both of Tasmania’s large snake species passed by on this walk: a lowland copperhead snake and a tiger snake. A wallaby (probably a pademelon) bounded across the track too fast to be photographed. Other creatures of note were all invertebrates.

While all Tasmanian snakes are venomous, they are not likely to attack people unless trapped or threatened.

Video


This video shows Westmorland Falls before the June 2016 floods.

This video shows the falls while the flood damage was recent.

This video shows some recovery following the flood damage.

Facilities

Latest visit 14th July 2018
Road Unsealed for about 2 kilometres
Parking Small
Shelter No
Toilets No (go to Mole Creek or Chudleigh)

Opinions

Walking Stick

The many stone steps were tedious. Do-able to the long bridge but the mud was way too much.

Ambler

Walked 3.6 kilometres in 3:40. Reached the falls and returned. Borrowed a spare walking stick to traverse the final hundred metres to the lookout. Carried a full-sized tripod to the falls and considered it worth the effort.

Racewalker

A 30 minute walk each way on a good track with easy walking up to the long bridge, but the 5 minute section after that was tedious and sticks were needed to maintain balance. The track was interesting and varied and the falls were good.

Should I visit?

If you live between Launceston and Devonport, yes. This is a very accessible walk through rainforest. Make your first visit in summer; the falls are still worth seeing even then. You may then judge for yourself if a return visit in winter or spring is justified, given the mud.

Stop and look at Honeycomb Cave on your way in or out.

References

Mole Creek & Chudleigh – Westmorland Falls

Mole Creek Lodge – Westmorland Falls

EveryTrail – Westmorland Falls

Map of this walk

All photographs from this walk

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