Walking to Detention Falls

Photograph of waterfall seen through trees.

Detention Falls form on the Detention River, near Wynyard, Tasmania, Australia. A walking track leads to two views of the falls.

Older books that mention this walk may refer to a lookout platform. Parks & Wildlife engineers declared the lookout unsafe in 2008, and later dismantled it. A Severe Hazard Area sign near the start of the walk advised against proceeding on the track at all. As the sign said, continue on the walk at your own risk and taking your own responsibility.

This walk also passes through farm gates and paddocks. Take care around the electric fences and take no action to make landowners regret having a walking track through their property.

Getting there

From the Bass Highway, the best route to Detention Falls was to turn south onto Myalla Road. This reached an intersection with Hawley’s Road. Hawley’s Road was unsealed for its two kilometre length, which ended in patch of gravel for parking cars and a gate labelled “Falls Track”. There were also two private farm driveways, both labelled to make it clear that they were not the way to the falls.
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Walking to the Friendly Beaches Scenic Lookout

Photograph of long stretch of beach ending in a rocky point.

The Friendly Beaches are a long expanse of beach in Tasmania, Australia. They are just north of the famed Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania’s East Coast. A scenic lookout overlooks the beaches.

Getting there

The Friendly Beaches lie within the Freyincet National Park, so visitors will need a current National Parks Pass.

The access to Friendly Beaches was from Cole’s Bay Road, which also led to Freycinet Peninsula. Friendly Beaches Road turned east off Cole’s Bay Road, then divided after about 1.9 kilometres. North (left) from the fork passed the Friendly Beaches Scenic Lookout.

Friendly Beaches did not have extravagant amenities at the time of our visit in September 2016. All of Friendly Beaches Road was unsealed, and the only facilities were toilets without running water at each end of the road. However, Friendly Beaches also experienced a fraction of the crowds that flocked to Freycinet Peninsula. Continue reading “Walking to the Friendly Beaches Scenic Lookout”

Walking around the Bicheno Lookout Rock

Photograph of granite rock outcrop with occasional plants growing on it.

Lookout Rock is a granite outcrop within the town of Bicheno, Tasmania, Australia. A short loop walk circles the rock.

Getting there

There was no really good road to Bicheno from the rest of Tasmania. The logical drive from Hobart would be along the Tasman Highway up the east coast. From Launceston it would be fastest to drive south to Campbell Town and east past Lake Leake, but might be prettier to drive through Fingal and St Mary’s.

Once in Bicheno, the simplest place to start the walk from was from the turning circle at the east end of Morrison Street. Morrison Street led directly off Burgess Street, which was part of the Tasman Highway as it passed through Bicheno.

An alternative car park was at the north end of Little Street, although there was less space there.

All road approaches to Lookout Rock were sealed. Continue reading “Walking around the Bicheno Lookout Rock”

Walking the Weldborough Pass Rainforest Walk

Photograph of wide myrtle tree roots.

The Weldborough Pass Rainforest Walk is a short bushwalk in northeast Tasmania, Australia. It is an accessible way to see the myrtles and treeferns that make Tasmania’s cool temperate rainforest so distinctive.

Getting there

Navigating in the general direction of the walk was easy – just drive the Tasman Highway between Weldborough and the junction to Lottah Road. While the highway was sealed for its entire length, it had some tight curves. Respect any yellow signs recommending low speeds around hairpin bends, even if the recommended speed is as low as 25 km/h.

The car park for the walk was on the south side of the highway. Signs in both directions warned of “Weldborough Pass Rainforest Walk 200m,” but it would still be easy to miss. Continue reading “Walking the Weldborough Pass Rainforest Walk”

The view from the Mersey Valley Oliver’s Road Scenic Lookout

Photograph of line of mountain bluffs under a clear blue sky.

Tasmania’s Mersey Valley is a pleasant green expanse in the north of the state. The Mersey Valley Oliver’s Road Scenic Lookout offers views from the western end of the valley.

Getting there

The lookout was, helpfully enough, on the side of Oliver’s Road. This road was sealed but had many tight bends. Allow plenty of time for driving along it. The lookout itself was marked by signs but could be easily missed. Pay attention after driving past the junction to Lemonthyme Road (if travelling south) or Old Gad’s Hill Road (if travelling north).

The car park was a patch of gravel next to Oliver’s Road.
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The view from Red Knoll Lookout

Photograph of mountains surrounding artificial lake.

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.

Getting there

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.

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The view from The Sideling Lookout

Photograph of low mountain tinted pink by sunset.

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.

Getting there

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.

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Walking through the Tunnel at Tunnel

Photograph from inside of railway tunnel.

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.

Getting there

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.

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Walking to the Pelverata Falls Lookout

Photograph of long brown cliff with waterfall flowing down part of it.

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.

Getting there

Two road routes led to the start of the walking track. Both were slow driving due to the many bends.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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