Hardings Falls lie on the Swan River, in the eastern part of Tasmania, Australia. A long drive and a moderate walk lead to river, a gorge and the falls.
From most of Tasmania, the logical route to Hardings Falls would start at Avoca, follow Royal George Road through Royal George, turn left onto McKays Road and then right towards the falls.
Each of these roads was progressively less maintained. Our two-wheel-drive car reached the falls car park, but the last few kilometres required slow and careful driving.
Two tracks led to the falls “lookout”. Both were well-built but had suffered fallen trees, requiring some climbing and ducking to get past.
From the lookout, the descent to the base of the falls was narrow, steep and covered in loose stones.
We visited in mid-September (early spring). This was not a wet enough season, although many other Tasmanian waterfalls were active. Pools in the Swan River had turned green, and the falls themselves were a trickle.
The vegetation was fairly dry forest species, such as Banksias, eucalypts and wattles. The most varied flowers and lichens that were present grew in the shade where the gorge was steepest.
A few bracket fungi grew despite the dry climate.
We saw a modest assortment of insects and spiders on this walk, and a number of skinks among the rocks of the Swan River bed. Mammals were undoubtedly present but kept their distance.
This video shows the large pool above Hardings Falls, then follows the Swan River downstream to the large pool below the falls.
|Latest visit||13th September 2014|
|Road||Unsealed and rough|
|Toilets||Yes, but no water in the tank|
The track to the first junction was wide and clear. An easy walk on sticks or even wheels maybe. From there, it was just footpad and rough underfoot with many fallen trees.
Made it to the lookout with great difficulty but there was no way to safely descend to see the falls themselves. The lookout view was of the river above the falls and the cliffs.
A varied patch of bush with a lot of birds, but no way to see the falls.
Walked 2.4 kilometres in 2:10. This covered the lookout, falls base, return to the car park and a separate walk to the river edge and back to the car park. Found a lot to see and photograph along the river bed, but did not think the walk justified it.
Should I visit?
No. In dry weather, the walk required great care and the falls were a trickle. After sufficient rain to make the falls worth seeing, the walk would be dangerous.
Geology enthusiasts may still find the walk worthwhile, as the dramatic rock formations of the gorge are a highlight.
Visitors not intending to walk to the falls base will find more to see walking 800 metres return to the river edge than from the lookout.