The track to Tulampanga Alum Cliffs is one of Tasmania’s Great Short Walks. Less than an hour’s round trip takes you to a lookout where the Mersey River flows through a spectacular gorge.
The car park is on Mersey Hill Road, a short distance east of Mole Creek. Mersey Hill Road is unsealed, but wide and solid. The route is clearly signposted.
The track is gravel with wooden steps and edging. This is good, as it keeps traffic and rain from widening the track and damaging the vegetation. Although the slope is shallow, it is one continuous climb and then a continuous descent to the lookout (which becomes a long climb and descent when returning to the car park). This can be deceptive, so stop and rest if you need to.
Tulampanga, or Alum Cliffs, was a place of particular social and spiritual significance to Aborigines because of the ochre to be found in that area of the Gog Range. Many tribes travelled to Tulampanga to obtain this highly prized material and for them this was a sacred celebration place.
The connection of Aboriginal people with the Mole Creek area is thought to date back more than 10,000 years, and the Pallittorre band of the North tribe was based around Mole Creek/Meander. To these early inhabitants, the Great Western Tiers were known as Kooparoona Niara, or Mountains of the Spirits, culturally significant as the meeting place of three Aboriginal nations.
A short distance from the car park, three enormous logs perch on boulders. A nearby plaque announces:
Soulèvement – Triangulair point de vue (2)
David Jones (Darlington, Western Australia)
Soulèvement refers to the geological context, to lift upwards, the space between the ‘form’ and the earth.
Triangulaire takes account of the journey to the Alum Cliffs, the series of triangulated strong ‘viewing platforms’ at the cliff edge.
Point de vue acknowledges the triangulation of three major physical references, Quamby Bluff, Alum Cliffs Gorge and Western Bluff, as seen from the site of the sculpture.
Installed May 2003
Great Western Tiers Sculpture Trail
The track passed close to a dairy farm with a variety of cows. The interpretive signs on the walk mentioned several birds; we heard a few but saw none.
|Road||Unsealed, good condition|
|Toilets||No (go to Chudleigh or Mole Creek)|
|Latest visit||9th September 2012|
The continuous climbs were tiring but feasible. The track surface was good.
Travelled 1.6 kilometres in 46 minutes. A pleasant short walk.
Should I Visit?
Yes, you should. The gorge is spectacular. However, plan the right amount of time – 40 to 60 minutes. There is little variety in the forest if you don’t reach the lookout.
If you’d like more walking time to justify your driving time, consider visiting one of the other walks near Mole Creek, such as Lobster Falls.