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.
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.
The track was a single loop, starting and ending at the car park. It was level and easy to follow. Some trees had fallen across it, but at the time of our visit gaps had been cut through all of them.
Myrtle beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) and treeferns were abundant on this walk. Smaller ferns, from large kangaroo ferns (Microsorum pustulatum) to tiny filmy ferns (Hymenophyllum sp.) grew on both. Other plant life was not common; in mature rainforest, there is little room for it to grow.
Several of the myrtles were growing up the side of the treeferns. This generally ended with either the myrtle or the treefern growing sideways.
A few bracket fungi and mushrooms helped keep the leaf litter from getting too deep.
Twelve signs around the walk described the Earth’s geological history through the character of “Grandma Myrtle”. They were appealing, but four of the signs discussed continental drift without really connecting it to the rainforest they were installed in. (They are in fact very relevant – rainforest ferns evolved long before deciduous trees, and the presence of ferns and fern fossils on different continents shows when those continents separated.)
|Latest visit||25th April 2018|
|Toilets||None (Nearest along the Tasman Highway are at Derby or St Helens; others are off the highway such as at Blue Tier and St Columba Falls)|
Stopped on the way home after walking the Australia Hill Circuit on Blue Tier. Walked 210 metres in 24 minutes. Enjoyed the walk.
Should I visit?
If you don’t already live in northeast Tasmania, this is a long way to travel on winding roads to spend 15 minutes in the rainforest. However, if you are already driving the Tasman Highway for some other reason, this is an excellent place to get out and stretch your legs on the drive home.