7 Wonderful Waterfalls of Tasmania
Tasmania’s best-known example is without question Russell Falls, located within Mt Field National Park. You can access this remarkable two-tiered waterfall via a 10-minute walk from the main Mt Field National Park visitor centre, an hour’s drive out of Hobart.
The falls are dazzling to behold year-round, but wintertime generally brings the most impressive displays, with added rainfall and melted snow sluicing downstream from the nearby mountains.
Not to be outdone in the beauty stakes is Liffey Falls, nestled within cool temperate rainforest that forms part of the state’s esteemed World Heritage area. Framed by towering myrtle, eucalypt and leatherwood trees, the falls are a popular photo op for Tasmanians and visitors alike.
A leisurely nature walk leads from the picnic area near the car park down through the forest, offering plenty of lookout points along the way. The final descent to the base of the falls is rather steep, but by and large this is a fairly comfortable walk, suitable for all ages. The falls are located less than an hour’s drive south-west of Launceston.
The playfully named Dip Falls is well worth a detour from Stanley in the state’s northwest, located 40 minutes to the south, at the edge of the inimitable Tarkine. It is a magnificent sight to behold—a two-tiered structure of cubic-basalt columns, formed hundreds of years ago by the cooling of volcanic rock. After heavy rains, the water appears to bounce from one rock formation to another as it descends to the lower tier.
It’s a short walk from the parking area in the Dip Falls Reserve to the viewing platform that will provide you a stunning vista out over the top of the falls. If you’re up for a more challenging hike, there is a steep pathway leading to the base, comprising a rather steep set of steps (152 in total). These steps are narrow, and can be quite slippery due to the constant moisture, but the descent is well worth the effort, as you’ll get to witness the falls up close, in all their might and splendour.
Montezuma Falls, near Rosebery on Tasmania's west coast, is Tasmania's highest waterfall—and some might say its most striking. The track to the falls begins at Williamsford, two kilometres south of Rosebery (a 90-minute drive south of Burnie). The walk is easy and will take you to the base of the 104 metre falls through pleasant park-like rainforest of leatherwood, myrtle, sassafras and giant tree ferns.
The track traces the historic route of the former North East Dundas Tramway. The stream immediately below the falls was once spanned by a wooden trestle bridge, 160 feet long and 50 feet high. Remnants of the bridge remain, in the form of rundown blocks of timber, moss-covered concrete piers and rusty bolts—which all lend the place a palpable sense of history.
It may not be the biggest, but it's certainly among the most spectacular. And unlike many falls in the west, Nelson Falls is easily accessible. Situated in the Princess River Conservation Area in the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, between Queenstown and the Derwent Bridge, this charming cascade is only 700 metres from the road, making for an easy 20-minute return walk.
The track to the falls is well built and maintained, and is suitable for walkers with a reasonable level of fitness. In the past it was possible to get a little bit damp from the spray, but a new viewing platform, built in 2011, now ensures you stay nice and dry.
St Columba Falls
This 90 metre-tall cascading spectacle is Tasmania’s second highest waterfall. The surrounding State Reserve is home to the elusive platypus, which makes its burrows along the shores of the burbling creek. Little-known fact: this heavily forested expanse of land was once home to the fabled Tasmanian Tiger.
Roll out the rug and have a picnic at any number of scenic spots along the way—a short walking track through the forest leads to a viewing platform at the base of the falls. To get to the falls, travel along the Tasman Highway (A3) towards St Helens from Scottsdale, and then turn onto the road towards Pyengana.
If you’re looking for a pit stop en-route to either Bruny Island or Huon Valley then Snug Falls is the perfect resting place to recharge. Located just 20kms out of Hobart – nestled amongst the Snug Tiers – these 25m high falls are an easy one hour return walk. Pet and child friendly, the falls are just a 2km walk from the carpark.