With its mountainous terrain and reliable rainfall, Tasmania overachieves in the world of waterfalls.
Head almost anywhere in the state, and there’s a waterfall or three in easy reach, tumbling over high cliffs, pouring through rainforest, or even tipping into the sea.
Here are a few local favourites.
Tasmania’s most photographed waterfall is the centrepiece at Mount Field National Park. The two-tier Russell Falls tumble into a pool surrounded by tall ferns, and are easily reached along a sealed trail (25min return, 1.4km) from the park visitor centre. Want bonus waterfalls? Head up the steps beside the falls to find Horseshoe Falls and then head across the slopes to Lady Barron Falls on the Three Falls Circuit, one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks.
The name says it all. At the southern end of this small bay on Turrakana / Tasman Peninsula, a waterfall pours over a series of steps, finally taking a 100m leap over high cliffs into the Tasman Sea. The falls can be viewed at the end of a walk (1-1.5hr return, 3.4km) from Devils Kitchen.
Northern Tasmania’s headline act is wide, multi-tiered Liffey Falls, pouring down the slopes of the Great Western Tiers outside Deloraine. There are two approaches to the falls: the more popular shorter walk (45min return, 2km) from above the waterfall, passing three other cascades along the way; and a longer (3hr return, 6km) walk from below the falls, which follows the Liffey River from a car park just off Gulf Road near the town of Liffey.
kunanyi / Mount Wellington has several waterfalls, and the largest and most impressive are the namesake Wellington Falls, which drop through a rugged section of the mountain near the head of North West Bay River. Choose from two tracks. The Milles Track begins at The Springs, midway up the mountain, crossing the boulder-strewn Potato Fields to the falls (6hr return, 13km). Lower down the slopes, cycle or walk the wide Pipeline Track from Fern Tree or Neika to a marked walking trail to the falls.
Set out along the mirror-still Pieman River for a journey into nature’s romance. Lovers Falls is about an hour’s paddle by kayak from Corinna, or visit it on Corinna’s Sweetwater cruise. The whimsically named falls spill into a dark gorge covered in a magical pocket of rainforest and giant ferns.
Tasmania’s highest waterfall makes a 104m plunge into rainforest on the west coast. From Williamsford, just south of Rosebery, the falls are reached along the course of an abandoned mining tramway through open, park-like rainforest (3hr return, 11.5km). View them from the base, or step out onto the long suspension bridge high over the creek for a more exhilarating perspective.
St Columba Falls
Another of Tasmania’s highest waterfalls takes the plunge in the state’s north east. More than 90m high, the falls skid down an exposed cliff and are reached on a short walking trail (20-30min return, 1.2km) through rainforest featuring massive tree ferns. Pause by the river and hope to spy a platypus.
Detour from Stanley to the edge of takayna / Tarkine to find the unusual geology of this beautiful waterfall, pouring over hexagonal columns of basalt. From the car park, a series of steps leads down to a lookout platform beside the two-tier falls. A second wheelchair-accessible platform offers views from above. The falls are just a 5min walk to Big Tree, one of the giants of takayna / Tarkine. The brown-top stringybark tree has a girth of about 16m and stands more than 60m tall.