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Alum Cliffs

Alum Cliffs

Alum Cliffs State Reserve

Directions - Alum Cliffs are located just north of Mole Creek in the northern interior of Tasmania. From Deloraine, head west on Mole Creek Road for 16.5 kilometres, before turning right onto the unsealed Mersey Hill Road (2WD accessible). Keep driving for 3.7 kilometres until you reach the car park on a sharp bend in the road. The trail head is on the northern side of the car park.

The Hike - One of the 60 Great Short Walks of Tasmania, Alum Cliffs is a fun little hike through the dry sclerophyll forest to a lookout over the Mersey River, and the jagged Alum Cliffs. Arriving in Tasweginland to finally experience the Overland Track, I would give myself a few days buffer in case my flight got delayed, and if it didn't then I'd have some time to explore the area around Deloriane. Having not done much hiking wise since late October, it would be nice to get some kilometres into the legs before tackling a week on the OT.

Easing into my first full day here, I had a wander around Deloraine, picking up supplies, and checking out the Visitor Centre, which is a fantastic resource for trails in the area. There is plenty of information about the trails in the Great Western Tiers area, and after surveying all the leaflets, I adjusted my plans for the next few days after spotting some trails I hadn't come across in my research. Re-jigging the itinerary for the afternoon, Alum Cliffs would be first up, a small hike near Mole Creek that would provide great views. Arriving at the start, there were a few cars already there, a good sign people were out and about enjoying the time between Christmas and New Years. Lacing up my Scarpa boots, I took a few steps and realised they were going to be an issue. My toes were rubbing and they didn't feel comfortable enough to tackle what I had planned over the next few days, plus the Overland Track. Deciding to test them out over the next two hikes, I passed the familiar blue of the Tas Parks trail head, and started walking up a small hill. It's a gentle ascent past several mature trees, eventually reaching an exposed patch of land that I'm guessing had other uses before this.


A large wooden frame suspended on rocks is an interesting find, and it turned out to be the Soulevement-Triangulaire, point de vue - by David Jones, part of the the Great Western Tiers Sculpture Trail that triangulates three geological features of the area, Quamby Bluff, Alum Cliffs Gorge and Western Bluff. Entering the forest once again, you start descending towards the Alum Cliffs Lookout. With a more natural setting, the path winds past some interpretive signage and different flora, eventually reaching the lookout perched high on the edge of the cliff. It's definitely a wow moment as you step out onto the platform and get your first look at the stunning scene in front of you. Jagged cliffs protruding from the valley, the Mersey River snaking through the landscape, and the Gog Range looming in the distance. Snapping away at all the fascinating views through my camera, it was hard to pick a favourite angle, with great wide shots mixed in with the details of the vegetation covered cliffs, and river down below. I ended up spending about 20 minutes at the lookout just soaking it all in, and taking way too many photos. The walk back to the start was a pleasant meander, looking out for things I missed along the way.

Final Thoughts – Not a bad way to start another visit to the always enjoyable island of Tasmania. 

Boot worries aside, this was a nice introduction to the Great Western Tiers region of Tassie, that I was looking forward to exploring over the next few days.  

It may be a short trail through the forest to a lookout but it nails the brief for a fun experience that the whole family can enjoy. The views at the end are worth the price of admission, and partnered with a few other trails in the area, makes for a great day out. 

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