Directions - Located a short walk from the centre of Strahan, follow the Esplanade as it heads east around Risby Cove and turn into the Peoples Park. There is plenty of parking and the trail head is located at the end of the driveway.
The Hike - With Strahan being the next destination on our road trip, we enjoyed a drawn out drive from Lake St Clair after visiting four trails along the Lyell Highway. Arriving in this small but important west coast town, we had a bit of a drive around before checking into our accommodation at Risby Cove. With some dodgy weather forecast over the next couple of days and some time before our dinner plans, I decided that I had time to check out one more trail for the day.
Luckily the start of the Hogarth Falls Track was a brief 100m walk from Risby Cove so with my tripod and camera in hand, I told Caris I'd be back in an hour and departed. I had a good laugh when I arrived at the "Peoples Park" because it sounds like the Peoples Palace in Romania and I hope the residents of Strahan didn't suffer food shortages and blackouts while it was constructed. As you enter it becomes apparent that the entire wealth of a country was not sunk into this folly of a project and it is truly a park for the people (although I believe that applies to most parks). The start of the trail is found at the end of the road leading to the car park and it looked promising from the start. While the park is full of grassed areas, wooden buildings and gazebos, the Hogarth Falls Track takes you right into a thick forest full of ferns, fungi and fun times. The fairly wide trail allows you to see a good distance up ahead for most of the walk and I imagined that it just kept going into the wilderness of South West Tassie (which if you zoom out on the map is a real possibility).
Following the edge of Botanical Creek, there are many spots along the walk where you can get a good view of the shallow creek and what a sight it is. The different varieties of ferns that are found through here are spectacular and it makes the walk feel very dense when you combine that with the thick canopy above. At one of the first opportunities to get close to the creek, I was amazed at the deep tannin stained colour of the water. This is not unusual given the water flows from deep within the forest but it's always cool to see, especially when contrasted against the bright green of the ferns lining the edge of the creek. I had good fun switching between photographing the creek at various points and the forest ahead as it takes you deeper into the wild. That feeling of wild was occasionally interrupted as it was a popular walk this afternoon and I passed several groups heading back to the car park. Given I didn't have my backpack with me, I looked a bit silly with my camera attached to the bulky tripod but all folded up and not being used.