Start - Off Tyenna Rd
Length - 4.5km (Return)
Grade - Orange
Terrain - Single Track, Open Field
Vertical Climb - 144m
Time - 1-2 hours
Signed - Yes
Date Hiked - 31st October 2018
Best Time - All Year Round
Directions - Located 1.5hrs west of Hobart, take the Brooker Hwy north out of the city and follow the signs for New Norfolk. Pass through the town and continue on towards Mount Field NP. Drive past Mount Field NP until you reach Tyenna. Turn right onto Tyenna Rd and continue over the bridge before turning right. Trail start is just up this track.
The Hike - With a lovely introduction to the Mount Field region of Tasmania after a visit to the Junee Cave, it was time to move on to the final hike I had planned for the day before I checked into my next AirBnB (details at the bottom of the page). Marriotts Falls was next on the agenda as it was close to Junee Cave and looked like a pretty nice hike. Heading back towards Mount Field NP, the hike is located just outside of the town of Tyenna on the banks of the Tyenna River. Locating the car park was fairly simple (cross the river and turn right from Tyenna Rd) and I soon spotted the familiar blue signpost pointing me off into the forest. Again you are greeted with a fairly nondescript landscape to begin with that was previously logged but looks can be deceiving and the single track leads you to the edge of the Tyenna River.
There is plenty of opportunity to check out the river early on with a few side trails but the best views are when you reach the footbridge over a tributary that feeds the river. The Tyenna River is fairly wide in these parts with it being in-between a lazy and mildly fast moving flow with plenty of platypus (you'll see the signs for the canoe tours as you get close to Mount Field NP). For the first part of the hike you follow the banks of the river, climbing up and down the terrain through beautiful white barked Sassafras forest on mossy steps. Having spotted this type of forest at Junee Cave, it was nice to see an extended version rising up the hill. The up and down of this section is very brief and soon you'll find yourself following the banks of the river again.
A beautiful array of wildflowers were dotted along the track and combined with the peaceful sounds of the river, gave off a very relaxing vibe to the start of the hike. At the end of the river section you will find remnants of an old timber bridge that hints at the previous land uses of the area. This is where you leave the Tyenna River and start heading through some very different terrain. While I wasn't expecting this to be a full nature experience from start to finish as I'd read up on the upcoming bare spot but it was still interesting to see for myself. Heading up the hill you are confronted with this very open stretch of grassland that was once forest but cleared for farming purposes.
Work has been carried out by local landcare groups to rehabilitate the area as evidenced by the green plastic covers on young saplings and hopefully in the future this area will look a bit more natural. As there is no defined path through this section you are following a series of orange markers attached to star pickets and this makes it very easy to navigate. As you reach the top of the hill you come across an old Blackwood tree that provides a lot of character and would be a cool place to have a picnic if you have the time. This spot before you enter the rainforest was actually quite nice. The open views of the surrounding hills and the green grass were very pleasant to the eye. If you had a few snow capped peaks in the distance and used your imagination, you could be in the opening scene from The Sound of Music.
With your Julie Andrews dancing done with you can continue the hike and enter the proper rainforest all the way to Marriotts Falls. This is where it really starts to pick up in quality with large man ferns lining the trail and eventually you become fully engrossed in the loveliness of moss, ferns, fallen logs and large swamp gums. This was the Tasmania I had fallen in love with so it was nice to be back amongst it. With the trail venturing deeper into the rainforest it became muddier and muddier. Still nothing compared to Adamsons Falls although with warm weather gracing my trip so far I think this is the exception to the rule for this trail so your own experience might involve a bit more mud.
Rounding each corner brought more magical scenes and I found myself stopping a lot to fully take in an array of fern fronds caught in the afternoon sun or just admiring an expanse of moss that had carpeted a decaying tree. As you can see from the pictures, this stretch is a world of a million shades of green. I was in no rush to get to the falls and really hoped this would last for a decent length of time. With so much to photograph it certainly felt like longer than it actually was but soon I could hear the sounds of rushing water signalling I was close to the main highlight. Climbing down onto a couple of fallen Swamp Gums, the falls come into view and it takes a good effort to keep your footing (for me at least) as you gaze up and down at the cascading water.
The falls themselves are very impressive with good height and at the time I visited, a very nice flow. The tree in front of the falls is a fairly recent addition (circa 2017 from my interweb searches) and provides a nice object in the foreground to photograph but does hinder the full spectacle from afar. You can get right up to the foot of the falls with a bit of scrambling so I did just that. With so much water spray coming off the falls it was a bit of a mission to keep a dry lens on the camera so I got inventive and stuck my camera/tripod under the fallen tree to try and protect it a little. I managed to keep it somewhat dry for a couple of long exposure shots but there is still evidence of the mist present. Having plenty of fun exploring the area and capturing the falls from different angles I checked the time and realised I would be cutting it close to arriving at my AirBnb at a reasonable hour.
Packing up my gear and saying goodbye to Marriotts Falls for the last time I headed off into the rainforest where I was greeted with much better photographic conditions in the late afternoon light. I once again was walking along at a slow pace to take advantage of the light but popped out into the open field to head down the hill to the Tyenna River. This finishing stretch was a great way to finish with the setting sun and I took one of the side trips to check out the river a bit closer. A lovely set of rapids in low light provided an opportunity to do some really long exposure shots and I'm happy with what came out of the camera. With a tiny little section left, the cherry on top of the cake that was the Marriotts Falls hike was the golden light streaming through the Sassafras forest. Hike over it was time to head off to my AirBnB, 40 minutes away near New Norfolk.
Arriving at my AirBnB, I was immediately hit by how lovely the grounds of Greg and Patricia's property were. I had let them know I was running a little late and they were there waiting for me at the gate when I arrived. I love a good rustic place rather than a straight lines, out of an IKEA catalogue kind of offering when staying in the country and this was exactly what I was after. The separate building you stay in at Plenty River began life in the Antarctic as a research station before being sold to the previous owner of this property to be re-purposed as a hay shed. When Greg and Patricia bought the place they converted it to a two-storey dwelling with kitchen, bathroom and living area downstairs and bedrooms upstairs with a queen bed and two singles in the one long space. Greg is an avid woodworker and has done all of the work on the place with fantastic detailing everywhere.
This was beyond my wildest expectation when I booked it and Greg and Patricia are truly super hosts in every sense of the word. You can tell they get a great deal of pleasure in hosting people and getting to know them (I was initially my reserved self but they are lovely to talk to). I had a fire waiting for me each night when I came home, a homemade treat on the table for dessert and the most thoughtful and wonderful breakfast each morning. The bed was super comfortable and I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in front of the fire in the rocking chair reading a book or looking over my photos. I'll remember this place very fondly and I cannot champion enough that you stay there if you are travelling to Tasmania for a holiday. With so many more trails to explore in the region I would book my travel dates around availability of Plenty River just so I could stay with them again. I just wish I wasn't out hiking so much and had time to enjoy their place a little more.