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Mavista Nature Walk

Mavista Nature Walk

South Bruny Island

Directions - Located on South Bruny Island, the Mavista Nature Walk is a short drive from Adventure Bay. After reaching Adventure Bay, keep driving along Adventure Bay Road, crossing Cook Creek before turning right onto Lockleys Road. Drive past the Raspberry Farm until you reach the right turn for Resolution Road. Take this and drive along until you see the signs for the Mavista Picnic Area, with a small area to park on the other side of the road. The trail head is located up the stairs at the stone shelter. 

The Hike - With most of the hiking trails on Bruny Island taking in the stunning coastline, I was excited to check out the Mavista Nature Walk as it looked to offer a bit of temperate rainforest. One of my favourite types of scenery to walk through when visiting Tasmania, this would be the first hike on an action packed day that would see me tackle four trails across South Bruny Island. Starting relatively early, I enjoyed some breakfast and coffee at my accommodation The Neck, before driving down to Adventure Bay. 

With half of Tasmania seemingly on Bruny Island for the holidays, I was looking forward to getting out to some of the lesser known spots at a time before most are up and about. Arriving at the car park, there was only one other car there so my wish of a quiet trail might be fulfilled. My research on this trail revealed that there is a nature walk along a creek and further up the valley is Mavista Falls but the websites I visited suggested the track leading there was dangerous and should not be walked. Deciding to still visit and take in the nature walk, I walked up the stairs leading to the stone shelter and found some colonial paraphernalia to do with the 1988 bicentennial. The shelter has a fireplace that reminded me of the huts along the Organ Pipes Circuit on Mount Wellington but being the middle of summer, there was no need for a fire. After reading the information boards, I headed into the rainforest to begin the out and back walk along Waterfall Creek. 


Immediately you enter an enclosed world of ferns, mossy logs and babbling brooks (or cascading creeks in this instance). With a gentle path leading you next to the creek, this is a trail design I'm familiar with in Tasmania, with several other hikes like Duckhole Lake, Junee Cave and Hogarth Falls providing a similar (and enjoyable) experience. With cloudy conditions overhead, this would provide the ideal lighting conditions for the walk and would go a long way in making me forget it was the middle of summer. After photographing a section of Waterfall Creek that you could access off the trail, I ventured deeper into the valley and was amazed at the quality of the scenery. Finding plenty of fungi, something I had missed a lot on this particular visit, I loved the white blob growing on a tree that on closer inspection looked to be a series of small droplets or jewels. Continuing along, you get some great views looking up and down the creek as the ferns got larger and the trees thicker. 

Even without going all the way to the waterfall, this was turning out to be an enjoyable hike so far and was much longer than I thought it would be. Passing a couple of benches that looked like they were on their last legs, on the way back I would see that someone had tried to sit on one and broke it in half. After about a kilometre of walking, I reached what is the end of the official trail, although there are no signs here to say the way ahead is closed. Seeing an obvious path continuing that looked no different from what I had just been walking on, I decided to exercise my own caution and if the path got too difficult, then I would turn around. Besides a bit more mud, the initial track was easy to follow as it criss-crossed the creek. This meant a few rocky crossings that were easy to cross being the middle of the driest part of the year. I imagine in the wetter months that you'd have to get your boots wet here so keep that in mind. as you venture further into the rainforest, the path isn't always as obvious and you have to clamber up, over and under tree branches and fallen logs. This just adds to the sense of adventure but please be mindful to stay on route and don't go off, damaging areas you don't need to. 


As I was climbing up aa set of rocky steps, a flash of purple to my right caught my eye and sure enough, it was one of my favourite shrooms in Tassie, the Mauve Splitting Waxcap. As I said before, this had been a lean trip for fungi, so it was nice to see so many varieties at this time of year. Taking my time to enjoy this stretch and make sure I was on the right path, the best section was yet to come. Arriving in a relatively narrow gorge, the mossy covered rock walls provided a cool feature to photograph and it felt like I was in an Indiana Jones movie. This brought a new challenge with slippery rocks to navigate along so care has to be taken. Passing a couple of cascades, the final stretch to Mavista Falls requires a bit of scramble over logs and rocks but any experienced hiker won't have an issue with this. The falls aren't the most impressive you'll see in Tasmania but being an enclosed space, it has it's own unique feel, one that I enjoyed. After photographing the falls and soaking in the scenery, I headed back to the start as I had plenty to still do today. I passed several families with very small children trying to tackle the track to Mavista Falls, and they didn't seem phased when I said it was a bit more difficult ahead.