Snug Falls Nature Reserve
Directions - To reach Snug Falls, take the A6 south from Hobart towards Kingston and follow the signs to get onto the B68 (Channel Highway), continuing along here until you reach Snug. Take the right turn onto Snug Tiers Road and then the left turn onto Snug Falls Road. Follow this gravel road until you reach the car park for the hike (it is marked by blue wooden signs).
The Hike - With a week in Hobart to visit Caris' family, it was decided that we should head out and visit the Tahune Airwalk so I thought it would be fun to tack on a hike from my list that was on the way. Given we would be joined by Caris' sister and her young niece Elizabeth aka Lizard Breath, it had to be a relatively easy hike and have some reward for the effort. Snug Falls fit the bill at an advertised 2km (ended up being over 3km) and had a cool little waterfall at the bottom. This would be my first Tassie waterfall so I was quite excited at the prospect of photographing a lush paradise of ferns, running water and damp moss.
After directing the car to the right area we parked up in the car park and set off towards the blue wooden sign pointing you down a track towards Snug Falls. The start of the hike is through drier eucalyptus forest, masking the delights you will experience at the bottom of the Snug River Valley. Lining the path was a variety of wildflowers that provided some colour and livened up the fairly so-so track leading down the hill. A number of birds fluttered about but were too quick for my camera so we kept moving. A giant moss covered log gave the first indication that things were changing to more lush vegetation but before we reached that point there was a small shelter on the edge of a cliff. Providing some perspective on how deep the river valley was (the trees do a great job of blocking out the views), it was nice to get a bearing on our surroundings. From this point down to the falls was a delight with more ferns, plenty of moss and a few fallen giants that had me reminiscing about my time between Boarding House and Beavis on the Bibbulmun Track. Right before the falls is an interesting rock structure with several tiny caves poked into the landscape and an odd green colour to what I assume is limestone or sandstone. The real wow moment of this trail comes as you round a corner and get the views of the waterfall and river banks.
A lush paradise that you wouldn't expect at the top of the hill, this brought a huge smile to my face. I had brought over my tripod and basic filters for these kinds of hikes so as everyone else looked around I setup in front of the fall and tried some long exposure shots. Given the waterfall was nothing but a small trickle it didn't really have the desired effect so I quickly gave up and instead captured the falls from different angles and photographing the surrounding landscape. The fallen log in front of the falls really provides a fun focal point for the photos and I hope it lasts for a lot longer as it gives the scene more character. Away from the falls you find a plethora of Man Ferns that make this area really feel like the Tasmania I was expecting. Given Lizard Breath (and Caris) would be a little slower on the way back up they decided to leave me to the photography and went back to the car. I stuck around for a little while longer before a big group arrived and I felt it was best to get out of their way. I flew up the hill still buzzing a little from my first Tassie waterfall experience and was soon back at the car ready for some Tahune Adventures.
Final Thoughts - There is something to be said for starting off small and not going for the best straight away. Easing into the Tasmanian waterfall scene with one of the smaller offerings was a good plan and this was far from an average experience.
I like that Snug Falls is a fairly unassuming hike with just a small car park on the side of a gravel road and a simple wooden board pointing you down into the forest.
If you're looking for a great kid and dog friendly hike close to Hobart then this will not disappoint with the destination worth the effort of getting down (and then back up again).
Get out there and experience it!
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