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Westmorland Falls

Westmorland Falls

Mole Creek Karst National Park

Directions - Westmorland Falls is located just south of Mole Creek, from the centre of town take Caveside Road south until you reach the end. Turn right onto Wet Caves Road, around the bend and past the entrance to Honeycomb Cave, continuing until you reach the unsealed road. The trail head is located up a small hill, that depending on the condition of the road may not be accessible to 2WD cars. If it isn't then park at the bottom of the hill and walk up to the trail head, where you'll find blue signs for the Mole Creek Karst Conservation Area.

The Hike - Continuing on my pre-Overland Track tour of the Great Western Tiers, the next stop for today was Westmorland Falls. After enjoying a warm-up hike at Alum Cliffs, it was a short drive from there to check out a trail that hadn't been on my radar until I stopped in at the visitor centre in Deloraine and picked up a brochure for this place. Located not too far away from Alum Cliffs, I was soon at my destination, although had to apply some very light throttle applications in my RAV4 hire car to get up the loose surface leading to the car park at the top of the hill.

Taking the final spot available in the small parking area, it was nice to see the trail being enjoyed during the summer holidays. Lacing up my old Scarpa boots for the last time, I was ready to explore what sounded like a promising hike to one of the countless waterfalls that Tasmania is blessed with. The start, like so many of these less visited Taswegin trails, is a completely different visual to the rest of the hike, with a not that impressive forested area bordering a nearby paddock. Thankfully it doesn't last long, as you descend down a small hill and finally start passing mature trees and a green paradise appears in front of you. I was happy that there were grey skies overheard, as these types of temperate rainforest walks are infinitely better when the lighting is even, and you don't get the massive contrast between bright sunshine and dark shadows.


The downhill walking ends where you come across some wooden railing that stops you falling off a little cliff, and this was where I started seeing the first of many fungi along the trail. Despite being summer in Tassie, the dense forest and year round rainfall supports a variety of forest floor decomposers that are always a pleasure to photograph. With a big smile on my face, I began the steady climb that takes you up towards Westmorland Falls. Passing lots of giant ferns, girthy tree trunks and mossy logs, this was a nice welcome back to Tasmania. Being late December, there wasn't too much mud around, but I imagine in the wetter months that the track can be a bit boggy, confirmed when I saw the occasional bit of boardwalk. Dark stone steps help you navigate the steeper gradients, and I love the way they looked when contrasted against the ferns lining the edge of the trail. Passing through denser and denser forest, there are some magical spots where you walk under some large man ferns, and things get much darker and moodier.

Popping out of the forest, I came across a bridge over a creek I cannot find a name for on any online map. It's not a small creek, as the bridge has some length to it, and upstream there is a small set of rapids that was nice to photograph from the middle. Thinking maybe Westmorland Falls was further upstream and the trail would take a left at the end of the bridge, looking downstream I could see where another creek merged with this one. Walking towards what looked like a portal to another world thanks to the dark tunnel at the end of the bridge, it instead led to a trail taking you along the edge of another creek. An access point allows you to walk down to the rocky edge, where there are a series of rapids that provide yet more photo opportunities. Leaving the rapids, I was keen to get to Westmorland Falls, and after a dark walk up one last hill, I spotted the wooden platform that I assume used to provide good views of the falls before the nearby vegetation got in the way.


Luckily there is a set of stairs leading down to the rocky platform below, and if the water levels aren't too high, you can explore all the way up to the base of Westmorland Falls. Initially the views of the falls are limited as you navigate over submerged rocks but then you get to see them and it's a great sight. There are actually a few waterfalls pouring into this little valley, with a couple of smaller ones off to the right that I investigated first. Not having room in my luggage for my tripod, when I got to the best vantage point to see all of Westmorland Falls, I had to find the best place to set my camera down for some long exposure shots. Not bringing my ND filters also meant that the long exposures wouldn't be that long. In the end I tried a few different settings and hoped I could do something with them in post processing. Back to shooting handheld, I had good fun walking around the rocky platforms, enjoying the sound of rushing water with no one around (I had passed everyone as they headed back to their cars). With a mission to drive back to Launceston to buy new boots, I took one last look of the area before walking back to the start, enjoying everything I missed on the hike out.