Liffey Falls is another slightly unplanned bushwalk, as we drive between Devonport (having taken the Spirit of Tasmania ferry across) and our accommodation at Lake St Clair. A short detour about half way takes us into the Liffey Falls State Reserve, which is on the edge of the Great Western Tiers. The walking track – one of Tasmania’s “60 Great Short Walks” is well-marked from the busy upper carpark, which also has developed picnic facilities.
As the well-developed track descends, very gradually at first, through tall wet eucalypt forest with some huge trees (you can also do the “Big Tree Stroll” which takes you some huge Eucalyptus obliqua trees, one of which towers 50m and with a diameter of 3.39m).
Shortly before reaching the Liffey River, the track goes under a huge and impressive cluster (or stand?) of tree ferns.
About half-way – which is only around 600m – the track reaches the Liffey River. Soon after there’s a vantage point over the first of four cascades – Alexandra Falls, then Hopetoun Falls.
There’s another nice view of (I think!) Hopetoun Falls a bit further on, where a few steps from the track takes you down to the river.
The track follows the river fairly closely, as it goes through cool temperate rainforest. (There’s a junction with the longer track that follows the river upstream from the lower carpark, which provides an alternate and longer route to Liffey Falls.)
Finally the track meets the river below Liffey Falls – which are technically called Victoria Falls. Considered one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Tasmania (albeit not as impressive as Russell Falls), the cascades are busy on a warm January afternoon. There’s some clear pools with crystal clear and quite cold water, and a few brave souls are swimming beneath the falls!
From here, it’s the same way back up to the carpark – although with the aid of a car-shuffle you could do an 6km (one-way) walk between the two carparks. The Fallls get pretty busy in December/January; best time to visit Liffey Falls is outsude the summer holidays, and and after it has rained.
Information on Liffey Falls
- Tas Parks “60 Great Short Walks” – Liffey Falls
- Melanie Ball, Top Walks in Tasmania, Walk 36
- Tas Trails – Liffey Falls track notes