Liffey Falls: Walking Tasmania’s Waterfall Trail

Liffey Falls is without a doubt one of the prettiest locations In Tasmania.

Liffey Falls State Reserve is located near the township of Liffey, around 70 minutes drive from Launceston or 35 minutes from Deloraine in Central North Tasmania.

The reserve boasts two walking trails, both of which lead to Victoria Falls.

This post focuses on the shorter of the two walks, the Liffey Falls Nature Walk, which begins in the upper car park of Liffey Falls State Reserve.

Liffey Falls Nature Walk

The 45 minute return walk winds its way into this World Heritage listed wilderness area on the slopes of the Great Western Tier mountains.

The area is well known for it’s natural beauty, like the ancient sandstone rock, some of which is believed to have originally fallen from icebergs millions of years ago.

Trail leading through ferns and rainforest
Beautiful temperate rainforest

The beginning of the walking trail slopes gently and zigzags its way down the face of the slope.

It cuts through beautiful temperate rainforests filled with sassafras, leatherwood and myrtle trees, as well as large tree ferns which tower over you.

Trail surrounded by ferns
Heading down towards the cascades

Approaching the crystal clear waters of the river, the walking trail levels out, the vegetation opens up, and you should start getting your first glimpse of the stunning cascades.

The rainforest scenery is stunning along this portion of the trail. Rivalling that of our favourite Tasmanian walk, Philosophers Falls.

The Three Cascades

Liffey Falls is not a single waterfall, but a collection of separate falls and cascades.

You’ll encounter three of the cascades around a third of the way into the walk.

Viewing platforms are located throughout the cascade area and walking out onto the first one affords you an amazing view over Alexandra Falls. A beautiful narrow multi tiered stone cascade.

Viewing platform overlooking Alexandra Falls
Viewing platform overlooking Alexandra Falls

Directly after Alexandra Falls you’ll see Hopetoun Falls. Another multi tiered stone cascade, but much wider with a more even spread of water.

Two waterfalls flowing through Liffey Falls State Reserve, Tasmania
Alexandra Falls (Above) and Hopetoun Falls (Below)

Spout Falls (or The Leap) finishes off the impressive cascades. The spout is the most interesting of the cascades.

Unlike the other cascade with their multi tiered stone cascades, the top and face of the Spout are almost entirely flat stone.

The Spout name comes from the channel cut into the top of the stone over millions of years. This channel compresses the water and shoots in out over a large drop off.

Waterfall flowing down into the river below
The spout

Personally, the Spout is my favourite of the cascades. The dark, water filled pit and curving moss covered rock walls looks dark and mysterious.

Victoria Falls

Leaving the cascades behind, the trail curves and starts sloping steeply downward towards the end of the trail.

Stairs up a fern covered hill
Steep slope towards the final waterfall

Once you’ve reached the fern shrouded boardwalk, you’ve almost reached the final set of falls.

Fern lined boardwalk along the Liffey River
Boardwalk along the Liffey River

Victoria Falls, often mistakenly called Liffey Falls, is the biggest and visually the most impressive falls on the trail.

The falls flow in a myriad of directions down a wide multi tiered stone cascade that feeds into a natural rock basin.

It’s surrounded by large dominating rock walls, which gives the basin area a hidden grotto mood.

Greenery fills the area from the thousands of ferns and temperate rainforest trees clinging to the rock walls which overshadowing the grotto and its lovely rock pool filled with crystal clear water.

The basin has a small viewing platform that gives great views of the falls, but it’s easily overcrowded by a small group of people.

Waterfall surrounded by ferns flowing down tiered cascades
Victoria Falls from the viewing platform

If crowds aren’t your thing, then head back towards the boardwalk and take the small set of stairs down to ground level. You can walk out onto the rocky river banks and get some nice front on views of the falls.

Front on view of Liffey Falls, Tasmania
Getting my feet wet

Depending on the water level and ferocity, it’s possible to walk right up to the falls (very slippery) and even cross the river. But be aware, the water is very cold! And you might get some angry glares from everyone trying to photograph the falls as you block their shots.

The Big Tree

Tasmania has a couple of places named “The Big Tree”. We’ve discovered one at Dip Falls in Tasmania’s North West and the other is located here.

The Big Tree is located only a minute walk from the upper car parking area.

A small narrow trail beginning near the toilet block will have you there in moments.

The tree itself, a gigantic Brown Top Stringybark, dominates the area. Towering high into the sky

Boy standing next to a giant tree
Ronin and the big tree

The Big Tree is a staggering 50 metres tall and a whopping 3.4 metres in diameter.

Entry Price

Entry to Liffey Falls State Reserve is free.

Opening Hours

Liffey Falls State Reserve is open 24 hours.

Facilities

  • Toilets
  • Barbeques
  • Seating
  • Car park

Location

Click to view map to Liffey Falls (Upper car park).

When To Visit

If possible, visit during the winter period. The increased water flow makes the waterfall much more spectacular, although it’s stunning year round.

Additional Information

  • Google Maps often routes to the lower car park. The map linked in our location section above will take you to the upper car park via Riversdale Road.
  • Riversdale Road is unsealed gravel, steep, narrow with plenty of potholes. Great care should be taken. Logging trucks are active on this road and motor homes, caravans or larger vehicles are restricted. (Restrictions don’t apply for the lower car park route)
  • While the walk is 45 minutes return, expect to spend much longer here. 45 minutes return is possible if you power walk straight to Victoria Falls and back while ignoring all the brilliant scenery.
  • Free camping is available in the lower car parking area.

Recommended Equipment

  • Hiking boots
  • Wet weather gear
  • Water
  • Food

Safety Advice

  • The walking trail contains some steep edged drop offs and unfenced sections of river.
  • Weather can change dramatically.

Conclusion

In our opinion, the basin and falls are one of the most beautiful locations in all of Tasmania. We’d even go as far as saying it rivals the famous Russell Falls of Mount Field National Park in Tasmania’s central highlands. Add it to your Tasmanian itinerary/bucket list.

Nearby Attractions

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