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.
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.
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.
Directly after Alexandra Falls you’ll see Hopetoun Falls. Another multi tiered stone cascade, but much wider with a more even spread of water.
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.
Personally, the Spout is my favourite of the cascades. The dark, water filled pit and curving moss covered rock walls looks dark and mysterious.
Leaving the cascades behind, the trail curves and starts sloping steeply downward towards the end of the trail.
Once you’ve reached the fern shrouded boardwalk, you’ve almost reached the final set of falls.
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.
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.
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
The Big Tree is a staggering 50 metres tall and a whopping 3.4 metres in diameter.
Entry to Liffey Falls State Reserve is free.
Liffey Falls State Reserve is open 24 hours.
- Car park
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.
- 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.
- Hiking boots
- Wet weather gear
- The walking trail contains some steep edged drop offs and unfenced sections of river.
- Weather can change dramatically.
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.
- Deloraine (Tasmanian Craft Fair)