Meadstone Falls. Waterfall bagging. Nov 2016
Gale force winds, snow to 800ms, driving rain when it wasn’t snowing, my cough was still very bad … this was a good weekend to do some quiet waterfall bagging rather than mountain climbing, and I was excited to see some more of Tasmania’s astonishingly diverse range of falls.
I was particularly keen to have a go at Meadstone Falls, the road to which has been advertised as closed for a while now. I had heard that people had got around some of the “Road closed” signs and managed to see these now-elusive falls, so was keen to try my luck. I could’t really tell from any sources how far we’d have to walk, or how long the whole thing would take, so determined to set out as soon as we could after breakfast, and if it ended up 12ks in each direction, so be it.
I tracked and timed all sections so as to be helpful here in this blog: it was 27 minutes, and 2.4 kms from where we parked the car to the actual carpark you used to use in the good old pre flood days. (Basically, we headed south from Fingal along Valley Rd, following signs to the falls and ignoring advice that what we were doing was dangerous. Eventually we came to a man-made hump kind of thing across the road just before a bridge. Other adventurous drivers had gone over and around this, but my adventurous spirit disappears when I am in a machine. I parked and we began walking. That is where I started timing and measuring.) There were lots of wildflowers, although not as many as on Thursday when we visited the Lobster Falls. The path was generally attractive. It took us exactly an hour from the car to the Lookout over the falls. The remainder of the track – the sweet, narrow bit – measured 1.6 kms – i.e., we had a nice 8 km round trip, a perfect morning’s jaunt. We made it a bit longer by also going down to the river at another point further along and playing a bit in the pools.
The falls lookout is built for VERY tall people. This not-tall person thus had to climb up the wire (very tricky; the diamonds were much too small for my very big boots) in order to get her camera in a wire-free position to photograph. I would personally have thought that forcing that kind of behaviour was a lot more dangerous than having the railing at a height that allowed an unobstructed view of the falls. As a less than tall person, I regard this as a form of discrimination: if you are tall you can take a good photo, but if not, and you want to use long exposure, you have to balance in a perched position and somehow hope to hold your camera steady. The picture above is a 2 sec exposure, without a tripod (as the wire is way taller than a tripod), with me precariously balanced trying to poke boots in strong wire netting that gave no purchase. I reckon wire clippers would come in handy if you like photography.
The other falls we visited were the Ferntree Falls at St Helens, Halls Falls near Pyengana, St Columba Falls not far from there, and Ralph Falls near Ringarooma. I have given each waterfall its own blog to make it easier to find for people searching for only one fall.