Sharpes Falls 31 Mar 2018.
My daughter and I had just had a glorious time climbing Mt Sprent in the South West and sleeping on the Wilmot Range, but, being greedy, I also wanted to bag a waterfall with her – to share that side of what I love – so we decided to take in Sharpes Falls, just short of the Mt Field National Park, on our way home from Strathgordon. I knew she’d love waterfall bagging in general, it’s so like orienteering – except that there’s a beautiful waterfall to greet you when you’ve navigated well, rather than an orange and white flag: hey, much more fun. As for whether she’d like Sharpes Falls in particular, I couldn’t say until we’d seen it, but you have to see it to know, so off we set.
We’d parked at the boom gate at Newbury Rd (the turn to the west beyond the National Park. If you get to Sharpes Rd, you’ve gone too far west). We assiduously ignored all the signs that told us we were embarking on a very dangerous mission (everything one does in modern Australia is very dangerous; the words have lost their sting as councils yell “danger” at the sight of a caterpillar). Up the hill we progressed, past the quarry on the right (doubtless full of life-threatening horrors) and continued on, at first through a pine plantation that made us happy by reminding us of all the orienteering events we’ve done in forest smelling just like that, and further, to an ugly felled area. Neither of us likes felled trees – although felled pines are perfectly justifiable, they’re still not pleasant to observe – so elected to turn into the forest that contained our falls earlier than planned, just to create pretty scenery for ourselves.
The going was thus slower, but that’s fine by us, as we were not on a mission of efficiency. Our intent was beauty, so we enjoyed wending our way in lush forest above the creek that contained our falls (Sharpes Creek). We even found some early fungi, and lost of lush moss to excite us. The falls were definitely worth the walk of about twenty minutes in each direction.
On the way out, we decided to go the way that most people would probably want to come if efficiency was part of their game, just to test it out for this blog. Heading straight out of the falls to the east, we came upon some orange tapes. However, if you are not comfortable navigating, do not count on these tapes, as they can not be relied upon, especially near the logged area. This is not a waterfall for tourists.