Castro Circuit: Step Falls, Castra Falls, Silver Falls and more. Jun 2016
From our very first steps, we loved this walk. Fungi were everywhere, but this was a waterfall walk, so I tried to ignore these delicate beauties, and left my macro lens in the bottom of the pack so as to not be even more boring by changing lenses the whole time. Oh the shame of it all, but I did admire them anyway as I walked past.
Well, I did say I admired them en passant. I decided I could photograph them with my wide-angle lens and that would not take up so much time.
The second falls on the list, the Castra Falls, had a rope to hold, which Bruce greatly appreciated. (All these Falls are done as side routes from the main circuit, as I hope my map at the end makes clear.)
Climbing back up from the Castra Falls
The Castra Cascades were pleasant enough, but not as beautiful as the many river scenes along the way, … and very shortly after that, we were at the junction of the Castra Rivulet we had been following, and Nietta Creek, which we were about to pursue. We’d been exercising for a total of 45 minutes at this stage (which included side trips, but not photos). This was a really pretty spot with a kind of beach – perfect for lunch. I ate hurriedly, as I wanted to explore a track that went off to the right here, to what was called a “Secret place”. I was unsure about where it went and what it was, as, unlike the other side routes, it gave no time estimation. I left Bruce quietly eating and set off along the steep banks on my mystery journey. After 16 minutes, the tapes seemed to have run out, and even if they hadn’t, I felt my time had. The scene below was what I found. I photographed just with hand-held camera on 1/10th second, as I feared Bruce might be getting cold and wondering what on earth his wife was up to. No longer wondering the whole time if this was the secret place, or this, I moved more quickly, and was back at the junction in 11 minutes.
From the junction, the beautiful Nietta Creek is followed upstream until Silver Falls are reached. This part of the route is wonderful, as you are right beside the stream the whole way.
The side track to Silver Falls is the tiniest deviation from the circuit, and this was my favourite of the Falls. Another short but steep push and the top was reached.
Silver Falls, falls number three
We had parked the car at the second entrance to the forest, maybe two hundred metres from the first, but the other side of the rivulet, in case the stream was flooded. As you can see from the photo below, it wasn’t, so we completed the circuit in the forest and were soon back at the car. (If the water is high, you can do this tiny stretch on the road.)
Apparently this beautiful circuit was destroyed in a huge storm a few years back, but has now been repaired by local volunteers, to whom go my heartfelt thanks. The tapes and path are clear, signage is fantastic, but, better than that, it remains a real bushwalk and not one of these wretched manicured tourist highways. You do have to concentrate a little; you can fall over or trip, you need to look for the next tape and use your brain a tiny bit. The freedom to fall or to make a slight error is a marvellous manumission in this over-cosseted, litigation-terrified age.
Our route. Hopefully you can see that there is a main circuit, with Falls off to the side, usually involving a climb down. Tasmaps, being their usual inefficient selves, have not only omitted the path, but have misnamed and misplaced the position of the falls in their habitual cavalier attitude to the needs of walkers and tourists who might want to use the maps for something purposeful. I have blocked out the incorrect names. We walked anti-clockwise. The narrative (combined with map reading) should make it clear which falls are which. Step Falls are correctly named and placed.