Waterfall Spree, N and W Tasmania, including Upper Preston, Preston and Stitt Falls. Oct 20, 2018
Upper Preston Falls
I’m not sure what I had been planning to do last weekend – most probably climb a mountain and sleep up there – but when I got an email from Carrie saying she was free Saturday afternoon and Sunday, why not waterfall bag, suddenly I knew exactly what I was going to do. With head down and tail up, I scoured the internet and maps for information, and drew up a plan of attack. It was just a tiny bit ambitious, so I won’t embarrass myself by telling you what I had planned: instead, I’ll tell you what I did.
Some of the waterfalls were private, and you need to ask permission from the right people. We actually tried more than is written here, but were refused permission from that “angle”, so retreated – possibly gracefully. As said, this is what I did see. Some of what I did see was really barely worth seeing, and I didn’t even bother taking a photo (Kindred; Preston). One, South Riana Dam Falls, I was running late for my 1 pm meeting with Carrie, so resolved to return – they were lovely. I will also return to Preston when there’s more flow and when the day is suitably cloudy. Conditions weren’t right for a photo this day.
So, the day began with two private falls before having breakfast number two at Forth, at a little shop that sold lots of tasty vegan naughties, and excellent coffee (called Alchemy), which is just what I needed after shooting waterfalls in the rain. I ended up doing an enormous amount of driving on this morning, as I kept trying to drive east to west in country whose topography and road structure wanted you to go north-south. As a result, I clocked up a large number of kilometres, but got to see some new and interesting parts of my state, so I was happy, although tired.
My next “attack” was the waterfalls near Preston. I had already done Delaneys Falls (incorrectly signed by the local council as Preston Falls), so only visited the two I hadn’t yet seen: namely Preston Falls (the real ones) and Upper Preston Falls. I also had a search for some Cascades I’d been told about, but it seems they were playing hide and seek and winning the game. No matter: Upper Preston Falls were so beautiful, I needed nothing else. Preston Falls were the blackberry spree I was expecting, although not as bad as I feared. I believe I have Stephen Grath and possibly some others to thank for the fact that I still own two legs. These three falls (Upper Preston, Preston and Delaneys) are all accessed from Raymond Rd, C127, just south west of Preston itself. Four waterfalls down. Time to head further west towards Guide Falls where I was to meet Carrie … but in getting there, I also accidentally found what I had heard of, the South Riana Dam Falls – just beautiful, and deserving of more of my time.
At last, with a stomach so hungry it was cramping on me, I met Carrie at Guide Falls, where we had so much to tell each other it’s surprising we got in any falls at all. We were thwarted in the first two falls we tried after that, but if owners don’t want you there, then, that’s that. I figure there’s no harm in asking. Most of them are nice and say “Yes”. This was the first time I’ve been refused, actually.
Stitt River Tributary Falls
We cut our losses and headed to Rosebery, where I was hoping to get to the base of the Stitt Falls. I had already photographed these from the top, but from the moment I looked down into that infinitely deep chasm below (which joins the aptly named Yawning Gully), I wanted to go back and see what things looked like from down at the base. The first time, I was there with Bruce, so trying was out of the question. This time, I had Carrie and Tessa for company, and we three girls got there. It was steep, loose and slippery, but we found a way to the river, and then worked our way upstream to near enough to the falls to enable a photo. There was also a gorgeous little waterfall coming in off one of the tributaries. With an overdose of imagination, I have christened them “Stitt River Tributary Falls”. We loved it down there, amongst the rich oranges of the rocks and water, and the calming greens of the surrounding forest.
Stitt Falls base
I brought enough stuff to enable camping beside Lake Rosebery (tents and stoves for both of us), at which time we discovered that girls who stare at screens for so many hours sorting out waterfall details can sometimes err when it comes to practicalities. I had forgotten matches. I did bring two gas canisters, but the first ran out after five seconds; the second limped in, just, to enable two dinners and breakfast. Luckily, neither of us wanted seconds of tea or coffee in the morning, or we would have been bitterly disappointed. At least I brought enough food this week.
Lake Rosebery and Mt Murchison well after dark. You can see the Southern Cross and Pointers.
It was the lake rather than waterfalls that Carrie named as her favourite part of the weekend. Maybe the adrenalin factor of Stitt and Frazer tainted her opinion of them. We sat on logs by the lake, staring out at Mt Murchison, watching the stars come out one by one to twinkle at us. The night got quite cold, but the beauty buoyed us so we didn’t really notice. We got the great idea of beginning our careers in astro photography, so, despite the nearly full moon, set up our cameras and gave it a go. It was huge fun.
Next morning, it was hard to drag ourselves away from this idyllic spot, but Frazer Falls were calling, and I wanted an early start so that we weren’t going to be rushed. I had a long drive home, so didn’t want things to last too long. Frazer Falls can have their own blog. They deserve it.