As I said the other day, we do feel like we’ve been treading water for the last four weeks, patiently waiting to purchase our National Parks Pass so we can go exploring. And we wasted no time doing just that.
Our first stop, two lovely areas nestled in the Pyengana region.
No 1 – Halls Water Falls
Situated a short drive away, just 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) inland from where we are at St Helens, Halls Water Falls was a lovely introduction to the Tasmanian wilderness. We set out on Monday morning, around 9:00 am and the day was perfect for walking and exploring. Not too cold (though we wore jumpers), and no rain which was a very good thing.
The featured image above is the entry to the track and I thought it was an inviting, enticing sight to see, beckoning you to enter and discover the hidden delights beyond and after a short walk, the track then leads down to where you find the falls.
The falls themselves are only small, but we were the only people there and we relished the opportunity to explore and enjoy. From there we continued along the track to the rock pool and the weir, the only part of the track where I was lucky enough to encounter two leeches. Thank goodness I was quick enough to ‘brush’ them off before they had their way with me. All the same though, I then spent the next 30 minutes or so thinking I had leeches in my hair.
(That would have to be the worst head lice ever. Are you scratching? I am!)
It took us about an hour and a half to really enjoy the area and although it was rich with moss and other lush green growths, it was quite open and rather ‘bushy’ in a uniquely Australian way.
I’ve added more photos to the Photography page, so you’ll have to jump over there and click on Halls Water Falls to see the lovely green images I captured while we were there.
We then moved on to our next stop . . .
No 2 – Saint Columba Falls
This was a more popular area but even so, there were only a few other people there. Saint Columba Falls State Reserve is a short drive off the Tasman Highway through the little village of Pyengana and past several dairy farms where fat, healthy cows laze in the sun in this rich and fertile valley.
After parking the car, there is a short walk (down) from the roadway to the falls lookout.
Suddenly you enter another world, one that is dark and damp, full of lush fern hidden below a dense canopy. It was a stark contrast to the open ‘bush’ type setting of Halls Water Falls.
As you continue along the path, the tree ferns become ever increasingly taller and suddenly you are walking below their canopy. The path then leads you out to a small lookout where you can stand and watch the falls. The following is a short movie of the falls that Dean took with his GoPro.
(It’s a little shaky and I removed the sound, but it’s not too bad for a first effort.
We’ll pay closer attention to the what and how next time.)
The falls are one of the highest in Tasmania at 90 metres high (295 feet) and 42,000 thousand litres* of water gushes over them every minute. In winter that increases to 220,000 litres and yes, that’s every minute. Quite a lot of water when you think about it.
From Saint Columba Falls, the water then enters George River where it flows east and eventually out to sea through Georges Bay, where St Helens is situated. It is a vital part of the fragile eco-system in Tasmania’s north-east. Again, I’ve uploaded images of Saint Columba Falls on the Photography page.
– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –
We had a lovely day out and for our next walk, we plan to venture a little deeper into the Blue Tier Forest Reserve. But then again, there are so many other areas to explore that perhaps we’ll end up somewhere else. One thing is for sure, I’ll let you know where and when.
Footnote: Conversion of the volume of water flowing over Saint Columba Falls every minute.