Why you’ll love it
Who doesn’t love a waterfall? There’s something mesmerising about watching a stream tumble over a crag of rock and cascade at your feet. Happily, Tasmania’s east coast has several impressive falls, all within reach of the main route of the Great Eastern Drive.
The east coast’s waterfalls are all found within forest reserves located inland from the coast, and most are accessed via unsealed roads, so make sure your vehicle is suited to the journey before you get started. Water flow over the falls can be variable, so they are at their most spectacular after a period of rain.
Where you’ll find it
St Columba Falls
At 94 metres, this is Tasmania’s highest waterfall. St Columba Falls flows year round and is reached via a well-maintained, rainforest-fringed walking track that leads to a viewing platform at the base of the falls. St Columba Falls is approximately 30 minutes’ drive from St Helens (30 km/18 mi). Take the A3 highway from St Helens, then follow the C428 road from Pyengana. The return walk to the falls takes around 30 minutes.
To reach this lovely waterfall, take the A3 from St Helens and turn right into Anchor Road, just before you reach Pyengana. Follow the walking track through the forest to reach the lookout over the falls. The walk to the falls takes around 40 minutes return from the car park, but allow longer and take your time to explore.
Take the C301 road from Cranbrook until you reach the turnoff to the Hardings Falls Forest Reserve. A short walk from the picnic area leads through eucalypt forest to the lookout at the top of the falls. The 20-miniute walk down to the river is steep, so walking shoes are essential, but you’ll be rewarded with a great view of the falls and space to enjoy a picnic lunch on the rock platforms that line the river.
Take the B43 road from Fingal and turn right on the C423 road to reach the Evercreech Forest Reserve, near Mathinna. Take the short return or circuit walks (10-20 minutes) to visit the falls and see the world’s tallest white gum trees before taking a break for a picnic lunch.
Take the B34 Road past Swansea and then take the turn off to Meetus Falls. The Falls are located along McKay’s Road, 10 km from the Lake Leake information booth. Take the 15 minute return walk to the lookout, or walk to the Cygnet River Lookout from the Falls Lookout track. Have lunch at the picnic shelter or light a fire in the open fireplace.
The tiered, 80-metre Mathinna Falls are located within the Mathinna Falls Forest Reserve, not far from the Evercreech Forest Reserve. Take the B43 road from Fingal and turn right onto the C423 road near Mathinna to reach the reserve. The falls are an easy 30-minute walk from the car park.
Located near St Columba Falls, Ralphs Falls is a long thread of water cascading down a forested cliff face. Take the A3 highway from St Helens, then follow the C428 road from Pyengana towards St Columba Falls. The turnoff is marked shortly before the St Columba Falls State Reserve. Take the 20-minute return walk through myrtle rainforest or 50-minute circuit via Cashs Gorge Loop to reach the lookout for sweeping views of the falls and surrounding farmland.
Lost Falls are located south of Lake Leake Head south along the ‘M’ road until you see the signposted turnoff to Lost Falls. There are basic picnic facilities at the reserve but no toilets. If you want to picnic we suggest you visit Meetus Falls Forest Reserve. There are two easy walks at Lost Falls, suitable for all ages and all levels of fitness. A short walk (10 minutes return) winds through the dry open forest onto a rocky outcrop. From the outcrop there are extensive views of the Freycinet Peninsula and surrounding coastline. The other walk takes you to the Lost Falls Lookout. Perched high above the forested gorge, the Lookout provides breath-taking views of steep valley, Lost Falls Creek and the waterfall.
How long will you need?
The waterfalls of the east coast are located inland from the coast, many within a short drive of each other. Take a full day to explore and visit several falls, or factor in your favourite as a side trip on your way to or from the Great Eastern Drive.
To help plan your visit, you can check our travel times and driving distances.