Tasmania Road Trip Part II

hire car tasmania

Click here for part I

We disembarked about 7 am and collected our luggage and called a local taxi service to find our hire car company. The only booking I had made before arriving in Tasmania was the hire car, a Nissan X-Trail, no accommodation was booked. We decided before we left Perth that we wanted to arrive in Tasmania with just the car waiting for us and hit the road and see where it takes us.

Romantic Tasmania

Normally I wouldn’t be so cavalier and plan everything carefully prior to leaving home, this trip I wanted to approach with a little romanticism and adventure. Just a hopeless romantic that’s me! And I knew Tasmania had many accommodation options and it wasn’t high season so there would be plenty of places to stay.

We collected our car loaded our gear and hit the road, after 5 minutes following a the road from the higher car office Tasmania showed us her true nature of offering us a beautiful vista everywhere we looked. You could look in any direction and have a photo opportunity from old buildings in the towns and cities to rolling green fields in the farming areas.

We really had no idea where we going to sleep that night so we consulted our iPads to see what was close to us and Launceston was less than 2 hours away, so we tentatively decided we would sleep in Launceston. However the day was young, the fuel tank was full and we were well rested from our overnight on the Spirit of Tasmania so decided to take the first right and continue on to the late afternoon.

Liffey Falls

I can’t even remember the name of the road we were on but I remember it being east of Devonport and not far from the local airstrip. After taking the first right we come to an intersection with a sign pointing to Liffey Falls only 20 kilometres distant. Yes, a Tasmanian waterfall visit on our first day was a great idea so we took a left and headed to Liffey Falls.

After about 15 minutes we cam to a T-junction and another sign that informed us in no uncertain terms that we still had 20 kilometres to go before Liffey Falls. We had just covered nearly 20 kilometres in the last 15 minutes, childhood memories of Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone surfaced in my mind. I think perhaps were just victims of our own enthusiasm and Tasmania’s wonderful scenery and had missed a turn somewhere.

Lost in the Tasmanian Wilderness

Rather than consult our iPads and Google Maps we decided to continue on old school style and just follow the signs. We past through a few villages and considered asking someone but we saw no people and even a service station (gas station) appeared empty and silent. After another 20 minutes the country side became more hilly and treed that held hope of a waterfall not to distant.

Once again we had excellent weather with a clear blue cloudless sky and whilst the sun was bright it was quite cool and I have to admit I enjoy the cooler weather more than our hot summers in Western Australia. My partner Took who hails from a considerably higher latitude felt the weather was freezing. The cold she felt this day was just a taste of what was coming over the next 12 days.

Liffey State Reserve

At last a weathered wooden sign post appears ahead and as we draw near it proclaimed with a faded white smile that we were entering Liffey State Reserve. The road beyond the sign was narrow and unsealed, obviously we were about to leave the last vestiges of civilisation behind. The road twisted and turned up through some small mountains I was later to learn are called The Great Western Tiers a collection of small mountainous bluffs in Northern Tasmania.

My partner found the drive a little unnerving as there was quite a sheer drop through the rain forest tress on our left. After another 20 minutes of slow driving to keep my passenger calm we arrived at a parking area and found ourselves the only souls at Liffey Falls State Reserve this day.

We parked our car and sought out directions to the falls from the park signs only a 20 minute easy walk they assured us, I had my doubts. The drive in was quite hilly and suspected we were going to have to walk up and down hills to get to the falls.

Temperate Rainforest

The walk turned out to be all down hill through a temperate rainforest and we were surrounded by beautiful tree ferns and giant towering eucalyptus trees. It was quite cool on the forest floor and the air was invigorating with the smell of decaying leave litter and quite humid, the forest felt ancient and unchanging.

Arriving at Liffey Falls

We could hear the falls from our first arrival and soon we were at the foot of the falls. I don’t want to say they were disappointing because they were far from it but Niagara Falls they are not. The water was very clear and cold and the sunshine was welcome after the cool of the rainforest. We lingered for a brief photo opportunity then made our way back to the waiting car. There are a number of viewing platforms around the falls which give a nice view and easy photo platform.

The walk back up was not to bad as the slope was quite gentle and the exercise welcome. We had been in Tasmania and on the road now for about 4 hours and decided to start to make away toward Launceston and find somewhere on the way for lunch.

To be continued – Deloraine, Launceston and beyond

About Peter

Walkabout Editor and Writer and the administrator of the Walkabout Travel Network, Peter says "All these pages are yours, use them wisely and use them in peace!" We think Peter watches far too many movies!

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