We did a fair bit of walking in Tassie. But one easy 8 km walk to the Montezuma Falls ticked so many boxes, we highly recommend it. Even Heiner is happy now, that we did not reach it on the very muddy 4WD track that approaches the falls from the other side.
The cool thing about the walk is that it delivers on several levels. The most obvious sight is the waterfall, of course. With a height of 104 m (and after three days of rain) it sure knows to impress. But there’s more than just awesome views, there’s also something that gets your brain going! The adventurist, the engineer and the nature lover in us were all delighted!
The adventurist loved the cable bridge they built just below the falls. Load limit: two adults! Narrow, shaky and at every step you take, you look through the grating and see the roaring waters below. Almost as good as Pakistani cable bridges!
For the engineer, we need to explain that the walk follows an old tramway track built between 1894 and 1896. It connected the several mines of the regions to Zeehan, the town where the ore would have been smelted. During its 18 years of operation, it was used to transport ore, timber, food and workers. The area around the falls is dense rainforest and makes up for about 20 of the 60 km of track. Trust us, it is hard to believe they built the whole thing in only two years! All they needed to get the job done was axes, saws, pickaxes and shovels. Maybe some dynamite here and there 😊.
On the latter part of the walk there are still a lot of the old sleepers in place and you even pass an abandoned mine shaft. All this makes it very easy to imagine how it must have been, back in the day, travelling to your workplace, digging shafts for 12 hours a day, always in fear that it might collapse.
The nature lover
Our nature loving side was very pleased to read the caption of one of the signs out there. We learned that basically the whole forest near the tracks was felled. They needed the timber as a construction material for the railway itself, shafts, houses and as fuel, personal and for the smelters. The cool thing is, you don’t realize that at all. The trees are so tall and there is so much vegetation. Nature has long taken back what was taken from it. In only a hundred years.
But not all the efforts that went into the construction of the railway were unavailing. The old tramway may be gone but in its place there is now a truly great walk through the rainforest for all of us to enjoy.
Other amazing walks in Tasmania
- Of course, number 1 is climbing up to the summit of Cradle Mountain – around 7 hours, tough in the end
- Wineglass Bay walk in Freycinet National Park, with circuit walk to Hazard Beach – around 5 hours, fairly easy
- Walk to Fishermen’s point in Cockle Creek – around 2-3 hours, easy
- Russel Falls in Mount Field National Park, another classic but beautiful when continue on to 2 other waterfalls and the Tall Tree Walk, circuit back to Park entrance – around 3 hours
- Hidden gem: walk to Liffey Falls from the camp site, through amazing rainforest – around 3 hours
There is a booklet and an app with Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks. It might be useful if you want to do many walks. We did not buy it but were happy about their good signage along some of the tracks we walked.
Have you been hiking in Tassie already? What are your tips? Or do you need more information? Just leave a comment!