Ever heard of Myrtle Forest Falls?
Updated: May 15
I only discovered the falls recently following a hike up to the pinnacle of Collins Bonnet (the second highest peak in the Wellington Range) back in April 2021.
Myrtle Forest Falls is a two-tier set of falls within the luscious Myrtle Forest behind Collinsvale on the outskirts of Hobart's northern suburbs (around 20 minute drive from the Hobart city centre). The forest itself lies within a deep valley and is relatively sheltered from the strong winds that can batter the more exposed areas on the upper slopes of the Wellington Range. It's location also means it's a bit of a water trap with relatively high rainfall. In winter, it's not uncommon for regular snow falls to settle in the area.
Once you reach the carpark along the unsealed Myrtle Forest Road, it takes about a 20 minute stroll to reach the falls.
Firstly, you wander along a gravel road that meanders along the edge of the Myrtle Forest Creek. The track continues upwards to either the summit of Collins Bonnet or Collins Cap,
As the gravel road comes to an end, you will encounter a small picnic area. This area is not much more than a picnic table under a colorbond shelter that doubles as an information centre sporting various infographics of information about the area. There is also a toilet that is in an oversized tin shed. Unless you opened the door to see what was inside, you'd be hard pressed to know that the toilet was even in there.
This picnic area is about 10-15 minutes into the walk (depending on how much you stop to take in the surrounds - or take photos as I did).
Once you pass the picnic area is what I like to call the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife equivalent of a Disney On Ice staircase. I make this reference as the track commences a reasonable initial climb that involves stoney steps. These stones are damp, smooth and can be quite slippery if you hit the wrong spot. Going up them is ok. Coming back down its a little tricky.
After my adventure to Collins Bonnet, I managed to hike all the way up and back over tree roots, loose gravel and large boulders without incident. That is, until I hit these damn steps in the last 15 minutes, where I ended up sprawled on the deck on at least three occasions.
So unless you want to look like a dung beetle writhing on its back with its legs flailing in the air as I did, I'd suggest taking care and wearing footwear with some degree of grip.
Luckily, you only have to negotiate the slippery steps of doom for around 5 to 10 minutes before you reach the viewing platform that is conveniently placed between the two tiers of the falls.
Whilst not the largest waterfall that you are ever likely to encounter, their lack of scale is more than made up by such a serene and tranquil location enveloped by lush green ferns, moss covered logs and rocks and plenty of Myrtle, Sassafras and Eucalyptus trees hanging overhead.
The day I went was a comfortable 18 degrees, overcast and no wind. The perfect day for taking photos of waterfalls. There were a couple of other people, including a family with young children exploring the area. But for the most part I had the place to myself.
After taking a few photos from the viewing platform of the upper falls, I found an "unofficial" track that leads to the base of the lower tier.
It is well worn, but given it is not a maintained track it's quite steep, and there is one section that requires you to get on hands and knees to crawl under a fallen tree. But the effort is worth it as the alternative view and the extra seclusion from the main track makes for an enjoyable place to hang out and soak up the environment.
If you are ever short of ideas on how to fill in and hour or so by getting some fresh air, but want to avoid the, at sometimes, overcrowded Mt Wellington "touristy" spots, then this might be a great alternative.