Champagne Falls and Bridal Veil Falls were a pair of attractive waterfalls that we combined into a single excursion that began and ended at the Lemonthyme Lodge Wilderness Retreat. Although each waterfall could have been done individually as separate excursions, we decided to visit both in one slightly longer hike. After all, it didn't make sense for us to make two trips to this fairly less-traveled part of Tasmania. Both waterfalls were quite different in shape and character. Bridal Veil Falls (pictured at the top of this page) had a taller (about 20m) and potentially wider drop while 15m Champagne Falls (pictured further below) had a mossy and more rounded segmented appearance. Our visit was during the drought in November 2006 so we could very well have seen the falls under low flow conditions.
Each waterfall were about the same distance from the Lemonthyme Lodge (said to be 1 hour 45 minutes return walk). However, instead of doing two of these out-and-back hikes, it made more sense to do one loop hike, and that was the way we tackled this excursion. The following description is based on this slightly longer looping route.
From the day use car park, we walked up a 4wd track that climbed a hill past the manager's residence (of the Lemonthyme Lodge) then continued onwards up the hill until the track started to level out and descend. Along this ascent, we noticed a nice lookout with a sign and picnic table so we used this vista as a chance for us to catch our breaths and take some photos before continuing on. Had we brought a picnic, we could have even chilled out at the picnic table there while enjoying the views.
Next, just as the track started to descend from its apex, we saw a signed fork where we had a choice of continuing on the 4wd track or taking the steep primitive track down to Champagne Falls. We opted to do the latter, where after walking through some lush rainforest settings, we eventually found ourselves before the falls. We had to scramble a bit to try to improve our views since there were boulders and foliage conspiring to reduce how much of the falls that we could see.
After having our fill of Champagne Falls, we then continued towards another fork in the track following Bulls Creek where we were walking on a combination of boardwalk and dirt tracks while following along the numbered interpretive signs that were educating us about what we were seeing on this stretch. Eventually, we reached a log bridge, and it was on this bridge that we were able to get full frontal views of Bridal Veil Falls.
On the other side of the bridge, we then rejoined the familiar 4wd track and followed this track back towards the Lemonthyme Lodge to complete the lollipop loop. It took Julie and I about 2 hours 20 minutes away from the car at a leisurely pace, and since just doing one of the waterfalls was said to be 1 hour 45 minutes return, the extra 35 minutes we took to do both falls seemed to be the right decision.
Directions: The trailhead was at the Lemonthyme Lodge. To get there, we took two different approaches.
From Devonport, the most straightforward route would be to take the Hwy 1 then exit at Stony Rise Rd then heading north as it would become Forth Rd (B16). After about 6km on Forth Rd, turn left onto Wilmot Rd (C132) and follow the C132 for about 46km past the junction with Centhana Rd and to the signposted turnoff on the left for Lemonthyme Lodge. Follow this unsealed turnoff for about 7.6km to the day use parking area for Lemonthyme Lodge.
From Cradle Valley, go north to the three-way junction with the C132 and turn right to go onto Wilmot Rd. Follow this road for about 19km to the signposted turnoff on the right for the Lemonthyme Lodge. Take this unsealed access road for 7.6km to the day use parking area at the lodge.
About 8km from the Cradle Valley turnoff, there was supposed to be an access road to Quaile Falls, but we couldn't find the car park and the Cradle Valley Visitor Centre folks said the access to the falls was closed due to private property.
For the record, we kind of took an indirect route from Devonport by going south on the B14 and then on the C166 to the C132. Not the best way to go, but we got there nonetheless.
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