Pencil Pine Falls and Knyvet Falls

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park / Tasmanian Wilderness WHA / Cradle Valley, Tasmania, Australia

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Pencil Pine Falls
Neither Pencil Pine Falls nor Knyvet Falls were waterfalls that we expected to visit prior to our visit to Cradle Mountain National Park. It wasn't until we noticed some maps in the visitor centre that we realized how close they were to where we were staying within the park (at the Cradle Mountain Lodge). So it only made sense that we took the time to visit these falls, and we were very glad that we did! Not only did we have a waterfalling excuse to further explore the beautiful scenery of the Cradle Valley section of Cradle Mountain National Park (including the unusually-shaped Cradle Mountain and the clear blue Dove Lake), but we also got a pair of scenic and quaint waterfalls in tussock settings that somehow reminded me of our time in the volcanic Central Plateau region of the North Island of New Zealand back in 2004.

Pencil Pine Falls was a pretty 10m waterfall that reminded me of Tawhai Falls in New Zealand. The short track that was mostly on narrow boardwalk followed Pencil Pine Creek and we didn't get decent views (like what you see pictured above) until we walked a bit further downstream of the falls. It probably took us a mere 2 minutes or so of walking to see this waterfall. In addition to the narrowness of the track (very tricky if we would have to pass someone or let someone by), it was also a little overgrown in spots.

Julie and I then continued further downstream along the Pencil Pine Creek and within ten more minutes, we were right at the top of Knyvet Falls. This waterfall seemed to be small (maybe 5m or less) and the view from the top left us wanting to see if we could do better. That required continuing further downstream with a little scrambling to get close enough to the Pencil Pine Creek to get a decent frontal view of the falls. But even that decent view still had some obstructions in the way so it wasn't a totally satisfactory view. When we returned to the car park, Julie and I realized that the entire walk to take in both falls was a mere 30 minutes.

Something remarkable about this hike was that the flow of Pencil Pine Creek seemed to be pretty decent despite our mental pre-conditioning to expect low flow and drought conditions after having accepted the fact that even the drought hit Tasmania during our November 2006 visit here. We weren't sure if the flow of these waterfalls were normal or on the low side, and if it was on the low side, then I'd reckon that the falls may be even wider and mistier than what we're showing on this page.

When we were done with the hike, we started driving further south on the Cradle Valley Rd when we spotted another cascade near the so-called Enchanted Walk trailhead. It might have also been on the Pencil Pine Creek. Unlike the two waterfalls previously mentioned on this page, the cascade by the Enchanted Walk was more sloping and had a bit more character than the plunging block-type waterfalls we had seen earlier. We didn't do the Enchanted Walk so we can't say more about it but at least the waterfall itself was certainly worth the stop. Indeed, all around, these waterfall surprises further made our stay in the park a memorable one.

Directions: The trailhead for the Pencil Pine and Knyvet Falls was about 1.8km south along the main road (which I believe was Cradle Valley Rd) of the Cradle Valley Visitor Centre. Cradle Valley Rd was about 53km southeast of Waratah and 74km southwest of Devonport.

The Pencil Pine Creek was well-signed, and we could've even walked to the trailhead from the Cradle Mountain Lodge, where we were staying. The Enchanted Walk and its cascade could be seen from the road bridge a short distance further south on the Cradle Valley Rd.




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PHOTO JOURNAL
Looking upstream back at the Knyvet Falls, which was the second waterfall along the Pencil Pine Creek Walk
This was the cascade seen from the road bridge near one end of the Enchanted Walk
Another 15 minutes drive further south of the Pencil Pine Falls Trailhead was the end of the road near Dove Lake, where we were able to get this gorgeous view of Cradle Mountain
We spotted this kangaroo near the Cradle Mountain Lodge, which itself was within reasonable walking distance to the trailhead of both the Pencil Pine Creek Track and the Enchanted Walk
The Pencil Pine Creek Track started off with grasslands cut forth by the somewhat narrow boardwalk leading downstream along Pencil Pine CreekThe Pencil Pine Creek Track started off with grasslands cut forth by the somewhat narrow boardwalk leading downstream along Pencil Pine Creek

Starting to get our first clean looks at Pencil Pine Falls and the wide plunge pool before itStarting to get our first clean looks at Pencil Pine Falls and the wide plunge pool before it

Frontal centered view of Pencil Pine FallsFrontal centered view of the falls

A closer examination of Pencil Pine Falls across the wide plunge pool from the trackA closer examination of the falls across the wide plunge pool from the track

Beyond Pencil Pine Falls, the narrow wooden boardwalk continued further downstream flanked by denser foliage than beforeBeyond Pencil Pine Falls, the narrow wooden boardwalk continued further downstream flanked by denser foliage than before

Some parts of the wooden boardwalk was a little more overgrown and protruded onto the narrow walkwaySome parts of the wooden boardwalk was a little overgrown and protruded onto the narrow walkway

Still continuing further along the narrow track amidst more overgrowthStill continuing further along the narrow track amidst more overgrowth

Looking down at the diminutive Knyvet Falls from its topLooking down at the diminutive Knyvet Falls from its top

Closer downstream view back up at the Knyvet FallsCloser downstream view back up at the Knyvet Falls

Going back up the way we came to the trailhead for the Pencil Pine Creek TrackGoing back up the way we came to the trailhead for the Pencil Pine Creek Track

Looking upstream at the cascade from the road bridge near the Enchanted WalkLooking upstream at the cascade from the road bridge near the Enchanted Walk


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS

Fixated on the Pencil Pine Falls


Looking down over the top of the Knyvet Falls


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MAP OF THE FALLS

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TRIP REPORTS
For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES



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NEARBY WATERFALLS


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