St Columba Falls

Dorset / Pyengana / near St Helens, Tasmania, Australia

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 1.5
St Columba Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Julie and I came to St Columba Falls with some expectations given that it was said to be one of Tasmania's tallest permanent waterfalls at 90m thereby drawing quite a bit of fanfare and literature devoted to it. When we showed up, we saw the impressive waterfall in somewhat of a wishbone shape though its flow looked to be far less than what the signage here had shown as it could very well have been a consequence of the drought that occurred during our November 2006 visit. Speaking of its flow, it was said to be fed by a very large drainage (some 4000 hectares) in an area that would typically get high rainfall. In fact, we read a sign here that said the falls had never been known to run dry since its discovery. That said, Julie and I wondered if that claim would be tested if this drought would persist.

We were able to get distant views of the falls from the limited parking and picnic area across the canyon (see directions below). But there was a walk that went downhill for about 600m to a bridge right in front of the base of St Columba Falls for a closer look. A sign here said that mist would tend to wet onlookers the overlook though the low flow state that we saw the falls ensured that wouldn't happen to us.

Overall, we spent about 30 minutes at the falls. Most of the energy and time was spent on the walk going back up to the car park. That said, the walking track was very well-developed and the walk was very relaxing, shady, and cool.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Nearby St Columba Falls was Ralphs Falls, less than 13km awayNearby St Columba Falls was Ralphs Falls, less than 13km away
Prior to visiting St Columba Falls, we stayed at the charming bayside town of St Helens.  We really wished we had planned to spend more time here because it was beautifulPrior to visiting St Columba Falls, we stayed at the charming bayside town of St Helens. We really wished we had planned to spend more time here because it was beautiful
After visiting both St Columba and Ralphs Falls, we then continued onto Launceston (seeing Lilydale Falls along the way), where we got a magical experience in the Cataract Gorge at twilightAfter visiting both St Columba and Ralphs Falls, we then continued onto Launceston (seeing Lilydale Falls along the way), where we got a magical experience in the Cataract Gorge at twilight
Approaching the start of the walk for the St Columba FallsApproaching the start of the walk for the falls

Looking across the gorge towards St Columba Falls from the car parkLooking across the gorge towards the falls from the car park

The typically misty lookout platform for St Columba FallsThe typically misty lookout platform for the falls

Frontal look at St Columba Falls from the lookout platformFrontal look at St Columba Falls from the lookout platform

Last look at St Columba Falls from the car parkLast look at the falls from the car park


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


View of the falls from its base


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From St Helens, we drove west on the Tasman Hwy (A3) for about 26km. Then, we exited the A3 and took the Riverdale Rd briefly before turning right towards the town of Pyengana. After passing through the town, the road became St Columba Falls Rd, and we followed this road for about 9km towards the car park for the falls (keeping left at the fork roughly 1.6km before the car park; note that the right fork would lead to Ralphs Falls).

Since the road was completely sealed throughout this drive, I'd imagine we took the most preferred way to get here. There were other roads to get here, I'm sure, but since we didn't do them, we can't say more about them.

For context, St Helens was 159km northeast of Launceston and 254km (nearly 3.5 hours drive) north of Hobart.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





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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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