Waratah Falls pleasantly surprised Julie and I with its decent flow and pretty wishbone shape. We were able to view it from roadside lookouts across its gorge where it seemed like many wildflowers were in bloom while the small town of Waratah was nestled in the background further upstream. Even though we realized in hindsight that the falls was in low flow during our drought-stricken November 2006 visit to the southeast of Australia (see photo at the top of this page), it was still very satisfying and well worth the detour that we took before heading into Cradle Mountain National Park, which was about 45 minutes drive to the east.
In addition to the direct views of the falls, Julie and I also stopped closer to the brink of the falls within the town of Waratah where we checked out some relics of the town's industrial past. In fact, the Dudley Kenworthy Waterwheel near the falls was said to be the first industrial site to be powered by illuminated by hydroelectricity in Australia! We also saw other relics in town such as the Philosopher Smith's Hut, which once belonged to the James "Philosopher" Smith who discovered tin at the nearby Mt Bischoff, which led to the founding and renaming of the town of Waratah in 1882.
Further upstream of the falls was both the Waratah Reservoir and Bischoff Reservoir. I suspect that the relatively healthy flow of Waratah Falls probably had to do with some flow regulation from the dams that were responsible for these reservoirs. Otherwise, the stream giving rise to the falls could very well have been subject to the variations of Nature and thus even further impacted by the drought conditions that were everpresent throughout southeastern Australia.
Julie and I came to the town of Waratah from Burnie via the Mount Rd / Ridgley Hwy (B18). It was about 54km from downtown Burnie to the Murchison Hwy/Ridgley Hwy (A10/B18) junction. Then, it was another 7.5km west of the junction on Waratah Rd (B23) to the town of Waratah.
Once we were in Waratah, we left Waratah Rd (Camp St) and kept straight at Smith St. Shortly after crossing over the top of Waratah Falls (and passing by the waterwheel), it eventually became Main St, where we then kept right until we found a suitable place to parallel park. We parked next to a large shady grassy area with a gazeebo.
Alternatively, we could have gone from Burnie to the A10/B18 junction by taking the A10 (Murchison Hwy) directly for about 71km. Then, we could have taken Waratah Rd on the B23 to the falls as above.
Coming from the other direction, we could have also come from Cradle Valley by taking its road up to the C132 then turning left and driving for 26km to the Murchison Hwy (A10). Then, continue driving north for about 16.6km on the A10 to the A10/B18 junction before heading west into the town of Waratah.
To give you some geographical context, Burnie was 46km west of Devonport, 147km (over 90 minutes drive) west of Launceston, and 326km (over 3.5 hours drive) northwest of Hobart.
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