Lilydale Falls

Lilydale / City of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 1.5
The Lower Lilydale Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Lilydale Falls was a pair of quaint but attractive waterfalls that really chilled out Julie and I on each of our visits here (despite these visits occurring in lower-than-average rainfall years). The excursion allowed us to have an easy and relaxing stroll amongst tall trees and lush fern-filled scenery in addition to the ambience of the Second River gently moving over the two waterfalls. The first (lower) waterfall looked to be about 8-10m tall, but what was most memorable about it was a fallen log that leaned against the falls that miraculously stayed put over the 11 years between our visits (and then some). The second waterfall was shorter (possibly 5-7m tall) but wider, and it was fronted by a fairly large plunge pool. Even though both falls were on the petite side, I'd argue that this place was more about the scenery and the ambience than it was about the size of the waterfalls, and the scenic rating was boosted as a result.

From the car park, we walked on an obvious track that went between a playground and some picnic shelters. The path meandered towards the Second River in the first 80m, then it went beneath a railroad bridge as the rest of the trail followed the river upstream the rest of the way. Initially, the lush scenery was more open the path gently followed the southern bank of the Second River, but then after crossing a bridge over the river, the path then followed along its northern banks while the track started climbing.

Towards the top of this climb at about 375m from the car park, there was a trail junction next to some very tall and thick trees. We took the spur trail descending on the right, which led down to the banks of the Second River right in front of the Lower Lilydale Falls (which was also called the First Falls). This was the waterfall pictured at the top of this page. After having our fill of this falls, we climbed back up the steps, then continued on the other fork of the track in the upstream direction. The path flattened out and continued for the final 100m or so to the lookout platform at the end of the walking track. That was where we were face-to-face with the attractive Second Falls or Upper Lilydale Falls right across the plunge pool.

This was our turnaround point, and it took Julie and I a little over 30 minutes to do the whole excursion including taking pictures at both waterfalls. Even though the signage suggested that it only took 5 minutes to reach the First Falls and 10 minutes to reach the Second Falls, I got the sense that a more reasonable estimate of time to really appreciate this place would be on the order of 45 minutes give or take 15 minutes. The presence of the playground here also suggested that this was a very suitable hike for families with little ones.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

This was the small but serene and pretty Upper Lilydale Falls at the end of the short track from the Lilydale Falls ParkThis was the small but serene and pretty Upper Lilydale Falls at the end of the short track from the Lilydale Falls Park
Lilydale sat within the municipality of the City of Launceston.  The city itself had a surprising assortment of historical-looking buildings that included several cathedrals as well as a clock towerLilydale sat within the municipality of the City of Launceston. The city itself had a surprising assortment of historical-looking buildings that included several cathedrals as well as a clock tower
Within the west end of Launceston was the Cataract Gorge.  Our twilight visit to the gorge in late November 2006 happened to be during some kind of atmospheric performance or festival (Tas Dance?)Within the west end of Launceston was the Cataract Gorge. Our twilight visit to the gorge in late November 2006 happened to be during some kind of atmospheric performance or festival (Tas Dance?)
Cataract Gorge was Launceston's top attraction as it featured scenery, swimming, chair lifts, cafes, and even some animals who call the area homeCataract Gorge was Launceston's top attraction as it featured scenery, swimming, chair lifts, cafes, and even some animals who call the area home
At the car park for Lilydale FallsAt the car park for the falls

Julie passing by a playground and this lawn area on her way to the Second RiverJulie passing by a playground and this lawn area on her way to the Second River

We then had to go underneath this railway bridge before the Lilydale Falls Track meandered alongside the southern bank of the Second RiverWe then had to go underneath this railway bridge before the falls track meandered alongside the southern bank of the Second River

The Lilydale Falls Track was flanked by ferns and tall treesThe falls track was flanked by ferns and tall trees

Julie crossing the bridge over the Second RiverJulie crossing the bridge over the Second River

Beyond the bridge, the trail started climbingBeyond the bridge, the trail started climbing

At the peak of the climb, we encountered this fork next to some tall treesAt the peak of the climb, we encountered this fork next to some tall trees

We first took the right fork and descended towards the First Falls or the Lower Lilydale FallsWe first took the right fork and descended towards the First Falls or the Lower Lilydale Falls

Julie checking out the Lower Lilydale FallsJulie checking out the lower falls

This was what the Lower Lilydale Falls looked like during our first visit back in November 2006This was what the Lower Lilydale Falls looked like during our first visit back in November 2006

The descent to the first falls meant we had to climb back up to continue onto the second fallsThe descent to the first falls meant we had to climb back up to continue onto the second falls

Approaching the end of the track and the lookout for the Upper Lilydale FallsApproaching the end of the track and the lookout for the Upper Lilydale Falls

Checking out the Upper Lilydale FallsChecking out the upper falls

This was the Upper Lilydale Falls as seen on our first visit back in November 2006This was the Upper Lilydale Falls as seen on our first visit back in November 2006

For a sense of scale, here was Julie checking out the second fallsFor a sense of scale, here was Julie checking out the second falls

Julie heading back along the Second RiverJulie heading back along the Second River

Returning to the car parkReturning to the car park


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Right to left sweep of the first Lilydale Falls


Semi-circular right to left sweep of the 2nd Lilydale Falls


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Since we had based ourselves in Launceston for each of our visits to the Lilydale Falls, we'll just focus on describing the driving directions from there.

From the Launceston CBD, we headed north on the East Tamar Hwy (A8) for about 4km north of the North Esk River bridge to the turnoff for University Way / George Town Rd (B81) on the right. We then took the B81 for just under 3km to the Lilydale Road (B81) on our right. Once on the Lilydale Road, we followed it for about 21km to the signed Lilydale Falls Reserve on our right.

It took us around 35 minutes to do this drive.

If you're coming from the northeast, then the car park would be about 37km west of Scottsdale along the Lilydale Road (B81).

For some context, Launceston was about 103km (over an hour drive) east of Devonport, 167km (over 2 hours drive) west of St Helens, and 201km (nearly 2.5 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



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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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