Mathinna Falls

Break O'Day Council / Fingal Valley / near Upper Esk, Tasmania, Australia

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 2
Mathinna Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



[Back to top]

INTRODUCTION

Mathinna Falls was an attractive waterfall that seemed to have a backcountry quality about it even though the walk to reach its base was fairly short. Technically, there were actually four waterfalls that comprised the overall Mathinna Falls ensemble, but the name generally referred to the last and most accessible waterfall of the group (pictured above). That main waterfall was said to be on the order of 20-25m tall. Julie and I did spot hard-to-see upper tiers of the falls during our latest excursion here in late November 2017, but with all the thick foliage covering the cliffs containing those waterfalls, some daring scrambling was necessary to even get a better and closer look of them.

Julie and I made a pair of visits - once in November 2006 and another time in November 2017. On each of our visits, the waterfall had similar flow so I'd imagine that the thick vegetation combined with appreciable rainfall collecting at the source of Delvin Creek maintained enough soil stability to sustain its apparently reliable flow. The presence of ferns suggested that the forest tended to receive a lot of rain, and even though the area had seen a fire or two (which was evident on our hike), there was enough life and growth in the area to mask out the dead trees and blackened trunks.

The track began from a primitive car park and picnic area at the end of the Mathinna Falls Rd (see directions below). The path immediately followed along Delvin Creek for pretty much the entire walking route. The terrain shifted from shady rainforest to more open lightly vegetated forest, and then it flipped back to thick vegetation as the gorge walls closed in on us right at the falls. The track narrowed and hugged the banks of Delvin Creek towards the end as the hike was a little rougher the closer to the falls we were. When we were close enough to see the falls, we had to do a little rock scrambling in order to get the most satisfying views from within the creek itself. The ruggedness of the final stretch of the hike hinted that rock slides might have occurred over the years between our visits because I swore that on our first visit here in late November 2006, we didn't have nearly as much difficulty getting a clean look at the falls as we did on our second visit.

Anyways, the overall distance of the hike was on the order of 1.2km round trip, which took Julie and I about 45 minutes to complete. Although we were aware of the upper waterfalls, we didn't attempt to reach them in either of our visits. Anecdotally, we've been told that doing the rough scramble to go higher could be done, but it was risky. We didn't even know where to begin such a scramble, but if I had to guess, I recalled that at about 360m from the trailhead, there was a sign pointing the way to the falls as the trail bent to our right. That sign appeared to have concealed a faint and overgrown trail of use, and I suspected that any attempts to climb higher up the falls would start from back there.




[Back to top]

PHOTO JOURNAL

On our second visit to Mathinna Falls in late November 2017, we had based ourselves in Launceston and took a more westerly approach from the Esk Highway to get here on a day that threatened to rainOn our second visit to Mathinna Falls in late November 2017, we had based ourselves in Launceston and took a more westerly approach from the Esk Highway to get here on a day that threatened to rain
About 29km south of the Chain of Lagoons (where we made the shortcut on Grays Rd to the Esk Hwy towards Mathinna), we stopped by Bicheno and its blowhole on our way north during our first visitAbout 29km south of the Chain of Lagoons (where we made the shortcut on Grays Rd to the Esk Hwy towards Mathinna), we stopped by Bicheno and its blowhole on our way north during our first visit
It was a very long drive from Hobart to Fingal, then ultimately to St Helens, but we managed to experience the East Coast of Tassie along the way back in late November 2006It was a very long drive from Hobart to Fingal, then ultimately to St Helens, but we managed to experience the East Coast of Tassie along the way back in late November 2006
After our first visit to Mathinna Falls in late November 2006, we ended the long driving day at the very pretty bayside town of St HelensAfter our first visit to Mathinna Falls in late November 2006, we ended the long driving day at the very pretty bayside town of St Helens
Starting on the Mathinna Falls Track.  According to this sign, it was only 20 minutes return, but it turned out that we took at least twice as long as thatStarting on the waterfall track. According to this sign, it was only 20 minutes return, but it turned out that we took at least twice as long as that

Julie on the Mathinna Falls TrackJulie on the waterfall track

This part of the track had boardwalk, which was there to protect the fragile soil, especially where the ferns were growing as the soil had the most moisture in those spotsThis part of the track had boardwalk, which was there to protect the fragile soil, especially where the ferns were growing as the soil had the most moisture in those spots

Walking through a more open part of the Mathinna Falls Track, where some of these trees looked like they might have experienced a bushfire or twoWalking through a more open part of the Mathinna Falls Track, where some of these trees looked like they might have experienced a bushfire or two

Julie on the walk to the Mathinna Falls from the same less dense forested section in late November 2006Julie on the walk to the falls from the same less dense forested section in late November 2006

Continuing on the primitive Mathinna Falls TrackContinuing on the primitive waterfall track

This sign pointed us to our right as the trail bent that way. I suspect that the sign might have been placed there to conceal a trail of use that might have led to the hard-to-reach upper waterfallsThis sign pointed us to our right as the trail bent that way. I suspect that the sign might have been placed there to conceal a trail of use that might have led to the hard-to-reach upper waterfalls

Julie pushing further ahead as the Mathinna Falls Track got closer to the endJulie pushing further ahead as the waterfall track got closer to the end

The track got rougher towards the end as it narrowed and involved some rocky terrainThe track got rougher towards the end as it narrowed and involved some rocky terrain

Julie almost at the Mathinna Falls as large ferns were lining the narrow track along Delvin CreekJulie almost at the falls as large ferns were lining the narrow track along Delvin Creek

Julie checking out Mathinna Falls at the end of the trackJulie checking out the falls at the end of the track

Checking out Mathinna Falls from the middle of Delvin Creek during our November 2017 visitChecking out Mathinna Falls from the middle of Delvin Creek during our November 2017 visit

Checking out Mathinna Falls and its plunge pool from our first visit back in late November 2006. Note how much less rockier the foreground was compared to our more recent visitChecking out Mathinna Falls and its plunge pool from our first visit back in late November 2006. Note how much less rockier the foreground was compared to our most recent visit

Another look at Mathinna Falls from further downstream along Delvin CreekAnother look at the falls from further downstream along Delvin Creek

Somewhat distant view of Mathinna Falls as Julie was approaching its plunge pool from the left during our first visit in late November 2006. That approach wasn't possible on our latest visit in late November 2017Somewhat distant view of the falls as Julie was approaching its plunge pool from the left during our first visit in late November 2006. That approach wasn't possible on our latest visit in late November 2017.

This partial and angled view of Mathinna Falls was taken from right at the very end of the track without going into Delvin Creek itselfThis partial and angled view of the falls was taken from right at the very end of the track without going into Delvin Creek itself


[Back to top]

VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Downstream to upstream sweep ending off at the falls as seen from the middle of the creek


Looking up at the falls from an angle right at its base


[Back to top]

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Mathinna Falls was in a fairly undeveloped forest in the northeast of Tasmania. We managed to get here from two different approaches - one from Hobart and another from Launceston. The key to our visits in both cases was to get to the town of Fingal before heading north into the forests. So we'll first describe how to get to Fingal from Launceston then describe how we got to the falls going north from there. Later on, we'll describe how we got to Fingal from Hobart. Although I'm aware that there could be other ways to get here, in my mind, these routes minimized the amount of unsealed driving from the two most populous cities in Tassie.

From Launceston CBD, we headed south towards the Midland Hwy (Hwy 1), and then we kept going south in the direction of Hobart to remain on the Midland Hwy. At around 54km south of Launceston, we then left the Midland Hwy and turned left onto the Esk Hwy (A4). After about 51km, we entered the town of Fingal, where a sign pointed the way to our left for Mathinna Rd (B43).

We followed Mathinna Rd (B43) for about 25.5km to the town of Mathinna (note the Evercreech Forest Reserve access was along the way here), then we turned right onto the Mathinna Plains Road (C423). At about 1.3km, we then turned right onto Claytons Rd (I finally started seeing Mathinna Falls signs here), and then after 900m another sign had us turn left onto Mathinna Falls Rd. From there, I pretty much followed the signs the rest of the way along Mathinna Falls Rd to the car park.

The last 6km of the drive was unsealed, and the rock was progressively rougher with potholes and washboards the further we went. The final 600m was practically single lane road with some fairly bad ruts and gullies. Even though we made it with a low clearance 2wd vehicle, there were a couple of sections at the end where we had to take it slow.

Overall, it took us just under 2 hours to do this drive.

From Hobart, we made the long drive north about 207km on the Tasman Hwy (A3) towards the Chain of Lagoons where there was a little shortcut on Elephant Pass Rd (leading to the town of Gray) on the left and eventually turning left onto the Esk Hwy after 16km at St Marys. It was also possible to remain on the A3 for another 22km beyond the Chain of Lagoons before turning left onto the Esk Highway (A4) and taking it for about 10km southwest to St Marys.

Anyways, once we were on the Esk Hwy at St Marys, we went west for another 20km to the turnoff onto Mathinna Rd (B43) at Fingal. Then, we followed the directions as above from Fingal to Mathinna, then to the falls.

For some geographical 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.




[Back to top]

ITINERARIES

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




[Back to top]

MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





[Back to top]

TRIP REPORTS

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




[Back to top]

TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




[Back to top]

NEARBY WATERFALLS




[Back to top]

RELATED PAGES



Have You Been To This Waterfall?

Share your experience!

Click here to see visitor comments for this waterfall

Click here to see visitor comments for other waterfalls that we've visited in this region

Click here to go to the Comments Main Page

You can use the form below, but if you find our host's interface too troublesome to use (especially if you're trying to upload photos), then just send a text submission anyways using the form, but also let us know that you'd like to attach photos. If you've provided an email address via the form, then we can reply back acknowledging your request, and you can then reply to that email with your photo attachments. We're very sorry about this, but there's not much we can do about SBI's terrible interface.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

The AGONY And The ECSTACY (Mathinna Falls) 
It bode ill. "I can't remember the last time it rained," the man in Devonport had said. And there I was looking forward to photographing waterfalls. …

A World Away (Mathinna Falls) 
I was looking for waterfalls, unashamedly searching the internet for them. Thus it was that I came across Mathinna , situated in an area I'd never been …

Click here to write your own.



[Back to top]

[Go to the Tasmania Waterfalls Page]

[Go to the Australia Page]


[Return from Mathinna Falls to the World of Waterfalls Home Page]