Meetus Falls

Northern Midlands Council / Lake Leake / near Swansea, Tasmania, Australia

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Meetus Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Meetus Falls turned out to be a surprisingly pleasing and tall (I'm guessing 35m) waterfall that even produced a short rainbow on the day that we visited it for the first time in late November 2006. Having been to the nearby Lost Falls, we were pre-conditioned into thinking the Meetus Falls would also be dry. However, what Meetus had going for it was that it was on the Cygnet River, which tended to have reliably good flow as the river drained the marshes of the Snow Hill Forest Reserve between Avoca and Lake Leake on its way to the Moulting Lagoon and Pelican Bay near the Freycinet Peninsula. In fact, it was said that this waterfall flowed year-round, and on a subsequent visit in November 2017, which happened to suffer through a rather dry Winter and Spring that year, the falls still exhibited a fairly satisfactory flow.

In addition to the impressive size of the waterfall, this also struck us as another one of those back-to-the-bush kind of experiences (like Mathinna Falls further to the north), despite the presence of recreational infrastructure like BBQ grills, picnic tables, shelters, and signage at the car park. That said, the experience quickly became primitive as the track to get to the overlook was narrow, steep, and easily lost amongst the low-lying bush. Even the road to access the car park was on the rough side. So on both of our visits here, Julie and I were pretty much alone the entire time we were here, which further added to the wild and remote ambience.

From the wide open clearing at the car park, we took an established walking track where the signs had indicated that it would only require about 20 minutes return. Initially, the track meandered amongst tall thin trees towering over the scene. There was a certain smell here during our last visit in November 2017, which we figured out was coming from these "fruit-loop"-looking berries that were growing besides the narrow track. It didn't take long before the track descended in earnest with a few rocks hidden amongst the forest floor conspiring to force a slip-and-fall or at least an ankle twist (especially in wet conditions). At roughly over 150m from the car park, there was a trail junction where we kept right to continue downwards to the overlook. The track on the left descended steeply to the Cygnet River. For the final 80m or so, we descended steps to an overlook peering right down at the Meetus Falls as well as a panorama of the bushlands further downriver.

While the weather was kind to us on our most recent visit in 2017, we decided not to push our luck as we managed to spend around 40 minutes away from the car, which happened to coincide with a break in between heavy rains. Maybe next time, we might finish the excursion by going all the way down to the river, then seeing if it would be possible to get up to the very bottom of Meetus Falls. Nevertheless, the short but steep uphill walk back to the car park ensured that we were a little on the sweaty side despite the cool, wet weather.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Sunrise over Hobart on the morning we drove out towards Lake Leake and the Meetus Falls on our first visit back in November 2006Sunrise over Hobart on the morning we drove out towards Lake Leake and the Meetus Falls on our first visit back in November 2006
About 58km to the northeast of Meetus Falls was the coastal town of Bicheno and its blowholeAbout 58km to the northeast of Meetus Falls was the coastal town of Bicheno and its blowhole
On our second visit, we drove to Meetus Falls from Launceston, which was best known for the Cataract Gorge, where locals and tourists alike were enjoying the scenery and the recreation on offerOn our second visit, we drove to Meetus Falls from Launceston, which was best known for the Cataract Gorge, where locals and tourists alike were enjoying the scenery and the recreation on offer
After visiting Meetus Falls the second time, we drove towards Swansea on the east coast of Tasmania.  It was too bad that the weather was so bad when we came there due to the coastal sceneryAfter visiting Meetus Falls the second time, we drove towards Swansea on the east coast of Tasmania. It was too bad that the weather was so bad when we came there due to the coastal scenery
A big eagle we saw on the unsealed MacKays Rd on the way to Meetus Falls during our first visit in November 2006.  Funny we hardly noticed these birds at all on our most recent trip in November 2017A big eagle we saw on the unsealed MacKays Rd on the way to the falls during our first visit in November 2006. Funny we hardly noticed these birds at all on our most recent trip in November 2017

The car park for Meetus FallsThe car park for the falls

Julie getting started on the walk to Meetus FallsJulie getting started on the walk to the falls

The primitive Meetus Falls TrackThe primitive track for the falls

These were the pungent fruit-loop-like berries that were growing alongside the Meetus Falls TrackThese were the pungent fruit-loop-like berries that were growing alongside the waterfall track

The Meetus Falls Track started descending while also becoming easier to lose amongst the similar-looking terrainThe waterfall track started descending while also becoming easier to lose amongst the similar-looking terrain

Julie was carefully choosing her steps as the track became steeper and rockier, especially given the wet conditions on the day of our second visitJulie was carefully choosing her steps as the track became steeper and rockier, especially given the wet conditions on the day of our second visit

Julie still being careful on the increasingly steep descent to the Meetus Falls LookoutJulie still being careful on the increasingly steep descent to the lookout

Julie descending towards the Meetus Falls LookoutJulie descending towards the lookout

Descending towards the lookout (taken back on our first visit in November 2006)Descending towards the lookout (taken back on our first visit in November 2006)

Context of the Meetus Falls Lookout and the waterfall itselfContext of the lookout and the waterfall

Looking downstream from the Meetus Falls LookoutLooking downstream from the lookout

Meetus Falls as seen in November 2017Meetus Falls as seen in November 2017

This was our view of Meetus Falls in November 2006This was our view of the falls in November 2006

Another look at Meetus Falls with faint rainbow back in November 2006Another look at Meetus Falls with faint rainbow back in November 2006

After having our fill of the Meetus Falls, we had to start climbing back up to the car parkAfter having our fill of the falls, we had to start climbing back up to the car park

Ascending the rocky part of the Meetus Falls Track, which kind of illustrates how steep of a descent we were faced with earlier onAscending the rocky part of the track, which kind of illustrates how steep of a descent we were faced with earlier on

Almost near the top of the climb on the return hike back to the car park for Meetus FallsAlmost near the top of the climb on the return hike back to the car park

Approaching our lone rental car at the Meetus Falls car parkApproaching our lone rental car at the car park


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Sweep from the downstream view to the right leading to the falls and the surrounding cliffs


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Since we drove to Meetus Falls from two different directions (one from Launceston and the other from Hobart), I'll describe our route for each of those options. I'll start with the Launceston approach first since that city was closer to the falls.

From the 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 66km south of Launceston (or 12km south of the Esk Highway [A4] turnoff), we then left the Midland Hwy and turned left onto the Lake Leake Hwy (B34) in Campbell Town. After about 36km (or nearly 7km east of the town of Lake Leake), we reached a four-way intersection with a signpost pointing the way to our left for Meetus Falls. At this point, we left the highway and headed north on the unsealed McKays Rd.

We continued north on McKays Rd for roughly 10.5km as we saw a sign for the falls suggesting we take the turnoff on our right. Although the McKays Rd was wide, we had to be careful due to the presence of some deep potholes.

Once we left McKays Rd, we then drove the narrower forest service road for about 700m towards a fork. Turning right at this fork, we then drove the remaining 900m to the dead-end at the Meetus Falls car park. That last stretch of road had some fairly bad sections with ruts and gullies in addition to potholes, but our 2wd passenger vehicle was able to do it with care.

Overall, this drive took us under 2 hours.

From the Hobart CBD, we headed east on the Tasman Highway (A3) towards Sorell (after 24km) and then towards the Lake Leake Highway (B34) (about 142km from Hobart or 10km north of Swansea).

Once on the Lake Leake Highway, we then drove about 20km to the familiar four-way intersection where the unsealed McKays Rd was on the right. Then, we'd follow the directions as given above.

That drive took us on the order of 2.5 hours.

For some geographical context, Launceston was about 103km (over an hour drive) east of Devonport, 138km (under 2 hours drive) northwest of Swansea, 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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