Oldaker Falls

City of Burnie / Burnie Park, Tasmania, Australia

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Oldaker Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Oldaker Falls was essentially an urban waterfall that was the centerpiece of Burnie Park, which itself sat within the city of Burnie. The waterfall sat at the top end of the hilly park where Stoney Creek dropped beneath Oldaker Street as the watercourse made its way through the park on its way to the Bass Strait. Julie and I felt that this waterfalling excursion was unusual in that we were strolling through more of an urban recreational park instead hiking in a reserve. That said, the lush surroundings within the park also made it feel like we were in an island of green despite the urban developments of the bustling city itself. Indeed, we sensed that Burnie residents could conveniently enjoy the park and its waterfall in all seasons as part of a morning exercise, a lunch break, or even an after work detox as well as a good place to let the kids have play time at one of the jungle gyms here.

From its well-defined car park (see directions below), Julie and I walked the paved path past the playgrounds, amphitheatres, and picnic grounds for the unpaved walking track that pretty much followed along Stoney Creek. It didn't take long before the track entered more bush settings though the man-modified concrete water channels and retaining walls reminded us of our urban surroundings just beyond the trees around us. After about 250m, we reached a series of steps that climbed above a small channel containing an intermediate man-modified waterfall before continuing further upstream to the base of the Oldaker Falls.

Once at the falls, we could clearly see more evidence of man-modified enhancements to Stoney Creek to ensure the water stayed within the channel while also maintaining a plunge pool pond to sit and relax by. We then went up some steps alongside the cascading waterfall where it dead-ended near the base of the main upper drop and cascade. When Julie and I first showed up back in late November 2006, the waterfall wasn't doing so well though it was flanked by attractive pink flowers. It was hard to tell if the flowers came from invasive weeds, which wouldn't be surprising given all the residences around the park (so introduced species for home and gardening purposes would find their way here to flourish). When we came back here in early December 2017, the falls had much better flow though its volume was aided by a powerful storm that flooded large parts of Victoria across the Bass Strait. Such observations kind of indicated to us the degree of variability in Stoney Creek's flow so I'd imagine the falls would be best seen shortly after a heavy rain.

Overall, Julie and I had spent a very relaxing 30-45 minutes away from the car that included examining the war memorial obelisks on one end of Burnie Park and taking in the waterfall at the other end of the park.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Right by the Burnie Park car park was the Burnie Inn, which was said to be the oldest building in the city of Burnie. From its upkept appearance, it appeared to still be in useRight by the Burnie Park car park was the Burnie Inn, which was said to be the oldest building in the city of Burnie. From its upkept appearance, it appeared to still be in use
Although the weather wasn't good during our visit to Burnie in 2017, we still got to experience its beach at the Esplanade near the heart of the city's activitiesAlthough the weather wasn't good during our visit to Burnie in 2017, we still got to experience its beach at the Esplanade near the heart of the city's activities
On our first visit, we had spent a night at the town of Devonport as a stopover on the way to Burnie. Devonport was the town containing the Spirit of Tasmania ferry to the mainland at MelbourneOn our first visit, we had spent a night at the town of Devonport as a stopover on the way to Burnie. Devonport was the town containing the Spirit of Tasmania ferry to the mainland at Melbourne
On our second visit, we drove to Burnie from Cradle Mountain, which was one of Tasmania's premiere spots to enjoy stunning landscapes and wildlifeOn our second visit, we drove to Burnie from Cradle Mountain, which was one of Tasmania's premiere spots to enjoy stunning landscapes and wildlife
Burnie Park was close to the Bass Hwy in the western end of Burnie, which was close enough to see the oceanBurnie Park was close to the Bass Hwy in the western end of Burnie, which was close enough to see the ocean

Looking back at the car park for Burnie ParkLooking back at the car park for Burnie Park

Looking back over the picnic area in Burnie Park towards the Bass StraitLooking back over the picnic area in Burnie Park towards the Bass Strait

A kid-friendly jungle gym in Burnie ParkA kid-friendly jungle gym in Burnie Park

Next to the jungle gym was a pond and this fake waterfall on Stoney CreekNext to the jungle gym was a pond and this fake waterfall on Stoney Creek

Ducks appeared to be residents of Stoney Creek in Burnie ParkDucks appeared to be residents of Stoney Creek in Burnie Park

The walking track to Oldaker Falls pretty much started behind this structureThe walking track to the falls pretty much started behind this structure

As we left the picnic area and playground behind, we were suddenly in a lush area almost making us forget we were in a cityAs we left the picnic area and playground behind, we were suddenly in a lush area almost making us forget we were in a city

The walking path meandered alongside Stoney Creek, which was funneled by channels and retaining wallsThe walking path meandered alongside Stoney Creek

The walking path then had to climb these steps. Note the path to the left of the steps led to a dead-end at an intermediate waterfallThe walking path then had to climb these steps. Note the path to the left of the steps led to a dead-end at an intermediate waterfall

This was the dead-end at the intermediate waterfallThis was the dead-end at the intermediate waterfall

Above the steps, this gravel path was an alternate entrance to Burnie Park from the residences above.  Clearly, there were many ways besides our route to reach Oldaker Falls. Note that this photo was taken in late November 2006. 11 years later, this path was now pavedAbove the steps, this gravel path was an alternate entrance to Burnie Park from the residences above. Clearly, there were many ways besides our route to reach the falls. Note that this photo was taken in late November 2006. 11 years later, this path was now paved

Julie checking out Oldaker Falls from next to the man-modified plunge poolJulie checking out Oldaker Falls from next to the man-modified plunge pool

After climbing up the last of the steps, we got this view of Oldaker FallsAfter climbing up the last of the steps, we got this view of Oldaker Falls

This was what Oldaker Falls looked like on our first visit back in late November 2006This was what Oldaker Falls looked like on our first visit back in late November 2006

As you can see, Oldaker Falls was a fairly long cascadeAs you can see, Oldaker Falls was a fairly long cascade

Closeup look at one of the flowers blooming next to the Oldaker FallsCloseup look at one of the flowers blooming next to the falls

Last look at Oldaker Falls before we headed back downLast look at the falls before we headed back down

At the opposite end of Burnie Park were these obelisks which were war memorialsAt the opposite end of Burnie Park were these obelisks which were war memorials

Looking towards the Bass Highway over white and red roses from the war memorial at the far north end of Burnie ParkLooking towards the Bass Highway over the white and red roses from the war memorial at the far north end of Burnie Park


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Approaching the falls at the end of the short track


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Oldaker Falls was just west of the city centre of Burnie off the Bass Highway. From city's esplanade (i.e. waterfront), we found our way to Mount St (B18) then headed south towards its intersection with the Bass Hwy (A2/Hwy 1). Turning right onto the Bass Hwy (A2), we then drove about 1.5km before turning left onto Park St. Shortly after turning onto this residential street, the main car park for Burnie Park was on our left just as Park St was bending to our right. The gates for this car park close between dusk and dawn.

Note that while driving west on the Bass Hwy (A2), there was another entrance with a gate about 100m before Park St. That was actually a short road leading to the front of the war memorial. There was no formal parking there, which was why we'd recommend continuing further to Park St to access the main car park.

To provide you with some geographical context, Burnie was about 101km (under 90 minutes drive) north of Cradle Mountain, 46km (over 30 minutes drive) west of Devonport, 99km (over an hour drive) northwest of Deloraine, and 147km (over 90 minutes drive) west of Launceston.




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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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Oldaker Falls and Blocking Trees 
In Winter I visited Oldaker Falls , a beautiful little Waterfall with heaps of flowing water . May I suggest the Burnie Council eradicate the annoying …

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