Pencil Pine Falls and Knyvet Falls

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park / Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area / Kentish Council / Cradle Valley, Tasmania, Australia

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Pencil Pine Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



[Back to top]

INTRODUCTION

Neither Pencil Pine Falls nor Knyvet Falls were waterfalls that we expected to visit prior to our visit to Cradle Mountain National Park. It wasn't until we noticed some maps in the visitor centre that we realized how close they were to where we were staying within the park (at the Cradle Mountain Lodge). And since it only required a 1.2km return walk to visit these falls, it made sense to pursue them. Pencil Pine Falls was a modest 10m waterfall that had segmented into at least two strands each time we saw it. Knyvet Falls, which was also on the Pencil Pine Creek, exhibited a similar characteristic though that one was a little harder to see properly. There was yet a third waterfall on Pencil Pine Creek back by the lodge right at the start of the Enchanted Walk. That last waterfall (formally called the Pencil Pine Cascades) exhibited a pleasing cascading characteristic that was very photogenic as it lent itself to long exposure shots with the aid of a tripod or the bridge railing.

For the track taking in the Pencil Pine Falls and Knyvet Falls, it began almost opposite the Cradle Mountain Shop and car park just down the hill from the Cradle Mountain Lodge reception area. The track was pretty much almost entirely on boardwalk or sturdy composite mesh as it passed through a small patch of buttongrass before descending steps to a junction. Turning right at this junction, the boardwalk then meandered upstream towards the lookout neighboured by tall trees with the direct view of Pencil Pine Falls that you see pictured at the top of this page.

After having our fill of the falls, we then backtracked to the junction and continued to descend on the boardwalk path through native forest. Throughout the walk, the path meandered alongside the dark tannin-coloured Pencil Pine Creek as the scenery alternated between thick forest and pockets of patchy grass clearings. Eventually, the track undulated and descended towards the signposted lookout right at the top of Knyvet Falls. While this view left a lot to be desired, I did manage to continue the hike a short distance further to earn a slightly better and more direct (albeit partially overgrown) view of Knyvet Falls. This was the turnaround point of this short track, and it only took about 45-50 minutes though a good chunk of that time was for taking photos as opposed to physical exertion. It was only 10-20 minutes return for just the Pencil Pine Falls.

When I returned to the buttongrass patch by the trailhead, I managed to spot more wombats grazing alongside and crossing the boardwalk. Then, I took some additional time to walk briefly south along the Cradle Mountain Road to the road bridge right at the start of the Enchanted Walk (almost adjacent to the driving entrance to the reception area of the Cradle Mountain Lodge). This bridge was where I looked upstream at the attractive Pencil Pine Cascades.

I then embarked on an optional looping nature walk that began and ended at the Cradle Mountain Lodge. I did this walk in a clockwise direction that started off along the southern bank of Pencil Pine Creek in an semi-open myrtle and pencil pine forest. The wheelchair-accessible path passed by some interesting corrugated tin-tunnels (probably meant for kids) before the track veered right onto a bridge spanning Pencil Pine Creek. On the other side of the bridge, the track then looped back towards the lodge as the terrain was much more lush and dense than earlier on in this walk. It was in this stretch of boardwalk that (with the aid of a trio of folks here) I happened to spot an elusive platypus in the creek during a post-dinner evening stroll.

The boardwalk continued to meander alongside Pencil Pine Creek passing by more corrugated tin tunnels as well as some burroughs for wombats and Tasmanian Devils. The kilometre walk rejoined "civilization" at the reception area of the Cradle Mountain Lodge, where I could walk back down the driveway to the Cradle Mountain Rd, or walk back to the room since we were staying here in each of our visits.




[Back to top]

PHOTO JOURNAL

The Cradle Mountain Lodge (they added Pepper's to the name when we came back in 2017) was right at the trailhead for both the Pencil Pine Falls Track and the Enchanted WalkThe Cradle Mountain Lodge (they added Pepper's to the name when we came back in 2017) was right at the trailhead for both the Pencil Pine Falls Track and the Enchanted Walk
This was the Pencil Pine Cascades seen from the road bridge near one end of the Enchanted Walk, which itself was an easy loop walk where I managed to get my only platypus sighting on Pencil Pine CreekThis was the Pencil Pine Cascades seen from the road bridge near one end of the Enchanted Walk, which itself was an easy loop walk where I managed to get my only platypus sighting on Pencil Pine Creek
We spotted this wallaby (they don't really have kangaroos in most of Tassie) near the Cradle Mountain Lodge, which was close to both the Pencil Pine Creek Track and the Enchanted WalkWe spotted this wallaby (they don't really have kangaroos in most of Tassie) near the Cradle Mountain Lodge, which was close to both the Pencil Pine Creek Track and the Enchanted Walk
Another 15 minutes drive further south of the Pencil Pine Falls Trailhead was the end of the road near Dove Lake, where we were able to get this gorgeous view of Cradle MountainAnother 15 minutes drive further south of the Pencil Pine Falls Trailhead was the end of the road near Dove Lake, where we were able to get this gorgeous view of Cradle Mountain
Since Julie and I had stayed at the Cradle Mountain Lodge, I was able to do the Pencil Pine Falls Track and the Enchanted Walk right after having an early dinnerSince Julie and I had stayed at the Cradle Mountain Lodge, I was able to do the Pencil Pine Falls Track and the Enchanted Walk right after having an early dinner

The Pencil Pine Creek Track started off with grasslands cut forth by the somewhat narrow boardwalk leading downstream along Pencil Pine CreekThe Pencil Pine Creek Track started off with grasslands cut forth by the somewhat narrow boardwalk leading downstream along Pencil Pine Creek

Shortly after the initial grassy stretch, the track descended these steps to get right along Pencil Pine CreekShortly after the initial grassy stretch, the track descended these steps to get right along Pencil Pine Creek

The junction where the path on the right led up to Pencil Pine FallsThe junction where the path on the right led up to Pencil Pine Falls

Descending to the lookout for Pencil Pine FallsDescending to the lookout

This was Pencil Pine Falls from our second visit in late November 2017This was Pencil Pine Falls from our second visit in late November 2017

Here's another look at Pencil Pine Falls and the tannin-coloured plunge poolHere's another look at the falls and the tannin-coloured plunge pool

Frontal centered view of Pencil Pine Falls in higher flow from our first visit back in late November 2006Frontal centered view of the falls in higher flow from our first visit back in late November 2006

Beyond Pencil Pine Falls, the narrow wooden boardwalk continued further downstream flanked by denser foliage than beforeBeyond Pencil Pine Falls, the narrow wooden boardwalk continued further downstream flanked by denser foliage than before

Still continuing further along the narrow track amidst more overgrowthStill continuing further along the narrow track amidst more overgrowth

Some parts of the track were a little more openSome parts of the track were a little more open

The Knyvet Falls Track meandered between more dense groves of treesThe Knyvet Falls Track meandered between more dense groves of trees

Finally approaching the Knyvet Falls LookoutFinally approaching the Knyvet Falls Lookout

Looking down over the top of Knyvet FallsLooking down over the top of Knyvet Falls

Looking down at the diminutive Knyvet Falls from its top from back in late November 2006Looking down at the diminutive Knyvet Falls from its top from back in late November 2006

After going a little further past the Knyvet Falls, I managed to get this obstructed view back towards the fallsAfter going a little further past the Knyvet Falls, I managed to get this obstructed view back towards the falls

On our first visit back in late November 2006, I was able to get a slightly more open and cleaner view of Knyvet Falls looking back upstreamOn our first visit back in late November 2006, I was able to get a slightly more open and cleaner view of Knyvet Falls looking back upstream

Going back up the way we came to the trailhead for the Pencil Pine Creek TrackGoing back up the way we came to the trailhead for the Pencil Pine Creek Track

Heading back through this opening on the way up to the trailheadHeading back through this opening on the way up to the trailhead

Adding to the naturesque ambience were birds like this one giving out interesting birdsongs early in the eveningAdding to the naturesque ambience were birds like this one giving out interesting birdsongs early in the evening

Continuing on the return hike through picturesque scenery like thisContinuing on the return hike through picturesque scenery like this

When I was back at the buttongrass area, I spotted this wombat using the track and even depositing droppings on itWhen I was back at the buttongrass area, I spotted this wombat using the track and even depositing droppings on it

Looking back at the Cradle Mountain Lodge and the Cradle Mountain ShopLooking back at the Cradle Mountain Lodge and the Cradle Mountain Shop

Immediately after I was done with the Pencil Pine and Knyvet Falls walk, I then went onto the Enchanted Walk where it began with this attractive cascadeImmediately after I was done with the Pencil Pine and Knyvet Falls walk, I then went onto the Enchanted Walk where it began with this attractive cascade

Closer look at the Pencil Pine Cascades at the start of the Enchanted WalkCloser look at the Pencil Pine Cascades at the start of the Enchanted Walk

Looking back across Pencil Pine Creek towards the Cradle Mountain LodgeLooking back across Pencil Pine Creek towards the Cradle Mountain Lodge

As I was going clockwise on the Enchanted Walk, the early part of the hike was in more open terrain flanked by ancient pencil pine trees and myrtle treesAs I was going clockwise on the Enchanted Walk, the early part of the hike was in more open terrain flanked by ancient pencil pine trees and myrtle trees

Going across a bridge over Pencil Pine CreekGoing across a bridge over Pencil Pine Creek

On the other half of the looping Enchanted Walk, this was an elusive platypus dipping in and out of the surface of Pencil Pine CreekOn the other half of the looping Enchanted Walk, this was an elusive platypus dipping in and out of the surface of Pencil Pine Creek

Walking by a couple of burroughs that could be used by both wombats and Tasmanian Devils among other nocturnal organismsWalking by a couple of burroughs that could be used by both wombats and Tasmanian Devils among other nocturnal organisms

Hiking alongside Pencil Pine Creek on the Enchanted WalkHiking alongside Pencil Pine Creek on the Enchanted Walk

Passing by one of the low corrugated tin tunnels that I believe were really meant for kids to go throughPassing by one of the low corrugated tin tunnels that I believe were really meant for kids to go through

Returning to the Cradle Mountain Lodge and ending the Enchanted Walk excursionReturning to the Cradle Mountain Lodge and ending the Enchanted Walk excursion

Looking back at the reception area for the Cradle Mountain Lodge as it was getting darkLooking back at the reception area for the Cradle Mountain Lodge as it was getting dark


[Back to top]

VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Nearly 360 degree sweep checking out the falls from the viewing deck


Slightly obstructed but more direct view of the falls before walking over to the signed viewing deck at the top of the falls


Right to left sweep covering the Pencil Pine Cascades upstream of the bridge just at the bottom of the Enchanted Walk


Fixated on the Pencil Pine Falls in more full flow on our first visit back in late November 2006


[Back to top]

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

For all intents and purposes, the trailheads of both the Pencil Pine Falls / Knyvet Falls Track as well as the Enchanted Walk were pretty much right by the Cradle Mountain Lodge. So the driving directions are pretty straightforward from any town in the area with the aid of navigational aids via GPS or iPhone. The Cradle Mountain Lodge was merely 5km south of the Cradle Mountain Rd turnoff from Belvoir Rd (C132) or about 1.8km south of the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre.

There was parking right across the signed trailhead in front of the Cradle Mountain Shop.

To provide you with some geographical context, Cradle Mountain was about 111km (over 90 minutes drive) north of Queenstown, 101km (about 75 minutes drive) south of Burnie, 78km (about 75 minutes drive) southwest of Devonport, 93km (about 90 minutes drive) west of Deloraine, 157km (about 2.5 hours drive) west of Launceston, and 319km (4 hours drive) northwest 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...

Enchanted Falls or Pencil Pine Cascades (naming correction) 
I noticed on this page that you guys didn't know the name of the cascade that can be seen from the bridge at Cradle Mountain. It is officially known …

Click here to write your own.



[Back to top]

[Go to the Tasmania Waterfalls Page]

[Go to the Australia Page]


[Return from Pencil Pine Falls and Knyvet Falls to the World of Waterfalls Home Page]