Ralphs Falls

Mt Victoria Forest Reserve / Dorset Council / Ringarooma, Tasmania, Australia

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 1.5
Ralphs Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Ralphs Falls was a very tall but thin waterfall dropping 100m over a rugged cliff facing a wide open expanse of farmlands belonging to the community of Ringarooma. We were able to take in the falls as well as the panorama from the so-called Norm's Lookout. We also could have done a longer loop walk that took in the Cashs Gorge and waterfall on the New River though in both the times we've visited this place (in late November 2006 and in late November 2017), we didn't do the longer excursion. The unnamed creek that Ralphs Falls was on drained a catchment on the Mt Victoria Forest Reserve, which seemed to be substantial enough to allow this waterfall to flow more or less reliably (though it would be more impressive with more water volume under heavier rainfall period; neither of which occurred on our visits).

From the car park and shelter, we took a short 600m track through myrtle rainforest. The track was gently downhill throughout the forested stretch where moss-covered tree trunks and ferns dominated the scene. We also spotted wiry waratahs in bloom as well as eccentric tiny worms hanging from their own silk threads. After passing by a trail junction (where the other track connected with the rest of the Cashs Gorge Circuit), we arrived at the dead-end on Norm's Lookout, which yielded expansive views towards Ringarooma as well as the Ralphs Falls itself. There was a dry creek to its right of the falls, which might support a companion waterfall under wetter times, but it didn't flow in either of our visits here.

In comparing our photos taken from our second visit and our first visit, it appeared that Norm's Lookout was in a different spot than before. We suspected this was the case it appeared that we had a more direct and full on view of Ralphs Falls back then as even some of the lower tiers of the falls were revealed. However, in our more recent photos, the bottom sections of the falls could not be seen. Even the signage for Norm's Lookout was set on a rock before the lookout platform itself as opposed to on the fencing of the platform like before. Moreover, there was anecdotal evidence of storms causing damage to both the track and the lookout. So all things considered, it may no longer be safe to get the full view of the falls like we were able to on our first visit.

Overall, Julie and I did this 1.2km return track in between 20-40 minutes. Had we devoted the time to extend our visit and do the Cashs Gorge, we would have added another 50 minutes to the overall time spent here. Maybe next time, we'll be sure to fully explore all that this place has to offer.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

This was the gorgeous panorama from Norm's Lookout, which was the same lookout with the full view of Ralphs FallsThis was the gorgeous panorama from Norm's Lookout, which was the same lookout with the full view of Ralphs Falls
Prior to visiting both Ralphs and St Columba Falls, we woke up to this gorgeous sunrise over St Helens, which was a short distance to the east of these fallsPrior to visiting both Ralphs and St Columba Falls, we woke up to this gorgeous sunrise over St Helens, which was a short distance to the east of these falls
After visiting both Ralphs and St Columbia Falls (as well as Lilydale Falls later) on our first time here in late Nov. 2006, we then arrived at Launceston, where we also explored the Cataract GorgeAfter visiting both Ralphs and St Columbia Falls (as well as Lilydale Falls later) on our first time here in late Nov. 2006, we then arrived at Launceston, where we also explored the Cataract Gorge
On our most recent visit to Ralphs Falls, we stopped by the Sideling Lookout, which provided an expansive panorama looking across the Bass Strait towards Gippsland in addition to Tassie's northeastOn our most recent visit to Ralphs Falls, we stopped by the Sideling Lookout, which provided an expansive panorama looking across the Bass Strait towards Gippsland in addition to Tassie's northeast
The shelter right across the Mt Victoria Road from the Ralphs Falls car parkThe shelter right across the Mt Victoria Road from the Ralphs Falls car park

On the short walk to Norm's LookoutOn the short walk to Norm's Lookout

Closeup look at a blooming waratah along the Ralphs Falls TrackCloseup look at a blooming waratah along the track

Julie on the Ralphs Falls Track amongst the lush moss- and fern-filled forestJulie on the track amongst the lush moss- and fern-filled forest

The walking track to Norm's Lookout as seen from back in November 2006The walking track to Norm's Lookout as seen from back in November 2006

This was one of the eccentric worms that seemed to be hanging and swaying in its own silkThis was one of the eccentric worms that seemed to be hanging and swaying in its own silk

Julie checking out Ralphs Falls from Norm's LookoutJulie checking out Ralphs Falls from Norm's Lookout

The view from Norm's Lookout from our first visit back in 2006The view from Norm's Lookout from our first visit back in 2006

Ralphs Falls as seen on our second visit in late November 2017The falls as seen on our second visit in late November 2017

This was the Ralphs Falls as we saw it on our first visit in late November 2006This was the Ralphs Falls as we saw it on our first visit in late November 2006

Here's another look at Ralphs Falls from back in late November 2006.  I knew I wasn't imagining things when I swore we were able to get a more satisfying direct view of the falls back then as opposed to in 2017Here's another look at the falls from back in late November 2006. I knew I wasn't imagining things when I swore we were able to get a more satisfying direct view of the falls back then as opposed to in 2017

Julie heading back to the car park as she was about to cross a bridge over a dry creek that would have fed a companion waterfall to Ralphs FallsJulie heading back to the car park as she was about to cross a bridge over a dry creek that would have fed a companion waterfall to Ralphs Falls

Julie returning to our parked carJulie returning to our parked car


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Sweep from Norm's Lookout over Ringarooma and ending up at the Ralphs Falls


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Since the nearest city of reasonable distance is Launceston, we'll describe the driving directions from there. We were also able to make a visit here from St Columba Falls as well as St Helens so we'll describe those driving routes later in this section.

From the Launceston CBD, we'd head east onto the Tasman Highway (A3) for about 62km to the town of Scottsdale. Note that the Sideling Lookout was about 48km along the A3 from Launceston. Once in Scottsdale, we turned right to continue on the Tasman Highway (A3) and took it for another 20.5km to the Carisbrook Lane (C423) turnoff on the right.

After going onto C423, we continued another 8km to the small farming town of Ringarooma. In the town, we kept straight on the C423 for the next 1.5km before leaving the road to go onto the New River Rd straight ahead (Mathinna Plains Rd was on the right). After 4km, we then left the New River Rd to turn right and go onto the Forest Lodge Rd / Mt Victoria Rd (by this time, there were signs pointing the way to Ralphs Falls).

We followed this unsealed road for about 10.5km to the signed car park opposite a shelter on the left side. Overall, this 106km drive took us under 2 hours to do.

Coming from St Columba Falls, we backtracked for about 1.6km, we then turned left and took the unsealed Forest Lodge Rd / Mt Victoria Rd for about 11km to the car park for Ralphs Falls on the right.

From St Helens, we'd drive the Tasman Highway (A3) for about 24km to Pyengana. Then, we'd turn left onto the St Columba Falls Rd (C428) and drive for a little over 9km to the Forest Lodge Rd / Mt Victoria Rd on the right. Then, we'd turn right onto the unsealed road and follow it to the car park after about 10.5km.

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.




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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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