Champagne Falls and Bridal Veil Falls

Moina / Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

About Champagne Falls and Bridal Veil Falls


Hiking Distance: 5km loop (both falls)
Suggested Time: 3.5 hours (both falls)

Date first visited: 2006-11-26
Date last visited: 2017-12-01

Waterfall Latitude: -41.52493
Waterfall Longitude: 146.08427

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Champagne Falls and Bridal Veil Falls were a pair of attractive waterfalls that we combined into a single excursion that began and ended at the Lemonthyme Lodge Wilderness Retreat.

Although each waterfall could have been done individually as separate excursions, we decided to visit both in one slightly longer but non-trivial hike.

Lemonthyme_17_141_11302017 - Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls

After all, it didn’t make sense for us to make two trips to this fairly less-traveled part of Tasmania.

In any case, both waterfalls were quite different in shape and character.

Bridal Veil Falls (pictured above) had a taller (about 20m) and potentially wider drop (depending on the volume of Bull Creek) while 15m Champagne Falls (pictured further below) had a mossy and more rounded segmented appearance.

In terms of effort, each waterfall was about the same distance from the Lemonthyme Lodge (said to be 1 hour 45 minutes return walk according to the signage).

However, given the very steep hill we had to climb at the very start of the track, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to do both waterfalls as two separate hikes.

Lemonthyme_17_091_11302017 - Contextual view of Champagne Falls from further back on an outcrop above Bull Creek
Contextual view of Champagne Falls from further back on an outcrop above Bull Creek

So as mentioned before, we combined the two hikes as a slightly longer loop hike.

Ordinarily, this steep track was very narrow and quite slippery.

The following trail description is based on this slightly longer looping route.

Hiking to Champagne Falls

From the day use car park (see directions below), we walked up an initially paved road that went between some cabins as well as the former location of the manager’s residence.

By the way, the Lemonthyme Lodge was now called the Lemonthyme Wilderness Retreat as of our latest visit in 2017.

Lemonthyme_043_jx_11252006 - Entering the Lemonthyme Lodge Wilderness Retreat complex
Entering the Lemonthyme Lodge Wilderness Retreat complex

Anyways, the pavement then started to end as the walk continued up a steep 4wd track.

This was a very relentless climb that took the better part of at least the first 1.5km.

Along the way up there was some kind of tower (possibly a cell tower), and at around 850m from the day use car park was a picnic table that I supposed represented the lookout referred to at the trailhead signage.

This vista offered us a chance to catch our breaths and take some photos before continuing on during our first visit, but on our second visit, this lookout appeared more overgrown so the vistas weren’t as impressive.

Next, the track continued to climb briefly for another 400m before it finally started to reach the apex and level out somewhat.

Lemonthyme_003_11252006 - This was the attractive view from the lookout near the start of the hike at the Lemonthyme Lodge from back in late November 2006. This view was mostly overgrown when we came back 11 years later
This was the attractive view from the lookout near the start of the hike at the Lemonthyme Lodge from back in late November 2006. This view was mostly overgrown when we came back 11 years later

We didn’t pursue a fork that continued climbing on our left though a barricade and lack of signage suggested that it wasn’t worth pursuing anyways for hikers.

Shortly after the apex, we then reached a signed fork in the road, where the track on our right descended steeply into the forest towards Champagne Falls.

So we went right and took this path to embark on the looping part of the hike.

It trampled through lots of low-lying ferns while weaving in between mossy myrtle trees.

Signage at the start of this descent recommended against doing this track under wet conditions (which was the case when I did this hike the second time in 2017).

Lemonthyme_17_047_11302017 - Part of the steep and slippery-when-wet descent from the 4wd road to the Champagne Falls
Part of the steep and slippery-when-wet descent from the 4wd road to the Champagne Falls

Indeed, there were definitely a few spots where the the ground gave way and caused me to slip (without falling thankfully).

The steep track was aided by orange tape tied to some of the trees to help aid in navigation.

Eventually, the track followed along some narrow ledges with exposed tree roots as it went by an easy-to-miss junction for the Bridal Veil Falls connecting track (which we’ll get back to later) on its way down ultimately to the Champagne Falls.

While it was awkward at best to view the waterfall from the signpost, I managed to carefully scramble my way down to Bull Creek for a more frontal view of the waterfall, which might have been overwhelming to see from this close.

Lemonthyme_17_057_11302017 - Champagne Falls
Champagne Falls

So in addition to the views from within the slippery rocks of the creek, I also managed to find an outcrop a short distance downstream where I was able to look back at a more contextual (albeit overgrown) look at Champagne Falls flanked by interesting dark cliffs.

Hiking from Champagne Falls to Bridal Veil Falls

Once I had my fill of Champagne Falls, I then went back up the steep track to the signed junction.

I definitely had to fight the temptation to take one of the false tracks along the cliff walls.

Once on the correct connecting track, we then followed along a fern-flanked path with some stepping stones and boardwalks as well as other numbered signposts along the way.

The connecting track would eventually cross the Bull Creek then undulate along the northern banks of the creek (passing by some very minor cascades en route) before ultimately arriving at another bridge over Bull Creek right in front of the Bridal Veil Falls.

Lemonthyme_17_147_11302017 - Looking towards Bridal Veil Falls from the improved footbridge across Bull Creek
Looking towards Bridal Veil Falls from the improved footbridge across Bull Creek

When we first came here in late November 2006, the bridge was merely a one-sided log, but on a return trip 11 years later, it was a more legitimate bridge with handrails on both sides.

Finishing the loop hike from Bridal Veil Falls back to the Lemonthyme Lodge

After getting our nice frontal views of Bridal Veil Falls from the bridge, we then climbed up steps that led us back up to the 4wd track that we had forsaken earlier.

At this point, it was a predominantly downhill hike on the much wider and more open 4wd track eventually taking us past the Champagne Falls Track junction and then to the familiar picnic area as the road descended even more steeply.

The temptation was great to run all the way down the road to the car park, but the presence of rocks and the likelihood of things falling out of pockets tempered that desire.

Lemonthyme_17_174_11302017 - Making my way back up to the 4wd road from Bridal Veil Falls
Making my way back up to the 4wd road from Bridal Veil Falls

Ultimately, it took us around 2.5 hours to do the entire excursion though I believe spending 3 hours would make for a more leisurely visit.

Authorities

Champagne Falls and Bridal Veil Falls reside near the town of Moina. It is administered by the Kentish Council. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Lemonthyme_001_jx_11252006 - Signs telling us where to go (and for how long) to see the waterfalls and the lookout
Lemonthyme_17_005_11302017 - Walking up the paved road past some of the cabins belonging to the Lemonthyme Wilderness Retreat
Lemonthyme_001_11252006 - Julie walking up past the manager's residence back in late November 2006
Lemonthyme_17_006_11302017 - Walking up past the same spot on our December 2017 visit. Note how much more pavement there was this time around
Lemonthyme_002_jx_11252006 - Going past the gate and climbing up the 4wd track
Lemonthyme_17_009_11302017 - The unsealed 4wd track definitely made a steeper incline than earlier on before the gate
Lemonthyme_17_010_11302017 - We kept straight at this fork as the left fork went to some kind of cell or radio tower
Lemonthyme_17_016_11302017 - Continuing the relentlessly steep climb on the 4wd Bull Creek Rd
Lemonthyme_17_017_11302017 - Although we didn't even go about 1km at this point, it felt a lot longer than that thanks to the relentlessly steep climb
Lemonthyme_007_11252006 - The picnic table and lookout about 800m up the initial ascent as seen in late November 2006
Lemonthyme_17_022_11302017 - This was the same picnic table and lookout 11 years later.  Notice how much more overgrown it was
Lemonthyme_17_023_11302017 - Obstructed views at the lookout as a result of the overgrowth
Lemonthyme_17_028_11302017 - Near the apex of the initial climb, we passed by this fork where we kept right onto the Bull Creek Rd
Lemonthyme_17_029_11302017 - Approaching the signposted spur track descending from the 4wd road to Champagne Falls
Lemonthyme_17_032_11302017 - On the steep and muddy descent to Champagne Falls as I was trying to follow the pink and orange tapes strapped to some of the mossy trees
Lemonthyme_17_037_11302017 - Looking up at some of the trees growing alongside the steep descent to Champagne Falls
Lemonthyme_016_jx_11252006 - Passing by one of many signposts keyed to a paper guide we were carrying around on our first visit back in 2006
Lemonthyme_17_044_11302017 - Lots of orange tape at this easy-to-miss trail junction where I kept straight to continue the descent to Champagne Falls
Lemonthyme_17_049_11302017 - Deep into the descent, the track followed some cliff ledges with exposed tree roots
Lemonthyme_17_053_11302017 - Finally approaching Champagne Falls and its numbered signpost
Lemonthyme_024_11252006 - Our first look at Champagne Falls from back in late November 2006
Lemonthyme_17_072_11302017 - Walking up the paved road past some of the cabins belonging to the Lemonthyme Wilderness Retreat
Lemonthyme_031_11252006 - A more front-and-center look at Champagne Falls after a short scramble past some of the initial mossy boulders back in late November 2006
Lemonthyme_17_094_11302017 - On my way up to find the connecting track to the Bridal Veil Falls, I had to avoid the temptation of taking this false path behind a signpost that appeared to be missing its numerical sign
Lemonthyme_17_096_11302017 - Making it back up to the signed trail junction for the Bridal Veil Falls
Lemonthyme_17_103_11302017 - Tree stump steps on the way to Bull Creek
Lemonthyme_17_105_11302017 - Signpost and bridge traversing Bull Creek on the connector trail to Bridal Veil Falls
Lemonthyme_17_106_11302017 - Looking along Bull Creek from the bridge
Lemonthyme_033_11252006 - This was the bridge over Bull Creek back in late November 2006
Lemonthyme_023_jx_11252006 - We spotted this unusual plant on the way to Bridal Veil Falls (it turns out that this was a waratah, which are native to Australia)
Lemonthyme_17_113_11302017 - Continuing along the connector track to Bridal Veil Falls
Lemonthyme_17_118_11302017 - Passing by some small cascades on Bull Creek
Lemonthyme_17_121_11302017 - The connector track undulated through more dense rainforest terrain
Lemonthyme_17_125_11302017 - This part of the connector track might have been a re-route from a section that might have eroded or gotten buried by a landslide
Lemonthyme_17_165_11302017 - Finally making it to the Bridal Veil Falls
Lemonthyme_040_11252006 - This was the Bridal Veil Falls when we first saw it back in late November 2006 when much of that trip was affected by the severe drought that hit most of southeastern Australia
Lemonthyme_038_jx_11252006 - Looking back at the log bridge as we were about to rejoin the 4wd track back to the Lemonthyme Lodge. 11 years later, that bridge was replaced by a more typical sturdy bridge with railings
Lemonthyme_17_171_11302017 - The signpost at the 4wd road for Bridal Veil Falls
Lemonthyme_17_176_11302017 - The 4wd road walk wasn't all downhill on the return as this was perhaps the lone climb
Lemonthyme_17_177_11302017 - Now on the steep downhill to the Lemonthyme Lodge as I was apparently about to enter some clouds
Lemonthyme_17_180_11302017 - Finally back at the pavement and the Lemonthyme Wilderness Retreat

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In order to access the Champagne Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, we first had to reach the Lemonthyme Wilderness Retreat (formerly the Lemonthyme Lodge). However, since we took a pair of different routes, we’ll describe them in this section.

The first approach we took was from Cradle Mountain. It would definitely be worth following this route description if going this route because the GPS tried to take us on a route that wasn’t recommended (in fact there was a strategically placed sign at the start of that bad route as I’m sure more than a few people had tried going that way).

So we first drove north on the Cradle Mountain Road to the Belvoir Rd (C132). We then turned right to head east to continue on the Cradle Mountain Rd (C132) for about 18km (note that about 12km, the GPS will definitely attempt to have you turn right onto Bull Creek Rd, which was the same 4wd track that we had to walk!). So we then reached a signed turnoff at Dolcoath Rd, where we then turned right and followed the unsealed Dolcoath Rd for about 7.5km. There were signs along the way to keep us on the correct road to the Lemonthyme Lodge.

Lemonthyme_17_002_11302017 - The day use car park right across from the track for Champagne and Bridal Veil Falls
The day use car park right across from the track for Champagne and Bridal Veil Falls

Overall, this drive took about 45 minutes.

The second approach we took was from Devonport. We began that route by taking the Bass Hwy (Hwy 1) then exiting at Stony Rise Rd (B19). Following Stony Rise Rd northwest (beneath the highway), it then became Forth Rd (still B19). Continuing for another 6km on Forth Rd, we then turned left onto Wilmot Rd (C132) shortly after crossing the River Forth.

We’d then follow Wilmot Road (C132) for about 46km as the road eventually became Cradle Mountain Road after passing through the town of Wilmot. After getting past Moina, the C132 would reach the Dolcoath Rd turnoff on the left. Then, we followed the remaining 7.5km unsealed road to the day use car park at the start of the Lemonthyme Wilderness Retreat complex.

Overall, this 62km drive would take at least an hour.

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.

Examining the falls from the base


Right to left sweep of the downstream scenery before ending at the falls as seen from a fern-covered rock outcrop


Semicircular sweep of the Bridal Veil Falls from the footbridge

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Tagged with: moina, cradle mountain, cradle valley, lemonthyme, tasmania, australia, waterfall, bull creek, cowirrie, sheffield, devonport, bridal veil falls, kentish



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