Liffey Falls

Great Western Tiers / Deloraine / Mole Creek, Tasmania, Australia

About Liffey Falls


Hiking Distance: 2km round trip (from Upper Car Park)
Suggested Time: 75-90 minutes (from Upper Car Park)

Date first visited: 2006-11-25
Date last visited: 2017-11-25

Waterfall Latitude: -41.69825
Waterfall Longitude: 146.76461

Liffey Falls was a series of four distinct waterfalls on the Liffey River where each of them had distinct characteristics as well as unique names.

The individual falls were named Alexandra Falls, Hopetoun Falls, Spout Falls (or the Leap), and Victoria Falls, respectively.

Liffey_Falls_17_127_11242017 - Liffey Falls
Liffey Falls

Although Liffey Falls referred to the entire ensemble of waterfalls, it could also be referring to the last waterfall in the group, which was the tallest and widest of them all.

The picture you see above was that waterfall.

Our Sketchy History with Liffey Falls

Each time we visited Liffey Falls, we came with some expectations because of its presence on numerous postcards and calendars in random shops throughout Tassie.

Indeed, it seemed to compete with Russell Falls for the title Tasmania’s prettiest waterfall.

Liffey_Falls_17_111_11242017 - Liffey Falls as seen from the end of the track during my November 2017 visit
Liffey Falls as seen from the end of the track during my November 2017 visit

In addition to the falls itself, there were also giant eucalyptus trees towering over the fern-filled rainforest.

This further added to the wild ambience of this Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

While there was no doubt that Liffey Falls held its own in the scenic department, it seemed like on each of our visits, the falls didn’t show off its full self.

Our first visit occurred in November 2006, which was a time when even Tasmania wasn’t immune to the nearly decade-long drought that gripped most of Southeastern Australia.

Liffey_Falls_027_11242006 - Our first look at Liffey Falls back in November 2006
Our first look at Liffey Falls back in November 2006

I came back here in November 2017 when it was starting to rain, but even that year, it seemed like Tassie’s eastern side was struggling to get precipitation in its Winter and Spring months.

The rain that inconvenienced me on that latter visit was too little too late as far as seeing it with the goal of more volume was concerned.

So perhaps it was bad luck on our part that our experiences didn’t quite live up to what we had seen in the literature.

That said, the Liffey River tended to flow reliably because it drained a large catchment in the Great Western Tiers.

Liffey Falls Trail Description – experiencing intermediate waterfalls

Liffey_Falls_17_005_11242017 - Approaching the giant eucalyptus tree near the upper car park for Liffey Falls
Approaching the giant eucalyptus tree near the upper car park for Liffey Falls

In our visits, we took the shortest walking path from the upper car park (see directions below).

There was also a lower car park, but that involved a longer hike and it was more for tour buses and longer vehicles unable to handle the narrower, twistier road to the upper car park (which was the site of a former logging camp).

Almost right from the start, there was a 75m spur track leading from the opposite end of the upper car park to one of the giant eucalyptus trees, which was said to be 50m tall with a diameter of 3.39m.

The size of this giant tree reminded me of kauri trees in New Zealand or Sequoia trees back in my home state of California.

Liffey_Falls_17_037_11242017 - Following the Liffey Falls Track as it descended deeper into the denser and ancient fern-filled rainforest
Following the Liffey Falls Track as it descended deeper into the denser and ancient fern-filled rainforest

It made me start to think that this area was incorporated as a world heritage area in part to stop the logging that was taking place here from the 1900s up until the 1960s.

After checking out this intriguing tree, we then went to the other end of the car park, where the signs led us onto the 1km track said to be 45 minutes in each direction.

The track descended as it wandered beneath the forest canopy that started off as a eucalyptus forest but became a denser fern-filled rainforest the deeper we went.

The tree cover was actually pretty convenient when it did rain as it appeared to have provided adequate cover until the rains turned into a downpour.

Liffey_Falls_17_044_11242017 - The rainforest become even greener and more lush the further the Liffey Falls Track descended towards the waterfalls
The rainforest become even greener and more lush the further the Liffey Falls Track descended towards the waterfalls

The scenery persisted like this for about the first 500m.

Eventually, the track skirted the southern banks of the Liffey River, where the forest opened up over the ancient watercourse.

That was when we started to encounter the first of the cascades (Alexandra Falls).

There was a lookout just upstream from its top as well as another lookout providing an awkward view of both the first cascade and the second cascade (Hopetoun Falls).

Liffey_Falls_17_072_11242017 - Looking back through the foliage at the first two cascades seemingly with the potential of that postcard view that the last of the Liffey Falls would feature
Looking back through the foliage at the first two cascades seemingly with the potential of that postcard view that the last of the Liffey Falls would feature

Further along the track, I managed to get a glimpse of what could have been a post card shot of the first two waterfalls through the foliage.

It made me wonder if an off trail stream scramble could have yielded a Liffey Falls-type shot showing off multiple layers of cascades dropping in succession over the sandstone bedrock.

I didn’t do such a scramble, but from some of the faint trails of use going to the river, I could envision others might have attempted this.

About another 150m further along the track, there was an overlook for the third cascade (Albert Falls or Spout Falls or The Leap).

Liffey_Falls_013_11242006 - Looking through an opening in the vegetation towards Albert Falls or Spout Falls or The Leap from back in November 2006
Looking through an opening in the vegetation towards Albert Falls or Spout Falls or The Leap from back in November 2006

The first time we were here, we managed to get a somewhat clean look at its aptly-named drop from the official lookout, but 11 years later, it appeared that the view was mostly blocked by overgrowth.

The cleanest views were actually from its side and not from the developed viewing area.

Liffey Falls Trail Description – experiencing the main waterfall

Another 100m beyond the third falls (or Albert Falls), the track then arrived at a trail junction.

We took the spur path on the left to descend the rest of the way upstream to the Liffey Falls.

Liffey_Falls_17_087_11242017 - Approaching the trail junction where the path descending on the left went to Liffey Falls while the path over the bridge on the right went to the lower car park and campground
Approaching the trail junction where the path descending on the left went to Liffey Falls while the path over the bridge on the right went to the lower car park and campground

The trail on the right continued another 90 minutes to the lower car park and campground.

Once we made it to the end of the track, we were presented with an angled look at the attractive multi-tiered Liffey Falls (which could also be called the Victoria Falls).

On our first visit here, it was a sunny day and the lighting was non-ideal against this east-facing falls.

That said, with the relatively low flow of the Liffey River, we carefully made our way across the slippery sandstone bedrock for more frontal views of the falls, which I’d argue was best photographed and seen from there.

Liffey_Falls_17_106_11242017 - Approaching the end of the walking track for Liffey Falls
Approaching the end of the walking track for Liffey Falls

On my second visit, it had started to rain hard so I was unable to take the risk of slipping and sliding my way across the river for a similar view (especially if there was a chance of flash flooding).

After having my fill of the Liffey Falls, I then went back the way I came, which was pretty much all uphill.

Thus, this was an upside down hike though at least I was able to catch a few breathers by re-experiencing each of the smaller cascades on the way back up.

Overall, on each of our visits, we spent around 75-90 minutes away from the car.

Liffey_Falls_17_097_11242017 - Facing the rain as I was returning from Liffey Falls during my November 2017 visit
Facing the rain as I was returning from Liffey Falls during my November 2017 visit

The confusing signage at the trailhead couldn’t decide if it was 45 minutes one-way (2km total) or 45 minutes return (1km total).

But after our visits, it was pretty clear which one was correct.

Authorities

Liffey Falls resides in the Lilydale Falls State Reserve near Deloraine, Tasmania. It is administered by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Liffey_Falls_17_003_11242017 - Approaching the giant eucalyptus tree at the far end of the upper car park during my November 2017 visit to Liffey Falls
Liffey_Falls_17_013_11242017 - Getting closer to the base of the giant eucalyptus tree at the far end of the upper car park during my Liffey Falls visit in November 2017
Liffey_Falls_17_017_11242017 - Looking up at the giant eucalyptus tree during my November 2017 visit to Liffey Falls
Liffey_Falls_17_020_11242017 - Looking almost straight up at the top of the giant eucalyptus tree during my November 2017 visit to Liffey Falls
Liffey_Falls_17_026_11242017 - Broad view looking up towards the top of the giant eucalyptus tree by the far end of the upper car park for Liffey Falls as seen in November 2017
Liffey_Falls_17_027_11242017 - The trailhead at the upper car park for Liffey Falls as seen in November 2017
Liffey_Falls_17_040_11242017 - The Liffey Falls Track descended as it transitioned from eucalypt forest to fern-filled rainforest as seen during my November 2017 visit
Liffey_Falls_17_047_11242017 - Looking over the top of the first of the cascades on the Liffey River as seen during my November 2017 visit
Liffey_Falls_17_048_11242017 - Looking towards one of the lookouts along the Liffey River during my November 2017 visit
Liffey_Falls_17_058_11242017 - Checking out the first two of the cascades on the Liffey River during my November 2017 visit - Alexandra Falls and Hopetoun Falls
Liffey_Falls_17_062_11242017 - Looking across the second of the cascades on the Liffey River during my November 2017 visit
Liffey_Falls_17_067_11242017 - Looking towards another one of the lookout platforms along the Liffey River during my November 2017 visit to Liffey Falls
Liffey_Falls_17_069_11242017 - Continuing to hike alongside the Liffey River en route to Liffey Falls in November 2017
Liffey_Falls_17_077_11242017 - This was the third cascade, which was called Spout Falls as seen during my November 2017 visit to Liffey Falls
Liffey_Falls_17_081_11242017 - After the third cascade, the track briefly went away from the Liffey River during my November 2017 visit to Liffey Falls
Liffey_Falls_17_091_11242017 - The final descent for Liffey Falls as seen during my November 2017 visit
Liffey_Falls_17_102_11242017 - The descent eventually got me back against the Liffey River, but this time I was going upstream to the Liffey Falls in my November 2017 visit
Liffey_Falls_17_108_11242017 - View of Liffey Falls from the end of the official track as seen in November 2017
Liffey_Falls_17_112_11242017 - Looking across the Liffey Falls from the end of the official track as seen in November 2017
Liffey_Falls_17_117_11242017 - Going back downstream along the Liffey River as I looked to get a more frontal view of Liffey Falls in November 2017 despite the rain getting harder
Liffey_Falls_17_124_11242017 - With some scrambling around, I managed to get this view from along the banks of the Liffey River during my November 2017 visit, but it wasn't as frontal of a view as I would have liked given the intensifying rain
Liffey_Falls_001_11242006 - Signage at the start of the Liffey Falls Track suggesting the walk was 40 minutes return.  We took way longer than that during our November 2006 visit
Liffey_Falls_006_jx_11242006 - Some kind of monument near the start of the track possibly having to do with this place being part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area as seen during our November 2006 visit
Liffey_Falls_002_11242006 - Looking down at the first two cascades on our November 2006 visit - Alexandra and Hopetoun Falls
Liffey_Falls_006_11242006 - Profile of the second cascade as seen on our November 2006 visit - Hopetoun Falls
Liffey_Falls_012_11242006 - Closer look at the third cascade called Spout Falls or Albert Falls as seen during our November 2006 visit
Liffey_Falls_022_11242006 - Looking towards Liffey Falls (the last cascade or Victoria Falls) at the end of the official track as seen during our November 2006 visit
Liffey_Falls_025_11242006 - Another look at what Liffey Falls looked like from the end of the trail on a sunny afternoon back in November 2006
Liffey_Falls_034_11242006 - Portrait look against the sun at the Liffey Falls as I tried to get a more frontal view of it during our November 2006 visit
Liffey_Falls_038_11242006 - Direct view of Liffey Falls from the middle of the Liffey River taken back in November 2006
Liffey_Falls_048_11242006 - Looking back at the Liffey Falls from the other side of the Liffey River back in November 2006
Liffey_Falls_052_11242006 - More zoomed in look at the Liffey Falls from across the Liffey River during our November 2006 visit
Liffey_Falls_025_jx_11242006 - Last look at Liffey Falls during our November 2006 visit before heading back to the car park

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


Although the nearest town of significance to the Liffey Falls was Deloraine (also the gateway to many other hikes in the Great Western Tiers and Meander Valley), we were based in the city of Launceston.

So we’ll describe our driving route from the city.

From the Launceston CBD, we made our way south to the Hwy 1 or Midland Highway (the one-way Wellington St would eventually merge onto the Hwy 1 southbound).

After about 2.5km, we then took the ramp to go onto the Bass Hwy (Hwy 1).

We followed the Bass Hwy for roughly 43km to the Meander Valley Road exit.

One thing we’ve learned from experience was that about 16km along the Bass Highway, there was a sign pointing the way to Liffey Falls at the C511 exit for Carrick and Bracknell.

If time is of the essence, I’d avoid taking that narrower and twistier “scenic” route and stick with the Meander Valley Road exit another 27km further.

Once on the Meander Valley exit, we then followed the access road 800m south to the Meander Valley Road (A5) on the right.

Liffey_Falls_17_028_11242017 - The unsealed road leading into the upper car park for the Liffey Falls Reserve
The unsealed road leading into the upper car park for the Liffey Falls Reserve

We then followed the A5 into Deloraine before continuing on the A5 south on the East Parade Rd eventually becoming the Highland Lakes Rd south of town.

At about 7km south of the town centre of Deloraine, we then turned left at the fork and continued along the Highland Lakes Rd (A5) for the next 16km.

This led to a signed turnoff on the left to take us onto the unsealed Riversdale Rd.

At roughly 2km after leaving the A5 on the Riversdale Rd, we encountered a signed junction.

Liffey_Falls_17_002_11242017 - The car park for Liffey Falls as seen during my November 2017 visit
The car park for Liffey Falls as seen during my November 2017 visit

We kept right at this junction to access the upper car park.

The left fork led to the lower car park, which was suitable for larger vehicles (campervans and tour buses).

The remainder of the drive to the upper car park (in another 3.6km) was pretty much nearly single-lane unsealed road with a few rough spots but totally doable by 2wd passenger cars.

Overall, this drive took around 75 minutes.

For some geographical context, Deloraine was about 53km (40 minutes drive) west of Launceston. 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.

Downstream to upstread sweep of the main drop of the falls


Sweep checking out the two uppermost waterfalls


Profile view of the second cascade


Profile view of the main cascade


Direct view of the main cascade

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Tagged with: deloraine, great western tiers, meander, tasmanian wilderness, launceston, devonport, liffey, central plateau, alexandra falls, hopetoun falls, the leap, spout falls, albert falls, victoria falls, tasmania, australia, waterfall



Visitor Comments:

No users have replied to the content on this page


Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Liffey Falls May 6, 2014 6:17 am by Jeff Crowe - Liffey Falls are found near the head of the River , upstream of the town of Liffey in Tasmania , Australia . It is believed that Tasmanian Aborigines used Liffey Falls as a meeting place . It has been reported that a significant massacre by European colonists , of up to 60 of the Pallittore… ...Read More

Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls