About Lost Falls
Lost Falls was a truly lost waterfall, so to speak, as it was dry both times that Julie and I had visited it. As each visit took place in the month of November, I wondered if perhaps we just showed up in the wrong month, or if we just had rotten luck. Our first visit took place in 2006 which was during the nearly decade-long drought that really hit the southeastern part of Australia, including Tasmania. The second visit took place in 2017 following an unusually warm and dry Winter and Spring season (at least in Eastern Tasmania). From the looks of its bush-fringed cliff, it should have been an impressively tall waterfall, which we should have seen from the furthest of the overlooks. For a moment, we thought we were in the wrong place because of the silence (i.e. no sound of moving water), but the signs clearly indicated that we were in the right place. In any case, I’d bet that this waterfall would only perform immediately after sustained heavy rains, which meant that serious timing was required.
In addition to the “waterfall”, Lost Creek also featured an interesting rock pool further upstream from the brink of the falls. There was even a nice view downstream of the falls towards a valley for that edge-of-the-world feeling. This viewpoint definitely surpassed the other signed “scenic view” (going the other way from the car park) which was very disappointing as it didn’t seem to yield any satisfactory views of anything.
From the car park, a sign indicated that it was only a 10-minute return walk to the overlook of the Lost Falls. The track briefly meandered between some thin trees before reaching the rim of the gorge. After about 150m from the car park, there was a signed junction where the path on the right went to the Rock Pools. But keeping straight ahead, I wound up at the first of two overlooks, which provided a nice view into the bush-clad valley below. Lost Falls couldn’t be seen from that first overlook, and after another 25m or so of walking, I reached the second fenced overlook, which peered down and in the upstream direction towards the steep cliff where Lost Falls was supposed to be.
After having my fill of this lookout, I then explored 130m track leading to the so-called rock pools. True to the name, there was indeed at least one stagnant pool, where not even the recent rains during our second visit was enough to form a flowing creek. I’d imagine in wetter times, these pools could be swimming holes provided the creek wasn’t overflowing (as the big drop was just a short distance downstream). When I returned to the car park, I wound up taking around 30 minutes to take it all in. However, I did spend a few minutes to do the additional 200m track (400m round trip) to the “Scenic View”, but it was disappointing because the track led me to some kind of plateau with trees everywhere thereby blocking whatever view was supposed to be from there. So unless I somehow went off track, my advice would be not to bother with it. The view of the valley along the way to the Lost Falls Lookout was already satisfying enough.
Since we drove to Lost Falls from two different directions (one from Launceston and the other from Hobart), I’ll describe our route for each of those options. I’ll start with the Launceston approach first since that city was closer to the falls.
From the Launceston CBD, we headed south towards the Midland Hwy (Hwy 1), and then we kept going south in the direction of Hobart to remain on the Midland Hwy. At around 66km south of Launceston (or 12km south of the Esk Highway [A4] turnoff), we then left the Midland Hwy and turned left onto the Lake Leake Hwy (B34) in Campbell Town. After about 36km (or nearly 7km east of the town of Lake Leake), we reached a four-way intersection. A sign pointing the way to Lost Falls had us go right (note that going left went to Meetus Falls. At this point, we left the highway and headed south on the unsealed McKays Rd.
We continued south on McKays Rd for roughly 3km as we turned left onto the Crossins Rd (there should be signs pointing the way). After another 2.5km along the unsealed Crossins Rd, we eventually arrived at the familiar car park for the Lost Falls. Overall, this drive took us around 90 minutes.
From the Hobart CBD, we headed east on the Tasman Highway (A3) towards Sorell (after 24km) and then towards the Lake Leake Highway (B34) (about 142km from Hobart or 10km north of Swansea).
Once on the Lake Leake Highway, we then drove about 20km to the familiar four-way intersection where the unsealed McKays Rd was on the left (the McKays Rd on the right heading north was for Meetus Falls). Then, we’d follow the directions as given above.
That drive took us on the order of 2.5 hours.
For some geographical context, Launceston was about 103km (over an hour drive) east of Devonport, 138km (under 2 hours drive) northwest of Swansea, 167km (over 2 hours drive) west of St Helens, and 201km (nearly 2.5 hours drive) north of Hobart.
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