Oldaker Falls was essentially an urban waterfall that was the centerpiece of Burnie Park, which itself sat within the city of Burnie. The waterfall sat at the top end of the hilly park where Stoney Creek dropped beneath Oldaker Street as the watercourse made its way through the park on its way to the Bass Strait. Julie and I felt that this waterfalling excursion was unusual in that we were strolling through more of an urban recreational park instead hiking in a reserve. That said, the lush surroundings within the park also made it feel like we were in an island of green despite the urban developments of the bustling city itself. Indeed, we sensed that Burnie residents could conveniently enjoy the park and its waterfall in all seasons as part of a morning exercise, a lunch break, or even an after work detox as well as a good place to let the kids have play time at one of the jungle gyms here.
From its well-defined car park (see directions below), Julie and I walked the paved path past the playgrounds, amphitheatres, and picnic grounds for the unpaved walking track that pretty much followed along Stoney Creek. It didn’t take long before the track entered more bush settings though the man-modified concrete water channels and retaining walls reminded us of our urban surroundings just beyond the trees around us. After about 250m, we reached a series of steps that climbed above a small channel containing an intermediate man-modified waterfall before continuing further upstream to the base of the Oldaker Falls.
Once at the falls, we could clearly see more evidence of man-modified enhancements to Stoney Creek to ensure the water stayed within the channel while also maintaining a plunge pool pond to sit and relax by. We then went up some steps alongside the cascading waterfall where it dead-ended near the base of the main upper drop and cascade. When Julie and I first showed up back in late November 2006, the waterfall wasn’t doing so well though it was flanked by attractive pink flowers. It was hard to tell if the flowers came from invasive weeds, which wouldn’t be surprising given all the residences around the park (so introduced species for home and gardening purposes would find their way here to flourish). When we came back here in early December 2017, the falls had much better flow though its volume was aided by a powerful storm that flooded large parts of Victoria across the Bass Strait. Such observations kind of indicated to us the degree of variability in Stoney Creek’s flow so I’d imagine the falls would be best seen shortly after a heavy rain.
Overall, Julie and I had spent a very relaxing 30-45 minutes away from the car that included examining the war memorial obelisks on one end of Burnie Park and taking in the waterfall at the other end of the park.
Oldaker Falls was just west of the city centre of Burnie off the Bass Highway. From city’s esplanade (i.e. waterfront), we found our way to Mount St (B18) then headed south towards its intersection with the Bass Hwy (A2/Hwy 1). Turning right onto the Bass Hwy (A2), we then drove about 1.5km before turning left onto Park St. Shortly after turning onto this residential street, the main car park for Burnie Park was on our left just as Park St was bending to our right. The gates for this car park close between dusk and dawn.
Note that while driving west on the Bass Hwy (A2), there was another entrance with a gate about 100m before Park St. That was actually a short road leading to the front of the war memorial. There was no formal parking there, which was why we’d recommend continuing further to Park St to access the main car park.
To provide you with some geographical context, Burnie was about 101km (under 90 minutes drive) north of Cradle Mountain, 46km (over 30 minutes drive) west of Devonport, 99km (over an hour drive) northwest of Deloraine, and 147km (over 90 minutes drive) west of Launceston.
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