Ralphs Falls

Mt Victoria Forest Reserve / Ringarooma, Tasmania, Australia

About Ralphs Falls


Hiking Distance: 1.2km round trip
Suggested Time: 20-40 minutes

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

Waterfall Latitude: -41.3083
Waterfall Longitude: 147.8401

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.

Ralphs_Falls_17_047_11242017 - Ralphs Falls
Ralphs Falls

We also could have done a longer loop walk that took in the Cashs Gorge and waterfall on the New River.

However, 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.

It seemed substantial enough to allow this waterfall to flow more or less reliably.

Ralphs_Falls_010_11242006 - Looking towards Ringarooma from Norm's Lookout at Ralphs Falls
Looking towards Ringarooma from Norm’s Lookout at Ralphs Falls

Of course, it would be more impressive with more water volume under heavier rainfall period, but that didn’t occur on either of our visits.

Experiencing Ralphs Falls

From the car park and shelter (see directions below), 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.

Ralphs_Falls_17_005_11242017 - Looking across the road from the Ralphs Falls Track towards this shelter
Looking across the road from the Ralphs Falls Track towards this shelter

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.

This 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.

Changes to the Ralphs Falls Experience

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.

Ralphs_Falls_17_052_11242017 - Context of Julie at the lookout with Ralphs Falls as seen during our visit in November 2017
Context of Julie at the lookout with Ralphs Falls as seen during our visit in November 2017

We suspected that this was the case when it appeared that we had a more direct and full on view of Ralphs Falls back then.

Even some of the lower tiers of the falls were revealed on our prior visit in November 2006.

However, in our more recent photos, the bottom sections of the falls could not be seen.

Moreover, 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.

Ralphs_Falls_018_11242006 - Direct look at Ralphs Falls from our first visit in November 2006, which no longer appeared to be possible with the location of the lookout in November 2017
Direct look at Ralphs Falls from our first visit in November 2006, which no longer appeared to be possible with the location of the lookout in November 2017

In addition, 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 (as shown above).

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.

Ralphs_Falls_004_11242006 - Context of Norm's Lookout back when we first showed up in November 2006. This sign was no longer at the lookout itself during our November 2017 visit
Context of Norm’s Lookout back when we first showed up in November 2006. This sign was no longer at the lookout itself during our November 2017 visit

Maybe next time, we’ll be sure to fully explore all that this place has to offer.

Authorities

Ralphs Falls resides in the Ralphs Falls Reserve near St Helens, 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.

Ralphs_Falls_17_014_11242017 - On the short walk to Norm's Lookout and Ralphs Falls Lookout as it descended into a mossy and fern-fringed track during our November 2017 visit
Ralphs_Falls_17_021_11242017 - Closeup look at a blooming waratah along the Ralphs Falls Track during our November 2017 visit
Ralphs_Falls_17_023_11242017 - Julie on the Ralphs Falls Track amongst the lush moss- and fern-filled forest during on November 2017 visit
Ralphs_Falls_17_032_11242017 - View towards Ringarooma from the new position of the Norm's Lookout during our visit in November 2017
Ralphs_Falls_17_043_11242017 - Ralphs Falls as seen on our second visit in late November 2017
Ralphs_Falls_17_060_11242017 - 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 Falls during our November 2017 visit
Ralphs_Falls_17_066_11242017 - This was one of the eccentric worms that seemed to be hanging and swaying in its own silk during our November 2017 visit on the Ralphs Falls Track
Ralphs_Falls_17_069_11242017 - Julie returning to our parked car at the end of our November 2017 visit to Ralphs Falls
Ralphs_Falls_001_11242006 - The context of the car park and trailhead for Ralphs Falls as seen during our November 2006 visit
Ralphs_Falls_006_jx_11242006 - The walking track to Norm's Lookout as seen from back in November 2006
Ralphs_Falls_007_11242006 - This was the Ralphs Falls as we saw it on our first visit in late November 2006
Ralphs_Falls_014_11242006 - 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 2017
Ralphs_Falls_017_11242006 - View of the Ralphs Falls as seen during our November 2006 visit, which no longer seems possible as of our November 2017 visit

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Since the nearest city of reasonable distance to Ralphs Falls 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.

Driving from Launceston to Ralphs Falls

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.

Ralphs_Falls_17_009_11242017 - Context of the Forest Lodge Rd / Mt Victoria Rd with the shelter opposite the Ralphs Falls trailhead and car park
Context of the Forest Lodge Rd / Mt Victoria Rd with the shelter opposite the Ralphs Falls trailhead and car park

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).

Ralphs_Falls_17_006_11242017 - Looking at the context of the car park and trailhead for Ralphs Falls from across the Forest Lodge Rd / Mt Victoria Rd
Looking at the context of the car park and trailhead for Ralphs Falls from across the Forest Lodge Rd / Mt Victoria Rd

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.

Driving from St Columba Falls or St Helens to Ralphs Falls

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.

Ralphs_Falls_016_iPhone_11252017 - This depressing scene was some extensive clear felling that took place on the Mt Victoria / Forest Lodge Rd between Ralphs Falls and St Columba Falls seen during our late November 2017 trip
This depressing scene was some extensive clear felling that took place on the Mt Victoria / Forest Lodge Rd between Ralphs Falls and St Columba Falls seen during our late November 2017 trip

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.

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

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Tagged with: mt victoria, dorset, ringarooma, st helens, launceston, northeast, tasmania, australia, waterfall, fingal, bass



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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

The Ralph’s Falls adventure April 19, 2015 1:18 am by Caedence Kuepper - This was one waterfall that I was very relieved to get to, especially seeing as just about everything seemed to be conspiring to keep us from reaching our destination. Let me explain why: We had originally planned on visiting these falls, and then visit St Columba Falls afterwords. We found the narrow turn-off road towards… ...Read More

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About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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