Become a mud skipper in Tasmania
Pelverata Falls Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
I thought I'd get out, clear my head today, and went for another bush walk with my friend Jacinta. I have so much on my mind right now and so much to do before I leave that things in my head are a little messy. Unfortunately, the walk didn't help, I spent the whole day thinking about things I could be doing. :) The walk was horrible too, we have had so much rain here recently - which is great - but it made for a very slippery and muddy walk over the clay ground. It is meant to be an 'all weather' walk, but I had to watch my feet for every step and didn't get to enjoy the scenery along the way. By the time I got back to the car, my neck hurt from looking down for three hours and I was annoyed about not seeing anything. We were slipping and sliding all over the place. Once the part of the path with the mud ended on the way to the falls, we had to climb some steep rocky slopes and we had to be more careful about watching every step, for one false move would have had us tumbling down the side of a hill into the valley below. There was a nice waterfall at the end of the path though, so that made up for it a bit. :) The only thing with getting to the waterfall though, was that we had to turn around and go back.
The waterfall we walked to today was Pelverata Falls, about an hour south of Hobart, it is a 6km retrace and graded as easy. My ‘Walks in Tasmania’ book states the time required to do the walk including minimal breaks should be 2 hours 30 minutes and the sign at the entrance of the walk states 3 hours return. We did it in about 3 hours, but it would have been a lot quicker if the ground were dryer. There is a small parking bay at the beginning of the walk, and here we were about 210m above sea level and we had a climb of another 200 metres to get to the falls, so the walk to the falls is uphill but not a very steep gradient. Coming back downhill in the mud was not an easy task. The mud was the worst of it, I think I am going to have to throw my shoes out because some parts of the mud swallowed our feet, and it was impossible to avoid. We noted on the way in that we could only see footprints heading in the direction of the falls but none coming back out. When we were on our way out, I noted that we clung to the sides of the path as much as possible walking on long grass that would normally overhang the path and it appeared other people had used this grass to walk on to get out, and left no footprints. Thinking about it now, I think it is possible that the mud patches could have swallowed people whole, never to be seen again. :)
The falls didn’t disappoint. When we were just about at the falls after climbing the steep rocky paths, we looked across the gorge and could see Slippery Falls, which tumble into Slippery Creek. From here the track descended towards Pelverata Creek and a viewing platform came into sight to signal the end of the path (halleluiah!!!) . From here, we were a short distance from the falls but it’s the perfect viewpoint to see the falls, and the gorgeous rock walls surrounding the falls are an added bonus.
At the viewing deck, I pulled out the oranges I had brought along with me, and Jacinta and I stood and ate our oranges while watching the flow of the water, enjoying the setting and tried to avoid thinking about the walk back. Jacinta was very nervous about the rocky part of the path and very nearly gave up on the way in. The worst part for me was the muddy part, and having to watch my feet the whole way. Jacinta did see one wallaby along the way, but other than that, we only heard birds chirping.
Up near the top where the rocky paths are, the views of the valley are stunning. You look back over the eucalyptus forest all the way down the valley. I didn’t take any photos, as I was teetering on the edge of a precipice, but trust me, it was gorgeous.
It wasn’t a hard walk, in that it didn’t exhaust us, but it was rough in spots and very messy in others. Take a pair of waterproof shoes, and a change of clothes. As far as walks in Tasmania go, I would recommend others over this one for beauty and enjoyment, unless your idea of enjoyment is getting all muddy, although I’m sure some of you out there would find that prospect very enticing. :)