This little trek into the wilderness to visit a remote waterfall in the North West of Tasmania starts in Burnie. If you have never heard of Burnie you are in good company, But it is on the North West coast of Tassie and with a population of about 20 000 is the 4th largest town in the state. From Burnie you drive along the coast to Somerset and turn left on to a paved road. About 10 km after Yolla you take a right turn on to a minor road. Watch out for the road kill along this stretch. Road kill is comon in Tassie on the minor roads. After a very short space of time the road turns to gravel and then to dirt. Logging trucks come along here so watch out.
Then over the next 25 Km and lots of ruts, potholes, swear woods, turns but no logging trucks or fresh road kill later, my guide Philip suddenly said “There it is!”
Not expecting to find the promised waterfall at the side of the road I looked round in surprise for it. No where to be seen, “Where?” I ask.
“There.” Says Phil pointing at a red ribbon tied round a tree branch. You have to remember we are deep in a forest of several million trees and we have just driven along a track that the AA and the RAC would class as unpassable in all of their guide books no matter how much money changed hands. And we are parked next to the one with the red ribbon.
So we park up and head into the forest. Bilbo Baggins and Robin Hood both headed into the forest but the stories they were in certainly ment they were going to get out. After about 15 seconds into the trees the name of a Bert Reynolds film was wandering around in side my head but I just didn’t want to put a name to it. (1). Any way, after fallowing a barely dicernable track for hours (15 mins) we came to the waterfall. Someone had put a small tree trunk across the way to stop poeple like me falling down the waterfall. Up until that moment I had walked under the expectation that we would come out at the base of the fall and look up in wonder. No such luck. We were at the top and all we could see were thousands of tree tops and hear the roar as the invisable water crashed on to the rocks far below.
We have to go down.
Now going down isn’t the problem as lots of little old ladies who have got of the number 12 bus in Brixham will atest. Usually as they are about to desend from the top deck I shout up to them, asking if they could save my old legs and check the top deck for me for any lost property. Most of them do! Such nice old ladies.
Phil, seeing that I was a little reluctant explained that he hadn’t been down to the base of the falls and would like to. Emotial blackmail just doesn’t work on me. It goes in one ear, has a good laugh and vanises some where. So he suggested we go down a little way. Then, now we had got this far we may as well go a bit more; before I had noticed I was 50 metres (165 ft) down a ravine in the middle of now where, far from the friendly Mountain Rescue (the 4th emergancy service).
Well it was worth it. Philip my guide, and also the son by partnership of my niece with whom I was staying told me the the falls were so remote and visited by so few poeple that he didn’t know if the had a name. So, in the tradition of Captain Cook and all great explorers I decided to name the falls after my belovered leader. No not Liz, even thought it is her birthday. She has enough named after her. And definately not Tony, I wouldn’t name a pile of horse droppings after him. Actually, come to think of it I just might. No the recipient of the honour is the Managing Director of the company I work for.
I give you :- HILDITCH FALLS
Note (1) Deliverance