Split Rock Falls, Cheshunt, Western Creek, Mother Cummings, Chasm Falls, Lady Lake, Mt Ironstone, Bastion Falls
Nearby: DELORAINE, QUAMBY BLUFF, SHEFFIELD, Mt ROLAND, WESTBURY, DEVONPORT, LATROBE, CENTRAL MOUNTAINS REGION
- MEANDER FALLS
- Meander Falls 2
- Meander Falls 3
- Split Rock Falls
- Western Creek
- Mother Cummings
- Chasm Falls
- Lady Lake
- Mt Ironstone
- Bastion Falls
1/ Meander Falls are in northern Tasmania in the Central Plateau Conservation Area. This is south of Deloraine. They are one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Tasmania. The photo above shows the lower cascade ice bound in winter. At the Meander Hall there is an important sign for aspirant walkers to both the Meander Falls and to the Mother Cummings Peak.
2/ Meander has two churches. To the left is the church of St Saviour and to the right is its Sunday school. They date from 1897. Behind them is the cemetery.
3/ This is the other church at the Meander settlement. Beyond to the left is Quamby Bluff.
4/ The primary school at Meander is a composite made up of school buildings taken from other nearby settlements, when their schools were closed. It is also a historic school from where the local teacher, Miss Cummings, first climbed the nearby mountain that now bears her name. Unfortunately, in 2014 it was in danger of being closed.
5/ This is the shop cum cafe at Meander settlement. It also has a petrol pump.
6/ South of the Meander settlement is the Meander Dam. It harnesses the water flow of Lake Huntsman.
7/ This image shows the Meander Dam at full spill capacity during the 2016 flood.
8/ This is Lake Huntsman looking west towards the Mother Cummings peak.
9/ Lake Huntsman is a key landmark for bush walkers in the Tiers. This view shows the view from the lake to some of the peaks of the Great Western Tiers.
10/ This photo shows the rich meadow lands, which are just north of the Meander Falls area. Beyond are the Great Western Tier mountains.
11/ This is a lovely stream on the road to Meander Falls.
12/ This is the road to the Apex Hut, which is the start of the walk to Meander Falls. Unfortunately, the road was nearly impassable and a broken bridge further down the road ended my second attempt to reach the Meander Falls. There was in October 2014. When I returned in June 2016 I was pleased to note that both the bridge and the road had repaired and were in an excellent state. However, I decided to leave this photo to warn motorist of what they may have to navigate in some parts of Tasmania.
13/ Meander Falls are one of the largest waterfalls in Tasmania. The flow and the roar can be quite impressive after a flood. This photo shows the falls in their full glory.
14/ The beauty of the flow from the Meander Falls is captured in this slow motion shot.
15/ Occasionally in cold winters the Meander Falls can completely freeze over giving this breathtaking scene of the lower cascade.
16/ This long shot shows the stark, beauty of the frozen Meander Falls. Compare this photo to the flood view of Meander Falls shown in photo number 4 above.
1/ This gallery shows photos taken by our club on a hike to Meander Falls in June 2012, plus a hike to nearby Bastion Bluff in August 2012. It should give you a good idea of what to expect in this area. The best time to see the Falls is in winter, when the stream flow is greatest. However, this is also the time to expect snow, rain and very cold winds, so be prepared.
2/ This is the Forestry Tasmania map at the Meander settlement. It gives a 2 dimensional image as the layout of the tracks. Note that the journey to the Split Rock Falls is much shorter.
3/ This is the fast flowing Meander River. I have been told that a good rule to follow is that if there are no farms or mines up stream, then the water downstream is probably safe to drink.
4/ The route to Meander Falls and beyond shown in these photos was an emergency trail used when the main trail was closed. The route to Meander Falls is mostly through a Myrtle and Sassafras forest. Parts of the track were steep and involved crossing over scree. This photo shows the view as you approach the Tiers. This area was replete with snow in June 2012.
5/ This photo shows a strange shape hill that you pass as you approach the Tiers. Note how the ground is covered with snow. The heavy shadows in the foreground were cast by the steep cliffs of the Great Western Tiers.
6/ This is the first sight that hikers get of the Meander Falls. They fall some 65 metres from the top of the Great Western Tier Mountains. Note the many fields of scree at the base of the Tiers.
7/ This photo shows the approach to an open are near the Meander Falls called the amphitheater. A heavy fall of snow was covering the myrtle and sassafras trees. In the distance is the second step of the Meander Falls. The scene was as cold as it looks.
8/ This photo shows how the track was covered with snow. You must be very careful, when you cross snow covered boulders like these.
9/ This view looks up at the frozen cascade of the Meander Falls from the western side.
10/ This view looks up at the frozen cascade of the Meander Falls from the eastern side. There was still a small trickle of water coming down.
11/ This photo shows the ice covering the stream at the base of the Meander Falls.
12/ This photo shows the clear waters of the stream further down from the Meander Falls.
13/ This photo was taken two months later in August 2012 by another group of hikers. The ice had by now melted and a light cascade of water was again falling down the Meander Falls.
14/ The group then intended to ascend Bastion Bluff, which is north of the Meander Falls. This view looks back at the Meander Falls.
15/ Their journey involved a long climb over scree and large boulders to reach the top of the Tiers. It was suitable only for experience hikers.
16/ This view looks down from the Tiers to the scree and boulders about 200 metres below.
17/ This view looks north west towards Bastion Bluff. It shows how steep and rugged are the Tiers.
18/ This view looks east to the edge of the Tiers. Note how at the top of the Tiers is a plateau.
19/ This view looks south to the many tarns and lakes south of the Meander Falls area.
20/ This photo shows how the terrain is replete with puddles, rocks and alpine plants.
21/ This photo shows the clear waters of an alpine tarn.
22/ This is the view from the top of Bastion Bluff. Beyond is Lake Huntsman and beyond that is Quamby Bluff.
1/ This gallery shows the Meander Falls Track, which I traversed in March 2019. The journey is only 4 km, but the track climbs 600 metres and is frequently only a marked trail over scree and other obstacles. The sign at the car park says that it takes 7 hours to return and it took us an exhausting 7 hours to complete. The track is rated at "hard" and is only recommended for experienced hikers.
2/ This is the Huntsman Hide Away, which is one of the old huts at the car park at the start of the walk. There is also an Apex Hut, a modern toilet and a picnic cooker with tables. In the old days walkers would have to walk to this point and stay over night before attempting the Falls.1/ This gallery shows the Meander Falls Track, which I traversed in March 2019. The journey is only 4 km, but the track climbs 600 metres and is frequently only a marked trail over scree and other obstacles. The sign at the car park says that it takes 7 hours to return and it took us an exhausting 7 hours to complete. The track is rated at "hard" and is only recommended for experienced hikers.
3/ The start of the walk consists of short climbs and flat sections of track. Note the red triangle. These mark the route to the Falls.
4/ The first 1.7 km is relatively easy walk on a well defined track. It crosses two small creeks.
5/ This is the first "easy" section of the track. It traverses through a Myrtle - Sassafras tree forest.
6/ The track follows the Meander River, which is to the right of this image. The track now gets rough and starts to climb.
7/ In some sections the track now crosses through scree fields and it is poorly defined. However, since it closely follows the Meander River, it is not too hard to find the track again, if you lose it. Note the red ribbons, which have been added by hikers to help to define the track. These rocks are covered with lichen, which indicates that they have not been disturbed by rock falls for many years.
8/ In one section the track passes very close to the Meander River.
9/ This is a rock pool on the Meander River, just off the track.
10/ The Meander Falls Track and the key road access bridges were washed away in a great flood in 2016. This image shows part of the "repaired" section of the track. This section was very well defined, unlike most sections which were rough. Note the yellow "forward to the Meander Falls marker" on the giant eucalyptus tree. Note also the blue ribbon.
11/ In the last half of the journey you pass close to Meander Bluff. This is a massive 1300 metre high peak on the other side of the Meander River.
12/ This is an unobstructed view of Meander Bluff. Note the vast fields of scree around this peak.
13/ Finally after three hours of climbing we approached the massive wall of the Great Western Tiers. The Falls are beyond the trees to the left of this image.
14/ This is what Meander Falls look like after heavy rain and this is what I was hoping to see.
15/ Unfortunately, I visited the Falls after a drought, so this is what I saw in March 2019. However, the massive 300 metre drop of the Falls is still an impressive sight. The Falls are divided into two distinct steps. You can see a small grove of pine trees on the right of the second step.
16/ This image shows the pine grove high up on the second step of the Falls. I was impressed that such majestic trees could grow in such an exposed position.
1/ Access to Split Rock Falls begins at the Meander Falls car park, which is located at the end of the Meander Falls Road. From here an alternate track takes you to Split Rock Falls. It is 2.5 kilometres on a rough track through dense rainforest. The first major obstacle you cross is the Meander River on this wire bridge.
2/ One early attraction is this interesting wood sculpture. It shows the artistic potential hidden in simple logs of wood.
3/ You pass a number of small water courses, as you approach the falls.
4/ The falls are located in a deep cleft between two high cliffs.
5/ This area includes a number of caves.
6/ This is the Shower Falls. It is the first water fall that you encounter.
7/ A few hundred metres beyond Shower Falls is the main Split Rock Falls. It consists of two tiers and the drop is about 30 metres in height.
8/ You can climb to a position, where you can walk under the falls.
9/ The is the impressive view from the top of Split Rock Falls.
1/ This is the lovely manor house of the historic Cheshunt Estate near Meander. The estate dates back to the 1850s and was founded by Thomas Archer, who also founded the estates of Woolmers and Brickendon at nearby Longford. The estate is a private property and access must be arranged with the owners before entry.
2/ Cheshunt Estate is within only a few kilometres of the massive Great Western Tier mountains. The view out the second storey windows was very impressive.
3/ This is the rear of the manor house of Cheshunt Estate near Meander. It shows the classic lines and style of the late 19th Century.
4/ This is the barn at Cheshunt Estate. It is very similar to structures at nearby Brickendon Estate.
5/ This photo shows three other structures used by the workers of the Cheshunt estate.
6/ The Meander area has some of the richest dairy lands in Tasmania. This area is appropriately named "Dairy Plains". The mountains to the south are the Great Western Tier mountains.
1/ The Western Creek Track is located west of Meander Falls and south of Deloraine. It is a difficult trail into the high plateau country of the wild Central Plateau Conservation Area. The trail is poorly marked and is thus only suitable for professional hikers.
2/ I included this photo to show you what the track is really like. It is hard to follow and only poorly marked by ribbons and rock cairns. It is thus only suitable for professional hikers walking together as a group. Note how the hikers carry full packs and are wearing gaiters to bash through the bush.
3/ The Western Creek Track meanders through a lovely myrtle forest. This forest has a large number of colors and shapes and even includes exotic fungus.
4/ The Western Creek Track follows beside a very large unnamed waterfall. This waterfall has a large number of cascades some of which are more than 15 meters in height.
5/ At this point between the cascades the trail crosses Western Creek. There was only a guide wire to help hikers to cross. If you fall over while crossing, you will plunge down the 50 metre rocky cascade to the left.
6/ This is the view from the Western Creek Trail towards the southern side of the canyon that you ascend to reach the Central Plateau. The forest includes a large variety of trees, including the ancient King Billy pine.
7/ This is the view as you exit the canyon to enter the Central Plateau area. The drop to the right shows part of the series of cascades that constitute the waterfall.
8/ This is the view towards the north, looking down the canyon that leads to the Central Plateau Conservation Area. The trail frequently crosses large boulders like these. The dead tree to the left is a King Billy pine.
9/ This photo shows the view back towards the canyon. Note the extreme variety of the vegetation. The Central Plateau has many water logged areas like this one. The dark green shapes are cushion plants. You should try to avoid standing on them, as they are quite delicate.
10/ This is the lovely view from near Norm Whiteley's hut looking towards a distant Mount Ironstone. This iron rich mountain confuses compasses. Note how dense the bush can be even in the non forest, scrub zone.
11/ This is the view towards the north east. Again note the extreme variety of the vegetation. The below photo was taken from the hill on the left hand side.
12/ This is the grand view from the hill in the above photo looking across the Central Plateau towards the mountains in the south.
13/ At this point the trail crossed a huge scree field. Crossing scree is difficult, when the rocks are wet. In the distance is Mount Ironstone.
14/ This is the lovely view looking down from the Central Plateau towards the north. The distant green fields are called the "Dairy Plains" . This area is replete with many prosperous dairy farms.
15/ This is the sunset view looking towards the north east. The distant peak right of the central dead tree is the mighty "Mother Cummings Mountain".
1/ On the left is the massive Mother Cummings peak. It is south of the Meander settlement and one of the greatest peaks in the Great Western Tiers. It is a massive 1270 metres high and rises 600 metres above the Northern Coastal Plain. This photo shows Mother Cummings from the western side. On the eastern side this mountain is Lake Huntsman.
2/ This gallery shows a trip made by our club to Mt Mother Cummings in 2012. It began at the Mother Cummings car park at the end of Smoko Road, which also accesses the Chasm Falls. It is a 7 kilometre return climb on a rough, poorly defined trail. The journey includes crossing over scree and boulders, so it is for experienced hikers only. You should also know that rocks are even more dangerous in rain and snow, while the peak is exposed to freezing blizzards. Thus, a trip to Mother Cummings also requires good weather.
3/ This photo shows the typical country that you ascend. The journey starts in a regrowth eucalyptus forests, which evolves into a myrtle forest as you ascend. This view shows a King Billy pine on the left and the Tiers in the distance.
4/ This view shows some of the boulders crossed as the trail to Mother Cummings ascends the Tiers. A short diversion near this point takes you to Smoko Falls.
5/ This King Billy pine shows an interesting example of natural symmetry. You see many interesting trees as you ascend the Tiers.
6/ Much of the journey is a steep climb over boulders. This view shows the view down this poorly defined trail.
7/ This view shows the stark grandeur of the view down to the jagged peaks of the slopes below.
8/ The finals part of the journey is across a plateau, which has spectacular views of the Tiers and the Northern Coastal Plain. This view looks to the east at the many clefts of the Tiers.
9/ The hiker on the left should give you some idea of the ruggedness and size of these peaks, as well as the spectacular views that the climbers see.
10/ This view looks back at the stream that later becomes the Meanders Falls.
11/ This view looks west across the distant peaks of the Great Western Tiers.
12/ This view looks back towards the north east at Lake Huntsman.
13/ This view looks west across the plateau towards the Mother Cummings Peak. It is in the middle right of this image.
14/ This image was taken close to the Mother Cummings Peak. It is partially hidden by a cloud. This is a warning as to how fast the weather can change. Note the stark, alpine vegetation that you see on the Central Plateau.
15/ This image shows our party on the Mother Cummings Peak. Their figures should give you an indication of the scale of the peaks that they have mastered.
16/ This is the view from the Mother Cummings Peak to the north east. In the distance is Lake Huntsman. The party had just crossed the plateau that you can see on the right.
17/ This view looks north towards Mount Quamby Bluff. The shadow of Mother Cummings Peak is being cast on it.
18/ This photo shows a distant Mother Cummings peak from the eastern side, where she towers over Lake Huntsman.
19/ Mother Cummings can also be ascended from the west from near Western Creek. This image shows the approach road to Western Creek. Beyond are the peaks of the Tiers west of Mount Mother Cummings.
20/ This image shows Mother Cummings from the west. Some lucky people have homes in the shadow of this mighty mountain.
21/ This photo shows the Mother Cummings peak from near the more difficult western approach trail near Western Creek.
1/ Visiting Chasm Falls can be treated as being either a diversion from a trip to Mount Mother Cummings or as a separate trip. Access is from the same Mother Cummings car park at the end of Smoko Road. You walks the first 1.4 kilometres of the Mother Cummings Trail, but you then diverge west onto the Chasm Falls Trail. This track is only a poorly defined, rough trail. The Falls are about 1.5 kilometres down this trail. Chasm Falls are located in the Great Western Tier mountains. You pass this view of cliffs and scree of the Tiers, as you approach the falls.
2/ The falls are located in a deep cleft in the rugged Tier Mountains. This impressive sheer, smooth rock cliff is about 100 metres high.
3/ The falls are located in a rainforest. As a result you often get to see many exotic types of fungus.
4/ This patch of fungus really looked a lot like pile of delicious, pan cakes.
5/ This view shows how the trees struggle to survive in small clefts in the cliffs.
6/ The approach to the falls crossed this lovely little water course.
7/ This image shows one of the many small water courses that you see in this rainforest.
8/ This photo shows your first full view of the Chasm Falls.
9/ This view shows you water falling gently over one of the tiers of this water fall.
10/ You can climb to a position behind the falls to see this beautiful image showing how the falls really appear to shower.
1/ Lady Lake (or Lake Lady) is a small alpine tarn in the Central Conservation Area of northern Tasmania. It is relatively close to the Meander Falls and the Mother Cummings Peak. Lake Lake is reached by the ancient Higgs Track. This is a 19th Century track hacked out by cattle grazers to get their cattle to the high country. In recent years it has been maintained by volunteers, as it is a great way to access the Central Highlands Plateau. This is the new bridge across Dale Brook, which is close to the car park. In 2015 there was still no toilet at the car park.
2/ This is Dale Brook. I could see trout fish in the clear waters of the stream.
3/ Higgs Track ascends for 500 metres over a distance of 3.5 kilometres to ultimately reach Lady Lake. The track passes through lovely ferns and a regrowth forest. In this view to the east you can see something of the Great Western Tier mountains.
4/ This is one of the watering holes put in by the ancient graziers to water their cattle.
5/ This shows a typical section of the track, as it ascends.
6/ This shows a section of Higgs Track that had recently been restored by volunteers.
7/ At the top of the Higgs Track you get this magnificent view of the Northern Coastal Plain. The peak to the right is Mother Cummings.
8/ When you reach the top the forest abruptly ends and the plains of the Central Plateau begin. Higgs Track ends at the hut in the distance. Lady Lake was just behind the hill beyond the hut. I was surprised at how suddenly the temperature fell, as we entered the plain.
9/ In 2015 the hut was clean and had its own environment toilet. Walkers use this hut to explore the northern part of the Central Plateau.
10/ This is the view to the north from the hut. The tree to the left is a pencil pine. The peak on the horizon is Mother Cummings.
11/ This is Lady Lake. It was used as a watering point by the ancient graziers, who built the Higgs Track.
1/ This is Ironstone Mountain. It is in central, northern Tasmania south of the Meander Falls and south of the escarpment of the Great Western Tier Mountains. It is 1444 metres high and from the peak of Ironstone Mountain you have a great vista of many lakes and mountains. This gallery shows a journey made by our club in September 2112.
2/ The approach to Ironstone Mountain was from Syd's Track, which begins on Westrope Road, which is south west of Meander. Syd's Track is a just defined trail over rough terrain and scree. It is only suitable for experienced hikers. This photo shows Syd's Track, as it ascends the Tiers through a scree field. The peak in the centre is Nells Bluff.
3/ Syd's Track reaches the plateau of the Central Highlands of Tasmania. This photo shows the eucalyptus trees and scrub of this cold, alpine area.
4/ The Central Highlands were once used by cattle graziers, who built this hut. It is still used by hikers as an emergency shelter.
5/ The southern and western slopes of Ironstone Mountain were snow covered in September, which is spring in Tasmania. Here one of our hikers approaches the summit of Ironstone Mountain.
6/ These hikers had fun sliding down the snow covered slope.
7/ This is the view to the west of Ironstone Mountain. To the left is Lake Mackenzie and to the left of it is Lake Balmoral. The drop to the plain below is about 200 metres.
8/ This is the grand vista from the peak of Ironstone Mountain looking to the south. Beyond the many lakes are the mountains of the Great Pine Tier.
9/ This photo looks south at Lake Nameless. Beyond it to the left is Forty Lakes Peak and beyond the distant lakes are the mountains of the Great Pine Tier.
10/ This view is a closer look at Lake Nameless and Forty Lakes Peak. Note how the snow is on only one side.
11/ This view was taken on the return journey and shows the typical vegetation of the Central Plateau. The peak on the left is the Mother Cummings Peak.
12/ The Central Plateau is mostly an alpine plain. It is frequently snow covered, even in the spring.
13/ This photo shows ice on a small puddle. It showed a lovely, artistic combination of colours, shapes and textures.
14/ The return journey involved crossing over a vast field of scree.
15/ This was one of our last views of the plateau of the Central Highlands, before we descended to the Northern Coastal Plain. The lovely yellow tinge is the colour of the late afternoon sun in Tasmania.
16/ The Central Plateau has very distinct zones of vegetation. These zones are governed by soil fertility and the strength of the prevailing winds, which can be very cold.
17/ This view was taken near the edge of the Tiers. Shortly after this we rapidly descended. The distant mountain is Mother Cummings Peak.
18/ In most places the Great Western Tiers can only be described as a wall. It can only be crossed at a small number of places.
19/ This photo shows the view back just before we reached the Northern Coastal Plain. It shows the forest and scree just east of the Mother Cummings Peak.
20/ This photo shows a view back across the scree field that we descended. The larger rocks are about the size of a person. Crossing scree involves taking long and considered steps. It is quite taxing on the legs. Many tracks are charted through scree, as it is easier to cross than dense forest.
1/ Bastion Falls is in the northern Tasmanian Great Western Tiers Range south of the town of Meander. Access is from the same Meander Falls Road describe in other gallerys. This gallery shows photos taken on a club trip in November 2019. We went via the Stone Hut. It was a hard trip up steep mountains on poorly defined tracks. The sign above advises that you should allow 5 hours walking time for the return trip. We took 7 hours. Safety dictates that this track is for experienced bushwalkers in groups of more than 3 walkers.
2/ We visited a number of overhangs and caves. This photo shows an overhang in the lower eucalyptus forest on the Stone Hut Track. The small size of the trees indicates that this area was devastated by logging in recent years. This area was relatively flat, but it was steadily rising.
3/ After a long climb we reached this small cave, which was very close to the Stone Hut.
4/ This large cave was called the Stone Hut. It contained an ancient crude shelter.
5/ This photo shows the dense myrtle forest that the track passed through. The actual track is the brown strip in the middle. The red pyramid marker on the tree is the only help given to help you to navigate. The golden rule states that you should not proceed, unless you can see the next marker.
6/ From the Stone Hut we trekked south on the new Bastion Track. This photo shows a walker approaching one of the many overhangs that we encountered.
7/ This photo shows a group approaching another of the large overhangs on the Bastion Track.
8/ It was dark under many of the overhangs. This photo gives you some idea of how large these rock features were. In the lower right is the track we were following.
9/ After 2 hours of trekking we reached the top of Bastion Falls. This photo shows the point where the Bastion Creek tumbles over the fall. At this point we stopped for lunch.
10/ This area was very wet, which allowed an abundance of trees to flourish. This photo looks down into the Bastion Creek Valley and shows the vast range of colours and textures that we could enjoy.
11/ This photo looks up hill and shows the dense myrtle forest to the south of us.
12. Nearby was an unapproachable overhang. Strangely the trees were not standing horizontal, perhaps because of the strong winds that we experienced here.
13/ We now took a different direction to approach the base of the Bastion Falls. This photo shows the typical wilderness that we had made our way through.
14/ This photo shows a group approaching the vast Crowden Croft, which is visible to the right.
15/ The Crowden Croft was vast. I estimated that it was at least 70 metres in length and 10 metres deep. It is easy to image a large group sheltering in it.
16/ The vast Crowden Croft was so vast that it actually had a sign post in it. Behind you can see the darkness of the croft. We now followed the Croft Track to the base of Bastion Falls. The next section was quite difficult and included a descent so steep that a safety rope had to be used.
17/ We finally reached a large overhang near the base of Bastion Falls. Here we left our packs for the difficult last 100 metres to the base of the falls.
18/ This image shows the rough terrain on the way to the base of Bastion Falls. The white streak you can see on the right of the large tree is the falls.
19/ Bastion Falls was actually quite impressive. I estimated that the main cascade was about 50 metres. Unfortunately, my photo does not reflect its true glory.