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  • MEANDER FALLS
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  • Cheshunt
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  • Mother Cummings
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Meander Falls Tasmania

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.

Church at Meander

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.

Church at Meander settlement

3/ This is the other church at the Meander settlement. Beyond to the left is Quamby Bluff.

primary school at Meander

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.

shop and cafe at Meander

5/ This is the shop cum cafe at Meander settlement. It also has a petrol pump.

Meander Dam

6/ South of the Meander settlement is the Meander Dam. It harnesses the water flow of Lake Huntsman.

Meander Dam

7/ This image shows the Meander Dam at full spill capacity during the 2016 flood.

Mt Mother Cummings

8/ This is Lake Huntsman looking west towards the Mother Cummings peak.

Lake Huntsman

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.

Great Western Tiers near Meander

10/ This photo shows the rich meadow lands, which are just north of the Meander Falls area. Beyond are the Great Western Tier mountains.

stream near Meander Falls

11/ This is a lovely stream on the road to Meander Falls.

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.

Meander Falls 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.

Meander Falls Tasmania

14/ The beauty of the flow from the Meander Falls is captured in this slow motion shot.

Meander Falls Tasmania

15/ Occasionally in cold winters the Meander Falls can completely freeze over giving this breathtaking scene of the lower cascade.

Meander Falls Tasmania

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.

 

Meander Falls

1/ This gallery shows photos taken by our club on a hike to Meander Falls in June 2012, plus a hike to nearby Bastian 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.

Meander Falls

2/ All walks in this area start at the Meander Falls car park. Near the car park is a shelter called the Huntsman Hideaway. This is also called the Apex Hut on some maps. There are toilets, maps and a picnic table near by.

Meander Falls

3/ When I visited the area in June 2016 the roads, bridge and signs had all been upgraded. An aspirant trekker should note carefully these conservative return times. The track to Meander Falls is well defined, but it is only suitable for experienced hikers.

Meander Falls

4/ 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.

5/ 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.

Meander Falls

6/ 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.

Meander Falls

7/ 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.

Meander Falls

8/ 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.

Meander Falls

9/ 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.

Meander Falls

10/ This photo shows how the track was covered with snow. You must be very careful, when you cross snow covered boulders like these.

Meander Falls

11/ This view looks up at the frozen cascade of the Meander Falls from the western side.

Meander Falls

12/ 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.

Meander Falls

13/ This photo shows the ice covering the stream at the base of the Meander Falls.

Meander Falls

14/ This photo shows the clear waters of the stream further down from the Meander Falls.

Meander Falls

15/ 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.

Meander Falls

16/ The group then intended to ascend Bastian Bluff, which is north of the Meander Falls. This view looks back at the Meander Falls.

Meander Falls

17/ 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.

Meander Falls

18/ This view looks down from the Tiers to the scree and boulders about 200 metres below.

Meander Falls

19/ This view looks north west towards Bastian Bluff. It shows how steep and rugged are the Tiers.

Meander Falls

20/ This view looks east to the edge of the Tiers. Note how at the top of the Tiers is a plateau.

Meander Falls

21/ This view looks south to the many tarns and lakes south of the Meander Falls area.

Meander Falls

22/ This photo shows how the terrain is replete with puddles, rocks and alpine plants.

Meander Falls

23/ This photo shows the clear waters of an alpine tarn.

Meander Falls

24/ This is the view from the top of Bastian Bluff. Beyond is Lake Huntsman and beyond that is Quamby Bluff.

 

Split Rock Falls

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.

Split Rock Falls

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.

Split Rock Falls

4/ The falls are located in a deep cleft between two high cliffs.

Split Rock Falls

5/ This area includes a number of caves.

Split Rock Falls

6/ This is the Shower Falls. It is the first water fall that you encounter.

Split Rock Falls

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.

Split Rock Falls

8/ You can climb to a position, where you can walk under the falls.

Split Rock Falls

9/ The is the impressive view from the top of Split Rock Falls.

 

Chesunt Estate at Meander Tasmania

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.

Chesunt Estate

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.

Chesunt Estate at Meander Tasmania

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.

barn at Chesunt Estate at Meander Tasmania

4/ This is the barn at Cheshunt Estate. It is very similar to structures at nearby Brickendon Estate.

Chesunt Estate

5/ This photo shows three other structures used by the workers of the Cheshunt estate.

Dairy Plains near Chesunt Estate at Meander Tasmania

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.

 

mount ironstone

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.

Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

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.

Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

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.

waterfall on the Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

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.

waterfall on the Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

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.

Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

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.

Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

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.

Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

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.

Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

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.

mount ironstone

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.

Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

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.

Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

12/ This is the grand view from the hill in the above photo looking across the Central Plateau towards the mountains in the south.

Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

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.

Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

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.

Western Creek Track in the Central Plateau

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".

 

Mother Cummings

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.

Mount Mother Cummings

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.

Mount Mother Cummings

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.

Mount Mother Cummings

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.

Mount Mother Cummings

5/ This King Billy pine shows an interesting example of natural symmetry. You see many interesting trees as you ascend the Tiers.

Mount Mother Cummings

6/ Much of the journey is a steep climb over boulders. This view shows the view down this poorly defined trail.

Mount Mother Cummings

7/ This view shows the stark grandeur of the view down to the jagged peaks of the slopes below.

Mount Mother Cummings

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.

Mount Mother Cummings

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.

Mount Mother Cummings

10/ This view looks back at the stream that later becomes the Meanders Falls.

Mount Mother Cummings

11/ This view looks west across the distant peaks of the Great Western Tiers.

Mount Mother Cummings

12/ This view looks back towards the north east at Lake Huntsman.

Mount Mother Cummings

13/ This view looks west across the plateau towards the Mother Cummings Peak. It is in the middle right of this image.

Mount Mother Cummings

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.

Mount Mother Cummings

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.

Mount Mother Cummings

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.

Quamby Bluff from Mount Mother Cummings

17/ This view looks north towards Mount Quamby Bluff. The shadow of Mother Cummings Peak is being cast on it.

Lake Huntsman looking towards Mother Cummings Peak

18/ This photo shows a distant Mother Cummings peak from the eastern side, where she towers over Lake Huntsman.

Mt Mother Cummings

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.

Mount Mother Cummings

20/ This image shows Mother Cummings from the west. Some lucky people have homes in the shadow of this mighty mountain.

Mount Mother Cummings

21/ This photo shows the Mother Cummings peak from near the more difficult western approach trail near Western Creek.

 

 

Chasm Falls

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.

Chasm 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.

Chasm Falls

3/ The falls are located in a rainforest. As a result you often get to see many exotic types of fungus.

Chasm Falls

4/ This patch of fungus really looked a lot like pile of delicious, pan cakes.

Chasm Falls

5/ This view shows how the trees struggle to survive in small clefts in the cliffs.

Chasm Falls

6/ The approach to the falls crossed this lovely little water course.

Chasm Falls

7/ This image shows one of the many small water courses that you see in this rainforest.

Chasm Falls

8/ This photo shows your first full view of the Chasm Falls.

Chasm Falls

9/ This view shows you water falling gently over one of the tiers of this water fall.

Chasm Falls

10/ You can climb to a position behind the falls to see this beautiful image showing how the falls really appear to shower.

 

bridge to Higgs Track to Lady Lake

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.

Higgs Track to Lady Lake

2/ This is Dale Brook. I could see trout fish in the clear waters of the stream.

Higgs Track to Lady Lake

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.

Higgs Track to Lady Lake

4/ This is one of the watering holes put in by the ancient graziers to water their cattle.

Higgs Track to Lady Lake

5/ This shows a typical section of the track, as it ascends.

Higgs Track to Lady Lake

6/ This shows a section of Higgs Track that had recently been restored by volunteers.

Higgs Track to Lady Lake

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.

Higgs Track to Lady Lake

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.

hut near Lady Lake

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.

view to the north from near Lady Lake

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.

Lady Lake

11/ This is Lady Lake. It was used as a watering point by the ancient graziers, who built the Higgs Track.

 

Mt Ironstone

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.

Mt Ironstone

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.

Mt Ironstone

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.

Mt Ironstone

4/ The Central Highlands were once used by cattle graziers, who built this hut. It is still used by hikers as an emergency shelter.

Mt Ironstone

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.

Mt Ironstone

6/ These hikers had fun sliding down the snow covered slope.

Mt Ironstone

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.

Mt Ironstone

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.

Mt Ironstone

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.

Mt Ironstone

10/ This view is a closer look at Lake Nameless and Forty Lakes Peak. Note how the snow is on only one side.

Mt Ironstone

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.

© tasphotoalbum.com/Mike Towers

12/ The Central Plateau is mostly an alpine plain. It is frequently snow covered, even in the spring.

Mt Ironstone

13/ This photo shows ice on a small puddle. It showed a lovely, artistic combination of colours, shapes and textures.

Mt Ironstone

14/ The return journey involved crossing over a vast field of scree.

Central Plateau of Tasmania

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.

Central Plateau of 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.

Mt Ironstone

17/ This view was taken near the edge of the Tiers. Shortly after this we rapidly descended. The distant mountain is Mother Cummings Peak.

Mt Ironstone

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.

Mt Ironstone

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.

Mt Ironstone

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.

 

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