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Tasman Peninsula: Waterfall Bluff

While I wait for the next adventure opportunity, I have one more belated (and pre-COVID) post to write. This one’s from a late Summer stroll down to Waterfall Bluff on the Tasman Peninsula. With Lachie in childcare and both of us having a day off, we decided to do a not too strenuous walk as when you have a baby to look after, the last thing you want is to be extra tired.

We arrived at Devil’s Kitchen, a popular spot with the day tripping crowd who sure enough were out in force at this spot right next to the road. We were headed for Waterfall Bay, a cliff face along the Peninsula that has a waterfall flowing over it following heavy rains.

If you’re reading this in late June 2020, you’ll probably be thinking of somewhere else that piques people’s interest following lots of rainfall. In recent days, we had a huge downpour in Hobart and with restrictions lifted, a certain spot on Mount Wellington became a magnet for LOTS of people. I feel a little bit of guilt about the increased popularity of Disappearing Tarn as my images of it went a little viral back in 2018 with front page newspaper articles and features in National Geographic Australia and the BBC. Sure it was a nice boost but it also led to the place becoming much more known which as we’ve seen globally isn’t such a good thing.

I’m in two minds about it, as on the one hand it sucks to see what was a nice quiet place become overrun with Instagrammers looking to get the shot. The track in has probably become quite degraded and no doubt not everyone was respectful of the place either there or on the way in and out. However, on the other hand, I can imagine a lot of bushwalkers have been “born” the last few days. People visiting the site and pushing through the long walk in on perhaps their first ever bushwalk might hopefully have ignited a spark in themselves, a spark of appreciation for nature and a desire to see more of it. This in turn will hopefully lead to an increased respect for our natural places and more advocates for preserving our wild places and leaving them as untarnished as we can by our presence. It’s a tricky one as of course nobody should be denied the experience of seeing a beautiful wild place but you also don’t want that area to lose what made it special in the first place. It’s something that I think Tasmania has been grappling with quite a bit in recent years with ever increasing numbers of visitors drawn in by the numerous accolades this beautiful State keeps on winning. Striking that balance is going to be key going forward and I don’t envy the people having to manage that.

Off topic ramblings aside, let’s get back down to the Peninsula. The walk in to Waterfall Bluff is quite a pleasant one, first following along near the cliff edge before snaking its way inland a little into some open forest before re-emerging back out onto the precipitous clifftops.

It was an overcast day but a sticky one with high humidity and although the track in is largely easy, the conditions made it a bit more a slog than perhaps it usually is. We noticed a gradual thinning out of numbers as we progressed further along the track and families with young children turned back before their little ones grew too tired or cranky.

The Waterfall Bay track eventually runs out at the Waterfall Bay lookout which is the best spot to witness the falls pouring over the cliffs……when they’re flowing. Being late Summer and with a very dry Summer they of course weren’t flowing but that’s just a seasonal bonus on this otherwise delightful walk.

Your walk doesn’t have to end here, you can continue on to the Tasman Trail which continues all the way down to Fortescue Bay. Definitely keen to do that full walk in the future! We decided to just continue on to Waterfall Bluff, a short side track that offers amazing views out to Cape Hauy.

A few weeks earlier I had the pleasure of going on a Pennicott Wilderness Cruise at the base of these very cliffs. You really get an appreciation for the scale of this coastline from the water but it’s also really interesting walking along it and seeing what the view is like from the same cliffs towering above you. I highly recommend BOTH options 🙂

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