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Philosopher Falls Wilderness Walk

The Tarkine



Philosopher Falls - Water Race Track


Philosopher Falls are on the upper reaches of the Arthur River near Waratah.  Waratah is on what could be called the back road to Cradle Mountain from Burnie.  Just a 45 minute drive if you take the road through the Surrey Hills tree plantations.  A more attractive drive is through the Hellyer Gorge from Somerset - a suburb of Burnie.  From Waratah there is a left turn to Savage River and Corinna.  The turn is at the service station - best hamburgers in Tasmania!  9 1/2 kilometres from the turnoff is a narrow road to the right through dense forest.


About a kilometre along the road the start of the track to the falls is encountered.  In March 2010 the track to the falls was reopened after a $1M upgrade. The access road from the Savage River road has also been upgraded including the construction of a new car park. The new track can only be described as magnificent.


For the first 20 minutes of the walk track gently descends to a new footbridge over the Arthur River. Before the construction of the bridge the old track took a right turn and continued on to the base of the falls.


A new track has been constructed on the western side of the river. The track follows an old water race which was built to supply water to the nearby Magnet Mine which closed in 1940. After another 20 minutes walk on a flat track a metal stairway down to the falls is reached. Just over 200 steps descend to a viewing platform providing the view of the falls shown on the right.


No special walking gear is required on the new track. Street shoes only are needed on the walk. However, there is a very short wet section along the water race which needs side stepping.


At a little under 2 hours return the walk is now one of Tasmania's great short walks. A classic Tarkine rainforest walk. About an hours drive from either Cradle Mountain or Burnie the walk is very accessible.


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Philosopher Falls - Original Track


The images on the right are part of the original track to the base of Philosopher Falls. We were only able to make these un named falls on the day we visited. The walk is through pristine rainforest and includes short sections of  Horizontal to negotiate.  A unique experience.  Click on the middle picture on the far right for a full screen view of Horizontal scrub on the walk - spooky!


As noted above, the original track takes a right turn when the Arthur River crossing is reached. The track is now not accessible at this point. About 100 metres after crossing the footbridge the old track is visible back on the other side of the river. On our recent visit the water was too high to cross. We will be back soon to find the base of the falls.