6 Waterfalls to Chase in the Western Wilds

Mt Field National Park / Jason Charles Hill

Chasing waterfalls is a Tasmanian pastime and you'll find the most beautiful in the Western Wilds. Here are six of the best.

1. Russell Falls

Waterfall in rainforest
Russell Falls / Matt Cherubino

Arguably Tasmania's most photographed waterfall, Russell Falls is found in Mount Field National Park, part of the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area and just over a one-hour drive from Hobart. The easy and accessible 20-minute return walk to the falls is surrounded by towering Swamp gums and prehistoric Man Ferns. If you're staying in the park, visit the waterfall at night; turn off your torch and peer into the recesses for the glow worms.

2. Nelson Falls

Waterfall
Nelson Falls / Jesse Bonde

This cascade waterfall off the Lyell Highway between Queenstown and Derwent Bridge is an easy 20-minute return walk. The rare flora in these rainforests once flourished on Gondwana. There are interpretation panels along the way giving you more insight into these ancient plants.

3. Horsetail Falls

Waterfall
Horsetail Falls / Flow Mountain Bike

On the way into Queenstown from Hobart, just as you come over the mountain from Gormanston, there's a sign to Horsetail Falls. Stop here, it's absolutely worth it. The boardwalk to the falls hugs the steep mountainside, giving walkers dramatic views of the rugged landscape. If there's been recent rain, the 50-metre waterfall is spectacular.

4. Montezuma Falls

Waterfall
Montezuma Falls / Flow Mountain Bike

Walk or bike to Montezuma Falls, located near Rosebery. This is Tasmania's highest waterfall with an impressive 104-metre drop. It's about a three-hour return walk on level ground, following the historic route of the former North-East Dundas Tramway. Populated with native wildlife and leatherwood, myrtle, sassafras and giant tree ferns, the local rainforest is a feast for the senses.

5. Hogarth Falls

Waterfall
Hogarth Falls / Pete Harmsen

The short walk to Hogarth Falls begins at Strahan's Peoples Park, a reserve located a five-minute drive (or a picturesque 20-minute harbourside walk) along The Esplanade towards Regatta Point. Once at the park, allow an hour for the leisurely return walk to the falls through towering gums and sweet scented leatherwood.

6. Philosopher Falls

Waterfall
Philosopher Falls / Jess Bonde

Philosopher Falls is proudly named after the man who changed the fortunes of the entire state of Tasmania through his discovery of tin on the west coast – James ‘Philosopher' Smith. This multi-tier waterfall is a sight to behold. It’s a nine-kilometre drive out of Waratah in the takayna / Tarkine rainforest. During autumn, keep an eye out for cartoon-like fungi growing along the 45-minute stroll into the forest.