Sunday 31 January 2021

Mt Victoria to Ralph Falls on the NorthEast Highlands Trail. Tasmania. 14km round trip. December 2020



Map locating Mt Victoria in the State of Tasmania created and sourced from Google Maps

Getting there:

Mt Victoria is located South of Ringarooma in the North East of Tasmania in the Mt Victoria Forest Park. 

From Launceston or Scottsdale; make your way towards Ringarooma on the C423 (car is absolutely necessary unless you partake in long distance cycle journeys, forget public transport) and truck on through town, Ringarooma Road becomes Mathinna Plains Road at the right hand turn after 1.5kilometres, keep rolling for 12.5 kilometres as the road gets windy and wiggly and look out for a left hand turn onto Mt Albert Road and the car park is opposite the start of the walk at around 4 kilometres.  

The road is dusty at times and carries crazy fast weaving logging trucks so hang onto your hat.

Tasmanian Waratah flower.

Mt Victoria is 1200 metres above sea level and if you manage to grovel your way up to the summit on a fine day you will catch some of the finest views in Tasmania.  
It can get a tad blowy up there too (very exposed) but I spied some good camp sites tucked away along the final few hundred metres of the main track. 

From the signage at the track start, head up the path through some boggy patches and go straight past the boulder and the handmade sign suggesting you turn left and make a run for Ralphs Falls.  You can do that afterwards.

There is a bit of rock hopping and getting scratched up by thrashings of scorparia and a short climb to the top.

Make your way back down to the sign and follow the rough route type trail on the right.

This is the North East Highlands Trail that kicks on for 80 kilometres from the Mt Victoria walking trail to Halls Falls in the West. The section from Mt Victoria to Ralph's Falls is 'Day1' on the official listing.
There is a bit of a tale concerning the creation of the trail and it's current virtually unknown status and I reckon to actually refer to it as a 'trail' would be misleading.  Try 'at times faint taped route', and a very worthwhile one at that.
This thread on provides the backstory via scanned in track notes and a basic map from a 2009 edition of Wild magazine.. 

Map sourced from and Wild magazine.


Around 4 and a bit kilometres of winding through myrtle forest will land you in the open car park and picnic area of Ralph's Falls.  
There is a shelter, rain water tank and a short trail to the Falls overlook.


I took a hiking pole, Topo shoes, a bright purple merino top and quite a few photos. Easy walking, loads of shade from the sun after leaving the Mt Victoria summit trail.  

I returned the same way back to my vehicle.  

Sunday 24 January 2021

Bill Shepherd Memorial Circuit. Wilmot River, Alma, Tasmania. 11km round trip.

Lucy's Track.  Dooley's Track.  They join up as a sweet little loop trail that deserve a heck of a lot of love and hopefully not too many visitors. 

Well marked and maintained thanks to local volunteers, this watercourse ramble winds around a steep sided section of the picturesque Wilmot River in Central Tasmania.

Getting there:

Travelling from Launceston, takes around 1 hour, 20 minutes.

Head West on the Bass Highway and choose a turn off to Sheffield.  Roll through the pretty town centre and chug on through on the B14 for 13km, then left onto Lower Barrington Road ( C144) for a kilometre until the C144 hangs a left and becomes Lake Paloona Road and spins around for 6.5km until a left onto Wilmot Road (C132) for 3.5km and your looking for a parking spot on the twisty hill after the bridge.  

Or plug in the following numbers 4RC8P6FC+GW into Google maps. That'll do it.

There's a yellow metal sign nailed to a tree to indicate the parking area.

Cross the road, hop the wire fence guard, go left and look for the car tyre staircase heading down to the river.

Track grading:

Thanks to the recently departed Bill Shepherd and his trail building comrades, Lucy's Track and this section of the Dooley's Track are distinctly marked, thoughtfully built, super well maintained and quite obviously very much loved.  
There is a sense of local ownership reflected in the absence of garbage and proliferation of hand made signage and I was fortunate to be following a few hours behind a regular trail maintaining stalwart 'Max' who had cleared the Lucy's Track section of the trail up to the East Ellis crossing the very day I hiked the circuit.

It was a cheerful sunny Summer's day; I wore shorts, t shirt and Earth Runner sandals.  
I had poles with me and they were useful on the steepish bits that deviated away from the waters edge. 

You are in the forest canopy for the most part but I'd take a hat.

Map sourced from the Kentish Walks Private Facebook group under Files
I first became aware of the various trails adjacent to the Wilmot River via bountiful posts from Bill Shepherd on in the Tasmania section (this website is a gold mine to unearth information about walking in Australia).  After hearing of his passing late last year I decided to get off my arse and finally chase one of his trails. Pleased I did so, I was stoked!  

Trout in the river, lovely tall white gums, dogwood shrubs trailside.  Loads of chill out spots and a sense of wildness.  Bang on.

To be honest anything I write here that isn't hyperbolic nature inspired prose is drawn directly from the late Bill Shepherd's still active Wilmot River Walks website and the very useful 'Kentish Walks' Facebook group page that includes the informative 2 page PDF download of the circuit including map and clockwise walking directions.  Which is all you need, really.

So go walk it.  

I like these poetic words sprinkled along the trail.