This is a trip report for a 4 day/3 night hike into the Tarkine rainforest. When we were planning this trip, it proved really difficult to find information about the various trails out there, so we’ve decided to publish our experience. Many thanks to the people at Tarkine Trails (www.tarkinetrail.com.au) for all their help. These guys maintain the full trail and do a great guided tour (6 days) that looks amazing! (contact them for the track info)
We arrived on the earliest flight from Melbourne to Launceston and then hopped in the car for a three hour drive to the Tarkine.
Directions from Launceston Airport: Take HWY 1 towards Launceston, then Bass Hwy (also 1) towards Westbury, Devonport, Burnie, continue on A2 (Bass Hwy) to Somerset and continue. Turn off onto Myalla Rd. Turn right on to Keith River road at Meunna.
Note that Meunna doesn’t really exist (not a town) and Keith river road is simply a right turn in that area (GPS handy at this stage). You’ll know if you’ve missed it if you get to a T junction. Keith river road is less well maintained, but we had access to a soft 4WD (X-trail) which was more than sufficient. There is an obvious car park before the road descends to Hilder’s bridge (road in bad condition).
Having packed up our stuff we made our way down to Hilder’s Bridge, which was actually destroyed some time ago. We expected a river crossing, but this was a little deeper than anticipated.
The current was slow, so with judicious use of dry bags, we made the crossing.
NOTE that if we had turned RIGHT after the car park, we would have found an easy crossing point!
After the river crossing, the track continues over a hill before descending through forest to a shallow creek (nice area with room to camp) ~2 hours walk.
From the creek Keith river road continues uphill, through some sparse vegetation. NOTE- the ‘road’ turns off to the the left but is easy to miss due to a fallen tree (see in background)
From here the road is mostly overgrown and descends through dense bush to another creek, clogged with debris. You can either cross the debris or just cross the shallows.
This is where we stayed the first night.
From the creek the track climbs uphill and the vegetation becomes very dense (almost bush bashing). At some point you depart from Keith river road, but by this stage you don’t even notice as it’s too overgrown. The track is marked well with coloured tape.
From here the vegetation changes again to rainforest.
The track takes you to Heaven Camp (see map) and then on through dense rainforest to the waterhole.
The track then continues through dense rainforest to Tarkine falls where we stayed the night.
There is an additional walk out to the Tarkine Lookout, but we didn’t have enough time to complete it.
Having had amazing weather for the first two days it began raining overnight and throughout the morning of day three. We began the hike back the way we came. The rain had washed everything clean and there were fungi everywhere.
The third night we stayed at the first creek we had encountered on day 1.
All photos copyright Grant Ferguson 2014