Hike into the Tarkine

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)

Day 1

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.

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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).

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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.
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The current was slow, so with judicious use of dry bags, we made the crossing.

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NOTE that if we had turned RIGHT after the car park, we would have found an easy crossing point!

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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.

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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)

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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.

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Day 2

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.

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From here the vegetation changes again to rainforest.

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The track takes you to Heaven Camp (see map) and then on through dense rainforest to the waterhole.

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The track then continues through dense rainforest to Tarkine falls where we stayed the night.

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There is an additional walk out to the Tarkine Lookout, but we didn’t have enough time to complete it.

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Day 3

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.P4020441x (1)P4020461axx (1)P4020377x (1) P4010255 (1)P4020405x (1)P4020389P4020394P4020399

The third night we stayed at the first creek we had encountered on day 1.

Day 4

A short ~2 hour walk back to the river, where we found the right place to crossIMG_6775P4030582axIMG_6772

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All photos copyright Grant Ferguson 2014

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13 thoughts on “Hike into the Tarkine

  1. Greetings Guys,
    Are you able to let me know which map you used. The Tasmap for this area (Folly) dates back to 1984! I wouldn’t be too comfortable using your directions & a 30 year old map. Any help or suggestions most appreciated

    Dave

  2. Greetings guys,

    Just back from the Tarkine.
    We ended up walking a circuit walk from Hilders bridge down along Keith River Road, parallel along the Arthur River and then following the route you provided (clockwise). We stayed at Pinner creek the first night after a 16 km walk and then the following night at Tarkine falls. We bumped into the Tarkine trails crew at this camp who were pretty surprised to see us.
    The next day we walked back out to Hilders bridge and headed up to Wynard for a rest and a beer or two.
    Will post some photos or upload a blog of the circuit we walked with the maps attached.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Dave

  3. Hi

    Very pleased to find this blog.

    I am heading to Tas in Dec 2015 & am very keen also to get details regarding the trail / details of routes in the Tarkine rainforest area . GPS coordinates, correct Tasmap etc. How can i best proceed with this? Contacted Tarkine Trails a few days ago but yet to hear any details. Be very grateful if you have any info to assist.

    cheers

    Tim – Adelaide

  4. Hi

    I am heading TAS (& hopefully the Tarkine) in Dec 2015 & it would be great if i could also get some info regarding the maps & routes & GPS coordinates etc. Would appreciate any help you can offer in this regard.

  5. Awesome stuff guys & great shots too! I love that circuit – have walked it a few times & run it twice. Pure goodness. I’m a northwest Tasmania rural GP/Wilderness doc with 10 years enjoying life running, hiking, cycling & photographing the Tarkine. And more than happy to assist anyone wanting to venture into this wild & remote place. Pls email to get in contact contessamtb@icloud.com . I do have a Garmin GPS file of this circuit. Cheers, Nicole

  6. Hi,
    Great photos, it looks amazing.

    I wonder if i could have a copy of that map too?
    Looks like a nice end of year hike.

    Thanks
    Scott

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