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Arve Falls

Very short walk along a well-made track to attractive falls and creek, with some interpretative signs explaining the sub-alpine vegetation.

Images - click to enlarge

Features

Waterfall, attractive creek.

Difficulty

Very easy

Distance

Altitude

Climb/Fall

Time

Gear Code

1km

~780m

10m/10m

15min

A

Access from

Geeveston

Distance from
Geeveston/Hobart/Huonville

26/90/47 km

Road Directions

Travel to Geeveston, and upon entering the township (travelling from Hobart) immediately turn right (West) into Arve Road. Shortly after passing the Arve River picnic area, turn left uphill on a dirt road, Hartz Mts Rd, clearly signed as the route to the Hartz Mts National Park. Drive up this road, and past the Waratah Shelter. A further 1.5km along the orad, there is a small parking area on the left, just before the orad drops slightly across a small plain. Park here.

Road Types

Sealed to bottom of Hartz Mts Rd, then moderate dirt roads for bulk of remainder. Some rough/soft patches, care required. Some narrow sections, and sharp, unexpected corners. Look out for other vehicles, especially log trucks. There is new forestry activity up Hartz Mountains Road, so large vehicles may be encountered. Sharp dolerite pebbles can cause punctures on these roads.

Description

The track heads along the small ridge through the low trees. It is well formed and easy to follow. After a couple of minutes, the track drops slightly and follows the attractive creek. There are several places along heer where you could sit and have lunch or a snack on a warm day. The track descends several flights of stairs at then end, and a lookout above the falls provides a good view of the falls below, and the steep valley the creek falls down. Several signs along the track explain some of the vegetation. See if you can work out how old the banksia is.

Safety

Few problems. Keep children close at the falls. The drop is considerable.

Maps

1:25,000 Waterloo (4821) sheet; Hartz Mt National Park Map 1;50,000; 1:100,000 Huon (8211) sheet

Facilities

Large visitor shelter with composting toilets, water, seats etc, spacious barbecue shelter hut with free gas barbecue, fireplace, composting toilet, seats and tables (Waratah shelter).

Nearby items of interest

In the park: Hartz Peak and Lake, Lake Esperance, Lakes Perry and Osborne, Waratah Lookout, Mt Snowy, Arthur and Emily Tarns, Ladies Tarn.

History

The Hartz mountains was one of the first popular bushwalking areas in Tasmania, already attracting people from Hobart in the 1920s.

In the 1820s however, it was valued for timber by carpenters and ship-builders. Timber-getters cut tracks westward from the Huon valley into the mountains in search of both timber and minerals. Others reached the Hartz Mountains from Macquarie Harbour on the west coast, cutting tracks along the Huon River.

The Geeves family, who founded Geeveston, cut the first track to the Hartz Mountains from that town, and then extended it westward to the base of Federation Peak. On November 27, 1897, Osborne Geeves, his three sons and his nephew were returning from a prospecting expedition, and were overtaken by a severe snow storm while crossing the Hartz range. One son and his nephew died of exposure, the nephew doing so minutes after reaching Hartz Hut. A memorial is located near where they perished, and can be seen by walkers.

In the early 1900s, an industry sprang up around the extraction of eucalyptus oil from the varnished gum (Eucalyptus vernicosa), the smallest eucalypt in Australia.

The Hartz mountains were set aside as a scenic reserve in 1939, however some parts have been revoked for logging. In 1989, the 7226ha of the Hartz Mountains National Park was included in the Tasmanian World Heritage Area.

(ref. Hartz Mountains National Park Day Walk Map. TASMAP. 1992)

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