WATERFALLS IN A VERDANT FOREST

16 Apr 2021 

An easy day today. A walk to Liffey Falls with our sketching gear. 

It was a pretty drive through rolling farm land around to the Liffey Falls Conservation Reserve. The road changed to gravel and passed through forest and dappled light before descending down into a lush dense rainforest. 

“That’s clever” chuckled David as we passed a ‘ONE LANE’ sign that had been spray painted with two additional green letters. It now reads ‘ONE PLANET’. 

From the trailhead the track headed down through a lush grove of fern trees, like we’ve never seen before.

Looming like characters from a Tim Burton movie, some stood tall, others twisted and contorted to find the sun. And towering over the kooky characters are impossibly tall sassafras trees. 

As we followed the fast flowing river cascading over sandstone terraces, we were looking for the perfect spot to stop and sketch.  Our plan was to walk down to the main falls first, and come back to the best spot.

Spotting a gap in the trail with a few well places stones, we climbed down on to the shore of the river and rock-hopped into the middle to get a better view of a cascade. 

Further along we came across a quiet bend in the river with water lazily gliding through rainforest. 

But the calm was soon interrupted by the narrowing and deepening gorge. We climbed down to the river edge and found a beautifully verdant forest. The darkness punctuated with shafts of sunlight. A single fern tree stood on the rocks, like a lone sentry. 

The river had broadened out by the time it tumbled over the steps of Liffey Falls in a picturesque display. A classically beautiful waterfall, as if built by the Tasmanian Tourism Board. 

It’s a shy waterfall, hidden in the forest with only one viewing area tucked to the side. We wanted to see if front on and so further down stream tried rock hopping to get a better view. 

We weren’t prepared to take our boots off to get to closer to the falls, and were content to sit in the sunshine on a big boulder that jutted out into a shallow bend of the river. 

Getting comfortable we pulled out the sketchbooks and watercolours and settled into sketching mode for the afternoon. 

People came and went around us, stopping for a picnic lunch on the rocks on the river.

The all consuming white noise of the falling water had a meditative effect, blotting out all else except for the here and now. 

Eventually it was time to leave this lovely place. As I was packing up and slinging on my day pack an older man was rock hoping his way over to our comfy boulder.  

“That looks like a good spot!” he smiled at me. 

“It is! Enjoy the sunshine” 

It was a straight forward walk retracing our step beck up through the forest. We slowed down to spend time with the kooky tree characters in the sunshine.  

“How old are you?” I asked one resting a gloved hand on his mossy trunk and looking up through his fancy headdress.  

Too old to answer. 

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