Friday, 1 June 2018

Billy Brown Falls 2018

Today we're walking into Billy Brown Falls, we missed it last week due to the bad weather causing wind and rain damage in southern Tasmania.

I was in two minds about going today as there was a 70% chance of rain, but decided to take the chance. In the end it turned out to be a good day for the walk.

It started to spit rain as we approached Judbury but stopped by the time we had parked the cars.

Bob had been here before and warned us about the state of the bridges. The actual walk to Billy Browns Falls is only 2.2km with a steep descent to the bottom of the falls. No matter what state the bridges were in, Bob and I agreed to stop where we did to extend the walk to around 11km.

When we arrive near where we finally stopped, Bob left the car ahead to run down the road and check where we could park and the state of the bridge. Despite many objections, I said we would not leave until he came back.

We found a space for the cars and got ourselves together for the walk.

Almost ready to set off...

...well, most of us

Someone always bends over when I take a photo
We arrive at the crossing to find it's certainly not passable by vehicle.

The walk is off forestry roads and advertised as being suitable with 2wd cars with care. In fact, the Wildcare Friends of Billy Brown Falls helped Parks & Wildlife to construct a car park near the start of the track.

Unfortunately, the weather has cancelled all that hard work as the first bridge is washed out.

 We reach the creek crossing to find it needs a bit of attention.

You might say that...

It's a bit of a step up to reach Peter on the other side
 Unfortunately, I tried to follow in Geoff's footsteps and fell at the first hurdle.

I have to apologize to Wayne and anyone else who offered me a hand up and was met with refusal, but I had to sort it out myself. After several mumbled magic words, I managed to stand upright with only some damage to my right hand.

You may be surprised that when I cleaned it up at home, I had a bandage on only one finger, it had looked quite spectacular before I cleaned it up at Morning Tea.

On we go, over the second bridge which is in better shape.

Looking upstream

The second crossing

The road ahead
The road heads up in a series of steps and is not too steep. The area has been logged in the past so much is fairly new growth.

Off to the side

We reach a good spot for Morning Tea with some seating. I clean my hand and put on some tape just as it begins to spit rain. Most put on some rain gear, as do I, but it really amounts to almost nothing and I take my jacket off as soon as I can.

It's actually a pleasant day temperature wise and the forecast for Judbury was 17C.

Morning Tea

There were some pretty large trees here in the past
As we go, Peter sees this example just above us on the bank. I didn't catch a good photo, but even with his arm and walking stick extended he couldn't reach the other side of the stump.

Peter with base of giant tree

After a while we reach a junction and head right towards the start of the track. It's actually farther than I thought, but soon we reach the new parking lot with the sign indicating the start of the track.

I always cheer up when I see these signs. We don't want it too easy after all

Cutting grass welcomes us for the first part of the track...
...but soon changes to trees

There will be lots of tree ferns soon

The track climbs up winding around, over and through old trees. It's a bit slippery in places, but not too bad.

Wayne has a look around the fairly open bush

We pass the base of an old tree

Looking back shows the track

The Friends have installed a seat at the top. Now we start down towards the falls
For the full and interesting story of Billy Brown Falls, CLICK HERE 
You'll find out who Billy Brown was and who created the track in the first place. Also how sturdy people were in years past!

The track is steeper now and you have to be fairly careful in places, but it's worth it for the scenery.

Going down

Man fern grove

One of the giants

Indication of size
I had been taking photos of fungus while everyone else had passed this tree. I managed to find a photo of a gentleman on the Internet posed in front to show the size. Thanks to the unknown walker. I now know this is Aspen Cauchi, a member of the Wildcare Friends of Billy Brown Falls group.

Still going down

Soon, we reach the bottom of the falls.

Nearly there

It gets your attention

About 50 metres in height

I know there is another step farther up, as I saw it when I climbed down
Bob, who's been near the top in the past thinks it might be two steps and I'll take his word for that.

The stream comes through that gap at the top and spreads out

Here we stop for lunch and enjoy our surroundings.

I wasn't looking forward to the climb back up, but it was actually easier then going down and soon we reach the seat at the top. All down hill from here.

Peter points out this, what appears to be a pine. With no parent in sight it must have been brought in by a bird and seems to be doing well

Large, old pile of rock near the top. Evidence of glacier activity, I suppose

Going down

We reach the road and begin the downhill trek back to the cars.

A creek coming out of the ferns beside the road

Back at the unfortunate crossing. I managed to follow in Geoff's footsteps without falling down this time.
Now, at the start of the track there is a Parks & Wildlife box with a walker registration book in it. Bob signed us in and out, but I thought I would take a photo of this comment on the last page.

Well, I'll tell you Ruth. We had every intention to park and walk from the first crossing, even though we had three 4X4s and are obviously very rich. The walk is too short otherwise. This is the bush and the Wildcare Friends of Billy Brown Falls have put a lot of their own time, effort and probably some of their own money into this walk.

If you don't like it don't do it!. We enjoyed it very much, including walking up to get to the start.

I will say, that having seen that entry my 15 year old Subaru Forester is developing a superiority complex!

We had 11 walkers and covered 11.06km in about 4hrs. Thanks to Bob for leading us there.

 Click here to download GPX file 


  1. I’m pretty sure there were 14 of us. Hope your hand is okay

  2. V nice write up and thanks for the fair comments - we are currently trying to raise funds to improve the road and repair crossings