McGowans Falls

West Takone, Tasmania

McGowans Falls
McGowans Falls
© 2015 - 2020 Photography: Craig Doumouras

Share This

Have you been to this waterfall?

Create your account to track your waterfall journey!

Log in to rate

average rating of 4.5 from 13 people

  • public Land Tenure:
    Future Potential Production Forest (Crown)
  • timer 1 kms 1 hour return
  • terrain image Recommended for experienced bushwalkers.
  • directions_walk Formed track, some obstacles
    Formed earthen track, few obstacles. Generally a modified surface, sections may be hardened. Width: variable and less than 1200mm. Kept mostly clear.
  • panorama_horizontal No directional signage.
    Signage is generally not provided.
  • grade Experienced bushwalkers.
    Users require a moderate level of specialised skills such as navigation skills. Users may require maps and navigation equipment to successfully complete the track. users need to be self-reliant, particularly in regard to emergency first aid.
  • clear_all No steps.
  • map Tasmap (1:25000) - Unknown

Share your love of waterfalls with us on Instagram by tagging #waterfallsoftasmania

McGowans Falls is a large tiered waterfall situated on Relapse Creek, west of West Takone in Tasmania.  Access to McGowans Falls is from Relapse Creek Road, a Forestry Rd that branches off Farquhars Road. There is no signage in the area to indicate where the waterfall is, nor are there street signs to indicate where each road is.  Being forestry roads, the tracks are unsealed gravel roads, suffering from some very large potholes. We recommend an SUV vehicle, or a 4WD be used if you wish to visit these falls, and surrounding area. Caravans, and motorhomes should avoid the area entirely. A makeshift area has been created by hiking enthusiasts for car parking that could accommodate 2 vehicles parked one in front of the other, with a pink ribbon on a stick marking the spot to park.

The hike to the waterfalls is relatively quick, requiring 30 minutes for an able bodied / fit person to complete. The hike, for the most part, journeys steadily on a gentle downhill slope, as it meanders through rather dense dry forest. Pink ribbons tied to trees will guide you on the direction to go, so ensure you keep a look out for them. The track will take you directly to the very top of the waterfalls, where a plaque is placed in the ground.

The walk to the base of the falls

The best views of McGowans Falls are from the base of the waterfall, and after a quick scout of the area surrounding the plaque embedded in the soil, more pink ribbons were found to guide you down. The trek down is difficult and dangerous, with very steep slippery sections, with parts of the track needing to be negotiated on cliff faces. If you have a fear of heights, then this part of the hike should not be undertaken. It is also necessary for proper hiking boots and gloves to be worn. Trek Carefully and slowly, ensuring every step you take IS on stable ground.

Navigation Issues

McGowans Falls remains a mystery to find for many people. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The Arthur River 1:100,000 Topographic Tasmap Edition 4 2014 has completely omitted McGowans Falls from their map, where as it was displayed in previous editions.
  • Google Maps has mistakenly called the road you park your vehicle 'Farquhars Road', instead of the correct name 'Relapse Creek Road'.
  • Due to logging in the area, many of the visual resources found in other forums and websites can be misleading, with some websites accidentally directing you in the opposite direction.

Waterfalls Of Tasmania has verified the drive to McGowans Falls, as well as the hiking track with a handheld Magellan GPS. The tracking data can be seen on the map on this page.


On the 14th October 2015, 'McGowans Falls' was officially registered with the Tasmanian Nomenclature Board. Douglas McGowan was a ranger in charge of the Lapoinya and West Takone logging areas in the 1970's. The area where McGowans Falls is situated were scheduled to be logged by the A.F.H (Association of Forest Holdings) contractors, and Douglas McGowan was responsible for surveying and assessing the area for the group. During his scouting expeditions, Douglas discovered the waterfall, and recommended to headquaters that they should preserve the waterfall, and the surrounding forest as an area of beauty, history, and environmental significance.

Image Gallery for McGowans Falls

Click on an image to view in fullscreen

Side view of McGowans Falls
Pink ribbons lead the way
In loving memory

Videos featuring McGowans Falls

Waterfalls near McGowans Falls

Distances are measured 'as the crows fly' and are not reflective of road distance or hiking distances.

15.77 kms away

Grade 2 Hike

1 km return

18.78 kms away

Grade 3 Hike

2.2 km return

21.32 kms away

Grade 5 Hike

0.6 km return

23.37 kms away

Grade 3 Hike

0.02 km return

Previous & Next

Previous Waterfalls

Grade 5 Hike

6 km return

Next Waterfalls

Grade 3 Hike

10.5 km return

Avoid Private Property

Not every area in Tasmania is available for the public to explore. Watch our video tutorial to learn how to identify which areas are on public land.