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Tasmap Reference: 3644 Folly
Updated on 31 Jan 2021
Grade 4 HikeSuitable for experienced hikers only.
Generally distinct without major modification to the ground. Encounters with fallen debris and other obstacles are likely.
average rating of 8.6 out of 10
rated by 26 people
By Caedence Kuepper
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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 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.
McGowans Falls remains a mystery to find for many people. There are a few reasons for this:
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.
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.
Never Never, Cradle Mountain
Grade 5 Hike
Suitable for very experienced hikers only.
Hike Grade Unknown
Details regarding the hike are unknown.
Grade 2 Hike
Suitable for families with young children.
Grade 3 Hike
Some bush walking experience recommended.
Waterfalls of Tasmania is a community based project originally created by Craig Doumouras, trading as Jubec Systems & Design.
Every endeavour has been undertaken to accurately represent waterfalls and regions across Tasmania. Any persons using this information for their hikes should only use the information as a guide only. Every person should undertake personal judgement as to their abilities to visit Tasmania's landmarks.
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