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Updated on 15 Sep 2021
Grade 5 HikeSuitable for very experienced hikers only.
No Modification of the natural environment.
average rating of 5 out of 10
rated by 1 person
Moonlight Falls (unofficial name) is the last big plunge that Moonlight Creek makes on its descent from the expansive Moonlight Ridge area, with a spectacular 75 metre single drop toward the depths of Moonlight Flats below. If access to a clear viewpoint or the base of the falls were possible it would clearly be in the very upper echelon of Tasmania's waterfalls. Unfortunately, however, there are no tracks in the area, and the only realistic access is to the top of the falls, which gives just a teaser of the spectacular waterfall below.
To reach the top of Moonlight Falls, follow the Moonlight Ridge Track from South Lune Road near Ida Bay, climbing steeply until you reach Moonlight Ridge. From here, continue to a small campsite on the banks of the eastern fork of Moonlight Creek, in total a 7.7km walk from the trailhead. At this point you have to leave the track, and continue downstream parallel to the creek, travelling through an area extensively burnt in 2012 fires. After a little over a kilometre of walking, you will come to Moonlight Creek Cascades, which are well worth the trip on their own. From here, it is only a short distance to the main falls, so it is worth making the last extra effort. Stay just above the creek in the burnt area, until an opportunity presents to head into the rocky creek bed for the final stretch to the falls. This shouldn't be attempted when the creek is in flood, given the size of the drop not far further on. The views once at the top of the falls are spectacular, and a scramble to the base around the western side of the escarpment looks tantalisingly possible. The scrub is truly impenetrable, however, with the main photo on this page showing how far we made it in from the top in over half an hour of bushbashing. We were lucky to even get this good of a view, with a small gap in the scrub providing a window towards the falls. If we hadn't stumbled across this opening, the mission into the scrub would have been for no reward at all.
Despite the limited viewpoints, Moonlight Falls is a very impressive waterfall and the views to Moonlight Flats make the effort worthwhile, particularly with the added bonus of Moonlight Creek Cascades nearby. It is recommended to attempt the trip as an overnighter, with at least 11 hours being required if you wanted to do the hike in a single day.
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.
Grade 5 Hike
Suitable for very experienced hikers only.
Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park
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