Philosopher Falls

Waratah, Tasmania

Philosopher Falls
Philosopher Falls
© 2015 - 2020 Photography: Craig Doumouras
  • public Land Tenure:
    Future Potential Production Forest (Crown)
  • timer 2 kms 1.5 hours return
  • terrain image Recommended for people with some bushwalking experience.
  • 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 Clearly sign posted.
    Track head signage & route markers at intersections.
  • grade Some bushwalking experience recommended.
    Users need no bushwalking experience and a minimum level of specialised skills. Users may encounter natural hazards such as steep slopes, unstable surfaces and minor water crossings. They are responsible for their own safety.
  • clear_all Many steps.
  • map Tasmap (1:25000) - 3640 Luina

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Philosopher Falls, situated 9km's from the township of Waratah, is a stunning multi-tier waterfall encased in gorgeous thick rain forest. Driving towards Savage River from Waratah, signage directing you to Philosopher Falls is easily seen. The car park area is about 400 - 500 metres up the unsealed road.  From there, your hike begins.

First impressions of the track is just how good it is, especially when compared to many other tracks of popular waterfalls in Tasmania. The track is a wide, gravel / stone track, that meanders it's way through the forest, before reaching a purpose built foot bridge that crosses Arthur River. The walk continues along the north-western side of the river until you reach a staircase that descends 210 steps to a lookout of Philosopher Falls.

This track, and bridges, as well as carparking area was constructed in 2010 as part of a $1,000,000 upgrade. The previous track, which took you to the base of the waterfall on the eastern side of Arthur River, is no longer maintained, nor is it accessible.


  • Philosopher Falls was named after James "Philosopher" Smith, who discovered Tin in the Waratah area in 1871. It is unclear how he received the nickname "Philosopher"
  • The new track that was constructed on the north-western side of Arthur River in 2010 utilises a water race that was built decades earlier to supply water to Magnet Mine. The mine was first opened in 1894, and was closed in 1940, having produced over 38,000 tines of lead, and 227 tonnes of silver. The upgraded track takes you part way along that track.

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Waterfalls near Philosopher Falls

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

6.04 kms away

Grade 1 Hike

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Grade 3 Hike

0.02 km return

30.6 kms away

Grade 5 Hike

0.6 km return

32.06 kms away

Grade 5 Hike

25 km return

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Grade 4 Hike

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Grade 2 Hike

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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.