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Updated on 24 Jul 2021
Grade 3 HikeSome bushwalking experience recommended.
Formed earthen track, few obstacles. Generally a modified surface, sections may be hardened. Width: variable and less than 1200mm. Kept mostly clear.
average rating of 8 out of 10
rated by 1 person
The Styx Valley is a controvesial area of Tasmania, having long been a battleground between conservationists and logging groups. The Tolkien Track is a central part of this conflict, being the former location of a protest camp to protect the ancient Eucalyptus Regnans of the area. The track was set up by conservationist groups, and consists of a network of trails around a number of these forest giants, as well as a small waterfall unnoficially known as Tolkien Falls. The waterfall is not especially impressive, but the Tolkien Track is a beautiful walk that is well worth spending a couple of hours exploring, with the falls just being an added bonus.
To find Tolkien Falls, travel along Styx Road from Maydena, continuing for a couple of kilometres past the Big Trees Reserve before making a right turn onto Waterfall Creek Road (about 17km from the Maydena turnoff). After 1.5km, you will come to a large pullout on the right, with small green signage marking the start of the Tolkien Track. The track is slighly confusing, with several false trails that lead nowhere, but the main track is well signed and well trodden, so the most obvious route is usually the right one. A number of the trees along the track have signposts of their own, with the most notable being Gandalfs Staff. This 90 metre high tree was the site of an elevated platform set up by protestors, and the ropes used on the platform can still be seen today. Signs point to the waterfall from around this point, with the waterfall track winding its way rather counterintuitively uphill, before flattening out and then beginning the descent towards the creek. The trail crosses the creek on top of the waterfall, with a short but steep descent down the side of the waterfall after this crossing the most challenging part of the hike. Tolkien Falls drop about 5-6 metres in two notable segments, with the peaceful rainforest setting really adding to the overall ambience of this gorgeous little spot.
All up, the walk to the waterfall should take around 45 minutes each way, but at least two hours should be allowed to properly experience the Tolkien Track.
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 4 Hike
Suitable for experienced hikers.
Hike Grade Unknown
Details regarding the hike are unknown.
Grade 5 Hike
Suitable for very experienced hikers only.
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