About Meetus Falls
Meetus Falls turned out to be a surprisingly pleasing and tall (I’m guessing 35m) waterfall that even produced a short rainbow on the day that we visited it for the first time in late November 2006. Having been to the nearby Lost Falls, we were pre-conditioned into thinking the Meetus Falls would also be dry. However, what Meetus had going for it was that it was on the Cygnet River, which tended to have reliably good flow as the river drained the marshes of the Snow Hill Forest Reserve between Avoca and Lake Leake on its way to the Moulting Lagoon and Pelican Bay near the Freycinet Peninsula. In fact, it was said that this waterfall flowed year-round, and on a subsequent visit in November 2017, which happened to suffer through a rather dry Winter and Spring that year, the falls still exhibited a fairly satisfactory flow.
In addition to the impressive size of the waterfall, this also struck us as another one of those back-to-the-bush kind of experiences (like Mathinna Falls further to the north), despite the presence of recreational infrastructure like BBQ grills, picnic tables, shelters, and signage at the car park. That said, the experience quickly became primitive as the track to get to the overlook was narrow, steep, and easily lost amongst the low-lying bush. Even the road to access the car park was on the rough side. So on both of our visits here, Julie and I were pretty much alone the entire time we were here, which further added to the wild and remote ambience.
From the wide open clearing at the car park, we took an established walking track where the signs had indicated that it would only require about 20 minutes return. Initially, the track meandered amongst tall thin trees towering over the scene. There was a certain smell here during our last visit in November 2017, which we figured out was coming from these “fruit-loop”-looking berries that were growing besides the narrow track. It didn’t take long before the track descended in earnest with a few rocks hidden amongst the forest floor conspiring to force a slip-and-fall or at least an ankle twist (especially in wet conditions). At roughly over 150m from the car park, there was a trail junction where we kept right to continue downwards to the overlook. The track on the left descended steeply to the Cygnet River. For the final 80m or so, we descended steps to an overlook peering right down at the Meetus Falls as well as a panorama of the bushlands further downriver.
While the weather was kind to us on our most recent visit in 2017, we decided not to push our luck as we managed to spend around 40 minutes away from the car, which happened to coincide with a break in between heavy rains. Maybe next time, we might finish the excursion by going all the way down to the river, then seeing if it would be possible to get up to the very bottom of Meetus Falls. Nevertheless, the short but steep uphill walk back to the car park ensured that we were a little on the sweaty side despite the cool, wet weather.
Since we drove to Meetus Falls from two different directions (one from Launceston and the other from Hobart), I’ll describe our route for each of those options. I’ll start with the Launceston approach first since that city was closer to the falls.
From the Launceston CBD, we headed south towards the Midland Hwy (Hwy 1), and then we kept going south in the direction of Hobart to remain on the Midland Hwy. At around 66km south of Launceston (or 12km south of the Esk Highway [A4] turnoff), we then left the Midland Hwy and turned left onto the Lake Leake Hwy (B34) in Campbell Town. After about 36km (or nearly 7km east of the town of Lake Leake), we reached a four-way intersection with a signpost pointing the way to our left for Meetus Falls. At this point, we left the highway and headed north on the unsealed McKays Rd.
We continued north on McKays Rd for roughly 10.5km as we saw a sign for the falls suggesting we take the turnoff on our right. Although the McKays Rd was wide, we had to be careful due to the presence of some deep potholes.
Once we left McKays Rd, we then drove the narrower forest service road for about 700m towards a fork. Turning right at this fork, we then drove the remaining 900m to the dead-end at the Meetus Falls car park. That last stretch of road had some fairly bad sections with ruts and gullies in addition to potholes, but our 2wd passenger vehicle was able to do it with care.
Overall, this drive took us under 2 hours.
From the Hobart CBD, we headed east on the Tasman Highway (A3) towards Sorell (after 24km) and then towards the Lake Leake Highway (B34) (about 142km from Hobart or 10km north of Swansea).
Once on the Lake Leake Highway, we then drove about 20km to the familiar four-way intersection where the unsealed McKays Rd was on the right. Then, we’d follow the directions as given above.
That drive took us on the order of 2.5 hours.
For some geographical context, Launceston was about 103km (over an hour drive) east of Devonport, 138km (under 2 hours drive) northwest of Swansea, 167km (over 2 hours drive) west of St Helens, and 201km (nearly 2.5 hours drive) north of Hobart.
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