Winterbrook Falls lies in the Winterbrook Forest Reserve, about an hours drive south of Burnie. This is a nice half day walk (3-4 hours return) that takes you through old myrtle forests and up to about 900m in altitude. There hadn’t been much rain in the previous days but there was still a fair bit of water coming down the falls, allowing us to walk around the base without getting too wet.
This weekend had been set aside to visit Emily’s family in Burnie, and we were hoping to have some free time on the Sunday to go and bag a peak in the area. Originally the plan was to hike up to Black Bluff via the Penguin-Cradle trail but this was likely to take the best part of a day so we decided to cut the walk right down. I wasn’t overly disappointed as I had a few too many wines the night before. The walk we chose to do was a more leisurely 3-4 hour return to Winterbrook Falls, which lies just below the Black Bluff ridge.
The walk starts along the old forestry road and passes over the eroded bridge. Turning left at the fork brings you to the old carpark and the start of the Tramway track. The beginning of the track is mainly duck boards followed by open forest and a small bridge. The track then climbs slightly while still following the old snig track. About an hour in you will reach Winterbrook Creek which provides a nice spot to stop and refill drink bottles. From here, the track climbs reasonably steeply until it opens up to reveal the falls from afar. To get to the base of the falls, continue along the duck boards and follow the signs/ribbons. The final climb to the falls is short but fairly steep and could be difficult if there is a lot of water coming down. We decided not to return via the slightly longer Maxwell track as we had to be back in Burnie for lunch.
All up 9.7kms in 3 hours and 15 minutes. 390m ascent.
Getting there: Take the B15 (Castra Road) off the Bass Highway at Ulverstone. Continue along this road through Sprent and Upper Castra until you reach South Nietta Road. Drive along South Nietta Road then continue straight onto Smith Plains Road. Follow all signs for Winterbrook Forest Reserve.
Black Bluff can also be accessed via this track but I believe it is a bit steeper and more challenging than the Penguin-Cradle trail. For those interested in reaching Black Bluff from here, you can start along the Maxwell track by turning right at the fork past the collapsed bridge (continuing along Smiths Plains Rd). Alternatively you can walk the Tramway Track and turn right about 5 minutes before the falls to cut across to the Maxwell track.