We last visited Meadstone Falls in 2016 when we were researching content for a blog about skinny dipping in our region. So after unusually good rainfall this summer, we thought it would be interesting to revisit this waterfall. The deep upstream rock pools make this an inviting destination on a hot summer’s day!
Getting to Meadstone Falls
From Branxholm we drove via Legerwood, Ringarooma and Mathinna to Fingal. At Fingal we turned left towards St Mary’s onto the Esk Highway. The first right-hand turn-off the highway is Valley Road. You will see a sign indicating the Mount Puzzler Forest Reserve and stating that there is no through road. Although the unsealed Valley Road appears in good condition, you will need a sturdy 4WD to complete the drive to the Meadstone Falls.
We continued driving up the hill on the well-formed road till we reached an intersection. Here we turned right as indicated by a small sign – Falls. Continuing on, was another left-hand turn, as we started driving downhill. The final turn-off was well sign posted – Meadstone Falls (Road closed).
Road to Meadstone Falls Closed
When we drove to Meadstone Falls in 2016, the road had been excavated to prevent vehicle access – see the photo above. But our trusty short-wheel-base Feroza got across!
On this recent trip (2021) however, we found the road had been graded and the excavated road hazard filled in. I imagine this was to ensure access for emergency vehicles. Last year this region was endangered by bush fires.
So, on we drove – feeling confident! Till we reached the old bridge. I remembered this had been dodgy last time. But now the bridge had completely collapsed.
After the bridge obstacle, the road becomes very rough. It really is 4WD only after this point.
Meadstone Falls Walking Track
After the river-crossing it is only about 2.5 km to the Mount Puzzler Reserve camp site and the start of the walking track.
The track is easy to follow. Although rarely accessed, in recent years some hikers have placed rock cairns and tapes (now faded) which make the track easy to find. The walk to the Meadstone Falls is nearly one-hour (one way) and the walk down to the river is about a further 30 minutes.
Walk to the Falls
The walk through dry sclerophyll forest is a pleasant walk. The river bed drops away till the amazing dolerite ravine and waterfall are revealed. There is a final short steep track down to the look out platform.
The lookout over Meadstone Falls is not being maintained. So we do not recommend you walk out onto the platform! It’s a long way down… This year there was more water in the St Paul’s River. (If you want to see what the waterfall looks like after a dumping of rain, then take a look at this image.
The Rock Pools above the Falls
The scramble down to the river is well worth the extra effort. But be careful, because the little-used track can be covered with dry leaves and is slippery. There is a rock scramble across the river too, if you want to enjoy the best-ever rock pool! (Take a look at our skinny dipping photos from 2016).
On this occasion we didn’t swim! Although the slight breeze and cool temperature was ideal for walking, it was far too cold for swimming! It was very peaceful gazing into the water watching the small fish and other aquatic life darting around.
Apparently you can scramble further down the river to the top of the waterfall. We haven’t attempted this. I imagine the river would have to be really dry to make this extra exploration feasible!
If you are interested in learning about other walks in Tasmania, or staying with us at Tin Dragon Trail Cottages, you might enjoy reading our Blog. Of course, you may like to subscribe so you can receive our latest published articles, too!