Pencil Pine Creek
Posted Saturday 18th April 2015
This year we made a last-minute decision to visit Cradle Mountain for the Easter break. I’m glad we did: I hadn’t been there before (LS had) and the scenery is beautiful — totally unlike anything I’ve seen in mainland Australia. During our holiday we were fortunate enough to cover most of the area around Cradle Mountain.
We started on the Wednesday before Easter with a morning flight down to Launceston. The flight was good, though we had to get up annoyingly early. Flying over Melbourne and Bass Strait we saw lots of dreamy clouds.
At Launceston we hired a car and drove to our cabin just outside the National Park. We’d settled in by 14:30, so there was enough afternoon left for a short walk. After organizing a park pass at the Visitor Centre we headed down to the Ranger Station.
We decided to start with the walk along Pencil Pine Creek to Pencil Pine Falls and Knyvet Falls. This is the first part of the Dove Canyon track.
Even the view from the road bridge was pretty.
The track starts in a grassy clearing next to the road where a boardwalk leads across the grass, then descends via some stairs into the creek valley.
Once in the valley we turned right to follow the side-track to the viewing area for Pencil Pine Falls.
Almost all the creeks in this area are heavily coloured by tannin, which apparently comes from the buttongrass.
Specks of foam from the waterfall left trails on the creek as they flowed downstream.
All the track along the creek was boardwalk, which is understandable when the ground is fragile and there is a lot of foot traffic. The valley is quite damp, and is filled with mossy forest.
The track stays close to the creek all the way, so there are plenty of views of the flowing water.
We walked as far as Knyvet Falls (about 1 km from the start), where a viewing platform just above the waterfall gives an unusual view.
We followed the track a little further so we could see the falls from below. In the creek bed are great drifts of pebbles which gave us an ideal place to view the waterfall as it poured over a shelf of undercut rock.
The amount of tannin in the water was enough to colour the falls.
Time for a selfie!
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how the waterfall magic happens:
Taking a slow-exposure photograph to make the water look creamy…
…and this is the result.
Just downstream of the falls is very scenic: mossy rocks, beech, and pine.
The dead branches left behind by a flood shows just how high this creek can get!
We turned around here and followed the track back up to the Ranger Station.
Back at Pencil Pine Falls we’d seen a lookout on the other side of the creek, so we located the track that leads to it and walked the short distance for a higher view of the falls.
All up we spent about an hour and a half for approximately 2·5 km of walking. For such a short walk we got to see a lot of beautiful scenery!