Just when you think you have seen all that an area has to offer you find way more and soon realise that you haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s around. On this Trip to Trial Harbour, we check out some Old Mines, Waterfalls, Australias best sunset, do some 4wding and fishing.
The day didn’t start off too well, we thought we would get up early and hit the road to make sure we would get a camping spot but by the time we got to Burnie I had realised that Id left the air compressor in the Zook. (Normally I wouldn’t worry too much but this trip we were going to be on the beech a lot so we kinda needed one) Instead of driving all the way back to Smithton I decided to bite the bullet and just buy one so this wouldn’t happen again but the problem was none of the shops that sold them for a reasonable price where open until 8:30, 9:00 which in my world is late haha but after a bit of calm waiting time I got a compressor and we where off again.
All the rest of the way down I was now stressing about getting a spot as Trial Harbour is starting to become a very popular spot, on the way down the hill into Trial Harbour we passed a 4wd with a caravan heading in the opposite direction and I thought this is either very good or very bad. Turned out it was very good as he had just left opening up a spot for us (probably the best in the campsite too). After breathing a sigh of relief and setting up camp we were straight out and about to check out some old Mines in the area.
The first on the List was ‘Maynes’ or Higgins Workings, I saw some pictures on ‘Abandoned Railways, Mines and Buildings of Tasmania‘ Facebook Page and they looked fantastic so thought we better go and check it out ourselves. The mine was a Tin Mine and consisted of shallow shafts open cuts and adits and was in operation from 1902 to 1936 (possibly later???) and had a total production of just over 200 tons. The first thing we noticed in the search for the mine was a diversion tunnel of Pykes Creek.
From here we scrounged through the bush searching for the mine and anything else we could find in the area.
If I hadn’t of known there was a mine here and I stumbled across this I would have nearly thought it was a cave. They seemed to have mined an open Pit and then gone underground in maybe a last ditch effort to extract the ore.
This adit was around the corner a bit but may have linked up with the others. Some of the West Coast Mines can be very hard to explore as they are generally always deep with water and mud. (For more info on this mine click here.)
After Maynes, we decided to check out Kelvin which is only a few 100 meters to the North of Maynes but didn’t have much luck finding anything other than a small trench so we decided to give up on this one and try and find Prince George mine located on Federation Mine Creek. This involved a bit of a drive up Climies Track so that was a bonus. (so I thought at the time) We walked up the creek to try and find this one and soon come across an old waterwheel remains???
From here we forced our way up into the bush in search of the mine but found nothing so we thought we would tackle it from another direction and go in from the Climies Track and then all of a very sudden we where 1 step from disaster, there was a very deep trench or collapsed adit that literally appeared out of nowhere. After taking a few steps back we pushed through the bush and found our way to the bottom and had a look in there.
We couldn’t get any further as the lower level had looked like it had collapsed opening up a hole in the ground.
After taking this photo I heard what I thought to be a rock falling in the water and knowing that there was a level below us we got out of there very quickly hoping it wasn’t going to collapse.
After a very busy day travelling and exploring we spent the rest of the day swimming, fishing and enjoying the beautiful Sunset.
This was probably one of the best sunsets I have ever seen as there was also a lightning storm happening at the same time. It was very unusual as the clouds didn’t look like storm clouds but they were producing some good lighting, I thought if I get a photo of a lightning bolt in the sunset I will win the 100 million jackpot… Unfortunately, I didn’t get the photo but there is still a chance for the jackpot.
The next morning after a mixed sleep we were up early to go searching for the Cumberland Waterfall. We have tried but failed a couple of times before being both ill-prepared and struggling through the impenetrable bush (mainly Horizontal). So this time we decided to tackle it from the Little Henty River Via Kayak.
Which was a visually spectacular Trip. After a few km of paddling, we made it to the mouth of the Cumberland Creek, from here we tied the kayaks to a stick and began the trek up the creek to the Falls. These falls obviously didn’t want to be found to easily as the trek up the creek was also nearly impossible as the Horizontal was thick to the point of nearly impossible in some spots but every now and then we would see a clearing and that was enough to keep us going.
After a while, we could hear the waterfall but the Horizontal wasn’t finished yet and gave us another obstacle to get through before it would allow us access to the falls.
At this point, my map was showing we weren’t quite at the actual falls yet so after coming so far we decided to push on and see what we could find. Given the attire we had (shorts, dive boots and T-shirt) this probably wasn’t a good idea as we had to climb up the spur to get to the top of this waterfall and a climb it was too slippery and loose rocks but the effort was very much rewarded as the next waterfall up was spectacular.
I’m not even 100% convinced that this was Cumberland Falls either as my map didn’t add up but we were soaked with sweat and covered in scratches so we jumped in for a swim to cool off before heading back to the Kayaks to head back to camp.
After heading back to camp and having some lunch we decided to keep the waterfall theme going and find one on Montague Creek. This was another scratchy walk but also worth the effort.
After yet another quick swim we decided to head back towards camp but on the way, we took a little detour and ended up on the top of the campsite and were rewarded with some spectacular views.
After this, we decided we still hadn’t endured enough punishment so we decided to walk down to the base of Trial Harbour falls and get a shot.
Then came to the realisation that is waterfall is better viewed from a distance as there is more too it than what is pictured.
To finish off this is one of my favourite places in Tassie and fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it this place is starting to get very popular among tourists and locals due to this camping endemic that seems to be happening now. In the last 5 years (that I have noticed) the changes that have happened around the campsites from people cutting down trees leaving rubbish and toilet paper in the bush, up turning the fire pits or even somehow breaking them it’s sad to see. A point will come were someone will get sick of it and just close the area altogether from camping. If you are one of these people who do this STAY AT HOME AND WALLOW IN YOUR OWN FILTH we don’t want or need you out and about. Sorry to end on a negative but it drives us insane.
Hope you Enjoyed.
Great travel story but way to rugged for me so thanks for sharing.