New access track to Minnow Falls

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New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Thu 28 Dec, 2017 4:48 pm

The Minnow Falls are a multi-tier falls on the Eastern side of Mount Roland in the Paradise Plantation. It is a spectacular sight at any time but especially after heavy rain, and when in flood it can be seen from Paradise/Union Bridge Rd. It is sometimes confused with Minnow Creek Falls which is further to the North West [Minnow Creek Falls could well be the highest single fall in Tasmania]. Not many people know about the Minnow Falls and even fewer people have ever been there, because it is quite difficult to find. There is a track from Belstone Rd, as featured on the Tastracks website, and was last field checked in 2010. http://tastracks.webs.com/northwest.htm#669415640
The track has since then deteriorated because it has not been used much. There is now a much shorter, easier to find, option to get to the Minnow Falls. The track starts at the end of Bottom 1 Rd and follows the river upstream on an old existing logging track. It then descends to, and crosses the river and further follows an existing track upstream. Were the river bank becomes too steep it moves onto a ridge that leads uphill until it meets the old track from Belstone Rd. It will take about 90 min to get to the falls. There is a confusion of pink tape in that area, leading in all directions. The new track has been flagged in orange tape from the carpark to the top of the ridge where it meets the old track that descends to the bottom falls, that old track has been reflagged in pink tape. We found a large collection of Tasmanian Christmas Bells near the falls. According to the Minnow Falls track notes from the Tastracks website, you can ascend the escarpment to the middle falls and the top of the Plateau from the bottom falls, but I was unable to find the track or any flagging to date. I will explore that further and reflag the track in the near future. I did find some reports on that track at http://www.natureloverswalks.com/minnow-falls/ and https://weareexplorers.co/hiking-minnow ... adise-tas/
The track from the top of the falls to the Mt Roland summit track has also been retaped in pink so it is possible to walk through to O’Neill’s Creek or via the summit down the face track to Claude Rd from Paradise Road
There are also two videos on YouTube about the falls
Minnow falls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuRN8JMZwxE
Not the Minnow falls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfdRPwcLVlk
To get to the head of the track from Sheffield: Take Spring Road to Claude Road. A few hundred meters past Jeffries/Brown Hills Rd intersection turn left into Paradise Rd. a few hundred meters past the Beulah Rd turnoff [where the roads changes into Union Bridge Rd] turn right into Belstone Rd [Note: Were Union Bridge Road veers left, a gravel road on the right with a small upright white marker with orange tape] Over the bridge take the second turn left into Rising Rd [Small white marker with orange tape on the left] at the first fork veer to the right and follow Bottom Rd. At the next fork veer left and follow Bottom 1 road to the end. The track starts on the Right-hand side of the carpark. BK
Minnow Falls.JPG
Minnow Falls

Minnow Middle Falls in Flood.JPG
Minnow Middle Falls in Flood

Lunch at the Lower Falls.JPG
Lunch at the Lower Falls

Lower Falls Rock Pool.JPG
Lower Falls Rockpool

Lower Falls.JPG
Lower Falls

Tasmanian Christmas Bells.JPG
Tasmanian Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells.JPG
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Thu 28 Dec, 2017 6:35 pm

Access Road & track Maps
Minnow Falls Track Map.jpg
Minnow Falls Track map

Minnow Falls Access Road Map.jpg
Minnow Falls Access Road Map

Belstone - Rising Rd turnoff.JPG
Belstone - Rising Rd turnoff

Rising Rd - Bottom Rd turnoff.JPG
Rising Rd - Bottom Rd Turnoff

Bottom Rd - Bottom 1 Rd turnoff.JPG
Bottom Rd - Bottom 1 Rd turnoff
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby waterfallman » Fri 29 Dec, 2017 10:10 pm

Brilliant post! You think like I do. All the info needed! I'm goin up there for sure. Thanks for the taping!
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sat 30 Dec, 2017 11:26 am

Mt Roland Summit track to Minnow Falls Lookout and down to the top of the Falls
An 3,5 km slog through mainly button grass plain and some tea tree near the lookout, recently reflagged, easy going.
Pad more distinct towards the lookout and can be seen on google earth, a few snakes about. BK
Roland Minnow Falls track.jpg
Mt Rolland summit track to Minnow falls lookout & top of the Falls
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Davo1 » Sun 31 Dec, 2017 6:15 am

Thanks for the update.
A shame to hear that the track is becoming overgrown as it used to be a pretty well worn track at one stage.
Quite spectacular falls when the flow is right.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby north-north-west » Sun 31 Dec, 2017 10:57 am

Terrific. I've been wanting to do this for some time. Thank you so much for the information, and the work.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Fri 05 Jan, 2018 8:36 pm

Up date to the Minnow river / falls track III. Have located the access track to the middle falls and top of the escarpment.
When you return from the bottom pool, and just as you turn right on the track, there is a small rocky stream bed straight ahead with a small tree fern on the right. After you pass the tree fern you will see the tape going up the hill. The track was not as difficult as I thought it would be, with plenty of hand holds. The hardest thing would be negotiating the rope ladder [it is still capable of carrying a 90 kg load] A bit further up you will enter a sort of cave, after a few minutes your eyes will adjust to the darkness. you work your way up some boulders and then walk around a large boulder to the exit of the cave, which you will see on the left hand side when you come up . When you emerge from the cave, you will see the falls on the right [Merely dripping this time], you can then make your way straight down a pad to an excellent view point at the end of the rock that rises from the bottom pool, there is a guide rope that could give you some mental support, if nothing else. when you walk back to the cave entrance you will see a guide rope over a slab, on the left hand side, that would lead to the top of the escarpment track. Due to time restrictions I have not explored that section yet.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Fri 05 Jan, 2018 9:29 pm

Davo1 wrote:Thanks for the update.
A shame to hear that the track is becoming overgrown as it used to be a pretty well worn track at one stage.
Quite spectacular falls when the flow is right.


Sustainable Timber Tasmania has now removed the barrier before the Minnow Creek. It is now possible to drive through the creek to the Trail head of the old Minnow Falls track. Will check the track out soon.
Opening up the road after all those years can only mean trouble as all of that area has now been declared "Future Production Forests" Guy Barnett and the Will Hodgeman Government are rebuilding the logging industry and want it cut down as soon as possible! We, bush walkers, will be seeing a lot more of these working forests soon!
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby billshep » Fri 12 Jan, 2018 11:52 am

I am delighted to hear that there is a continuing interest in Minnow Falls. I had a good track in there and up the escarpment for some years but had to give up the work. Can't go on for ever! The initial route was pioneered by Fred G. I always hoped others would help keep it open. Check the rope ladders if you can.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Graham17 » Fri 19 Jan, 2018 10:49 pm

Thanks looks like an outing coming
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sun 21 Jan, 2018 8:21 pm

billshep wrote:I am delighted to hear that there is a continuing interest in Minnow Falls. I had a good track in there and up the escarpment for some years but had to give up the work. Can't go on for ever! The initial route was pioneered by Fred G. I always hoped others would help keep it open. Check the rope ladders if you can.


Hi Bill, I am sure there will always be some people who are interested in keeping yours and other historic tracks open for future walkers, as long as the forests are still there! I for one would like to get a party together to further explore and maintain the escarpment loop track as described by Naturelovers: http://www.natureloverswalks.com/minnow-falls/ I am a little to old to safely attempt it by my self. Unfortunately, as you know, the current crop of bushwalkers here, are all to much in a hurry, doing some dare devil stuff, or preoccupied with peak bragging, rather than volunteering some time to maintain existing tracks for future walkers. cheers BK
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Mon 19 Feb, 2018 8:15 pm

The New Minnow falls track now has an all weather log bridge [clad in wire mesh] for when the boulder crossing is impassable due to a rising river.
The river is very dry at this stage. The log bridge is about 100 meters from the start of the track and flagged in Pink and Orange tape.
The new track links up with the existing track at the boulder crossing.
There is a smaller tree next to the log bridge which can be used if your legs are not to steady, you can then hold on to the log bridge while crossing
The bridge is about 2 meters above the river bed at is highest point. The boulder crossing is the easiest way at low water levels.
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New River Crossing
IMG_2454.JPG
Log Bridge
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sun 18 Mar, 2018 6:38 am

A new perspective on the minnow falls, abseiling the falls, why did I not think off that!
fatcanyoners Link: https://fatcanyoners.org/2018/03/03/minnow-falls/
Need to go up there after the rain to take some photos, would not like to dangle there on a piece of rope right now!
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Tue 20 Mar, 2018 10:02 pm

Two of us spent 7 hours today, to clear the old Minnow Falls access track from Belstone Rd to the Falls, one section was so full of treefall that we had to divert around it. We could have, probably, spent 4 hours, with a chainsaw, on that section alone! However, since we were running low on fuel, time and energy, we decided to go around it. The beginning of that track from the carpark, through the pine forest and up the very old, barely recognisable, logging track to the gravel pit, is quite pleasant and panoramic. You get a good view of the escarpment and the waterfalls [Minnow middle fall and the “not the Minnow falls”]. How ever we could see no evidence of the minnow creek falls, It appears that the creek just meanders down the escarpment through a gully. Past the gravel pit, the track becomes increasingly steep as it travels up a ridge until it hits the tea tree line where it diverts to the left. The track then continues rising while traveling in the direction of the falls. At about 670 m we saw some tape up a steep gully, perhaps that would link up with the escarpment track while bypassing that section that comes up, through the cave, from the bottom pool. The main track carries on and then begins to descend to the intersection between the new track, from bottom Rd 1, and the track to the bottom pool. We had a late lunch at the bottom pool, and since neither of us wanted to return via the old track to the carpark we decided to return via the new track and then take our chances with a cross track that we had spotted while clearing the track between the new log bridge and the boulder crossing, hoping it would take us back to the carpark. We descended in just under an hour and then set off on the cross track, it took us about half an hour to get back to the carpark. We did not clear anything there but there was plenty of tape until we crossed a road after which the tape suddenly stopped in a sea of dense tea tree [double flag]. We then decided to follow the road, which was quite overgrown in places, and it took us back to the track we started on, in the morning, and the carpark. We were quite happy with our progress as I had read in a recent report that three fit and young individuals had taken two hours over the old track, coming down, although it would be easier now we have cleared the track. The access to the falls, from bottom Rd 1, via the new track is certainly a big improvement over the old track, and if you are keen you can do a loop! The flow in the river has improved quite a bit lately, and even though we missed an even better flow on the weekend the falls where quite impressive. The forecast for the end of the week is about 20-50 mm of rain, so perhaps we will have to have an photographic expedition early next week! Please Note: The minnow falls from the top of the escarpment to the bottom pool is in excess of 200 meters and consists of 3 main falls, the top one approximately 60m, the middle one approximately 80m and the lower one about 50m plus a host of intermediate falls ranging from 2-10 meters. From the bottom pool it falls another 300m, via numerous continuous small falls, until it levels out at the beginning of the new access track. The unnamed water fall "not the Minnow falls" to the west of the Minnow is estimated to be in excess off 100m in a single drop making it one of the tallest, if not the tallest fall, in Tasmania. BK
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Minnow Falls-Old and new tracks loop.jpg
Minnow Falls - Old and New tracks loop from Belstone Rd
IMG_2473.JPG
Minnow falls - Lower falls
IMG_2464.JPG
Minnow Falls Second to last Fall
IMG_2470.JPG
Minnow Falls - Bottom Fall
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sat 24 Mar, 2018 10:19 pm

Finally figured out how to project my GPS data on Google Earth and then save the Image so I can post it
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Minnow falls - Old and new loop track from Belstone Rd
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Graham17 » Sun 25 Mar, 2018 6:25 am

Great job, am looking forward to making the round trip, thanks good writeup.
edit... yes it was epic; went clockwise from Bottom1; love the log bridge; tiger closely encountered; very leechy.
Good work all
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sun 25 Mar, 2018 9:44 pm

Graham17 wrote:Great job, am looking forward to making the round trip, thanks good writeup

There has been quite a bit of rain lately, so you might have a bit of trouble crossing the minnow river to get to the old minnow track carpark on Belstone Rd.
I would suggest parking at the end of bottom 1 Rd, then cross the river via the log bridge and go up the new track and then come back via the old track. From the gravel pit follow the old logging rd down to the cross track, in stead of following the track to the carpark on Belstone road and then coming back on the old logging rd to the cross track, as shown on the google map [that section has not been cleared and is quite over grown in places]. We did not reflag the old track yet but the track is quite easy to follow and there is still plenty of old tape up there and and the cross track. You need to keep your eye out for the cross track, it crosses the old logging road, but I'm not sure if the pink tape is visible from the logging road. BK
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Wed 28 Mar, 2018 3:31 pm

Update to the minnow falls tracks
The cross track between the minnow falls old and new tracks has now been cleared and taped in pink and orange tape.
The old logging road from the cross track up hill to the intersection with the old Minnow falls track has been taped in orange tape, it has not been cleared much, but it is passable.
The cross track allows for a loop walk from either carpark [Belstone Rd & Bottom Rd1]
It is advised to use the Bottom Rd1 carpark and take the new track up and come back via the old track and the cross track, as that is the shorter and easiest traverse.
Note: The old logging road from the cross track to Belstone carpark has not been cleared or flagged and would be very difficult to locate when coming from Belstone carpark [that may have to be the next job] BK
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Minnow falls loop tracks
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Thu 05 Apr, 2018 10:01 pm

Maraea48 wrote:
Note: The old logging road from the cross track to Belstone carpark has not been cleared or flagged and would be very difficult to locate when coming from Belstone carpark [that may have to be the next job] BK

The old logging road from the cross track to Belstone carpark has now been cleared and flagged in orange tape. When coming from the Belstone carpark it branches off to the left, just past an unexplored cross track.
We did the loop track from Belstone Rd, the other day and it is a nice day walk with lots of fungi popping up everywhere.
Attachments
2X2A3007.JPG
Start of the old Minnow falls track from Belstone Rd
2X2A3017.JPG
View of the waterfall from the track
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Some of the fungi along the track
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Fungi 2
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Fungi 3
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Large fungi plus many more
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Postby Maraea48 » Thu 05 Apr, 2018 10:09 pm

Maraea48 wrote:Note: The old logging road from the cross track to Belstone carpark has not been cleared or flagged and would be very difficult to locate when coming from Belstone carpark [that may have to be the next job] BK


The old logging road from the cross track to Belstone carpark has now been cleared and flagged in orange tape. When coming from the Belstone carpark it branches off to the left, just past an unexplored cross track. [Bottom Rd perhaps?]
We did the loop track from Belstone Rd, the other day and it is a nice day walk with lots of fungi popping up everywhere.[/quote]
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 7:39 pm

Graham17 wrote:edit... yes it was epic; went clockwise from Bottom1; love the log bridge; tiger closely encountered; very leechy.
Good work all


Wow, hope you managed to get a good photo of the tiger! we need urgent evidence that they are not extinct. would be a huge economic boost for Sheffield if we still had them in our region!
As for the leeches, they are always around in that sort of environment, after rain, especially when you are crawling around looking for fungi . stuff your pants in your socks, wear gaiters & long sleeves and spray with Bushman insect repellent.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 3:28 pm

For those who are more interested in the more sedate stuff, a link below to the photos we took on the, anti clock wise, old and new minnow falls tracks loop from Belstone Rd

https://photos.app.goo.gl/6V1LgGyh87qgm9Nf2

[When you click on a photo you may see a description of the subject]
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Wed 16 May, 2018 9:27 pm

Some wonderful Fungi at the Minnow right now
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Tortoise » Wed 16 May, 2018 9:39 pm

Beautiful! Thanks for posting.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Wed 20 Jun, 2018 5:49 am

The Minnow Falls are generating some traffic, on our return from the falls bottom pool, with a party of four last Sunday, we met up with a party of ten. wonderful stuff!! The fungi are slowing down a bit, but there have been some good flows in the river. Waiting for the big one so we can capture it at it's most awesome! [frightening might be a better expression]
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Wed 20 Jun, 2018 3:45 pm

The GPS coordinates for the intersection of Bellstone Rd & Union Bridge Road are as per attached Image
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby billshep1 » Wed 20 Jun, 2018 4:40 pm

Went up the new track today in the rain. First time for a few years. Excellent work and route finding. I am so pleased that other folk have taken to working on the area . You are heroes.

I looked after the old track for about ten years and we got no help then! It will be worth keeping the old track from Belstone Quarry open as it has a wonderful balcon route dancing below the cliffs with good views. I will do a bit on it soon. The lower slopes and quarry road were high maintenance sections. Max cut huge logs there a while back and I toiled on the bauera jungle on the quarry road.
The route up the escarpment via Middle Falls and the cave, discovered by Fred Groenier, would have to be one of the most exciting in the North West. I never marked the start it as it is demanding and not for everyone. It starts just before the lower falls going up a little creek. Three rope ladders aid the ascent. Take care. The cave is fine - you don't really need a torch. I will never forget the first time I crawled through there and came out on the ridge above Middle Falls. A place to savour.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Wed 20 Jun, 2018 10:15 pm

[quote="billshep1"]Went up the new track today in the rain. First time for a few years. Excellent work and route finding. I am so pleased that other folk have taken to working on the area . You are heroes.

Sorry we missed you there today. The new track is easier and quicker than the old Minnow falls track, but can highly recommend doing a loop walk via the new and old track. The Middle falls lookout is awesome, with a great view of the valley below and an thundering 80m waterfall not 10 meters away [after heavy rain] Can't wait to explore the track up the escarpment to the top of the falls. If we ever get a cable way to the top of Mount Roland we would need more tracks up there. We could have a track from the summit via the northern summit ridge to the minnow falls and come down beside it, or pass the falls and come down the escarpment to the old logging road that runs parallel to the east of Bottom 1 Rd and then cross back to Bottom 1 Rd car park.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Fri 22 Jun, 2018 8:25 pm

Minnow Falls Pamphlet Produced by Bill Shepherd years ago

Minnow Falls walks. Fred's Track

Minnow Falls walks. Map Gog 1:25000.

These are splendid routes on the Paradise escarpment of Mount Roland which were initially found by Fred Groenier. I have improved the routes over the years. The falls are at their best after heavy rain, but the rocks are more slippery then!There are four main falls and a good strenous but easy return walk can be made to the lower fall. To climb up to the middle and top falls involves steep rough walking with rope ladders in three places to assist on short slabs.It is best to do a traverse over to O’ Neill’s Road using the old tourist track from the top Minnow fall, and a car shuttle.
The walk starts on Belstone road in the Paradise Plantation. To get here take Claude Road out of Sheffield, then turn left along Union Bridge road to Paradise. Just after the last farm in Paradise, marked by a religious sign, turn right along Dolly Bush link, then down Short Spur link to join Belstone road( you can also go directly to Belstone road by fording the river near the old picnic ground if its low)About 1 km along Belstone Road park at the junction with Belstone Spur 5 as the bridge ahead over Minnow Creek has gone. Walk along Belstone Road for a further 700 metres until you reach a turning place with cairns and a small wooden sign Minnow Falls Track (Grid ref GOG 445078)Follow the tapes through the plantation. At a junction go straight ahead uphill on an old 4wd track. Keep on this until you come to an old quarry.The Middle and Top Falls can be seen from this road, especially when in flood. The bush track goes up from the quarry in open forest, quite steep in parts. When you reach the bottom of the cliffs turn sharp left and follow a pleasant route through mature teatree meandering along below the cliffs. You will reach a gully with a small creek, often dry, descend slightly then traverse along again. There is a new option to avoid climbing to the base of the cliffs and descending again- about 100 metres into the teatree forest look for yellow tapes. These will take you on a rough but open route to the first gully where the track traverses. The route is well marked. As you approach the Minnow River the route descends again and is rougher as you approach the bottom fall. The falls make a good lunch spot with a deep pool at their base. In early summer there is a glorious blandfordia garden near the pool. For the short walk return by same route.
The route to the Middle Falls and the top of the escarpment starts just before the first fall . It is steep and rough and has three little rock slabs to scale assisted by rope ladders. This can be difficult in wet conditions, if you have any doubts about your ability to get up the slabs, stick to the return walk to the Lower Falls.
Head steeply up a little creek , before escaping on to easier ground. You will often be in the creek bed on this route! Then there is a steep little slab below a tree which has a rope ladder to assist. After this you enter a cave and emerge through a hole on to a ridge. This is great fun, Fred did well to find it. To view the Middle Fall turn left down the ridge , with care as there are steep drops on either side, to a wide platform lookout, a superb spot, with the fall behind you and a vista over the Minnow Valley and Tiers. Go back up the ridge past the cave using a safety rope and continue steeply up towards the escarpment. Two more rope ladders await before you enter the sublime Paradise Gully, a cool rain forest retreat. Leave the gully near the top – steeply to the left- and enter open teatree which can be followed to the Minnow river above the top falls. There are actually two falls at the top, only one can be viewed from above, the second can be seen from the access roads below when the river is high. There is another good lookout here, turn left just as you approach the river to access it.
After crossing the Minnow ,pick up the tourist track which connects to the Mt Roland track. This can be choked with bauera in places near the falls. At the junction turn left and then downhill at the saddle for Claude Road.

Update 15/11/2011. I have cleared the track of limbs, debris and ferns through to the Lower Falls.

Update 22/11/2011. Max Richardson has cleared the big logs in the lower forest which have been there for as long as I can remember. We owe Max a great deal for his fine chainsaw work. I only helped to carry the gear and tidy up! There is now a clear route up to the cliffline

Update 1 /12/2011. I have put rope ladders on the first two slabs. This should make it easier in the wet. There is also a new safety line above the cave.

Update 13/12/2011 .Max and I have checked the rope ladders and put another one up at the third slab. We removed a tree at the first ladder and it is now very easy. We also cleared the route up to the Minnow river crossing and put up new marking tape. The section from here to the junction with the Mt Roland track has not been cleared – perhaps other users would like to help with this?
We have taped a short cut through the teatree forest to the first gully which avoids much of the climbing up to the cliffline, look for yellow tapes about 100 metres up in the teatree zone when you leave the tall forest. This should please those who felt the route undulated somewhat.

14/04/2016 Max and I have not maintained these routes for a couple of years now, hoping the Kentish locals might do it. So be prepared for some rough ,scrubby, ferny patches.

Note 22/06/2018: Some of the locals have come to the fore and the tracks are all passable as per previous posts
Attachments
Minnow Falls.jpg
Lower Minnow Falls
Minnow Falls.jpg (142.8 KiB) Viewed 3443 times
Middle Minnow Falls .jpg
Middle Minnow Falls from the Lookout above the Caves
Middle Minnow Falls .jpg (150.62 KiB) Viewed 3443 times
Falls and Blandflordia.jpg
Falls and Blandflordia
Falls and Blandflordia.jpg (160.4 KiB) Viewed 3443 times
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Maraea48
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sat 23 Jun, 2018 3:10 pm

Next week we will meet the legends, Bill and Max, in person when we will do the Minnow falls loop track with a small party. it should be an interesting day, hearing all the stories, walking in paradise. There are a few unexplored tracks up there and Bill might be able to shed some light on their destinations.
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Maraea48
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