Why a visit to Hogarth Falls is a must
Strahan is a small town on the western edge of Tasmania. Rugged, wild and amazingly beautiful, the West Coast of Tassie acts as a gateway to the world heritage area, Tasmania's most notorious convict prison and the worlds second oldest living tree- the Huon pine.
So many families visit Strahan for the West Coast Wilderness Railway or to cruise up the famous Gordon River. Both are amazing experiences and we highly recommend them.
But what do you do if you're not cruising or riding along a railway? Or if you've got half a day, an hour or two?
Our favourite short walk in Strahan is to Hogarth Falls. Located at People's Park, this place is so amazing we actually got married there! It always makes my heart flutter whenever I take the kids!
Hogarth Falls is a 40-minute return walk. It's easy going combining sections of gravel path and timber boardwalk. The track follows along the banks of Botanical Creek, all the way to a beautiful waterfall which you can get right up close too.
Being an ex-tour guide I make a point of teaching my kids about what they can see, smell and hear in their surrounds. This walk provides great opportunities to do that. For those unfamiliar with Tasmanian rainforests and animals, the local school put together some great signs which are full of information about what you are seeing as you walk along. These signs are at the perfect height for kids and are easy to read. Some of the students did some artwork on the signs; I'm sure many a child has been able to relate to their level of creativity, maybe even been inspired to do a drawing of what they saw on the walk when they return to their accommodation!
At a few spots along the walk, the track comes out over the edge of the creek. If you're all really quiet and look along the inside of the creek banks you may be lucky to see a platypus. There are loads to be found it's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Platypus can have burrows into the banks that are over 20km long. There would be a maze of tunnels under the track for the majority of the way! Platypus prefer early mornings and late afternoon. However if there has been a bit of rain and the creek has been flowing fast, it stirs up the bottom of the creek bed. This is when you're likely to find platypus throughout the day as they are busy eating all the small worms, invertebrates and yabbies that have been stirred up!
At the little bridges along the track, you can get the kids up close the creek. These make great photo opportunities. As the walking track is surrounded by mixed scrub and rainforest, the ground is littered with ferns of all sizes; makes for some pretty cool shots! Add the beautiful rich tannin coloured water and you've got yourself a magical fairyland. There are so many reasons why you should take your kids here!
Near the waterfall, the track has a rather steep climb for around a 100 metres. I've pushed our double pram up it so it's manageable, but it doesn't have a good safety rail and the track drops off at the edge. Make sure you hold your little one's hands. Once at the top of this incline you can try and grab a pic of the falls through the trees or you can head down the 20 odd steps to the actual Falls. At the end of the stairs you will be standing on a boulder that's wet and unevenly surfaced, so don't let your kids go down unsupervised if they are young. It's down these stairs that you get the best photos.
We often pack a picnic to have at the park when we finish the walk. There are toilets in relatively clean condition and an undercover BBQ area with tables. If the weathers nice we bring a rug and sit out on the grass under the giant gums. The kids watch for birds and butterflies as we nibble on our snacks.
We give the Falls a top rating. The walk is free, there is ample car parking and the track is well defined and pram friendly. You can even ride a push bike up the Falls if you wish!
If you've been to Hogarth Falls, let us know! We would love to hear what you thought and if you have any tips for other families!