Distance: 1.4 kilometres return
Grade: 2 (suitable for most with some steps)
Distance from: Hobart - 233 km, Launceston - 229 km, Devonport - 222 km
Travel back in time by taking the incredibly easy walk to Nelson Falls. Sitting just off the Lyell Highway between Queenstown and Derwent Bridge, the walk to Nelson Falls will take you on a flat gravel path through a rainforest full of giant ferns, myrtle and sassafras. Informational displays will educate you about the surrounding flora. As Tasmania tore away from the supercontinent Gondwana, these rainforest trees were separated from each other and pulled thousands of miles apart. Now the relatives of these forest plants are found in New Zealand and South America.
The falls seem ancient. Cascading down a stepped rockface, the water splashes on boulders covered in green moss. Everything seems to be alive here as the sound of the creek bubbles underfoot inside a hallway of towering trees. The viewing platform is built right over flowing water at the base of the falls.
The carpark for Nelson Falls is on the north side of the Lyell Highway 24 kilometres from Queenstown and 59 kilometres from Derwent Bridge. It's a great way to break up a long west coast drive as the hike is short, there's plenty of reading to do along the way and the falls are beautiful.
The drive from Hobart takes 3 hours and 20 minutes over 233 kilometres. Launceston sits 229 kilometres away making the drive 3 hours and 16 minutes. Devonport is 3 hours to the north and the drive spans 222 kilometres.
The falls are wheelchair accessible and suitable for all ages, but you'll have to drive 33 kilometres east to the Franklin River to find picnic and toilet facilities.
Always supervise children around flowing water and keep them away from the base of the falls as debris can come crashing down.
The water is highest from June to October. While it makes the falls more beautiful, it also makes the running water a bit more dangerous.