Prepare for total tranquillity at Liffey Falls, which sit nestled in Tasmania's Great Western Tiers about an hour's drive from Launceston and 90 minutes from Devonport. There are few settings more peaceful than here, in this World Heritage-listed rainforest, where you listen to bird song and watch water cascade over sandstone. Follow the enchanting nature trail to Liffey Falls or spend a relaxing afternoon in the fern-fringed picnic area. Just nearby, you can explore the quaint craft-loving village of Deloraine and the limestone caves of Mole Creek Karst National Park.
Part of Tasmania's World Heritage area, Liffey Falls State Reserve is easily accessible from Launceston and Devonport, and around two and a half hour's drive from Hobart. Both Tasmanians and tourists travel here to picnic and wander through wet eucalypt forest to the base of Liffey Falls. It's the last and most spectacular of four falls which tumble down from the Great Western Tiers, exposing sandstone steps on their rush into the Liffey River. The 40-minute return walk to Liffey Falls is well-paved and has plenty of viewing platforms where you can photograph the upper cascades.
The Gulf Road Walk is a longer, quieter track leading past the falls to the Gulf Road Picnic Area, which was once a logging camp. It takes around two to three hours return to complete, and offers excellent views of Drys Bluff, the highest peak in the Great Western Tiers. Alternatively, the Liffey River Track is a 90-minute walk that starts in the Great Western Tiers, off the Lake Highway, and winds downstream to the Liffey Picnic Area.
The less energetic can just enjoy lunch in the dappled sunlight of the Liffey Picnic Area, which sits near the park's entrance and car park. It has picnic shelters and gas barbecues and is fringed by tall manferns and eucalypt trees like myrtle, sassafrass and leatherwood. There's also the Big Tree Stroll, a boardwalk looping around the base of an enormous eucalypt.
The reserve shelters an array of wildlife, from birds to bats to bandicoots. Look and listen out for pink robins, green rosellas and fairy-wrens in the rainforest and spot giant crayfish and the shy platypus in and around the clear waters of the Liffey River. You might spot Tasmanian devils, quolls, bandicoots and wallabies foraging for food at dusk.
On your journey back from Liffey Falls, make time for a stopover in the charming, heritage-listed riverside village of Deloraine. In November, the town's beautifully-restored Georgian and Victorian architecture is the backdrop for one of the country's biggest craft fairs. Hunt for antiques, meet Tasmanian devils in the wildlife park and meander between farms and factories selling honey, cheese, berries and salmon. Another nearby attraction is Mole Creek Karst National Park, where you can tour the spectacular limestone caves, discovering glow worm displays and subterranean streams and caverns.
There is so much to discover in and around Liffey Falls and its tranquil tract of nature.