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
- Lower Minnow Falls
- Minnow Falls.jpg (142.8 KiB) Viewed 13294 times
- Middle Minnow Falls from the Lookout above the Caves
- Middle Minnow Falls .jpg (150.62 KiB) Viewed 13294 times
- Falls and Blandflordia
- Falls and Blandflordia.jpg (160.4 KiB) Viewed 13294 times