New access track to Minnow Falls

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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Wed 27 Jun, 2018 10:57 pm

Yes, we did the New and Old Minnow falls tracks loop today, with a bunch of great guys and we even got Shadow the Mountain Climbing canine
up the rope ladder and through the cave op to The Middle Falls lookout platform. What a magical place it is!
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Lower Minnow Falls
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Bottom Falls and Pool
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The 80m drop of Middle Minnow Falls from the Middle falls lookout
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 9:41 am

Yes, we did the New and the Old Minnow falls loop yesterday. about 90min for the 2.7 km new track with arise of 300m to the Old and new intersection then about 300m to the bottom pool with a drop of about 26m. From there we climbed 80m to the middle falls lookout via the rope ladder and the cave, even Shadow the mountain climbing dog made it up there, what a magic place.then we walked back via the old track and the cross track, all up 5.5 hours including lunch and fungi photo stops, we had a great day.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Graham17 » Thu 28 Jun, 2018 5:06 pm

Big thanks to this bunch got the track in tip top shape
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Fri 29 Jun, 2018 8:58 pm

Bill Shepherd fixed up his dodgy Hand wire at the start of the log crossing, looking much better Bill! :D
Great improvement in the river flow too, thanks to 15 mm rain over night.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Davo1 » Sat 30 Jun, 2018 9:17 am

Nice to see all the updates.
Some of the old track with Bill and Max's handiwork back in 2011
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sun 08 Jul, 2018 6:34 am

The Minnow Falls where pumping on Friday after good Rain
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Wed 11 Jul, 2018 8:54 pm

After taking some long range shots of the Minnow falls last Thursday, we just had to have a closer look on Saturday. The falls had all ready decreased in size and the river was lower but the boulder crossing was still underwater. The track was still pretty wet and the rocks near the falls where very slippery. The last 80 meter climb was not easy with water flowing down parts of the track, but it was worth it! straight after a heavy rain fall the falls would be awesome but the track would be an nightmare!
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Wed 18 Jul, 2018 8:25 pm

The access roads to the new Minnow falls track is blocked by a large amount of tree fall and has probably been blocked since July 8. When we had a strong wind event in the area. Went to do some work on the log bridge this morning and a large tree was blocking Belstone Rd, just of Union Bridge Rd, and we could see another one just further up and suspected that there could be quite a lot more further up. Had seen quite a lot of wind damage along Paradise Rd when coming in from Sheffield. Decided to put my hand deep into my pocket and invest in a Stihl MS180 [no cappuccinos for us for the rest of the month] The chainsaw turned out to be a good investment, by 4 pm we cleared 14 trees of the road [sometimes multiple trees in one fall] and only got one third of the way. weather permitting we will get to the head of the track tomorrow afternoon. then we can check the track on Friday.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Warin » Wed 18 Jul, 2018 9:28 pm

I hope you have some ear plugs in when you use that chain saw.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Thu 19 Jul, 2018 8:10 am

Warin wrote:I hope you have some ear plugs in when you use that chain saw.

No mate, It's music to my ears, I'm deaf as a door knob, only threat to my ears is the wife! :lol:
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby north-north-west » Thu 19 Jul, 2018 12:46 pm

Having been in there not that long ago, I am really impressed with the effort that's been put into this. The tracks are so well thought out and marked. Truly grateful for all your hard work.

Just a few things that were confusing: there's a line of tape continuing parallel with the creek from the base of the steep climb on the new track, but it doesn't seem to go anywhere. Was that just exploratory or is it intended to be taken further? Then there's the mass of taped leads heading off from the old track along various old vehicle tracks. Most confusing if not for the signs that tell you the best route to take for either carpark. Do they all join Belstone further down? And then there's an older line of tape and cairns heading up a rocky gully from the old track. Where does that go?
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Thu 19 Jul, 2018 10:30 pm

north-north-west wrote:
Just a few things that were confusing: there's a line of tape continuing parallel with the creek from the base of the steep climb on the new track, but it doesn't seem to go anywhere. Was that just exploratory or is it intended to be taken further? Then there's the mass of taped leads heading off from the old track along various old vehicle tracks. Most confusing if not for the signs that tell you the best route to take for either carpark. Do they all join Belstone further down? And then there's an older line of tape and cairns heading up a rocky gully from the old track. Where does that go?


AS I mentioned in my introduction at the top of this tread, There is a confusion of tape in the Minnow Falls Tracks area. I have been told that a lot of the pink tape, white capped pegs and plastic markers on wire pegs, are Mineral exploration surveys. There is also a lot of pink tape left by Bush walkers who did cross walks. Along the old Minnow Falls Track you will find tape of all colours and even strings, whatever was available at the time to mark the track. We only added pink tape to the Old Minnow Falls Track where tape was missing. We deliberately used Orange tape to Mark the new track, part of the old quarry/gravel pit Rd and the Cross Track to set it apart from the other tracks and also to get people back to Bottom1 Rd Carpark [We did not disturb any other tape that was already there so you may find Orange and other tape mixed together]. Unfortunately the Orange tape that we used fades pretty fast in the sun. We have recently purchased new Orange tape that is supposed to be UV proof and colour fast and we will replace the old tape over time. We also Installed wooden signs with tape attached, follow the tape attached to the sign and you will get were you want to go. It is also a good Idea to print the map of the tracks that show what tape is used to flag it. When I first Started looking for a way along the river to the falls, I discovered intermittent pink tape on the northern side of the river and an overgrown track of sorts where people had cut branches and trees previously. Higher up the river where the bank became very steep the tape sort of run out, I'm sure it carries on but I did not like where it was going, so I decided to find an alternative route higher up the ridge. My mate told me that he knows a guy who went all the way up to the falls, following the river bed. Even if the river was almost dry it would have been a one hell of a challenge to travel 1.7km and climb 300m over sometimes Giant boulders. The attached whereis map shows the old and the new track including the track up the escarpment to the top of the falls. It also shows the diversion up the gully then over the balconies and back to the track, that is actually part of the original route as laid out by Fred Groenier, I was told by Bill Shepherd. Apparently that is quite a challenging section, so Bill created a short cut which is now the main track. When Bill comes back we will check that section out and we will also check out the track on the southern side that runs from the end of the logging road, higher up the hill running parallel to the river, up the ridge to the top of the Falls and then come down on the track coming up from the northern side, creating a loop track over the escarpment and the top of the falls from bottom Rd Carpark. The Whereis map also shows another cross track, one of our mates took that cross track by mistake and he recons it is passable but pretty rough.
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Whereis map of the Minnow Falls tracks.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Thu 19 Jul, 2018 10:44 pm

The access roads to the Minnow falls is still blocked. We cleared a further 8 trees this afternoon and should have the road to the botton1 Rd carpark open by lunch time tommorow.
After we clear the last lot, one tangle of 6 trees 200m before the carpark and then we will head back to the Falls Lookout, about 800 meters before the carpark, where there are 2 trees dangling precariously over the road. you can drive under it but we cannot leave it like that. The Minnow and Not the Minnow falls are pumping and can be seen from Paradise Rd.
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Last hurdle before the carpark cluster of 6 trees
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Mon 23 Jul, 2018 6:19 am

20 July at 21:50
The Minnow Falls access road to Bottom1 Carpark is now clear. we cleared 30 trees of the access roads over the last 3 days. The new track to the Minnow falls has not been checked but should be passable. About 2 km in from the Union Bridge Rd intersection on the right hand side of the road there is a clearing where you can view the Middle tier of the Minnow falls and the "Not The Minnow Falls" it is sign posted as The falls lookout. A good zoom lens will give you pretty good pictures. The Minnow falls has dropped of quite a bit over the last few days
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sun 29 Jul, 2018 9:22 pm

The Minnow River was pumping today, Biggest flow yet this season.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sun 12 Aug, 2018 10:29 pm

Walked the New Minnow Falls track with the chainsaw the other day and the track is all clear, have not checked the old track and access roads [Bellstone and Dolly Bush Link Roads]
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Wed 22 Aug, 2018 9:45 pm

Very pleasant walk, Today, with the Kentish U3A walking group on the new Minnow Falls Track.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sun 09 Sep, 2018 1:14 pm

after consulting the weather forecast earlier in the week we decided that Friday 7-9-2018 looked to be a good day to go up to the minnow falls. The few days before produced more than 40mm of rain right up to Thursday evening. We woke up to a cold morning and clear sky. On the way in, from Paradise Rd, we could see that the "Not The Minnow Falls" where performing. From the bottom1 Rd "Falls Lookout" we could see that the Minnow falls where pumping. When we got to the Bottom falls, at 675m, the sound was deafening. After some pics and Videos we made our way up to the middle tier plateau, water was running down the track in places but manageable. The Middle fall never fails to astound, especially in flood, and the view from there is stunning. After lunch we decided to see if we could get to the top of the falls. The track was recently taped and easy to follow, it is quite steep and was very wet at the time. Once we got to the top we descended down to the river and the top of the falls. There was still a good flow but looking at the foam on the sides it appeared that the river had been about a meter higher just recently. I recon that we would have had a bit of a problem getting up the track during that time and probably did not want to be there anyway! The view from the top of the falls, at 809m, is restricted. You have to cross the river and climb another 30m to the "Minnow Falls Lookout' for a better view, although you still cannot see the falls from there. None of us were keen to cross the river this time. Next time I would probably walk back over the Button grass plain to the summit track and then down to O'Neills Creek.
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The Middle tier from the Bottom1 Rd "Falls Lookout"
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The Bottom Pool
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Middle Tier from the Lookout Plateau
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Top of the Falls
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View From The Minnow Falls Lookout
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Another view from the top of the escarpment
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Wed 12 Sep, 2018 7:38 pm

New Minnow Falls track Map, from Bottom1 Rd to Bottom Pool and on to the top of the falls, on Google Earth
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Minnow falls track to the top.png
New Minnow Falls Track
Minnow falls bottom pool via Middle tier plateau to the Top.png
Minnow Falls track, from Bottom Pool via Middle tier on to the Top of the Falls
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Fri 07 Dec, 2018 6:17 pm

The New Minnow Falls track from Bottom Rd is in great condition. We had to clear half a dozen trees along the river flat, after a windy week, but the rest of the track was fine. Still some flow in the river as well, What a magic place! even found some fungi and some native orchids. The bird live is prolific and the Christmas Bells are beginning to flower.

You can follow up dates about Local tracks and waterfalls around Sheffield on:
https://www.facebook.com/SheffieldTasmania/
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Lower Minnow Falls and pool
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Christmas Bells
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Sporing Slime Mould
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Graham17 » Wed 19 Dec, 2018 6:04 pm

Looking good there nice work sorting out the fallen pines
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Mon 07 Jan, 2019 8:06 pm

The Old and New Minnow Falls tracks are now shown on the GAIAGPS topo map. http://www.gaiagps.com
GAIAGPS is an “must have” navigation app for IOS devices i.e. iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android devices i.e. Android Tablets and Phones. The software can be down loaded for free from the App Store [Apple-iTunes for IOS] https://www.apple.com/au/ios/app-store/ and Google App Store [for Android] https://play.google.com/store/apps The app comes with a basic world-wide map but If you become a GAIAGPS member [$27.99 AUD per annum] you have access to 50 world-wide maps and overlays as well as unlimited map downloads. When you down load maps to your device you can use these off-line, even when there is no signal. The app can also map [record] your walk so you can always find your way back, and you can save the track for future use. A premium subscription will give you access to 250 maps and overlays and a host of other features. We have been using the GAIAGPS App with basic member ship for a month now and recently upgraded to premium membership. And I believe my Garmin GPS64s with OZTOPO V8 maps has just become obsolete. Gaia uses open source topo and street maps as well as satellite maps which have been pretty accurate in Western Australia. Have not had a chance yet to use it in Tasmania. You can also access the maps on your computer and that is how we discovered the Minnow Falls Tracks. The only drawback with using your phone is battery live, but you can overcome that with a power-bank. Kogan has some pretty good selection of those things https://www.kogan.com/au/shop/phones/power-banks/
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Gaiagps topo map
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Poosnapper » Thu 04 Apr, 2019 2:02 pm

I visited Minnow Falls for the first time last weekend. Firstly, the recent track work is amazing - well done and thanks to those working hard at it. The track was in excellent condition all the way to the very top with the exception of two of the three ladders. The first (lowest) ladder was undamaged (but looking fairly 'tired') but the next two higher ones were busted. I think it's only a (short) matter of time before the lower one breaks or the hasty repairs done on the higher ones fail and hurts someone. I'd suggest they be replaced re-using the existing wooden rungs (in good order) but replacing the ropes with stainless steel wire rope (like that used on the fancy log crossing at the start of the Bottom Road track). A shorter term solution using rope again would be easier and cheaper but would only last 10 years before the same problem occurs again. I'm not local (based in Hobart) but I'm happy to help with the work or provide some $ to help cover materials if the current track 'guardians' agree it's something they want to do.
We came back down via the water/canyon and it is a most spectacular trip which I will certainly do again. It requires lugging a bit more gear to the top but abseiling down is easier than climbing down the track and those scary ladders!
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Thu 04 Apr, 2019 9:40 pm

Thanks, Poosnapper, we are trying to raise some money for aluminium ladders, best long term solution! but not cheap. local council not interested because not under their control. Maybe crowd funding? Any photos?
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby billshep2 » Thu 04 Apr, 2019 11:21 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I have been wondering how my old ladders were standing up, and indeed had started thinking about steel cables such as I use on the Wilmot. We will try to start repairs over the next few weeks. We need wider steps as well, but these will probably have to be treated pine. Any small donations will be welcome as we have to pay for all the materials!! Estimated cost for cable, steps and wire rope fasteners around $120.

I was very impressed by the abseiling descent of the falls!

I went up the eastern ridge from the logging road off Union bridge road this week. There is a very shonky steel ladder (not mine) at the very top of the crags and an adjacent dodgy hole in the rocks. I will try to improve on this. This route is quite a delight in places with a little cave to crawl through and a fine lookout just beyond it.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby billshep2 » Tue 09 Apr, 2019 6:06 pm

I checked out the ladders today and indeed only the lower, first one, is usable. The others are dangerous. I have posted a separate notice on the forum closing this route until we can fix it.

Many thanks to Poosnapper for alerting us, and his kind donation to repair fund. Any other good souls who want to contribute can contact me or Basil.

I have left steel cables, grips , tree protectors, spanners and a cutting tool at the foot of ladder 2 for temporary repairs if I can get down from the top via the tourist track from Gowrie Park. Not game to climb up the dodgy remains of the ladder on a wet slippery slab now the wet is back.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sun 14 Apr, 2019 8:40 am

The Minnow falls Escarpment route, to the top of the falls, is now passable again. The broken #2 rope ladder has been replaced with an new stainless steel rope ladder. We are working on the #3 ladder, there is an extra, temporary, safety rope there just in case the existing ropes give way. The #1 ladder is still Ok but will be replaced as soon as we get some money together. That is the ladder that gets the most traffic as it lead to the Middle falls plateau, up from the bottom falls, which is the most scenic spot on the entire Minnow Falls Skyline circuit track. The Minnow falls Skyline route is challenging in places and thick with tea tree on the top, but possibly the most exiting 6 hour adventure in the North West. We will improve the track in due time. We will create a new post about the Skyline circuit on this forum.
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Team work on the rope ladders
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Bill Shepherd going down the new #2 stainless steel rope Ladder
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The Middle Falls have slowed down again but are still impressive!
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Bill Shepherd and Lindsay Parker on the Middle falls plateau
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sun 21 Apr, 2019 9:32 am

Minnow Falls Escarpment Route, Rope Ladder update:
#1 rope ladder has been replaced with all new 6mm Stainless steel wire rope, Stainless steel wire rope grips and Treated pine treads. Should last a couple of decades. The ladder has been secured further up the slope on a secure tree. the safety rope at the top of the ladder has been moved to give better and safer access. There is some spare rope at the bottom for extra treads for if and when the bank at the bottom of the ladder collapses.

#2 ladder is all stainless steel and treated pine too but needs a few more treads to make it easier to pass

#3 old ladder is still passable. New materials have been ordered and the ladder will be replaced when the good arrive.
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New #1 Ladder
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View from the top
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View of the top of the ladder and safety rope
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Secure tree
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Beeper1967 » Sun 21 Apr, 2019 5:08 pm

This track is on reserved land, do you have permission from Parks and Wildlife for these improvements? Dodgy infrastructure can be a public risk issue. If ok, sounds like a fine walk.
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Re: New access track to Minnow Falls

Postby Maraea48 » Sun 21 Apr, 2019 8:07 pm

The Minnow falls middle fall can be seen from The Minnow Falls lookout, halfway along Bottom1 Rd in the Paradise Plantation
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